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The story of Timmy who wanted to, but couldn´t


The concept of doing business online keeps getting bigger and bigger. That shouldn't surprise anyone.
But not everyone knows how the web works, perhaps especially those who never buy anything online. They believe that all you have to do to do business online, is to put up a website where you sell something and the customers will find it by themselves.

I have such a customer (sorry Timmy, but you said I could write about it.)

This is his story:

Timmy runs a large, successful leisure store. Like many others, he wanted to establish his business online too and he launched his web store in January 2005. Soon he lost interest because business was so bad. By coincidence, we started talking to each other about it. It soon turned out that Timmy had done everything possible to NOT get any customers.

Check this out:

1. He didn't do anything to attract people to his web store, no advertising, for example. In Timmy's case, it was easy. He could just tell his customers in the physical store that they could shop online too, but he didn't and the argument was that he would rather search for other clients. He wasn't thinking about the customers he already had and to him the internet was full of  “different” people (or something like that) who ordered different things (or something like that). Fact of the matter is that very few will find a website that is virtually invisible. In Timmy's case all he had to do, was to start sending out a newsletter where he could tell his customers that his shop was having a sale - he already has 200 + followers. Cost - $0.

2. The website wasn't in sync with Timmy's corporate offline profile. It was badly designed, difficult to navigate and not as professional as Timmy himself.

3. He didn't care about making the website accessible to search engines and as everyone knows all (except Timmy), most people begin to look for the things they want to buy by searching via the search engines.

4. Timmy didn't expect customers to get in touch and he didn't answer the questions they emailed him. Big mistake! Funnily enough, we met the first time in his physical shop where he is fantastic at taking care of his customers – who could have thought that visiting his web store?

5. Nothing ever happened on the website - Timmy thought it was enough to launch the website, sit back and wait for the orders to roll in. Hmm ... ?

We're now taking care of Timmy's web store and we'll make it work.
How about your own web store? Is it working for you?    


About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.