There are few views as powerful, or productive, as the view from the other side. Look at your business from the other side of the table, desk, or Internet. Look at what you’re selling from the customer’s point of view, or at what you’re buying from the vendor’s point of view.
I’ve often said “strategy is focus.” Sometimes strategy is empathy.
That comes up because I have an email today as follows: “I am considering launching a website focused on services provided by others. I do not want to begin my site by searching for sponsporship, selling ad space or commerce therefore I am wondering what other options I could utilize to make money from such a site.”
- The browsers’ view: what is your site able to offer its target browsers? What are the benefits of going to your site? Presumably the target browser is somebody seeking the services that you’re going to list. What can you offer them that they might want to pay for? Are you going to provide professional selection of service vendors, reassurance of quality of service, some kind of guarantee, enough that your browsers will be willing to pay? Is it realistic to expect service seekers to pay? What can you give them that they can’t get for free? Put yourself if their place, and feel how that feels. Would you spend money on that site.
- The listee’s view: what can your site offer to the service providers you want to list? the most obvious offer in a site like this is traffic, as in people looking at listings, also called views, or eyeballs. The service provider wants customers. If your site can generate leads, or even better, customers, then presumably businesses will pay to be listed. Here, too, you put yourself in their place, and feel how that feels. You probably would spend money to be listed as long as that money gives you more business than what it costs you.
So you don’t want to sell sponsorships, or ad space, or commerce, but you do want a list of ways to make money. What if there is no list, for yours or any other business, except the one that you generate by putting yourself on the other side of the table, and thinking what those people are thinking, and seeing what they are seeing?
I hope that works for you.— Tim