After the dotcom disaster in 2000, where Bill Gates saw his personal fortune drop $30 billion in six hours, people believed that the golden days of Internet riches were surely gone for good.
Six years on and the dotcom is back! A whole new generation of online businesses are rising from the proverbial ashes.
Taking the online route is still the cheapest and most simple way of starting up a business. The difference second time round, is that people are concentrating on making money without the risk taking and experimentation from before.
Studies have shown that being online makes marketing a lot more effective and is probably the most effective way of increasing your customer base.
So what are the basic secrets of dotcom success? According to business consultant NM Maravilla, author of the best-selling Online Marketing, there are three vital rules:
- Make sure your website gives customers what they are looking for. Is it customer-friendly? Studies show that up to 30 per cent of potential clients will log off if the site if the site is too slow or too complicated.
- Customer service is even more important than competitive pricing when attracting dotcom business. This should be constantly monitored and improved.
- Focus on getting the basics right. Satisfied customers lead to referrals and a referral, particularly word of mouth, is still the cheapest and most effective way to extend your customer base.
"If we have learned anything from the 2000 dotcom crash it is that online success does not necessarily depend on the amount of capital a start-up has," NM Maravilla says.
"Small businesses can thrive in ecommerce and more than hold their own with the big boys, so long as they remember that on the internet customers rule."
"A dotcom can have all the money and technical know-how in the world but, take it from me, it will surely fail if it doesn't serve its customers well."