Friday, April 17, 2009

About e-Centric Internet Marketing and Business Blog

There is only one thing that is common in all the business owners and leaders (almost all). That is their desire to succeed. However, desire alone has not made anybody taste success.

Over past few decades, the business landscape has changed so much that if our business leaders of the past were reborn, they would prefer to die again.

In our present age apparently it has become too easy to start a business, and more so a web portal. Most people are under an impression that all they need to do is to hire a part time programmer who would download some php scripts from here and there and shape them up into a website running on a free database, hosted with a service provider for 50$ a year. A start up cost of a few thousand and recurring cost of 50$ a year. On hearing this, anybody who has not tasted the failure already, would jump and say, "It is hardly any money. I spend more than that at Mc. Donald's. Why not give it a try." Thanks to them, they are the people who were responsible for the dotcom boom.

There are hundreds of thousands of people who jump into this, destined failure. Let us call them business owners.

The first surprise these business owners get is when the freelancer they had hired, does not even show up for every two out of three meeting. For next few months they discuss and just discuss when they meet and the business owner keeps looking for the vendor (the freelancer) rest of the time.

After a few months, the business owner decides to hire another freelancer, say another vendor. Obviously the sunk cost does not have to be considered but the business owner also forgets his initial intentions i.e. "It is hardly any money. I spend more than that at Mc. Donald's. Why not give it a try." The new vendor quotes three times the amount that the old vendor had. The business owner still agrees to carry on because by now he has lost the vision already. What he is seeing now are dreams, the dreams that are destined to prove nightmares.

Finally after few more meetings the new vendor starts working on the website. All looks well in first few days. Over their meetings, they laugh together and curse the old vendor together and the business owner leaves no opportunity to let the new vendor know how lucky he was to find him and get rid of the old vendor.

Months pass, several deadlines are missed and relation is no more the same. Now the meetings are for a different reason. The vendor wants more money. The business owner initially does not agree to pay, but his stubbornness is overcome by the thoughts, "After coming so far, I don't want to loose all the time and money that I have invested for a few more thousand."

After paying double the amount than what this vendor had initially quoted and six times the amount that the business owner had initially based his vision on, and after waiting for a year instead of couple of months that he had initially planned, the website is up and running. It is alive and kicking, but with hundreds of bugs. If the customer is lucky, the mischievous guys out there will never try their hands on this site to exploit the vulnerabilities of these downloadable free scripts that are powering this site.

Finally the work is over. The customer is excited. Poor guy does not even apprehend what is to come next. He waits and waits for people to come to his site, but hardly anybody shows up. He tries to create a few fake accounts, some fake postings but nothing works. He starts with requesting and ends up begging his friends to visit his site, but alas everybody is sympathetic to the extent that they offer to help him in various ways, except that nobody visits his site. It is just too boring.

At this stage he consults the son-in-law of his brother's friend who has just passed out from the management school. "What made him an expert?" I can't comment on that.

This new expert comes with another shock, rather shocking term, "Marketing Dollars." It is a great shock because all along the business owner had been thinking that it was just the matter of going live. One user will get 10, 10 will get 100, 100 will get 1000 and so on. He has had been pretty sure that out of a billion internet users out there, even if one tenth of one percent come to his site, we will still have a million users. "After all what is 0.1 %. Why can't he get even 0.1% to his great website that just takes 10 seconds to load a page? A site not ranked in the bottom one percent by Alexa, because it is not even ranked."

Old habits and beliefs are hard to change. The business owner still thinks, "After coming so far, I don't want to loose all the time and money that I have invested for a few more thousand." He is willing to invest more. This time his most trusted person in the world is the newly found expert (somebody's son-in-law). On his advice the business owner agrees to pay for PPC (Pay Per Click) to Google. Not withstanding fact that PPC is a very strong tool to drive high volume and relevant traffic, this unlucky guy gets just blank cartridges instead of live ammunition. The site is bombarded with hits but nobody seems to be interested to venture beyond the landing page. The money, or "Marketing Dollars", just burn and burn and burn. They don't even help keep him warm as they burn in the cyber space.

"Till bankruptcy do we stop?" As long as he can, the business owner keeps pushing his cash eating monster and finally puts a lid on it. In most of the cases, the business owners do not close their misadventure, but simply want to push it under the carpet till they have more money to waste. Finally such projects die and decay under that carpet.

There are very few people who admit the failure earlier in the "website portal failure lifecycle" described above in time and turn to more professional people for help.

The whole idea behind e-Centric Consultancy Services is to become an organization that such business owners can depend on to reinvent, reposition and sell their business to make it highly profitable.

This blog is a part of that effort.

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