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Business idea - too ambitious?

(17 Posts)
PaisleyPashmina Mon 22-Apr-13 17:48:44

I'm currently in the process of writing a business plan, my idea is a review website specific to a certain UK market. I plan on making the site free for users to write reviews and hope to make revenue from ads on pages.

I'm passionate about my idea and really feel it could be successful, however I have no experience in web design or the advertising industry. Am I silly to think I will be able to run such a business?

mrscumberbatch Mon 22-Apr-13 20:55:11

First of all, do you know how expensive it can be to get a fully functioning website? For a basic website, with graphics/hosting etc it can be anything between £500 and £10000.

You need to look at web designers to figure out what kind of website you need. Is it a forum? Is it surveys? What's your format?

Also, does anyone else provide a website of this sort? If so, how popular is it?

Advertising is not likely until your page is established and has XXX daily users. Can you sustain your website until this point? (Could be years.)

DolomitesDonkey Mon 22-Apr-13 20:59:34

That's bullshit.

Hosting and .com from 123-reg =60 a year.

Wordpress theme from at around $40.

Total outlay = 82 pounds for 1 year and some time and determination.

I teach women to build their own websites.

OP, yes your idea is doable - it's called "affiliate marketing". You will need to produce great content to get google to love you and to build a following. It won't happen in 2 weeks.

mrscumberbatch Mon 22-Apr-13 21:08:50

Sorry Dolomites, I didn't consider template websites - they're just not on my radar!

DolomitesDonkey Tue 23-Apr-13 05:51:28

And I'm sorry for sounding so snappy. blush

The template websites have come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years and they do actually cover reviews, forums and just about anything you can think of - it's not all "moonfruit" style stuff.

There was a lady around these parts not long ago was told her website would cost a million quid! shock She built it herself!

DolomitesDonkey Tue 23-Apr-13 05:52:26

Sorry, not a million, 100,000.

It was a million quid if each user was given an ipad to view it on. grin

PaisleyPashmina Tue 23-Apr-13 08:38:36

mrs I've been made aware of how expensive it can be told build a website, I must admit I had no idea initially!

The only other website that is similar is American, it is successful and was bought out a couple of years ago by a large company. I understand it could be years before I reached the number of page views needed to make money from advertising.

donkey That outlay sounds mote achievable. Ideally, I will start up using templates then learn new skills to modify/update/customise the website as I go along. Affiliate marketing is spot on.

You mentioned you teach women to build websites, is that part of a charity/scheme? I'd love to see the thread with the huge website quote if you have a link.

Thanks to you both for giving me a reality check/confidence boost. I know it won't be successful overnight and I'm sure there will be some hard learnt lessons along the way!

QuintessentialOHara Tue 23-Apr-13 08:48:58

Gentle suggestion, before you go ahead with your business plan, have a look at what your local adult education offer in terms of digital marketing courses and business start ups. It will give you a clearer idea of what is involved.

Also, to get a better understanding of how Google works, look out for courses about Google Adwords, Analytics, and SEO.

I worry slightly that the service you offer will compete with Google Plus? It has not taken off yet, but google is pushing it more and more as a competitor to Facebook but with a focus on reviewing businesses.

I have my own opinion on templates, and their usefullnes, along with costs of webhosting, but I am not going to risk the wreath of Dolomites, so I will leave it at saying they are fine for small local businesses that dont plan on having millions thousands of users adding content daily. You will soon run out of space.

If you are in London, you can go to Earls Court Today, there is Infosec and also Internet World Show going on 23-25 April. I am heading down there in a minute, doing a workshop before lunch.

tigerlilygrr Tue 23-Apr-13 08:50:41

Paisley someone I know started a business at Uni which flopped a year later. (Can't give details, it will out me). Some of her business partners dropped out but she thought there was one aspect of the failed business which could be made to work. Ten years later she now employs hundreds of staff, has spoken on conference platforms with at least one UK prime minister ... And all from an initial outlay of £500 and her time, plus a very healthy dose of persistence.


