2017 was a block buster year for on-line sales. More folks want a piece of the on-line sales action.
Maybe you or a friend are dreaming of getting rich by selling a “unique” home-made cottage industry product on-line. Why not jump in head first to start selling? I have some simpified NEWS for YOU if you want it.
It seem like everyone wants to get on the “get rich quick” on-line sales band wagon. My friends and acquaintances dreaming of starting new business want to know, ” How is a business newbie to get a competitive edge? A website, right? Who builds your websites? Will you introduce me to your web site designer? Since I’m a friend, ask him to put up the site for FREE.”
[ What If I ask the grocery store to not charge me because I’m a nice person or I tell my landlord I want my apartment for FREE because I LIKE them on Facebook….would that make sense?]
This post is overloaded with more content you can absorb in one reading. It will share some from my esperience and other things bia clickable links to relaible sources. I wish my networking friends knew a fraction of points on my valuable lists before I give out my web builder’s private number and invite them over to meet my room mate, a professional web designer. it would save a lot of energy and frustration.
When friends learn that I am a published author; have a long established blog, an on-line store and the fact that my room mate (happens to be son ) built my websites people get excited looks on their faces. They exclaim ” I have a great idea that will make millions. Tell me your secret.”
My secret is not a secret to the seasoned bloggers: Give something for FREE.
Blogs are free to read and collect information. But, it does cost the website or blog owner time and money to run the site. Why do they do give away information? To get a customers attention well enough that the potential customer will convert to a paying customer.
First, don’t be impressed. I did it ALL WRONG!…
....and I am still not prefect. I’m still not rich. . In fact I recently closed my business, due to family health issues.
A decade ago, I was not in the least bit prepared to be a novelist nor and on-line entrepeneur. I have learned so much from my humble beginnings on-line. I am willing to share the basics with friends to get them started. The rest is up to them. (you).
Note: this post has been generically put together for my friends and family so I don’t have to repeat my ideas 12 to 15 times a year. I can refer them to my blog post. The general public is welcome to come to glean my tips. Take what you want and leave the rest. I am not a guru. I share links to other reliable sources.
- In my beginnings on-line I was under informed and computer illiterate as most of us were back in the early years of the internet.
- Still with all the tech experience people have today, unless, you have had classed in this subject finding a starting point is more than overwhelming in complexity.
I will assume you are on this post because you need a website for your great business idea and have a decent amount of computer savy skills more than how to LIKE on Facebook.
If you are like I was 15 years ago, you have no idea where to start with a website…I take that back. I did not even know what the word “website” meant. I though the definition of GOOGLE had something to do with rolling your eyes. The term copy and paste must have something to do with glue.
You have 2 basic choices on how to get a website up and running for your business idea.
- DIY build a site for FREE
- Pay some to build a website for you.
Remember this: You get what you pay for. So check around, but don’t base your decision on a dollar amount alone. Sure the DIY Websites are FREE to a point.
[When grocery shopping have your ever got to sample a new product? A free sample is not a whole meal. That free taste is an incentive designed to entice you to buy the whole product and hopefully continue to buy the product along on a regular basis. There is a limit to how much they let your walk a away with with out paying.]
Most people wanting a web site want the cards laid on the table right away, “How much will it cost?”
Putting together a website can NOT be put into a one size fits all nutshell whether you build a website for FREE all by yourself or you approach a professional web site builder.
You will need to have answers prepared about how your business will run in order to get a good estimate of the cost of the website you need for your business.
One Landing Page with an image and your basic contact information will be far less coslty than a website for Sears and Roebuck catalog with a payment portal.
Here is a visual: Ask the mail man over the phone, “How much will is cost to mail this?” How will the postal worker know what THIS is? How big is the package? How much does it weigh? or is it FREE Library material? Because mailing a 12 pound bowling ball won’t fit into a 58 cents letter size envelope it would stand to reason the cost will be a lot higher than a regular stamp.)
