Advice on Internet Design Start Up?


Q

Quentin Jones

I am starting up a small business designing websites for small businesses.
I'm targeting small lawyers firms, accountancy firms, pubs, clubs, and any
small business which requires a basic static website.

1/ I am employing someone who is quite skilled at website design and is not
too expensive to employ.He can concentrate on designing and making whilst I
concentrate on getting the sales.
2/ I would like to ask advice on what people think the future of website
design is? I sometimes worry that there perhaps are too many designers in an
overcrowded marketplace?
3/ Is there enough work to go around? Or is it truly overcrowded?
4/ What would be deemed a good price for a basic starter website package for
a small business?

I am offering a basic website price at a special price, so I can get work
via recomendations.
 
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P

Peter Saxton

I am starting up a small business designing websites for small businesses.
I'm targeting small lawyers firms, accountancy firms, pubs, clubs, and any
small business which requires a basic static website.

1/ I am employing someone who is quite skilled at website design and is not
too expensive to employ.He can concentrate on designing and making whilst I
concentrate on getting the sales.
2/ I would like to ask advice on what people think the future of website
design is? I sometimes worry that there perhaps are too many designers in an
overcrowded marketplace?
3/ Is there enough work to go around? Or is it truly overcrowded?
4/ What would be deemed a good price for a basic starter website package for
a small business?

I am offering a basic website price at a special price, so I can get work
via recomendations.
Golden Gun, you're making it quite obvious that you don't know the
first think about the business.

Have you got any examples of work?

You turn down offers when you get them.

Does it matter whether there's too many or too little? The good ones
will do well and the bad one's will fail. It will just happen quicker
if there are too many.

When you contact someone and offer your - sorry, your designer's -
services and they ask for examples of your work do you hurl abuse at
them?

Business is not for dreamers. If you are serious put some examples
online and decide on prices or quote per job. My guess is you just
want to talk about it and not do it.



(e-mail address removed)
 
T

Tiddy Ogg

I am starting up a small business designing websites for small businesses.
Just make sure the thingds are accessible. The Disability
Discrimination Act covers web sites.

- Tiddy.

Contact me in plain text only at The Mutual address above,
(all html and attachments are blocked,)
or via my perverted poetry site:
http://www.btinternet.com/~tiddyogg
 
J

Jason Clifford

I am starting up a small business designing websites for small businesses.
I'm targeting small lawyers firms, accountancy firms, pubs, clubs, and any
small business which requires a basic static website.

2/ I would like to ask advice on what people think the future of website
design is? I sometimes worry that there perhaps are too many designers in an
overcrowded marketplace?
One piece of advise - don't spam.

If you really think the marketplace is overcrowded why are you seeking to
enter it?

Jason Clifford
 
D

DSM

Quentin Jones said:
I am starting up a small business designing websites for small businesses.
I'm targeting small lawyers firms, accountancy firms, pubs, clubs, and any
small business which requires a basic static website.

1/ I am employing someone who is quite skilled at website design and is not
too expensive to employ.He can concentrate on designing and making whilst I
concentrate on getting the sales.
2/ I would like to ask advice on what people think the future of website
design is? I sometimes worry that there perhaps are too many designers in an
overcrowded marketplace?
3/ Is there enough work to go around? Or is it truly overcrowded?
4/ What would be deemed a good price for a basic starter website package for
a small business?

I am offering a basic website price at a special price, so I can get work
via recomendations.
Aside from what everyone else has said, you`d have to initially start by
doing the sales & web design work yourself, unless you have deep pockets.
Then if you get the customers you can employ someone. The IT industry is a
real struggle these days, and so therefore will be success in a new venture.
Doing eveything yourself to begin with is the best way. You could contract
work out to someone if and when you get it but that won`t be cheap.
 
F

First Surname

There's a shedload of this work around at the minute (I get about one
commercial enquiry a week, and I don't even do this stuff). The
trouble is that the prices are absolutely rock-bottom. There are many
people offering $50/page or $300/site deals. Now spend any time
talking to the client, or any rework time because they didn't like the
layout, and you're making a loss.
41 EUR/h was the last quote I saw here. Nowadays school (lower level
university)
pays the 3 months trainee period for students. They still have
severe problems to find an employer. Some of them have found a job in
Spain. Salaries are there lower but more than unemployment benefit
here.

(In my vocabulary web pages are not IT.)
 
B

Bob Brenchley.

I am starting up a small business designing websites for small businesses.
Don't - there are already FAR too many.
I'm targeting small lawyers firms, accountancy firms, pubs, clubs, and any
small business which requires a basic static website.

