The biggest problem for mom-and-pop websites is limited capital, but the lack of money shouldn't keep you from success.
Amazon, eBay, Google, and Yahoo are a few top internet destinations everyone knows, but even those companies didn't have a lot of money at the beginning. This is especially true for Google and Yahoo because their founders were university students when they began the websites. What made these sites successful? Internet users love them. Amazon appears to be just another online retailer; however, they have customer friendly policies. Amazon treats their customers well and that's how they've gotten their large customer base. Amazon is so nice that average corporations consider them insane. You can be as big as Amazon, if people love your site.
Unfortunately, it's jungle out there so you need to be careful. Netscape created a web browser called Netscape Navigator; before Microsoft created Internet Explorer. The number of Netscape Navigator users increased explosively. As a result, Netscape became the company that went public in the shortest period of time in the history of NYSE, even though they didn't have a rock solid revenue source because their software was free of charge. This is the best example of how powerful you can be if users love you. However, Netscape was destroyed by Microsoft. Not because Microsoft had more money, but because Microsoft can choose which software runs on Windows. Microsoft had fate of Netscape in their hands. Don't rely on one company. Your life would be totally depend on them.
Another example is Napster. They provided the very first file sharing software. As you know, they pleaded guilty on copyright infringement. At the very least, check to be sure you are not crossing to the other side of the law.
Success doesn't depend on money. Actually, if you cannot succeed without money, you won't succeed even with money. Stop complaining about lack of money. If you capture users' hearts, the money will most definitely come.
© March, 2009