If you're a fan of Western movies I'm sure you've heard most
of the title line before; just replace "Web" with "town."
That line of dialog is offered right before the two cowboys
go outside and have a deadly gun duel. Wind blown
tumbleweeds and shades of the OK Corral as a backdrop!
Nevertheless, can mean spirited politics help you corral a
little corner of the Web? Can you put up no trespassing
signs on what you've deemed to call your own?
Most progressive Net businesses grab market share by their
good business practices and excellent customer service.
There's more than a few of those that come to mind. There
are others - less enlightened - that use negative practices
to maintain their market foothold.
Creative ways to slow down or stop your perceived
competitors or opponents are many. They can take the form
of misinformation, gossip, poisonous tips, setting up dummy
email accounts to spread rumors, etc, etc
A few of them will work in the short term. Some will be more
effective than others. Most will stain your personal and
business name, when found out! All of them are foolhardy!
Yes, you can raise your hand to the sky and block the sun;
yet and still, it's not an accurate description of what's
happening. When the mighty Mississippi river wants to change
course, how can it be stopped? When the Net wants to grow,
expand and mutate, how are you going to tame it to your
Entire countries have bent to the will of the Web! Here's an
example: Long-standing phone monopolies in Central American
countries used political pressure to stop their citizens
from making Internet phone calls, to no avail!
Though "special legislation" was passed, there was such a
huge outcry from the rest of the Net, they relented!
Let the Net be the Net, is the call of wisdom.
Historically speaking, the Web is an infant. It will
continue to grow and expand, networking even the most remote
outpost or village! Powerful and speedy microchips will give
us the ability to reach out to other people and cultures.
Language barriers will be eliminated with real-time, two way
translation. Stone Age villages are going to join the modern
world in one fantastic step!
The swift technological change and the accelerated rate of
deployment promise a bumpy ride, to say the least!
All we can do is grab the beast by the tail and hang on;
uncertain as to where it leads and what it will look like!
Those are just a few of the things awaiting us, in the
not-too-distant future. I'm sure there are many more in store;
not imagined, unseen and unexpected. The only two constant
factors are: growth and change! In its tender years, the Net
has grown and mutated in ways barely imagined a decade ago.
If I've waxed too fantastically in the preceding paragraphs,
I do apologize! The point is to explain the utter futility
of arresting or trapping a corner of the Web! By its very
nature it's the agent of revolutionary change and growth;
never to be proclaimed as your self-appointed kingdom!
It won't work!
All Internet Marketers should consider the preceding when
making policy decisions that deal with perceived
competitors. Notice my usage of the word "perceived."
Just because an upstart business wants some of the turf you
formerly called your own, is no reason to engage in
attrition and trench warfare.
These are much better options:
(a) Find weak areas in your competitor's business. Not so
much for the purpose of exploiting them, but to see if you
can supply some of their needs. No matter what the
copywriters say, all businesses have strong and weak areas.
(b) Look for product lines that are complementary and form
The nature and placement of the link will insure mutual
benefit from the agreement.
(c) When provoked by some of the negative practices of other
- less progressive - competitors, do what you must to uphold
your reputation. If it's something trivial and small, turn
the other cheek and seek the high road; not from altruism
but to save your time, energy and attention for more
productive endeavors. Pick your battles on principle and only
when all other avenues are exhausted.
When all things are considered, the best use of your time in
maintaining market share should be spent in finding new
resources and partners. Likewise, implementing new content
delivery technology will prove very effective. By all means,
every possible effort should be made to convert competitors
into friends and partners.
The alternative is so unsavory:
While the Web continues its relentless gallop, leaving both
you and your sparring partner in the dust; will you even
recognize why you went into battle, in the first place?
About the Author:
Francisco Aloy is the creator of The Newbie Business Guide.
For more resources on website building, visit Mr. Aloy's
website and look at our section on SiteBuilIt integrated hosting.