1/ I am employing someone who is quite skilled at website design and is not
too expensive to employ.He can concentrate on designing and making whilst I
concentrate on getting the sales.
2/ I would like to ask advice on what people think the future of website
design is? I sometimes worry that there perhaps are too many designers in an
overcrowded marketplace?
Not enough really good ones, far too many just about passable ones.
3/ Is there enough work to go around? Or is it truly overcrowded?
Very - VERY overcrowded.
4/ What would be deemed a good price for a basic starter website package for
a small business?
As much as the customer is willing to pay for the sort of site you are
able to produce.
I am offering a basic website price at a special price, so I can get work
via recomendations.
Good luck - you will need it. And if you want any site hosting, get in
touch.
 
M

Moonface

Respected Sir,
May I ask how you end up with one commercial enquiry per week if you are not
in this business? I am a great believer in trying to find out what the
market wants and what the market requires. I am not a man having alot of
money to invest in my business, however, I feel I have researched the market
reasonably well and feel that I can offer value for money, which in a
nutshell means I aim to "win" business by offering better value for money
than other more established businesses. It is a classic entry method.
41 EUR/h was the last quote I saw here. Nowadays school (lower level
university)
pays the 3 months trainee period for students. They still have
severe problems to find an employer. Some of them have found a job in
Spain. Salaries are there lower but more than unemployment benefit
here.
Why are people going to spain if I may ask?
 
M

Moonface

Andy Dingley said:
The future is good. The current situation is dire.

I know lots of unemployed _good_ web back-end coders with experience
on Amazon-size systems, and a few web designers selling to the "Jeff &
Akhbar's Electrode Hut" small business market who are doing fairly
well.
That sounds encouraging, I will be operating at the "small business level"
to begin with, until I gain experience and see how things progress. My main
intiial goal is to build satisfied and happy clients with the idea being
that they will generate the majority of future business as is the hallmark
of all successful businesses.
In the longer term, you're aiming to be a similar small business to a
local printer or graphic designer
Yes Quite.

.. A PR agency at the high end. You're not selling "HTML skillz", because any
monkey can do that. Take the
business' problem "We need to communicate" and offer a solution to the
whole package. It's not rocket science (absolutely _not_), but it
still requires skills that aren't owned by the client businesses
themselves. Even when Word 2010 finally makes decent HTML, there's
still a lot more to know before you can make a good site, rather than
a page.
Absolutely sounds to me like you really know what your talking about. Thats
exactly the reason I am not attempting to "make" the websites, I know just
the schoolboy basics, but I can't compete with the years of university and
experience that the chaps who will be working for me have got. My experience
is in marketing and design and customer understanding from a business
perspective.

There's a shedload of this work around at the minute (I get about one
commercial enquiry a week, and I don't even do this stuff). The
trouble is that the prices are absolutely rock-bottom. There are many
people offering $50/page or $300/site deals. Now spend any time
talking to the client, or any rework time because they didn't like the
layout, and you're making a loss.
May I ask your opinion as to *why* there is such low prices around at the
moment (rock bottom)?
What the market needs most right now is some education. Clients that
will no longer fall for some badly-coded squirt of RuntPage and a bit
of Flash. Large clients realising a "Design" house (often an old ad
agency) with a big budget for lunches and coke still make crappy sites
that look pretty in showreels, but don't work on the web.
Understood.


If you're looking to discriminate yourselves, then there's still scope
for technical add-ins. Know how to drive a catalogue / shopping
basket engine and build a really useful catalogue site with a search
that works. Know how to integrate postcode searches for "Fnd my
nearest retailer". Understand bulk email (the good sort) and know how
to sell this, without letting the client embarass themselves by hiring
a spamhaus.
Your talking "hardcore" websites, and hardcore e commerce
Understand accessibility ! Mobile devices now have web access (not
just WAP) and this will be a serious market. What do your sites look
like ? Does their CSS degrade gracefully to work on a Treo, or do
their frames and tables collapse in a heap ?
So may I be nosey and ask what you actually do? If you don't exactly work in
the industry then you seem to know an awful lot about it.

Your advice and points have been gratefuly recieved.

My official business has started today!! If you where in the high end level
of website design I could have taken your details and passed on the more
advanced work that I do not want to get involved in.
 
M

Moonface

Jason Clifford said:
One piece of advise - don't spam.
Thankyou for the advice, and I know definitey not to spam, everybody hates
it., and you will only damage your reputation.
If you really think the marketplace is overcrowded why are you seeking to
enter it?
I am asking the question? Even in an overcrowded market place, or in a
recession it is still perfectly possible to grow a business and expand a
business and start a business. Competition is more intense, and you either
give up and don't try to enter or you enter but enter with the knowledge
that its a "tough market".
Knowing if your area is extremely competative, to me is just knowing what
your up against, not a reason to quit and not have a go. I feel sufficiently
confident that even if the market place is overcrowded with suppliers, I
will be able to find my own niche, and compete favorably on better value for
money.

