Starting a Company

Challenges In Starting a Dotcom Company

Written by Nidhi Ann Raj for Gaebler Ventures

Starting a dotcom company may seem a lot easier than setting up an offline store. But there can still be a lot of unforeseen challenges to it.

Are you planning to join the dotcom mania?

You may be pleasantly surprised by the high revenues and flexibility dotcom companies can provide, but you will also be surprised by the number of challenges you will come across in the process of placing your feet in this industry.

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Dotcom Business

Some of the important questions to ask yourself before you decide to start a dotcom company are:

  • What is it that will make your product stand out from the endless other companies in the dotcom sector?
  • What are the problems you are likely to face as a newcomer, competing against the veterans in the industry?

It is easier to start a dotcom business these days than setting up a store or manufacturing other products, but as an aspiring dotcom entrepreneur, you will still have to face multiple challenges.

Coming Up With Business Ideas for a Dotcom Business

To start with, you should have a strong business model, which is unique and customer focused. Your service should have at least one major feature that sets you apart from similar service providers, something that acts as your company's unique value proposition.

Your business idea may fall into any of the three major categories of internet business methods: Commerce, Content and Connection.

In other words, you may earn money by selling products over the web, by placing content on the internet or by providing internet connections and other services to people. Of course, you can also combine these elements together.

Building a Good Website Is the Key Success Factor

Product recognition has always been a major challenge for dotcom start ups. A drawback in launching online products and services is that they cannot be touched and felt by customers before making purchasing decisions.

To make up for this, you must have a powerful website that gives customers the experience they are looking for. Hence the next hurdle is to create an effective and robust website.

Unlike the usual brick and mortar stores, where websites are a secondary medium of communication, for online vendors, the internet and the company website in particular, is the prime source of communicating their products to customers.

Whether your dotcom business is a professional services or a product based firm, the website must be as close to perfect as possible.

Don't forget to make sure your site performs well. Nobody likes a slow site!

A well written and optimized code can escalate the speed and flexibility of the website. Make sure you have equally powerful computers and up-to-date technology to support the code.

The project deliverable should not only be fast and user friendly, it should also be scalable to meet growing demands. It should be delivered on time to attract and satisfy customer needs. The timelines should be reasonable and the company should stand by its commitments with clients always.

Don't Scrimp on Human Resources

If someone had advised you to cut down on the HR department as you are a dotcom firm, they are thoroughly mistaken.

An efficient HR team is required to perform all typical functions ranging from recruitment to taking vital management decisions.

It is very important to hire the right talent as their efficiency and talents determine the quality of the output.

Beware: Online Business Failure Rates

Though starting a dotcom business can bring in speedy and high revenues, the rate at which dotcom companies flame is also noticeable.

Competition online is fierce. A company that is most effective at leveraging information and using cutting edge technology to produce innovative products and that satisfy the ever changing needs of the masses will stay ahead of its competitors.

Nidhi Ann Raj is a gifted writer who is currently pursuing post-graduate studies at George Brown College in Toronto Canada, where she is specializing in Marketing and Finance.

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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Share your thoughts on challenges in starting a dotcom company.

  • J Manning posted on 8/10/2010
    J Manning
    Thanks for your comments they were very helpful. My biggest questions is if you have an idea say like how do you protect the idea from other copying it?
  • Ken Gaebler posted on 8/10/2010
    Ken Gaebler
    J Manning, certain ideas can be protected through intellectual property law. If you explain your idea to others, you can get additional protection by using a non-disclosure agreement. For the most part, however, ideas are usually not as original as you might like to believe, and the key to success is going for it, executing well, and ideally having some barriers to entry in the basic concept. Good luck!

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