Today’s Internet provides many opportunities for the entrepreneur because it is relatively easy to enter into any chosen industry. While this sounds exciting it’s really an illusion as most of these brave souls end up running into what I call the invisible e-business marketing barrier. I will walk you through the cost to develop a website to sell the product of your choice.
o $10 will buy you a domain name for 1 year - www.mybusiness.com
o $9/month for website hosting
o $250 for a professional logo
o $2,000 for outsourced web development
o $40/month merchant gateway & online store
o $0 dealership with wholesaler
Estimated start-up cost for 1 year = $2,848
For less than three thousand dollars you can have an international e-business that will look professional and will allow you to drop ship products direct to you customers without leaving your house. Wow, what an opportunity with lots of potential. Yes there is a lot of potential, but when you launch your website it is like a rain drop hitting the Atlantic Ocean; nobody knows you exist. Most newbie e-tailers think simply paying $50 to a search engine submit service will generate 1,000 of web page hits within days. While this used to be true 10 years ago, it will do nothing more than register your e-business somewhere at the bottom of the search engines listings. It is purported google.com and some other search engines may give new website boosted search ranking for a few weeks, but this can hardly sustain hits to your site. Still it’s a nice gesture in the brutal world of e-business.
The e-business entrepreneur is now scratching his head wondering why he is getting less than 10 unique visits to his website a day. So, he invests a few hundred dollars into pay- per-click advertising on Google or Yahoo. The more competitive your industry the more expensive it is to buy a high ranking pay-per-click advertisement. For example, “aviation headsets” can cost as much as $5 a click, and you have only driven one person to your e-business with the hopes of a conversion to a sale. The entrepreneur is now starting to feel how strong the invisible e-business marketing barrier is while he spends somewhere between $30 to $100 a day for small text ad’s on a leading search engine. This strategy will drive traffic to your website quickly, but for a hefty premium. This is a waste of money and best suited for a pulse marketing strategy because most e-business customers have ZERO loyalty; they shop for the cheapest price.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of climbing the search rankings naturally without having to engage in pay-per-click advertising, but it is an intensely complicated process and the paradigms can change from one week to the next. SEO can cost as little as a one time $500 fee to $10,000 a month. The risk involved for the entrepreneur is that a $10,000 investment may increase website unique hit from 10 hits a day to 1000 hits a day, but in a month the search engine could make changes to their algorithm and the weighting factors for your website may change, crashing your ranking from the top 10 to top 500. If you’re not in that magical first page search engine listing your are not going to see significant hit increases.
Without capital to invest in marketing your website will be a liability, so before you pour your creative talent into an e-business get advice from a knowledgeable business advisor, or successful e-business owner.
Marcus Milligan, M. B. A, PMP
Sunbelt Business Advisor
Milligan, an Irish native and has been living in the US for 10 years. He graduated with a B. S. honors degree in Computer Science from the University of Ulster and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in e-Business from the University of Phoenix. Milligan has a diverse background working for: Dixons Group, Marathon Oil, Wittenberg University, Northrop Grumman, BankOne, and Sinclair Community College. He was a million dollar earner within the opening year for Dixons Group in Bangor Ireland as Business Center Manager and subsequently top regional sales. Milligan has given many presentations on software he architected at the regional and national levels through the US. Milligan created and currently operates an Internet e-business General Aviation Pilot Supply Store BudgetPilot.com
Milligan’s strengths are: strong analytical skills, problem solver, negotiations, project management, international background, creativity for marketing plans, and expert knowledge of Retail, Education, IT industry, and e-Business.