May I ask what is your opinion regarding the market place being overcrowded
or not?
 
M

Moonface

Bob Brenchley. said:
businesses.

Don't - there are already FAR too many.
Well, I thought about it, and I wondered if the reason it is "overcrowded"
was just that every tom, dick and harry, are now calling themselves a
website designer, without proper knowledge and experience?
Not enough really good ones, far too many just about passable ones.


Very - VERY overcrowded.
Hmmph, well, the response on here has been mixed, a few people have said
there is shed loads of work around. Mixed response regarding "overcrowded
market place".
As much as the customer is willing to pay for the sort of site you are
able to produce.
Yes, thats a good point.
Good luck - you will need it. And if you want any site hosting, get in
touch.
Thanks for your advice, in fact to be frank, I gain alot of market research
from just chatting to people and reading previous posts on usenet. Really,
I'm tryingto offer a niche service, something slightly different than
somebody else. Still I will see what happens.
 
G

Guy Fawkes

Moonface wrote:

I feel I have researched the
market reasonably well and feel that I can offer value for money, which in
a nutshell means I aim to "win" business by offering better value for
money than other more established businesses. It is a classic entry
method.
ok, pop quiz to see if you can offer better value than the average.........
define for me / us what the purpose of the product (eg a business web site)
is... you need to know this as a pre-requisite




--
Backbone server http://www.surfbaud.org/
E-mail (rot-13) WO ng FHESONHQ qbg BET
Cable web/game server http://80.235.132.33:800/
What crap am I selling on e-bay?
http://members.ebay.co.uk/aboutme/error505sex/
EoF
 
P

Peter Saxton

Respected Sir,
May I ask how you end up with one commercial enquiry per week if you are not
in this business?
Golden Gun

Maybe one of your spelling mistakes in your marketing directs
enquiries to him instead of you!



(e-mail address removed)
 
P

Peter Saxton

That sounds encouraging, I will be operating at the "small business level"
to begin with, until I gain experience and see how things progress. My main
intiial goal is to build satisfied and happy clients with the idea being
that they will generate the majority of future business as is the hallmark
of all successful businesses.
You are not going to get one client if you dont publish examples of
work. If you havent done any business at least do a few example sites.
Why dont you do your own site? Whoever heard of a website provider
without their own site.

It's similar to an accountant never having done any accounts!
Yes Quite.

. A PR agency at the high end. You're not selling "HTML skillz", because any
monkey can do that. Take the

Absolutely sounds to me like you really know what your talking about. Thats
exactly the reason I am not attempting to "make" the websites, I know just
the schoolboy basics, but I can't compete with the years of university and
experience that the chaps who will be working for me have got. My experience
is in marketing and design and customer understanding from a business
perspective.
Golden Gun, can you quantify what your experience is?
May I ask your opinion as to *why* there is such low prices around at the
moment (rock bottom)?
Supply exceeds demand?
Your talking "hardcore" websites, and hardcore e commerce

So may I be nosey and ask what you actually do? If you don't exactly work in
the industry then you seem to know an awful lot about it.

Your advice and points have been gratefuly recieved.

My official business has started today!! If you where in the high end level
of website design I could have taken your details and passed on the more
advanced work that I do not want to get involved in.
In what way did it start? Did you place an advert somewhere? You're
being awfully coy!



(e-mail address removed)
 
P

Peter Saxton

Thanks for your advice, in fact to be frank, I gain alot of market research
from just chatting to people and reading previous posts on usenet. Really,
I'm tryingto offer a niche service, something slightly different than
somebody else. Still I will see what happens.
Golden Gun, in what way are you offering a niche service?



(e-mail address removed)
 
P

Peter Saxton

Stephen,

Why don't you start by trying to do a decent site to sell your furniture
from Poland. Then use that as a showcase.

Jon
Golden Gun

After all it's not very good if you are unwilling to use your own
service. Are you seriously expecting others to use your service when
you wont use it yourself?



(e-mail address removed)
 
T

Tim

In what way did it start? Did you place an advert somewhere? You're
being awfully coy!
See his other post (copy below) - he's just taken on some "talent" (I
wonder if this is some guy he met down the pub?!) - perhaps this consistutes
"starting" ...

--------------------------------

I am not having the skills to do the technical side of advanced
website design. This is why I am employing a fellow. He is very good and
....
 
A

Andy Dingley

My main
intiial goal is to build satisfied and happy clients with the idea being
that they will generate the majority of future business as is the hallmark
of all successful businesses.
I'm not sure this applies to web design (at the small end)

Build a good site, and it doesn't _need_ much further business. OK,
so some types of site will. But not enough that you can base your
continued existence upon repeat business from the same clients. Keep
them happy by all means, but do it to generate recommendations, not to
hope for repeat work.


