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Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a former World Bank Analyst/Consultant. He is a senior key resource person on Information systems, E-business Development, Youth Programs, and Africa Initiatives for many international agencies, and governments. He is the author of several best-selling publications. His writings in very simple language inspire many young readers around the world


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How to Avoid Ebusiness That Doesn’t Bring Business?

By: Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu

(Ebusiness Expert)

Don’t be fooled into believing that all you need to do business online is a good website. Before you expend your life-savings developing a beautiful website loaded with amazing graphics, dancing buttons, chat rooms, and photos of beautiful women because your web developer told you that’s how to attract users to a site, read this article.

Attracting Users Does Not Mean Selling Your Products Or Services

A shocker for many new entrants to ecommerce is the hard reality that a website does not make money. It’s only a communication tool to reach out to Internet users.  Therefore, the success of an Ebusiness does not rely on a website, but rather on the business model, because it is a business. Think about it, what drives market in a real shop on the corner of a street: the painting, furniture, beautiful sales girl, or how the store does business? Well your guess is as good as mine. It is how the store does business. Walking into a store either to tease a pretty sales girl, or admire the furniture does not result in sales if there are no good products and the workers, perhaps, lack customer service skills.

Experience Matters

Most junior web-developers fresh from college are quick to unleash their programming skills with latest web-designing tools. Waoh, the site is beautiful! The real question is how much are you making from the Ecommerce site?  Ebusiness is an investment like real estate, taxi business, etc. You are into it because you want to make some money. In other words, it should have a Return on Investment (ROI), and a ‘Payback Period’ because technology outdates quite easily.

Your beautiful website does not make money because it’s designed to attract attention but not to make money. A good ECommerce site is a combination of painstaking analyses by an Ebusiness Expert, good programming by a Web Developer, excellent contents by a Web Communicator, aggressive marketing strategy by a Web Marketer, and active maintenance by a Web Content Manager. Don’t throw a fit yet if you do not have the capital to invest on these aforementioned, overpriced professionals. In most cases one person or two can have a combination of the skills above. If you are a small business with a small budget one place you can find very low-cost consultants for analyses, design and content management is at http://www.exposureworld.net  

Use An Ebusiness Consultant Not A Web-Developer

If you want to start an Ebusiness you should be shopping for an Ebusiness Consultant rather than a Web Developer. Both are not the same. A good Ebusiness Consultant normally has an advanced degree in Management Information Systems, MBA, or Marketing, and several years or working experience in a specific industry. S(he) understands not only the technology but also the market trends. Take for instance in the medical field, there are pediatricians specializing in children medicine, gynecologists specializing on pregnant women, dermatologist for the skin, optometrist for the eye, etc. Your visit to a doctor starts with a diagnosis, or perhaps a lab visit.  That determines the type of doctor you will see. If you are ill you don’t walk to a nurse to get treatment, do you? What makes you think Ebusiness is different? It is the job of an Ebusiness Consultant to recommend solutions to your Ebusiness needs, including the type of website a web developer needs to develop for you.

Research Your Product and Target Audience:

A corporate website that provides information about a company is different from a dating website that match-makes people; both are different from a news website. Target audience plays an important role in website development. Who is your audience? The online market is segmented into various demographic categories. For instance a site targeting serious-minded financial professionals is quite different from a site targeting youths and teenagers. Whereas a typical teenager may be fascinated by a heavily animated site with background music and pictures of celebrities, a financial analyst who’s sharing a cubicle with another staff wishing to renew her subscription to a financial magazine during office hours may not find animations, pop-ups, and background music really funny. Take a look at this website www.imoonline.org targeting youth audience. It uses pictures of celebrities to attract and sustain the youth audience. Take a look at this small business that sells Italian goods http://www.bellaitaliaonline.com.  It uses Italian food recipes and travel information to attract its target audience.

Leave Intro Pages For Adult Websites:

Not every Internet user has all the time on Earth to wait for your flash intro page to load. If this is a business website, please skip the ‘into thing’ and take customers straight to business. Your homepage should be professional with links to other sections of the site. Some of your best products should be displayed on the homepage. A user should start doing business right from your homepage, and doesn’t have to dig in to find products.

Background Music? Some Users Are In the Office

Imagine receiving a link from a friend to check out a site while you are in the office. On clicking the link you are surprised by a blasting sound of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ song at the background. Your office colleagues turn to you and ask ‘What’s that? Not funny at all. A typical modern office is a low-wall cubicle shared with a host of other staff.

Font Color/ Size Are Age Determinant

The older your target audience, the larger should be your fonts. A typical example is a retirement home site, or pension fund management site. The patrons are likely ageing retirees. If you are not sure who’s visiting your site, I suggest you use a standard ‘Times New Romans’, or ‘Arial’ fonts, size 12. Colors should be mild. Avoid background colors if you can, unless where research shows such a color can attract certain type of customers.

Graphics? Think About Download Speed

Before you load up your website with heavy graphics bear in mind that not everyone has the luxury of DSL, broadband, or high speed Internet. Many web-users are still stuck with simple dial-up connections. Downloading graphics can be a thorn in the flesh for dial-up users.   

If you think that Ecommerce is so easy that even a cave man can do it, so why would you need an Ebusiness Consultant? Well, next time you want to repaint your car try hiring a house painter instead. After all they’re all painters and should know about paints. Tell me how it went afterwards.

This writer is available for Ebusiness Consulting for small businesses. You can contact or read more about this writer at:

http://www.imoonline.org

http://www.exposureworld.net

 

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Publications By This Mentor

'Preparing For Life After School' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a very popular career counseling booklet for Nigerian  youths

 

'Guide To Micro, Small, & Medium Business Development' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is an award-winning publication that teaches how to prepare business plans for  Micro, Small, & Medium Enterprises

 

'Microsoft Office, A Student Hands-on Manual' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a hand-on computer training manual for African schools

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

 

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