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Please stop me before I web again!

By Mike Banks Valentine
Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Here I go again! I'm caught up in the whirlwind of an idea and creating a new web business with nothing but my ISP, a cable modem, a computer and a new domain name to support me. I know it's a sickness but I just can't stop! Someone please stop me before I web again!

Many small business entrepreneurs online have started this way. You get what seems to be a really good concept either from a friend or possibly even in a dream and you are off and running. Check for the availability of an appropriate domain name, scribble some notes on a napkin at dinner, tell a trusted friend or two about the concept, create a logo idea and either call the web designer or start right in designing your site the same night.

This one came to me from a friend who shared an idea for a new web business with me over dinner. I shared my own take on the idea and added a few more thoughts to a skeleton of a business plan and before you know it we've fleshed out the concept and have started dressing it up for a night on the town! We're both so anxious and excited to begin that we each have dreams that night of a wildly successful and fun new business.

Contrary to the typical television stereotype of money hungry maniacs, salivating over the possibility of a huge new IPO (initial public offering) and undreamed of riches, we simply think it would be fun to do and may even keep us well fed and reasonably dressed for awhile. We'll both continue with what we get paid to do in the real world while designing the site and further polishing the business model we've crafted.

I suspect this is a relatively common scenario among those of us who have been online for a few years and have studied the comings and goings of small businesses on the web. I'll go even further and submit that millions of people have done exactly the same thing but have not had the required business knowledge and the skills or connections to get a web site created, posted, Submited to the search engines and promoted.

My new business partner is an example of one of these millions who have ideas, but don't have the know-how to make it happen. In this particular case, I'm glad that I was able to fill the technical and creative void and help launch a new business on the web, but how many more wonderful ideas will go undeveloped?

Why would that happen? Because the creator doesn't know what an URL is and swears at the computer, then turns it off when they see the "blue screen of death" instead of knowing it's time to consider running a defrag program. It might be that they don't like the idea of sitting in front of a computer for days on end learning to operate a good web authoring program. It could just be that they believe it takes a Harvard MBA to run a successful business and wish they could just sell or license the idea and be done with it.

Whatever the reason, I just can't help wondering how many good online businesses would be launched if there weren't those small technical hurdles to overcome.

Do you have a great idea for a fun new online business? I may be available to help you out with it in May 17, 2032 when I run out of my own ideas and finish helping friends get their small business online!
WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Ezine emphasizing small business online ( e-tutorial online at: ( By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!

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