OnlyBusiness.com is an online portal (or platform) that enables small businesses to grow their business online. You create a free web site and through their marketplace can sell (and buy) things to others in the OnlyBusiness.com community.
Update: OnlyBusiness.com CEO Daniel Meyrov responds point by point and in detail to my initial overview of OnlyBusiness.com. As a follow up to this initial article I was provided web site addresses of several OnlyBusiness.com powered web sites which were much better and alive than the web sites I randomly chose to review at first
Their web site reads OnlyBusiness.com was formed in order to build a vibrant and powerful business community that makes online business accessible to all.
Through our research, the OnlyBusiness.com team identified many common challenges experienced by organizations, which complicate the process of doing business online and networking with other businesses.
However, I’m not sure the community marketplace model is the way to go.
The main objective of OnlyBusiness.com is to allow each organization to create a sophisticated, credible web presence, with full eCommerce capabilities, which is automatically placed into an established and profitable sales and marketing environment. Within this vibrant business community, all barriers to online trade, communication and information have been removed.
OnlyBusiness.com (OB) has a nice page here of problems OB has solved for customers.
If you already have your own web site, OB can be an additional channel or market for your products – through selling them to OB community.
I had a look at a “flamingos 2 restaurant” on OB and was thoroughly under-impressed by the web site. Basically a plane page of text listing the business category they were in.
I then went to Angels Professional Cleaning – nothing much there either.
I clicked on several other member profiles in various categories and nothing but basic member profiles came up.
I think that years ago (maybe 3? 5?) there was a great need for one-stop-shop portals to help small businesses build web sites and sell online. However, Yahoo, Homestead, Microsoft Office Live have excellent platforms that can be used to launch your business online.
Their offerings are not free (Office Live is free at the first level) but this is good as if you look at companies who have built web sites on their platform many are vibrant, “serious” web sites for business.
In addition, the tools for building a web site and selling online are widely available and easier and easier to use. Whether you are going to do a simple blog on Blogger.com, Typepad or Word Press or a full blown web site using any number of web hosts (Verio, Hypermart, etc there’s little need for “one stop shop portals” whose focus is membership and members selling to members.
If your business is going to grow you have to work to do the marketing and customer support needed to ensure your business is known. Relying on community members is not the way to go.
OnlyBusiness.com sounds like a great platform to make it easy for a small businesses to build a web site and sell online. However, if you are serious about building your online business having your own domain name, great looking web site and email address are some of the basics which OnlyBusiness.com does not offer.