In today’s world, with the innovations we’ve had in technology and the large amounts of free and low cost Internet software, almost anyone can create an Internet-based business, and, sometimes it seems, almost everyone is. There is an endless stream of new web sites on a daily, if not hourly basis, revealed to us through our many social networking feeds, emails, friend recommendations, roadside billboards, even TV and magazine ads.
But with all those sites being created, we may not realize how few are ever successful, nor how much work goes into making a web venture successful. I plan to define this success in a future article, but for now I’ll leave that to personal interpretation. But any way you define it, it is the unusual venture that actually sees real success, real growth, real usage, and thus persists, beyond the initial launch and buzz phase.
Many people with a web site idea, but no past experience creating one, fail to realize going into it, just how much work is involved. While the startup costs are lower for a web based business than for a brick and mortar one, I would say the time and effort, the “sweat equity”, needed for success is the same, and this is something most web venture founders aren’t aware of. Often they aren’t willing or even able to invest the proper effort, and as time goes on they lose their passion, come up with a better idea, or move on to other things.
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
~ Albert Einstein
This is why it’s important, when you are preparing to step into such a large undertaking, to ensure that the idea you are pursuing, that is, the web venture you hope to build, is one that you can stick with, even as the chasm between you and success lengthens and deepens.
For that reason, I have below 10 questions to ask yourself before starting a new web venture. Answer these honestly to yourself; give them significant thought, and ensure before setting out on the quest, that you are truly ready emotionally and physically for what lies ahead.
- If a competitor comes along and beats me to my idea, or does it better than I have done at that time, will I feel overwhelmed by the pressure and competition, or will my secondary drive kick in propelling me to work even harder, investing even more time, improving the quality of the product and my customer service, even entertaining the possibility that I may have to rethink the entire site, in order to give consumers something that makes them come to me instead of my competition?
- While on vacation, and my mind is far away from work, but I receive a call or an email about a web site related problem from a teammate or customer, will I gladly take care of it, even canceling the days plans, or will I see it as only a nuisance and interruption?
- When I get another great idea for a web venture, but have no time to work on it as well, will I regret having to work on my existing web site, or will I be able to shelve the new idea, even if I know its better, because I also recognize that its not the idea that leads to success, but perseverance and hard work?
- When, after having invested months of my time, energy and passion on this venture, and not one single person visits on opening day, no one blogs about it, no one Twitters about it, and the site gets no traction at all in the beginning, will I feel committed to press on or begin to question the original concept of the site, even question myself and in the end give up?
- After months of nightly sacrificing personal and/or family time to maintain the site, will the pressure to balance family and personal time with business time become too overwhelming to continue?
- When the partner that originally promised to help with the venture loses interest or takes on other commitments and I’m left alone, will I want to continue investing myself in this site even when there is little support or even little belief by anyone that it will succeed?
- If this is the only site I ever get to do, because of the time it takes to commit to it, would I still want to do it?
- When money is needed to quickly improve the servers or hire a specialist with a particular skill that is needed quickly, would I be willing to go into debt to get the job done? Sell my car and take the bus? Mortgage the house? Never eat out? Take no vacations?
- Is this idea the most important one I could dedicate all my time to? Is it the one I believe will help me reach my goals or is this simply a neat idea, that seems simpler for now? If so, what if this one takes so much time I can never make it on to the more important project?
- If I found out, that right now someone else had this exact same idea, would I lose my passion for it? Is it the idea of the site that gets me excited, or, is it the prospect of the journey to bring it about, and make it the best possible implementation of that idea that gets me excited?
If you can truly answer yes to all these questions, and if just reading them fills you with passion and determination, its time to take the next step in bringing your idea to life. Watch my site for further articles to help you on your path to successful web venture.