Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but this one I just can't see how the management team didn't see the future of their business. Back in 2000 the internet was more than thriving and Blockbuster could have bought Netflix for a mere 50 million. As of today Netflix is worth over 128 billion, down from and all time high of 180 billion. In the summer of 2000, Blockbuster CEO John Antioco said "The dot-com hysteria is completely overblown". His council went on to state how the business models of Netflix and just about every other online business were not sustainable and would never make any money. That statement couldn't be any more wrong then than it is now. Read the full article here on Inc.com
How did these guys not see that by delivering their product online would eliminate all of their overhead, shipping and logistical nightmares. Yes, management and vision are two different things, but they shouldn't be. Doesn't matter what business you are in either, not only do you need a strong online presence, there is an evolution going on of how your customers will interact with you and not just on social media. Developers are building virtual realities to showcase products. Imagine if your customers could experience your products before they buy. This will be very popular with the gaming generation as they become the most powerful purchasers of consumer goods in 10 years.
If you haven't read the worst business blunders in tech history I would suggest Googling that phrase and see what you get. Branding blunders are even more common and they happen all the time. Avoid a brand blunder and start with a great domain name. A strong domain name is the foundation for enticing and retaining customers with a memorable name. Your domain name also attracts B2B partners and lays the ground floor for building supplemental income streams. Streams turn into rivers and maybe even into a whole new business model for your companies' survival. Have some vision and get creative.
The only people I hear spouting about new domain name extensions (gTLD's) are the one's who have a stake in their success as a registry or those looking to recoup their investment. Truth is with the scarcity of good dot com extensions dwindling at less than insane prices, good .com domain names are going up in value. The time to buy is now while traffic is slower over the summer months and before the market starts to pick up again in the fall. If you're unaware of all the other extensions and when they came about, there is an info graphic here at Key-Systems.net from a few years ago.
When buying a gTLD, ask yourself when was the last time you went to one, and where does the the majority of spam come from? I think you'll find that the answer is a .garbage extension. Registering one of these will drive help traffic to the .com, .net or .org domain names respectively above it. There are 882 domain extensions at last count, but your customers just know of the top three. If you're looking to increase your brand or to expand a product line, while the US economy is beginning to soar again, buy now before prices return to pre 2005 levels. There is a market correction coming that will swing .com names up beyond any levels we've seen them at. Get them before they turn into gold.
There's a insightful article on The Wall Street Journal about the continued closings of retail stores. The Business Insider had an article earlier about the same topic. It's all the more reason to get your business online or tune it up and expand your marketplaces, no matter what type of products you sell.
The article focuses on retail outlets declining and how more people are finding the convenience of online shopping. What the article doesn't say is that the shopping habits of retail are being carried over into all business classes. B2B (business to business) decisions are being made the same manor. If your business isn't found or engaging enough, customers are going elsewhere at light speed. To further that statement, the experience they find while using your site, is exactly how they perceive working with your organization to be. It's your corporate image. It's your credibility and it tells how well run your organization is, be it corporate, a government agency or a charitable organization.
Not many people will ever see your place of work, but chances are they will visit your website at all hours of the day. Just ask your analytics guy. People follow up in the evening, weekends and at all hours of the day outside of normal business hours. It's how research is done. The more advanced will employ secondary research groups to dig deeper, but generally what they see in the search results or after trying a few URL's (domain names) is it.
Two key points for making more money. Get a great domain name for your business and keeping acquiring them while they are inexpensive. Some businesses own hundreds of thousands of names. Disney has about 20k names, some pharmaceutical companies own even more. The internet isn't going anywhere and isn't going to be replaced anytime in the next 30 years. Names you could have bought 10 years ago for a few thousand will never be available for sale again for less. Buy words in English and .com extensions. These will always be the best most memorable search friendly names that bring affluent customers to your door.
Build a scalable and dynamic website. Keep adding relevant content and you'll keep driving targeted traffic. If you sell widgets, you want to attract people buying widgets. Your website needs to the best you can present for your market and dynamic. Dynamic is fresh, evolving content and interactive. Interactivity is how you listen to your customer's needs. This is how to communicate, make it easy and make it fun, gamify it.
Read more on web development and building your user engagement here.
I graduated high school a year early on the condition set by my parents that I attend a junior college. So I enrolled for a couple of night classes at what was locally referred to as UCLA or University Closest to Lambert Avenue, better known as College of DuPage in Lombard Illinois. I signed up for a couple of classes. One class was Intro to Business and after a couple of days into the class I was really enjoying it. Our instructor was like no teacher I had in high school he had an unorthodox method of getting his points across and when he began the course he started by telling us that he wasn't going to teach us the way business was done by the book, he was going explain business in the real world and how to be successful in it. This got my attention and when he told us that he caught Mitsubishi's initial listing on the American stock exchange making millions and was only teaching there for 1 dollar a year, he had my full attention. At the age of 17 I didn't know what I wanted to do, I only knew what I didn't want to do, and that was working in a 9 to 5 grind for the rest of my life.
