Need Advice: Starting a Website...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scooter, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    ...and any help would be GREAT!!!

    It's a for profit deal and I have secured the main domain name as well as every variation of it I could think of. Here's the deal:

    I don't know squat about the web commerce deal. Are there companies, RELIABLE with a good reputation companies that put your web site togther. I don't mean graphic design, I am asking along the lines of a business plan and represent the site, kinda like an agent.

    Also..what else would anyone think I ought to know about diving in?

    Any help is MORE than welcome!
     
  2. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Ummm..honest! And if it makes a difference, the site has nothing to do with HT, thus not to compete with my home here.
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I don't think people really know what you are asking for.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    You're looking to hire someone someone to design a site, or for someone to put together your business plan for you? That seems to be a red flag for me right away-- if all you have is a loose idea and a domain name- you should probably start reconsidering what it is you want to do.

    Even if you don't have a formal business plan, to have anyone seriously consider your concept you should, at the very least, have some formalized analysis of your potential market, competition and what makes your approach to this market unique.

    In addition, you should realize that while the internet did make a few kitchen millionaires in the heyday of the mid/late 90's, the corporations are involved now- and have more power and abilities than you can muster. In hundreds of cases, small upstarts with good ideas have been shoved out of the market as soon as their idea proves profitable: a large corp can take an idea from drawing board to full deluxe rollout in a matter of months- while it takes smaller companies like you and I that long just to upgrade or add features.

    Not saying you're doomed to fail out of the gates: but saying that if you're not interested in actually learning the nitty gritty of the buisiness you're planning to enter (without a working knowledge of webdesign and scripting, ecommerce and ebusiness models, a hands on approach to the planned direction and purpose of your company, etc)-- then I would dare say you'll be among the thousands of other small business that will fail next year.

    If you can't be the "point man" in your idea- then there really is no need for you. If you will need someone else to do everything that the business needs to get off the ground, then what do you really have? Think Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo.

    -V
     
  5. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Well..thing is I don't want to re-invent the wheel so to speak. And I have no problem being the point man in terms of direction, but because I don't want to fail like you mentioned, I am seeking outside pointers and expertise.

    Take a small market TV station..the have national advertisers on their channel because they are represented, either as part of a group, or alone, by an agent of sorts. And I am refering to local time sold, not national ads that are hitched to syndicated or network fare. The staion owner has the station. He wants to be, I dunno, movie driven. He hires people at the station, uses syndicators away from the station, and consultants a bit more distance than that.

    Now what I am looking for is:
    Guide posts to professionals who specialize in web biz.
    Representatives to take my website and pitch it to the advertisers that would look for my targetted audience.

    Doe that make it any clearer? If it sounds like I am fishing, to a degree I am...this is all new to me.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    [​IMG] You've not worked for a large company, have you? (or an unusual one) My experience is they are slow and internal procedures prevent rapid change. It's the small companies that can whip out new products quickly and react immediately to a changing marketplace.

    However, when the big corp gets rolling, they can kill you on marketing, branding, retail availability and cost.

    So for Scooter: give the big guys their due respect, but don't let them scare you off. You can move faster and more efficiently. You'll have a product out the door before they've finished Gate 1 of their internal review process.


    But, I agree with others, Scooter, that it's not clear what you want. You talk about having a website to market, but do you have a product or service to sell? Websites don't make money (just ask Ron and Parker here at HTF). You make money by selling product, and a website is one of many ways to market the product.
     
  7. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Absolutely have a service...one that is as timely as today's headlines!!!! Seriously....it's THAT timely!!!

    I've already gotten input from Ron and Parker...and they have given me some solid info. But unlike HTF, my site would be a commercial venture not a meeting place type of site.

    And yeah, I am being cagey about the purpose of it!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I expected this type of response-- and while there is truth to the "corporate slowness" problem: I have seen lots of examples where a successful business if killed by a bigger company. I think you'll see this with netflix soon, as walmart has moved into their market.

    I have also seen plenty of media companies (maybe not corp size) move in and drive out guys I knew doing small web based business.

    -V
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Scoot - gotcha. The problem was you were a bit too cagey for us to know what you were talking about. [​IMG]

    Sure, but they're four years late. Which is just what i was saying: the big guys are typically slow and inefficient in development processes, but they can crush you with price, branding, marketing, etc. if they decide to enter the market.

    I thought you were saying the large companies could move faster than the small ones. It's possible, but not typical.

    The other issue is that the big guys don't care about small markets. A billion dollar company doesn't care abot $100k opportunities. They only pursue business plans that they believe will bring in $10M. And this is how a little guy can get going: find a small, ignored market. And if they're lucky, they can grow the small market to a big one before anyone notices. Or, get bought out and retire early.
     
  10. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    Dave: 2 Things

    1. Use your contacts at U of R to get Morgan REALLY well situated there! [​IMG]

    2. BUY ME OUT!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Scoot:
    1) I'm but a meager optical engineer here in town. But he can contact me when he's looking for a summer job. Maybe I'll know something.

    2) If I had the resources to buy someone out, I'd retire now. [​IMG]
     

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