Help With Business Selection

erik373erik373 Posts: 1subscriber
edited January 2009 in Selecting a Business
I`m really looking to start up a new business this year as I have a lot of free time during the evenings and weekends (planning to do it part-time for now).   I`m very tech-savvy and can do my own web programming and designing (have done freelance work for awhile).  Some of my interests and hobbies include music, video gaming, sports, cooking and dogs. 
I`m really just trying to figure out what type of business might suit me or of some ideas to get the ball rolling in my head and on my paper.
Any help or initial thoughts or concept would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Comments

  • WebJunkyWebJunky Posts: 8subscriber Member
    welcome to the gang - yet another entrepreneur in the making. spend as much time as you can on this website. you have a distinct advantage in that you are tech savvy. you can materialize your concept online on your own if you want.
     
    but just remember as you go through this....life plan first, then business plan. you just never know what this part time experiment develops into!
     
    good luck
     
     
  • erik373erik373 Posts: 1subscriber
    Thanks for the replies guys.  What I really want is to be able to work on my own schedule, on my own time while obviously making money.  I`d say I have a talent for web design and web development and what I`ve always thought of doing was freelance work.  
    So here`s my train of thought:
    I would like to provide a low-cost service to small-businesses to help them establish a web identity.  I would hope to provide small businesses ranging from dog-walking business to lawn care to house cleaning, etc with websites to help promote and draw in business. 
    I realize that businesses of this nature have very small budgets for any sort of marketing not more than word of mouth.  So I`d like to go in and try and help them develop websites for a minimal upfront cost (yet to be determined).  From there I would also help them setup a domain, provide web hosting (at a monthly cost) and provide web maintenance based on a monthly contracted cost (flat or per service). 
    Overall I would be able to make an upfront cost of the initial design, then have monthly recurring income based on web hosting and web maintenance.
    What does everyone think of that?  The questions that I`m personally trying to answer are:
    1.) Will providing this lower-cost design service provide me with enough income?
    2.) Are these types of small businesses interested in developing a website?
    3.) Is there a large enough market to have recurring work on a month to month basis?
    4.) Is this too much work and not enough money to make it worthwhile?
    Thanks for listening and maybe even replying!
  • MattThomasMattThomas Posts: 2subscriber
    The biggest concern in my mind, would be number 2. I don`t believe that the businesses you listed would really be in need of a website. That doesn`t mean you can`t change who you are targeting slightly, to businesses that would be more in need of web design, but not where their business depends on it (since it looks like you are interested in the lower budget clients).
    For example, a landscaper really doesn`t need an online presence. An interior designer, on the other hand, would find an online presence useful to provide photos of their work. Their business might not NEED a site, but it would certainly benefit them.
  • erik373erik373 Posts: 1subscriber
    I think it could be argued that every small business SHOULD have a website to help promote their product, services and work.  Although a landscaper might not NEED a website, would having one provide an extra level of professionalism to their work?  Could they provide client testimonials and work that they`ve done online?  Could they provide their URL on a business card to let potential customers learn more about their business?
    That`s the way I think about it.  If you go to any classified ad website you see postings from all of the types of companies I`ve listed above, but very few of them provide a URL to further explain their service.  Wouldn`t they benefit from driving traffic to a professionally done website?
    That`s the way I`m viewing it, but I can appreciate your train of thought to.  To many of these businesses, a website may seem an extravagant expense and one that may not be necessary in their minds.
    Anyone else care to help me work this one through?
  • erik373erik373 Posts: 1subscriber
    Thanks for the feedback as well.  I`d like to prove it to those micro-businesses without the websites that a website is helpful and it will help bring their business to new heights.
    And I also wonder if the market is too packed?  Are there a lot of companies offering micro-businesses websites?  I feel that targeting this niche along with a quality product could succeed, but I can also see how they will be hard to convince to spend money on things.
    Some additional advice and guidance would be appreciated.
  • WebJunkyWebJunky Posts: 8subscriber Member
    very saturated and very true - it is the hardest concept to get across to them that it can be frustrating sometimes.  the best weapon you can carry in your arsenal is a full blown testimonial with data supporting the change/increase in business from a small business you have done work for.  try offering your services as very low cost initially, or even free if you can afford to and let them see for themselves what the web can do. then perhaps you can charge for maintenance or ongoing optimization/internet marketing?  you can sign up to be an affiliate of a domain reseller, hosting company etc. so that even the site you make for your clients at a very low cost initially gives you residual income??
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