Quality of a website; functions and fees with vary considerably depending on the needs. Interviewing and negotiations will go quicker, smoother and may cost you less if you have done your homeowrk instead of making the web designer guess what your product is all about and who you to plan sell it to. (Keep reading I have basic tips for you.)
How prepared are you to start your business?
I understand from the web site builders,I know, that rarely are people prepared to start up a business beyond the “I have a dream stage”. Nor are they ready to have a website built on a dream. There seems to be a public assumption that it may magically puts its self together.
Dreaming is wonderful.,,but…
…not when you are taking up the time of a professional, especially when you have no intention of paying them for his/her time. That is why I put together this post to refer “my friends” to tips on how to be prepared.
But, a Website looks so easy and the Internet is free to use…
What the consumer sees on a website or on-line show room should look easy to use.
A designer can not put all the components in one sentence about the behind the screen works as it is so complicated. They have spent years learning all the codes etc. It is time comsuming.
The goal is to have a website site make it easy for the consumer to have a problem solved. The process behind the scene is complicated and a web builder should be paid for their expertise and time. What goes in any website all depends on the functions you need.
It is often said, “My “friend” makes the best product EVER! She’ll Get Rich Selling it online. She will sell millions! . EVERYONE will want to buy her unique product.You SHOULD build her a website! …and do it for FREE because I am your friend and I’m poor.”
BTW; my statement above had no relevant KEY WORDS that told you or me about the product the friend has to sell. [ Make a note to your self to research KeyWords and SEO. Even knowing the basics will give a competitive edge over those websites than those who do not pay attention to key words.]
If you build a website customers will come, right?
Reality is – probably not because NOBODY cares!
Just because you have web site no one will find your greatest product EVER unless “EVERYONE” who want buy can find you and need a problem solved that your product can help with…. Unless you have a good marketing plan with the most popular social networks. (That is another subject. Social share buttons can be added to your website by the builder. But, someone has to be willing to click on those button to share with others.)
You have to stand out in a crowded market Place of Billions of Websites and the number is growing by every hour of every day. Click HERE to go to a website that will reveal exacty how many websites there are at the moment you click to read. TOTAL Number of WebSites
The directions to locate your product should be built into your website: Contact information; Description of the product you sell: How to pay for purchases if you are selling directly from your site or if you will direct your customers to a secure payment portal and catalog.
But you will still have to put marketing efforts and all of the well written content… or hire a professional to market for you and/ or to write updated content to relieve you of other management duties. You don;t have to do it all. You CAN hire someone ot help you.
[ Once your website is built by the web designer his/ her job is done. Unless you hire that person for other duties.
Most people who want a website make mistakes when jumping go into a website project. They are not prepared with the skills nor the money. ( Sorry, about the negativity. Better to read the bad news in the privacy of your PC versus not being prepared in front of website builder who is charging by the hour..)
7 Mistakes to Not Make When Preparing to Build a Website
- Not having an elevator pitch about the product. 6 Elevator Pitch Examples
- Not knowing WHO the target market is. Target Market Entrepeneur
- No having a have a business plan started. SBA Write Your Business Plan
- Not having researched is your intended business name is available How to Pick the Perfect Name for Your Business
- Not knowing what you need the website to do 5 things Your Website Should Do
- Do you have the content ready to describe the product?
- Do you have a logo idea? or is your already logo designed. You will need a logo ready to be inserted in your website.
- Trade Mark? Why?
must for anyone interested in starting a business to sell a product or offer a service…. important role of trademarks in that process, including a discussion of how trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, and business name registrations all differ. … guidelines on how to select the right mark—one that is both federally registrable and legally protectable.
A website builder’s time is valuable. Are they making a living by building websites? Then Time is Money. Your FREE consulation may be taking them away from another paying job.
If you do not have the answers to the questions above even scribbled out on a napkin then STOP to answers those 7 questions NOW. You are not ready for a business website until you know the answers yourself. No one can read your mind.
Question: Do you need to have a patent on your product?
How would I know? I don’t know what you want to sell to get rich? Nor does your website builder. It is your responciblity to do the research.
