The Internet is Not a Business
Lots of people will tell you they have an Internet business but the fact is, there’s no such thing – the Internet is not a business, it’s a tool. Granted there may be businesses that use the Internet and the growing army of web apps as their primary or only way to generate, nurture, and convert leads, but a business is still a business.
The reason I want to point this out so emphatically is that too many small business owners look at the Internet as some sort of disconnected form of business – disconnected that is from the rest of their business.
No matter what your business sells you must have a customer, you must have a compelling message, you must have something that people want, before you really have a business. You can’t simply add a blog to your marketing mix and think that you’ve harnessed the Internet. If you throw yourself into the Internet without the proper context of a business, you’ll likely waste your time, money and effort – and then you’ll conclude it doesn’t work for your kind of business.
I know there are lots of folks out there that will tell you differently – that you can throw anything on the web and call it a business, but I’m telling you, it’s not so, never has been, never will be. (By the way, selling you that dream is their business.)
The Internet is an essential piece of the marketing mix – Ignore it and you’ll be obsolete. But, use it to do things you can’t offline, amplify your message, build a community, automate marketing functions, serve clients and collaborate with partners, and do it all in order to attract more of your ideal client, communicate your core message, and build trust through education.
Now that’s what I call an Internet business.