Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Oct 02nd

Ahead of the Curve

Sometimes, you can have the right idea, the right marketing and the right plan, only to fail anyway. It is frustrating, but true.

If the timing is wrong, so is everything else.

Back in the mid 1990s, we had a great idea: Build websites for local businesses.

This "Internet thing" was really taking off and our newspaper, the Minden Press-Herald was leading the way locally. Since we had built our own site and had people on staff with graphics and coding experience, it was a "no-brainer" for a new revenue stream.

Our advertising manager and our head I.T. guy wrote the business plan and we decided to move forward. After all, we had a great vehicle to market this new service (the newspaper.) We had a built-in sales team to pitch the idea. We had everything we needed — except... the right timing.

Many businesses in our small town didn't even have an AOL email address. The idea of a website for their business fell on deaf ears.

It didn't matter how many examples we showed them. It didn't matter how many sample sites we built. Our businesses didn't see the need for an online presence and we couldn't convince them of it.

After months of struggling to make this new venture work, we pulled the plug.

A few years later, that ad manager left the company to work for another entity. A few years after that, he helped launch another website building business.
This time it worked, sorta. Where we had failed to land hardly any clients, they landed some.

Today, many businesses in Minden have their own websites, pages on Facebook and other forms of online presence. We were right with our plan, but we were wrong on the timing.

The next time you have a great plan, look at your timing. Are you too far ahead of the curve?

David Specht Jr. is Vice President of Specht Newspapers, Inc. and Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. View his blog at www.DavidASpecht.com.

 

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