Ecommerce and Dotcoms are Back
In the mid 1990s Priceline, Amazon, and Ebay were on the cover of Business Week. BW asked “will they make it?” Can they survive as “new” business models? The answers have now all come in. Since then, Ebay and Amazon have grown exponentially and become leaders in their markets, and Norwalk-based Priceline now has its highest stock price since mid 2004, and its profits are growing.
Six years ago when I was working as an Executive/CEO Coach for several dotcom clients, two companies, that didn’t make it, even convinced me to take a piece of the company. They were run by talented leaders, but the market and the revenue model just didn’t develop fast enough. They fought hard, but many companies with great ideas and people didn’t survive. Some received too much money and spent it unwisely due the boom. Some were ahead of the market; others couldn’t find enough paying clients.
Only recently have dotcoms come back to the forefront for me and in the business world. It is now acceptable to say you are a dotcom or to add the dotcom back to your business name (which you may have dropped). Several recent projects include advising a dotcom company with explosive growth potential on their VC presentation in an effort to raise an additional $3-5 million, working with another one that is growing 40% per year on a sale/merger, and heading up a board of advisors for another small dotcom (that has been growing since 1999) that just received a group purchase patent that we are licensing. In addition, I just received a call (and email) to speak on Ecommerce in June.
Whether you have been paying attention or not, there are numerous success stories in Connecticut, and several models continue to grow. I met yesterday with a food company that sold over $100,000 on the web out of several million in total sales, and they are just getting started. I ran another meeting with a leading executive information company, now with 40 employees, that is growing solidly.
Even if you are with a large company, there may be opportunities. Several years ago, I had a client who helped launch Weight Watchers online business which had $9 million in sales in its first year. Not only did this effort surprise many executives in the company, but it brought out a whole new underserved market i.e. men who wanted to lose weight, but didn’t want to go to meetings.
What opportunities are you missing with your company? Have you used the latest search optimization techniques? Do you have a dedicated focus for this area of your business?
Many websites today should move from being a brochure to being an ecommerce website, particularly if you are selling products. It can be more efficient for small orders and requires less processing time. It can also generate a new wave of clients who get to know your company, even though they may be in different geographic areas or countries. The time to act on this challenge or rededicate your efforts is now.
Douglas Campbell III (www.thesuccesscoach.com) facilitates strategy and team-building meetings for companies to build effective and strong management teams. As an executive/CEO coach, he works with business owners in the areas of strategy and vision, marketing and business development, and team building to move businesses to the next level. He has started 5 businesses, taught undergraduates and MBA students, was Director of Marketing for a Fortune 100, writes for several newspapers, and is a member of the National Speaker’s Association.