My dream is to own and operate a brewpub. I won 3rd place at my university`s business plan competition. My plan was for a brewpub startup.
I have a B.S. degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.
I`ve been a firefighter for the past 4 years. It is a wonderful and rewarding career, that has enabled me to achieve my goal of completing my education.
I`m always eager to learn new things. I currently run a small web/graphic design business with my friend. It`s going pretty well, and has piqued my interest in multimedia and entertainment.
All the info you`ve received thus far is excellent. I would hope there was some contractual agreement. I mean if you`re paying for anything that is going to represent your company, you should have some sort of contractual agreement between you and your contractor.
I would have to say I`m not very impressed with the work you`ve had done so far. The code is littered with errors. The images are not of the best quality. And as others have stated, this site is not optimized for web performance.
I don`t even want to know what you paid. I looked at the site of the designers you used. I would be concerned about their abilities. Everyone designs different and has different competencies, but I can tell the difference between sites that are templates and the sites they made from scratch.
This is why everyone should do heavy research into their design teams. Too many people are so focused on price. Anyone can put a website together these days. It`s so important to interview companies to make sure they are on the same page as you. If you and your design team don`t share the same vision, you`ll spend way more trying to fix your problems than you ever would had you picked the right team.
Now off my soap box. Did you prepay for the site in whole? If not, I would seriously looking into having someone else finish the job. Because it`s a PayPal shopping cart system, I think you`re on the right track, you CAN piece one of those together yourself. Then I would consider finding another company to finish the work.
Warranty? What are they going to warranty? A true sales gimic. When you`re project is complete there should be nothing to warranty. The code, security, etc. should be done right. In my honest opinion, a design team should be obligated to fix any flaws in their work at any time.
Lastly, this goes for anyone: your website is your #1 marketing tool. I would venture to say that 90% or better, of the U.S. population does all their product research online. I would bet that websites, done right, are the most effective marketing tool around. It`s the face of your company on the internet. That is why it`s so important to have a design team that can see YOUR vision and put it to work. It`s fine if you want their creative expertise, but it`s important that your company`s brand and image resonates through your site. If it doesn`t, I think you completly miss your mark and fail your compnay, your products, and your customers miserably.
That`s all I`ve got. Thanks for letting me vent. I could barely read through your first post without feeling the overwhelming urge to post as fast and as furiously as I could. It just bugs me that any Joe on the street can put a site together with a program and charges off-the-wall prices and then can`t follow through.
Would you continue to pay the bug man after he`s missed a month or two? Tells you you`re his priority next week? If you wait for the termites to come, you`ve waited too long. My point being that web design is a service. Just like any other. The longer you let businesses like this jack you around the more money and potential sales you lose. And if your site is sub par, the less repeat customers you`ll get.
I hope you get what you`re looking for! If the end result sucks, find someone to fix it. Sorry to ramble, this topic really bugs me!
The site is visually frustrating as far as where my eyes are drawn to. There`s no real "flow". It`s jam packed with Google Adwords and looks gimmicky. I understand you`re trying to advertise, but most of your visitors are probably looking at that home page and clicking their `back` button. I`ve always liked how sites like Digg use adwords. One div or section and that`s it. Most visitors are turned off by large amounts of ads. You`re whole site is basically blocked in by google and google adwords.
I would clean your page up a bit, and give people a clear idea of what`s going on. I personally don`t care for the Google color scheme. But that`s just my opinion.
My response is based off the fact that you call this post "Business
Necessities". Necessities being that you need certain components in order
I am going to assume you`ve done your homework already. If you`re at a stage
where you are ready to launch, I`d have to assume that you`ve considered
whether or not your product(s) and/or services are satisfying a need of
consumers; or at least doing something better than your competitors. If that`s
the case here is what I would recommend based on the info you provided.
- Business Plan! If you don`t have one, make one. As the saying goes,
"Failing to plan is planning to fail."
- Test the product, if you haven`t already. It`s relatively inexpensive to get
your products up and running on the internet. With avenues such as eBay, it`s a
good way to get your product out there and gauge whether or not a full-blown
e-commerce site is worth the money at that moment in time.
- K.I.S.S.: Getting your product out there is essential. Some may disagree with
Janie`s response above, but I absolutely agree with her. Why dump a bunch of money
into CPA`s and lawyers when you don`t even know if your business can sustain
for it`s initial year? Focus on getting your product out there and keep it simple. Use
quickbooks or other online financial tracking resources for your first year.
Use an accountant sparingly.
- Don`t worry about being a corporation or an LLC. If it`s just you and your
wife, start small. If the business thrives, you can always reform as an LLC or
a Corporation. It seems like so many people get excited about creating a
corporation or an LLC, it`s just a bunch of paperwork and really not that big
of a deal unless you need it.
As for an e-commerce site, I don`t know what you have already, but $2,000 won`t
get you far. If that is strictly for marketing it`s not bad. If you are
planning on having an effective site built, optimized, etc. you should plan on
spending more. I don`t care who does it, you won`t get what you expect for
Lastly, don`t be intimidated by your lack of knowledge. Look at all the
successful entrepreneurs in the world that have made something of themselves
with little or no business knowledge. You will learn a lot in your first two
years. More than any book will ever teach you. You can read about swimming
techniques all you want, but until you jump in the pool you`ll never know. Take
advantage of resources such as this and other credible business blogs and
forums. Read books, but keep an open mind. There is so much crap out there in
regards to business literature.
Here are a couple of resources I would recommend:
(Great list of apps for small businesses. Web-based but good)
E-Myth by Michael Gerber (I think this would be great for you)
Good-to-Great as mentioned earlier. (Better after you`re up and running though,
but great principles nevertheless).
Sorry for so much writing, I just feel that you need to focus on necessities
and maximizing your money out of the gates. Fail or succeed, this will be the
best education of your life!!!
ryanwithanr2/26/2008 11:20 PM
Alright. I like the layout. You`ve got a lot of good stuff going. However, I would try to sharpen up your images. They need to look more crisp. Looks like the problem may be stemming from the fact that your images are being distorted because they are either too big or too small. Find out the exact size of your image holders and edit your images to meet those requirements.
Other than that based on personal opinion, I would find a really nice looking image to spice up your banner. There`s something about what you`ve got now that is generic.
I think you`re on the right track.
I have uploaded a propsal file that I zipped for you. This should help you with everything that you need. Here is the link: It is all in Word format. If you need any contracts specific to web design I also have lots of those, just let me know.
WOW! What else can I say. I can`t thank you enough for those files. I would love to check out design contract files too if you don`t mind. You can email them to me through my profile.
Thanks so much, what a huge help.