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Prepared for August 16, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All
Since 1998 Richard Telofski has had a fistful
of websites, supported by advertising, each one in a different area
of business research products and services. The websites included
ResearchMarket.com, InfoSupermarket.com, CISupermarket.com, and
"They did all right while advertising rates were still up on the
Internet, but then rates crashed, and it became a less attractive
proposition," says Telofski.
Then Telofski opened a virtual consultancy called Ebusinessanalysts.
For as little as $255 a year, businesses transitioning to E-commerce
could pose questions to a virtual consultant by the name of
a composite of consultants at eBusiness Analysts. Answers were
to each business based on information collected at registration, and
responses were promptly issued through E-mail.
His 18-month roller coaster ride with E-commerce left him breathless
but with a new idea. "Now I am doing competitive intelligence
in the E-business communities, particularly in manufacturing
and wholesaling," says Telofski, who went to Rutgers, Class 1975,
and has an MBA from Rutgers; his wife works at Johnson & Johnson.
He has renamed his company and moved from Research Park to a
business at 55 Hamilton South, Plainsboro (609-799-6490,
The original name of the firm, before its E-commerce adventure, was
Becker Research, and during the E-commerce adventure it was High
Communications and E-Business Analysts. Now it is Becker Intelligence.
"I learned an awful lot about E-business," says Telofski of
his lemons to lemonade endeavor, "and am now going to apply what
I learned in E-business and marry that up with competitive
skills." It will be a relief to be a consultant again. "I
have had up to 10 people working for me, and have had the headaches
for all that. My overhead is not what it used to be," he says.
Enthusiasm about virtual consultants, as it turns out, is limited
to those who supply the information. The clients, on the other hand,
want to eyeball the person they pay. "They want more personal
attention, someone who knows the field of E-business, someone who
can come in and say this is what your competitors are doing. They
are looking for analysis and how to play against competitors. I found
over the past year that they want the more traditional format of
service, face to face, not electronic. Some previous clients will
call for a quick telephone consult. But they are using a website,
they want to know who is on the other side.
In the latest reincarnation of his business venture, Telofski is
advice from his 100-page primer, "Fast Food for E-Business
Find employees who know about people, he wrote, "because all
transactions are based on human behavior. People are the keys to the
New Economy." Finally, E-business is about action. Says Telofski:
"Get on board or get run-over."
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