page is developing all the time.
It's where I'll be offering advice and give useful information
on such items as: free software, hosting, domain registration,
banner exchange, pay per click, affiliate programs web design
and much-much more.
and Web Page Guide.
up good moneymaking ideas and you're on the first
rung of the net revolution to making a fortune. It's
not quite as simple as that, though it is possible to become
very rich with the right idea and the right know-how. The
trouble is it's a tall ladder, still - not an impossible
you want to make big money fast, then you'll have
to work hard and take big risks. However, if you just want
a presence or make a small living and build up from there,
then at relatively lower costs and lower scales of business,
you can do that as well.
I'm going to attempt to show you the way to do it,
first thing you'll need is a good idea, the best one's
may seem to have been snapped up already but the list is
ideas don't come easy (well not always). We've
all spent time talking to other people only to hear them
say that the idea is no good. Well, what do they know? Write
as many ideas down as you can and leave them for a short
back to them later, say a day or week, and see if they still
excite enthusiasm. Then go to your family and friends. Don't
be surprised if they don't like it, and tell you all
the reasons why it won't work: its impractical, its
impossible, and its silly. They might be right but they'll
more than probably be wrong. Remember one of the many good
things about the web, is If it does'nt work you
can always change it.
you decide to use an old tried and tested idea, you'll
just have to do some market research and make sure there's
very little competition or plenty of spare capacity to accommodate
you as well.
road you plumb for, before you spend too many nights burning
the midnight oil, make sure it suits the web. A good Internet
business offers a simple service to attract customers, that
is: cheap, cheerful and more convenient. So give e-business
customers a reason to use it.
know I said that you can do this with very little money,
but there maybe some of you out there who have already got
a sure fire idea and just can't wait for Xmas. So
this can either be for now or later, the choice is yours.
The first step is to attract first round or seed funding
for web development and a management team: through venture
capitalists, business angels and incubators, or find a management
team who'll risk their own money. Remember your plan
must be sound and a 4 or 5-page business plan will not be
enough. A key element in the plan will be a directional
change if the first course isn't working.
your research, make sure there's enough money
in "your" market place to profit the money your
investors are putting in. Unfortunately the bubble does
seem to have burst for company's who out priced themselves
and many more will fall by the wayside as time goes on.
But a good idea, a sound plan, plenty of research, a good
management team, the reigns held firmly on the money and
you cannot lose.
may take a little longer, but keep going, say, 12 months
and prove you have a robust business plan; one that
doesn't need furious financing. Listen to your customers
and be prepared to change to meet their likes and dislikes.
The beauty of the Internet is that you can get instant customer
feedback, acknowledge it, and then use it in product development.
use as much of your own money as is possible, that way,
a bigger chunk of the business will stay yours.
first thing you'll need to raise money, besides your
idea, is a business plan, then a demonstration to prove
the technical side of your idea and a lot of shoe leather -
unless you're really lucky. There is an online Business
plan wizard, that might help. Also, raise an executive summary, containing
the key points of your business. Just one page, so your
potential investors can browse your idea.
pick companies, who are members of the British Venture Capital
Association, (not necessarily true for other countries but
I'm sure they'll help anyway) http://www.bvca.co.uk
they have all signed up to a code of conduct which offers
some protection. In any case, always get your own legal
advice before signing.
some of these legal beagles:
Just remember the three R golden rule before
you do anything!
Research, and Research.
we'll move on to the hardcore stuff. This is what
real sites are made of. I'm not at this stage going to tell
you how to construct your site with:
HTML, ASP, PHP, CGI etc, that's for another section. This
is about looks, content and a little bit more - so hold
on to your hat.
are four main stages to go through, all of which will have
unique problems to solve; some technical, some financial.
Develop, Test and Deploy
stage requires some sort of initial plan. You'll find
it easier if you write it down first, draw sketches and
research other web sites for useful information. Don't
just copy them, use the information to develop your own
elements and ideas to ponder in the design stage:
Simplicity, Navigation, Interesting content, Good design,
Ease of use, Simple back end performance, Help/instructions,
is the site for?
information would they need and how would they want it presented?
do I want my web site to do?
is important to target the right audience, and that of course
is dependent on the idea. Don't expect every probable
type of buyer to be interested in your wares.
a little market research first, before you go full-steam
ahead in the wrong direction.
surfing the net are given masses of choices and unless your
information is more than clear, yet concise, you'll
do you want your web site to do? be informative, promote
ideas, sell ideas, enervate change, sell goods, etc, etc.
Whatever it is, do not stray from your central idea anymore
than absolutely necessary.
the site simple. See how pages on http://www.orange.co.uk
should be simple and clear, allowing you to see the route
from a home page to a current page.
exit button should be clear with one button to the home
a local search facility with a drop down menu if your site
starts getting big. Look at http://www.bbc.co.uk
for good navigation.
content is important.
Put large spaces between paragraphs. Create interactivity
if possible, a competition, a quiz or a game to entertain
and interest your visitors, if appropriate.
forms of interactivity might be a request for feedback or
discussion. Encourage people with environmental issues,
they are always a good source of interactive discussion.
site design is imperative. Design the site as a kind of
web tree. Dream weaver and Fusion along with some others
have interactive tools to help to do this.
makes it interesting, data knowledge and information to
target the right audience and customers.
site must be attractive, inviting and designed for easy
and regular changes. It should be uncluttered, not too much
plain text, as much image as is practical.
site should be easy to use, look at http://www.imaginet.co.uk.
Keep returned data information to the bare essentials. Keep
the site running quickly while still looking pleasing. High
quality graphics may have to be compromised to keep the
site running quickly.
a help desk file and link on each page to explain the navigation
system, provide a site map.
the site compatible to as many versions of browsers as possible.
to determine which browser is used, or validate your HTML
online at http://validator.w3.org
it will check if all browsers can see your site and do many
other checks as well, including checking hyperlinks, spelling,
meta tags, how long the site would take to download and
more. Finally when designing, use this on-screen philosophy:
Simple is in, Useful is in, Interesting is in.
to ask yourself and guide your development:
I need on line ordering?
do I go about it?
do I tell people what I've done?
help you develop your site, look at good sites on http://www.useit.com
and learn by their mistakes.
you decide to sell items on your site and take money over
the net, you'll need a reliable and secure way of
best and most convenient way is through credit or debit
cards. There are plenty of options. For example: PayPal,
ClickBank, WorldPay etc, all with varying rates of commission
and start-up fee's.
can of course set up your own secure site, if you dare.
Or, do it the old die-hard way and ask your customers to
send a cheque or postal order up front. Create an order
form that customers can print off and use to place their
method you choose, deliver your goods or services quickly.
create a direct link with the order processing and the despatching.
However, this might be cost prohibitive, so be prepared
for a lot of manual inputting.
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