Research for new low-cost web agency business(5 Posts)
Hi, I'd like some thoughts/opinions from non-techie people who have set up or are in the process of setting a website (especially eCommerce) for their small business. As a bit of background I am a web project manager with lots of experience of managing offshore developers who has also set up a successful eCommerce business myself but have now realized that web project management is where my heart is and want to do it on a freelance/flexible basis. I am thinking of starting a service aimed at startups/mumpreneurs, offering low-cost help with off-the-shelf tools and websites which are much cheaper than through normal agencies because I would use low-cost freelancers.
Do you use free tools like Wordpress, Magento etc and if so have you been successful? If not what sort of help would you benefit from?
Has anyone used freelancer websites such as freelancer.com or PeoplePerHour to create their website and did you find this easy and successful? If not what problems did you have?
What benefits do you see in using a traditional web agency over the above methods even if expensive?
Would you use a service that either helped you to install, configure and customize one of the free tools or offered low-cost websites.
Any other comments appreciated.
I have built 2 websites for my small business now, and I would consider myself just about computer literate but with no clue about web design. I am probably in your target market.
My first site was with MrSite, my second with Wordpress.
I have struggled with various things throughout the whole process (and am still having some difficulties now). The thought of having someone on hand just to ask about these little things would have been so useful. But, the best help I have had has been from other mumsnetters! I have had so much advice and encouragement from here that I have just about managed without having to pay anyone.
And that may be the main obstacle for you - if someone is using a free or cheap service to build their website themselves, they obviously do not have a big budget, and would probably be unable to pay someone for outside help.
This massively depends on your pricing in my opinion.
How would you structure your services and how would you get this across to potential customers? Eg would they pay a monthly fee for your ongoing support, or would you charge one off fees for bits of advice, or are you planning to actually build the websites on behalf of your customer?
I'm not really clear on what your business will entail.
I use wordpress and want to make the move to wordpress.org to set up an ecommerce site. I would find it useful to have help with transfering my website and would love some advice on what tools I need to have un place to allow transactions (sage pay, pay pal etc). Does that answer your question.
Thanks for your input so far, very helpful. ethelb do you think as a small business startup you would be prepared to pay for someone to set up your Wordpress site for you, customize templates and setup online shopping with payment gateways etc as a much cheaper alternative to getting a website designed from scratch?
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