Question: Do you have a business licences in place?
Questions: Do you have an EIN?
Questions: Do you have to collect and pay SALES taxes?
Most common ANSWER I read on Facebook or face to face with friend goes some thing like this:
“No, why would I want to do all the goverment stuff like permits, taxes and patents? I heard I need a website. Should I use GO Daddy? .Isn’t Facebook a Website? it’s FREE .Who will build a site for me for free? I don’t to spend any money. I just want to sell MILLIONS and get rich! Why are you wasting my time asking all these dumb questions?”
At this point in the “free consulation or social Chit Chat the web builder will have stopped you, if they have not already…. let me tell you bluntly, no web designer wants to build a website that gets shut down because thes business owner did not do their required homework. It is the business owner’s responcibility to know about every legal obligation that must be in place to run a business. I used an analogy in a previous post about a TACO STAND.
A Website is Like Unto a Taco Stand: Analogy
Let’s pretend you are known are making the Best Tacos EVER!
All your friends say, ” You should sell your tacos because your secret recipe is worth a million dollars. Build a TACO STAND!”
You get $$$$$ in your eyes with this encouragement.
Do you think you can maybe set up a taco stand in your garage or sell tacos out of your trench coat on the street with out facing some…http://nonon-centsnanna.com/10-things-you-need-to-prepare-before-you-build-a-website/
Most of us jump in head first avoding a product description that is full of key words. Too many assume that the web builder will write the products descriptions for you….I suppose a web builder may do that IF you pay them to try out your product them write a description if you PAY him/her.
Question. “Let’s back up here…can you give me a 2 sentence elevator pitch on her unique product that everyone will want to buy?”
Answer. Why? it is an awesome unique product for EVEYONE!
You have been reading for a few minutes about putting together a website, right? And you still don’t have a clue of how to showcase your own unique product from my vaugue generalities like: EVERYONE and Unique, do you?
The GOAL to get rich is not a valid business plan, yet that may be the common general focus for the dream stage of a business.
Here is an exercise specific to your MILLION DOLLAR MONEY MAKER:
- Open up Note Pad: Libre Office or Micro Soft Word
- Copy and paste the lists of questions below
- Answer each question specific to your amazing product
- Be sure to SAVE often.
- Write out elevator pitch for your product
- Copy and paste research results on your competion.
- Google your planned business name. How many results come up on the the 1st, 2nd and 3rd page of results?
- What is your budget for a website? Now and in a year? In 2 years?
- Are there governmental restrictions or licences required for your dream product?
- Include your EIN and other business registrations on your work sheet
- What will be your CONTACT information? Will you post your home address or a post office box? Will you publish your personal phone number or will you need a 2nd line?
Taking notes in a saved document will allow you to edit and you organize your plan of action. Having eveything in some kind of document that is ready to attach and email to your web builder in a timely manner will be helpful from the get-go.
You want the most accurate and update information on your website when it is first published.
When a web builder has to go back in to update information it will take long time to for those edits to reflect every where. In fact your old address may last for a very long time depending on what a potential buyer has found about your product on line. ( The fact that I am a typo queen is testament to how long typos last on the world wide web.)
With those 7 questions and more aswered you may be ready to start getting your website together.
How far have your progressed into your Home-Based Business?
Before launching a website for your home-based cottage business, would-be “entrepreneurs” should consider several steps before investing in your prospective web builder’s time beyond an intitial consultation which may or may not be free.
More Details to Have Prepared
The following list may seem not relevelant just to get a website up. But, you really need to have more information ready to go for the back office. It will save time when you don’t have to make extra phone calls or wait for the postal carrier or an email reply.
- Have you done your research on your your industry to evaluate the competition?
- Have you reviewed current consumer trends, the current market, industry knowledge, and growth potential? A quick and and easy way to access this information is through the Small Business Administration’s Office of Economic Research.
- Have you checked your zoning requirements?
- Can legally manufacture your business’ product from your home? (Some HOA’s or apartments may have restricitons about operating a businesse like day care or a food service business or cosmetics manufacturing from a home.)