I work on large systems. I might write some HTML, but I'm more likely
to write SQL, Java or RDF. I'm a lousy website designer !

But I'm "a computer guy", and there are people who want websites.
Three of my neighbours have already asked me (I live on a small street
of shops).
May I ask your opinion as to *why* there is such low prices around at the
moment (rock bottom)?
The market is flooded by 25 year olds who have no major outgoings to
spend. Given the choice between a 40 year old software engineer with a
mortgage and children, and a teenager living with their parents, or
sharing a flat with their fellow graduates, then which is the better
choice ? If you want skills on SpodWriter 4, where both of them only
bought the first O'Reilly last week, then does experience really count
for much anyway ?

The "market rate" is low, because there are people who will do it for
this price (even if not well). Clients don't understand the
difference between good and bad work, so why should we expect them to
pay any more ? Cheap is popular, mainly because cheap is
_tangible_. If you want to up-sell this market, you need to educate
them on the difference.
Your talking "hardcore" websites, and hardcore e commerce
No. "Hardcore" is when Sun or HP fly you to Hawaii to demonstrate
their new servers to you. Or when one breaks, and they fly an
engineer to you. There's a world of _big_ systems that exists on a
plane you can only dream off.

Knowing how to drive something like Underwired is useful, rare, but
hardly "hardcore".
So may I be nosey and ask what you actually do? If you don't exactly work in
the industry then you seem to know an awful lot about it.
I'm unemployed. Too old, too expensive. Now I make furniture.
 
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M

Moonface

Andy Dingley said:
I'm not sure this applies to web design (at the small end)
Well Andy, my business is most definitely at the small end.
Build a good site, and it doesn't _need_ much further business. OK,
so some types of site will. But not enough that you can base your
continued existence upon repeat business from the same clients. Keep
them happy by all means, but do it to generate recommendations, not to
hope for repeat work.
Thankyou for your advice. I hope to get recommendations, as you say perhaps
there won't be repeat business but at least their might be good word of
mouth.
I work on large systems. I might write some HTML, but I'm more likely
to write SQL, Java or RDF. I'm a lousy website designer !
Such Modesty.....
But I'm "a computer guy", and there are people who want websites.
Three of my neighbours have already asked me (I live on a small street
of shops).
Gosh! People just know your into computers and they make it their business
to find you?? So you should go into webdesign as well.
The market is flooded by 25 year olds who have no major outgoings to
spend. Given the choice between a 40 year old software engineer with a
mortgage and children, and a teenager living with their parents, or
sharing a flat with their fellow graduates, then which is the better
choice ? If you want skills on SpodWriter 4, where both of them only
bought the first O'Reilly last week, then does experience really count
for much anyway ?
Ah, I see what you mean, but then surely as some chap on here was saying,
surely clients are going to prefer someone experienced, who is established,
and who do not want an "amature" let loose on their business?
The "market rate" is low, because there are people who will do it for
this price (even if not well). Clients don't understand the
difference between good and bad work, so why should we expect them to
pay any more ? Cheap is popular, mainly because cheap is
_tangible_. If you want to up-sell this market, you need to educate
them on the difference.
That is good advice. As a simple point, I firmly believe that "cheap is not
best" and "cheapest is not allways best value for money" . Any competitive
arena, will have various pricing strategies by various businesses, it is
allways the cheapest ones who tend to die away. This has been seen in the
past with the realy cheap phone companies, do you remember "mercury"? They
where so much cheaper than B.T., but they dissapeared into obscurity. Same
thing is predicted to happen with the new "directory enquiry services".

My point being that surely it can't be so difficult to show customers the
difference between inexperienced kids who are using a simple program and
someone who is a professional and can handle completely intereactive
websites and build complete unique and bespoke websites etc.
No. "Hardcore" is when Sun or HP fly you to Hawaii to demonstrate
their new servers to you. Or when one breaks, and they fly an
engineer to you. There's a world of _big_ systems that exists on a
plane you can only dream off.
Your right:) I know my niche, I would be "supremely happy" if I could earn a
few crumbs from the table for my work..and end up with a few happy clients.
My ambitions are modest.. The point for me that makes this business
attractive is that I can use my selling skills, and I can work hard and do a
good job, without having to invest anything, (because I don't have much
capital), and earn a wage in the process.
Knowing how to drive something like Underwired is useful, rare, but
hardly "hardcore".
If anything is requiring techncial discussions that I am not able to cover,
I will refer to the website maker.
I'm unemployed. Too old, too expensive. Now I make furniture.

You are a website designer who makes furniture? How interesting...I hope
your doing well. I really appreciated your tips and thoughts. I will let you
know how I get on, perhaps I won't get much response from all the mailshots
that have gone out.? I'm offering a £99 special introductory deal, one years
hosting, domain registration, and graphics and thats it. So I'll wait and
see.
 

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