The Front Door, The Back Door, The Side Door. The History of Doors in Stores!

Morning Folks!!

If you have no sense of history it is hard to know where the future is going. I look to history for almost every new event and apply a test to see if it is consistent with other points of history.

It started with the 'Front Door'. That is how business started. That was the ONLY access. The Front Door. Then one day somebody got smart and told the good customers to come in the 'Side Door' as not to deal with the other folks or the lines. Then of course came the 'Back Door' for deliveries and still other folks. Some even used the back door for special customers! Imagine that.

See this was before there was a telephone. The 'Door' was the only way to get in. The only way to conduct business. Door guys were domain guys? Maybe. Must have been a hot business. Doors!

Then they came up with the idea of door to door salesman that would focus on the customers door instead of the business door.

Then comes along the telephone and there is a new 'Door'. A new access point for customers. WOW!! That was a huge milestone. But calls were sometimes expensive. So the '800 Number' appears on the scene. Another 'Door'. This one even bigger than the other 'Doors'. The 800 Number became the lifeline for many businesses. It is to this very day. Just like all the other doors that are still in use.

Now with the 800 number came the next door in the form of a catalogue. Another huge breakthrough. Each one transformed the business more than the one before. Now if you look back, so far, I don't see them closing any of those avenues of doors. They just add doors in different forms. Some work better than others.

The next door of course was the Internet. But the Internet started basically doorless. Then domain names came out and few used them. Most thought this new door would just be a fad. But they were wrong. This door transformed their business more than any other door. Oh but wait, not for everyone. Still many if not most are not using this door in the right manner.

First, many have doors that are hard to find or hard to remember or confused with others or all sorts of really important problems. But they would rather give up then actually figure it out. At least that was the way it was. Now everyone knows they need to survive. But are they willing to look and study the most important door in all of history so far??

They hire guides they call SEO gurus and they are supposed to lead them to the prize. Problem is any SEO guy worth his salt is not looking for new customers. He has them lined up and whoever he is working for keeps him locked up in a cave. So that leaves the 1 billion other SEO guys that have to spam you to get business. Most have ZERO results but take your money. I can trump 99% of SEO guys with one word. RELEVANCE!

So now it is time to stop outsourcing your future to SEO fakers. Time to understand the real way to get traffic, to keep traffic and to have an endless supply of traffic. Spamming the engines will do you long term harm and very little short term good. Businesses had all these years to put a 'Domain Strategy' into practice and get traffic for a lifetime for a fraction of the SEO faker. I don't know what your business is but I can ask the same question and you can fill in the blanks.

How much is a new customer worth to your business?

How much are 5 qualified leeds worth each day to your business?

How much is it worth to have 100 people stand in line before you even open the door in the morning?

How much would it be worth to have a FREE full page ad in your trade journal for the next 30 years?

I have spent years talking to domain investors but all along I have just been trying to reach out to the common businessman that may have outsourced his future to some kid that understands the Internet but does not understand business. Some techie that understands tech but is clueless in business. And what's worse is these business owners that have built businesses from scratch BLINDLY follow these guys instead of learning for themselves.

Blindly take the advice of people that have no clue about sales and marketing and growing a business and serving the customer and all the rest. They are clueless about what I have described here as far as the doors and history and that NOTHING on this planet happens until a sale is made.

Almost everyone reading this is losing more business online than actually doing business online. They are not asking the questions that need to be asked when somebody just leaves their site. They would never allow 1000 visitors to come into their real world store without any of them buying something. They would immediately address it. But online, you folks piss away 1000 customers like they were sand.

Questions I asked in 1995 have yet to be asked by MOST online business or websites. There is such a deep divide that it is hard to connect the 2 worlds. When I physically go into a business and engage the business owner while my wife is buying something at their store, seldom do they do anything but point to the nerd and run away. So sad. He would never do that if he truly understood what was happeneing. But the nerd rules and nothing will get in between him and his nerd.

More and more I am having conversations with business people from every type of business you can think of and many I never even heard of before. They are reading, they are inquisitive, they know there is more and they are missing something. That part alone is about 90% of the journey. Just recognizing there is much more.

Failure happens at the beginning of a journey not at the end. You just find out the result at the end. But almost every single failure happens at the beginning. The start of the Internet is a domain name. The door. Main Street is .Com. The Mall is .Com. Almost all important business is .Com. 95% of all advertising is .Com. So if you have a domain that is your MAIN DOOR on the Internet and it is not .Com, I don't care who you are, how big or small you are, how smart you are, you are losing customers because they can't find your front door. If pissing away 25%-61% of your business by confusing your customer is nothing to look at, then you are much smarter than me. Who cares that they might just end up at the one place you don't want them. Your competitor that did not confuse them. WAKE UP!

Folks can always point to the few dozen exceptions. But I can point to millions of carcuses along the path. I can point to UDRP's that are out of control because now companies recognize the value of the .Com and that they made a HUGE BUSINESS MISTAKE not securing the domain earlier so they try other tactics. The stakes are high and are getting higher by the day.

You can make a living flipping any extension you like. I am not talking about that. But if you want to be a serious player with a serious business on the world stage and join the biggest franchise in the history of the world then .COM is your only smart choice. We can certainly disagree and after all these years you are still entiltled to be WRONG!

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz
'Success is just a matter of luck. Ask any failure'