I have been conducting amateur Texas Hold `Em poker tournaments in bars and clubs since 2005.
After a split with my former "partner", I started up again from scratch with one bar and within a week I had two bars. After a month I was hosting 5 days a week. No Fee Texas Hold `Em Amateur Poker League now conducts over 60 tournaments a week and has 2,000 plus members in the league. We re-started from scratch in March of 2006 so growth has been super. The company is now in the process of offering franchise opportunities nationally.
Running an Amateur Poker League was a great way to have a brick and mortar presence without the overhead of actually having a lease. We`ve developed a real synergy with our website and the "real" world and use the internet extensively to communicate with our league members. The networking that I`m able to do through the growing membership has been phenomenal. You can really get to know someone when you sit down and play poker for several hours on a weekly basis.
I also run a website hosting/design company and an online music distribution company.
Gotta say... I sure like what I`m doing now vs the days when I was a Computer Applications Analyst at Boeing.
Get an attorney.... trust me on this one.
I failed to have legal advice during my initial phase of business (wanted to save the money and put it into the business instead) and now in hindsight, after having an individual I trusted with everything turn on me it would have saved me thousands of dollars.
Don`t be shortsighted... when it comes to money a good attorney is your best defense against unscrupulous persons you might have thought were your friends.
Anyone can build a website.... some do it better than others. Professional web designers can do it for you for not all that much money, but again.... some do it better than others. (remember that anyone with a computer can call themselves a professional web designer)
If your website is going to be a major portion of your business, I highly suggest that you start out with a very detailed requirements document. Know exactly what this website needs to do before you start.
Mock up your site using one of the free content management systems that are available. You won`t need to know any code and it doesn`t necessarily have to be fully functional but all the elements need to be in place. You can use this mockup when you approach a professional, if you need to go down that road, and save yourself considerable cash. You may find that you don"t need a professional after all. Remember.... if you use a professional you will most likely be tethered to that individual or firm for quite some time to come as they will be your only recourse if you need changes. Their initial charge is only the beginning so the more you can do yourself the better.
Have your text and all images that you want to use ready before you farm out the work. A web designer will then be able to incorporate this into your site with relative ease and it gives them a much better idea of your target market.
Remember that a web designer and a web developer are two different animals. The designers deal primarily with look and feel and developers create functionality.
Good luck with your business.Pokerman2007-3-16 9:50:37