Most websites don't make it.
Yet, the reality is that more than 90% of all Internet start-ups end in failure in the first 120 days. They close up shop before earning enough to cover their costs, but luckily, most websites are started with very minimal expenses. That means there's not much at stake if it doesn't succeed. In other words, the risk is very low, especially compared to the potential reward.
Facebook was started by one guy in a college dorm room and is now worth billions of dollars. Pinterest was started by three friends in an apartment and now has an estimated worth of over a billion dollars. Craigslist was started by one guy and is now worth billions. eBay was started by one guy in San Jose, CA. It now owns dozens of other sites, including PayPal, and has a market value of around $60 billion.
The trait of most successful start-ups is that they targeted a very small niche, at least in the beginning. This allowed them to focus their limited resources on a much smaller audience. It also allowed them to provide very targeted products and services to make their customers happy.
Another trait shared by most successful start-ups is a powerful customer value proposition. Your value proposition is what sets you apart from the competition and why someone would choose you over them.
Facebook is a great example for showing the power of a good value proposition because they succeeded in knocking MySpace off the social media pedestal when no one thought it was possible. Facebook was highly adaptive. They were one of the first companies to provide an open API (Application Programmer Interface), which allowed outside companies to use their data. This gave rise to games like Farmville and MafiaWars, as well as social dating sites and a whole slew of other party services.
The simplicity, speed, exclusivity and adaptability of Facebook combined to create a very powerful customer value proposition, one that MySpace hasn't been able to overcome. You can learn from successful start-ups and model their traits.
It's very important to understand your goals and motivations. Sit down and write out your personal goal for starting a Web business. There is no wrong answer. It's purely on what's important to you.
You can also use websites to draw people toward those products or services you offer online and off-line.
For example, I have several websites focused on what's important to my prospective customers. Here are four online blogs where I provide free self-coaching tips to: leaders and emerging leaders, career women, Baby Boomers and everyone else.
Because only one percent of the workforce can afford professional coaching services, I also provide low-cost self-coaching books; at prices so low that as many people as possible are able to afford and use them in their personal and professional lives.
Here are some of these self-coaching books delivered to your smart phone, tablet, eReader, and computer or via low-cost paperback editions.
Books for Boomers: Reviews & Coaching Tips (FREE ebook editions)
Boomer Retirement Life Tips (ebook editions)
http://www.SoBabyBoomer.com or send Baby Boomer Tips to your Kindle for $.99/month: http://www.amazon.com/So-Baby-Boomer-Life-Tips/dp/B0036B9WS6/