Should you create your own website? Part 2
My last article was about the subject of whether you should create your own website and after reading a post on a business forum I felt compelled to write about the same subject again.
AB Publish was designed with the goal of providing a very simple tool for business owners to create their own website with a very simple-to-use interface. This means that people with few skills on computers will be able to create a professional looking website in minutes.
Despite the fact that tools like this exist, there are still many business owners who, despite a complete lack of technical experience, want to create their own website from scratch.
The obvious advantage of this is that it is low cost. However, in terms of the business owner's valuable time it could work out to be very expensive.
The forum post that caught my eye is that someone had an idea for a website that was similar to the Groupon website. Their question was "where do I start?". They admitted they had no experience in creating websites but wanted to go ahead with this idea anyway.
There is so much wrong with this idea I do not know where to start. First of all, in order to compete with a website the size of Groupon you either need a new idea that fulfills a need that Groupon cannot or you need a marketing budget so huge that you are going to compete with them customer by customer.
Clearly, the latter does not apply here as this person is obviously someone working from home and the fact that they want to design their own website means they have little or no budget.
A website like Groupon would take a long time for a team of experienced web developers to create. Can you imagine how long it would take someone with no experience in IT?
Not only is this idea bound to fail in terms that there is already a big company succeeding in this arena, it is bound to fail because the person behind it has no idea of the extent of the technical challenges that await him.
However, I also completely understand this person (I once had an idea to usurp Ebay!!). We all want to succeed and those of us who do not have enough money to invest in our new ventures have to do so in a DIY sort of way. So what is a person like this to do?
The balance between dreaming and reality
In my opinion, it is good to dream. It is good to be constantly thinking of new ideas for businesses. It is the dreamers who have created some of the most memorable businesses in history. However, if you have no budget to get your idea off the ground, you need to set yourself a realistic starting target.
You may not be able to take over Groupon's market share but you may be able to start in a small way with another type of business. Once this succeeds you can use the money earned to invest in a larger and then a larger business.
When Richard Branson started out he did not create an airline on his first day in business. He started selling records by mail order, then opened up a shop, then opened up more and more until one day, he had the means to start his own airline.
So don't stop dreaming. But please, temper your dreams with a little reality.
Mon 21 March 2011 12:03:03