Without getting on a rant here, one of the main points he kept emphasizing was to spot trends in business and consumer behavior. I look for trends daily and one source I keep going back to is BusinessInsider.com. If there's any indication of what the future holds it will be a change in currency. Follow the money trail here, there are several start ups in the financial sector where investment is in internet financial vehicles, financial tools, cryto-coins, lending platforms and investment can be viewed more of a diversification of the current financial institutions. The finance industry knows which way the wind is blowing, they're closer to the ground floor of business in general, they know what the numbers are. Here's a link to some of the top Nordic startups.
The obvious investment is clicks and bricks, solid online business models. And, whatever you're doing, it will be online.
There's a revolution in technology going on and for as many businesses that get it, many intelligent organizations still just do not. I get a few offers, most of them low, on different domain names every month and one of the questions I was asked by a potential purchaser was, how do I arrive at a price?
It's a fair question and to put an answer to it, here's the rationale behind the numbers. First, like real estate domain names are virtual property, but with several valuable added dimensions. Domains are the way customers find your business, remember your location and spread the news about your products. It's your business address for all practical purposes. Ninety percent of the people you do business with will never visit your business at it's physical location, but they'll all check your website, which is by way of your domain name.
Names that have more traffic or are capable of generating more traffic with short memorable names are worth more and their market demand is more. Like having a shop on main street vs. opening up a business on a rural road. A good memorable name that suits your business or product lines brings customers and helps them find their way back to you. Most company names are picked without the customer in mind or without any marketing considerations, just a name that means something to the organization on a somewhat emotional level. You can spend millions branding a odd name or bring the brand to your door with a descriptive name. And with domain names, you can have several or hundreds of names to drive traffic to your business.
The method, internet media. Consider the pro's and cons of different advertising media. There's print, TV, radio and internet. Print, I throw it out. It's garbage that comes with my printed mail. I haven't bought a newspaper in over 10 years at least and the last time I think I looked at a magazine, I was either in a doctors office or on a plane. Forget print, it's over. The postal service is nostalgic and I'd be willing to bet 100 percent privatized within 10 years. TV, I watch movies for the most part or change the channel during the commercials. Watching the Atlanta Falcons beat the Aint's in the season opener, I saw a couple of ads, but couldn't tell you what they were today. I'm moving in the direction of subscription TV like Netflix and Hulu. I'm not alone. Radio, okay you get ads in front of me while driving more often then I care to say. Occasionally, I am too lazy to load a playlist from my phone or all the stations that I have programmed in are in sync with their commercial's timed together. Traffic reports get me to tune in, but the rest of the noise I could do without. I get about half of percent of anything useful from radio news. The tone and rate of speech only ramps up tension. I'm working on weaseling out listening to main stream radio all together. Half the time I enjoy just listening to silence.
The internet has main access to get in-front of my eyes. I am on the net at home, at work, even while visiting a store in the mall I might be checking prices of a competitor on my phone. I have discretionary income and I move quickly. Like a lot of your customers, I have much to manage and like in the real world, I have to be street smart online and as nimble as a forest creature to find the best deals. I validate a business I am going to use based on the domain they have, how their website looks, works and if they have a phone number on their contact page. Usually I like a second opinion, options or it's just the way to complete due diligence by checking a few other sites. How I find that second, third or fourth site through search or by their domain name directly is potentially a company I'll be working with. CEO's of those companies are the CEO's that are likely to make their 17 percent growth targets and are the ones that get their bonuses. They're the one that get it. I price domain names comparable to other media even when that media is less effective.
30 seconds on Atlanta TV during prime time will cost you 30k and your money is gone just that fast. Most industry magazine ads will cost you upwards of 1200 per month for a four color, 1/2 to full page ad and you don't even know if anyone is reading it. Your domain name is yours perpetually. The internet is even more revolutionary as the phone system was when it came into being some 120 years ago and as fast as technology grows, the internet is not going to be replaced anytime soon. With a great domain name you look like the authority in your industry. Most clients will never see your office, I can't stress enough how important your online presence is. Technology is the only industry that has had double digit growth since the 70's and looks to be booming for the rest of man's existence. The slope of the curve is about to go vertical.
The short, memorable, brand-able, desirable names, and what other similar domains have sold for, makes for the price range listed. We encourage you to make offers on our domains and other available names. The cost, effectiveness and value is continually rising.
I left high school a full year early, and as a condition of early graduation my parents had to sign off on it being under 18 years old. They had another condition too, that I attend the local junior college and take at least two classes. As a master of the minimum, that's just what I did, took only two. I took Intro to Business for exactly what it was and Criminal Justice out of curiosity.
I got lucky with my Intro to Business class, the professor was a self made millionaire teaching for only a dollar in salary per year. He had quite an opinion and one of the best pieces of investment advice that I picked up came from him. Simply put, to make money in business you need to look for trends.
Here's 15 trends in technology from the Business Insider that are shaping the future.
StartupNation.com is one of my favorite reads and one of the regular sites that I frequent for news and ideas when it comes to helping small and emerging businesses, like my own. They are sporting a new look that makes it easier to read and keep up with the latest topics on my iPad.
Sections I enjoy are Getting More Sales, Leverage Business Technology and the general spirit of entrepreneurship that StartupNation.com promotes. You'll never get rich working for someone else, so start and build your business around something you love to do and take the advice of other business owners that have traveled the same roads.
A little insight might just make the difference between being successful or making a costly mistake.