PaisleyPashmina Tue 23-Apr-13 10:42:42

OHara I think you're spot on about finding a marketing and google course. I will find out what is offered in my local area. Unfortunately I live in Yorkshire, so unable to get to Earls Court, good luck with your workshop.

I don't see google+ as competition as it is a little more niche than reviewing businesses...I don't want to say too much just yet. I agree that a site built from templates will not work on a larger scale, I feel it may be a good starting point though.

tiger Wow, that is incredible. Sounds as though your friend had faith that paid off. I do feel my business idea has real potential, the idea came about after an experience I had where I wished I could have voiced my opinion/find opinions of others. I am passionate about my idea, I just need to translate it into a business.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 23-Apr-13 11:04:00

This Review website is $50. There are plenty to choose from.

Unless you're independently wealthy, it would be a massive mistake at this juncture (I believe) to sink $$$ into a bespoke website with a private server. If your business makes money then you can scale it and hire in the people you need.

Right now, it's a punt.

Facebook started with one website in one college on one server.

quint I agree with you. But she doesn't, and she WON'T have 1000s of users updating content for quite a while!

PaisleyPashmina Tue 23-Apr-13 11:13:44

Donkey I think it would be risky to spend thousands to start with. If I have a basic model and improve/invest when it is required. I do plan on speaking to a web designer though, to cover all options.

INESSENCEcoachALEX Tue 23-Apr-13 21:22:13

Hi Paisley -

I LOVE that you are pursuing your dream. I support many women to start-up and grow businesses they are passionate about and know that with a heart-centred, smart and strategic business plan; the right support for business growth AND house-hold well-being; clarity and confidence you CAN DO THIS. Many others have - IT IS POSSIBLE.

I have two thriving businesses that I have grown part-time, and I did this without previous internet/ on-line content based marketing experience. Everything in the on-line world changes so quickly that most of us on-line Mumpreneurs learn as we grow. Having said that, my one investment was my website. Even here though, you can start with something simple and develop it as your business evolves.

Some tips: Start small but think big; make plans and take decisions from your destination not your starting-point; give priority to clarity-of-mind and self-care and keep organised. And above all, acknowledge yourSELF for living your dream!



NotYouNaanBread Wed 24-Apr-13 07:08:06

You definitely need to learn about digital and affiliate marketing asap. It's a vast field, but you could cherry-pick your studying from free online resources, not all of which are lightweight.

If you have small children or restricted time, a formal course taught in a physical location might be impractical for you (and the money better spent on your website!).

You could start with this -

What are your SEO skills like? If you don't understand it, start with this -

and then (because I think you're going to have to know a LOT about how to use it to make a site like this work eventually) you could move on to this:

I'm sure there are other courses online that would be relevant, these are just the ones I point my own staff towards (and I would be delighted if anyone had any more to recommend?).

Now, I'm off to lose myself in themeforest for a bit...

PaisleyPashmina Thu 25-Apr-13 09:43:22

ALEX Thanks for your insight and encouragement! I went on an enterprise course yesterday and received some valuable info and will be paired with a mentor to give me support if/when I need it. I am incredibly passionate and it is all I have been able to think about.

Congratulations on having two thriving businesses! it's good to know that someone else started with little online knowledge and learnt along the way...thank you for your tips too, very inspirational.

Naan Thank you so much for those links, they're exactly what I am looking for. I have researched digital/affiliate marketing courses in my local area and they're all inconvenient or expensive. Definitely money that would be better spent on my website. I too would love if anyone else has any other courses or resources they recommend.

Thanks again for your advice, it's incredibly helpful!

lovefreelance Thu 09-May-13 10:02:07

I started my own business recently, and needed to learn about SEO and affiliate marketing. I spent a couple of days just searching online and learned all I needed to know - for free! There's loads online if you have the time and inclination to search and teach yourself smile

upintheclouds Thu 30-May-13 18:45:34

I am just starting up my own business selling ebooks. I know nothing about about websites etc but I found www. people per hour a useful site. If there is something you really can't do then check it out.

Prices range from 9 pounds upwards for the different services. I managed to get my book covers designed for a fraction of the normal cost. I agree with lovefreelance about using the internet for free information as I spend hours browsing and researching each day. Good luck with the business.

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