- Have your registered your business’s name with the city or county clerk.
- How will business be structured? Will you be the sole proprietor or if you will have a partner?
- Do you plan to hire employees?
- Have you applied for a have in your hand proper business license from your local and state government?
Where to Begin to Learn What Legal Document you May Need?
Don’t ask me? I don’t know everything. Nor do your Facebook Followers.
I DO know how to research with key words. Below I share a few clickable links to get you started on the appropriate research for your product.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not an affliate on any of these sources, nor do I endorse any of them. These links below may be eye-openers on the work you still have to do in fullfilling your dream or looking at another option.
There is no point in buidling a website only to learn after the fact YOU CAN’T LEGALLYDO THAT!
Do you need to apply for a copyright or patent for your product?
I did a search using the key words patent and copyright. Below are a few of the top results to get you started on your own search.There is a lot of information at those links.
Recently I asked a friend if the product he was about to launch had a patent pending. He replied, “Oh I’m not worried. This guy gave me the recipe and design. He won’t give me any problem.”
NOTE: Ok so these guys trust each other and I’m not a lawyer. But waht worries me for my naive friend is that he does not have a clue if anyone else had patent dibs on a similar product.
Note: I have a number of clickable links above as good resources. From experience many of my on-line writing friend have chosen to nt heed my advice…but wish they had.
Every now and then I will get a notice from Pinterest telling me they “had to delete one of my pins. The complaint was not directed towards me. ” I always feel horrible when an image I pinned from a post- not re-pinned mind you get deleted.. I assume that when I pin an image from a good source of information that they have the right to use the image on their website. But that is not always the case of honesty. As a general rule I leave and comment that I am PINNIng from their…Few ever answer my comments tho’.-it is professional courtesy at very least when we are giving free marking via social sharing perks to another website. Not every pictured used is legal to “borrow” .
When a website/ blog has images and the PIN buttons insalled there is an assumption the author wants you to share-. you know what ASS-U-ME means? YIKES maybe 1,000 of readers share an image directing to a post where that said image had no legal right to be used…ooops!
Read Pinterest Copyright rules: https://policy.pinterest.com/en/copyright
The problem is that bloggers and website owners all too often are using what they think is FREE SOURCE images that they may NOT have to legal right to use.
I learned very quickly to use my own images to avoid that legal problem..but, them I have had to file my own complaints with Pinterest as folks have stolen my images to e tushem to promote their own similar product…That is against the law and I can sue their pants off, but, so far I feel it is too much of a pain.
Who Owns the Images You See On-line? The answer will shock you!
Be very careful about the images you put on your website.
I use my own images or images from my professional photographer late father as I legally own the rights. Using my images with out permission is not legal, yet people do steal them.
lt has been awhile since I researched and found I do not need to have a copyright symbol on the image to be coyrighted. A copyright will be assumed.Each image has its own url that is traceable back to the owner.
Copy right laws also apply to ripping off someone elses recipes.
This one reason why I use clickable links to direct my readers to other sites or use a little bit of a quote with the clickable link. I sure hope I am doing it all perfectly legal.
TAXES? Oh my!
Why should you apply for a federal tax I.D. number from the IRS? Yes, cottage industries are subject to taxation. If you have paid employees you will need to have all those deduction schedules in place as well.
You are not anonymous. The legal authorites will notice you and will show up at your door for you on tax evation when you least expect it. Don’t take my word for it…do a search. That is what GOOGLE Is for. ( Bing and Yahoo to name 2 more. )
What kind of home made produsts have restrictions?
More than you know.
Below is only one clickable link to one kind of product. Trust me, there are many more products that have restrictions, so do your home work.
This overloaded post is meant for entertainment to get you strated thinking before you dive into an on-line business before you know how to swim. Doing business on-line may seem like an easy way to make a living, but, let me tell you it is harder than it looks for one man band.
Are you not overwhelmed enough with a To Do List for Buidling a Website?
Here is previous post of mine.