Will it fly?
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Hi Paul, First off, I don't use Facebook (I use LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+), so I would leave the site right away since there is no other option. What you want me to do besides go to Facebook is not clear. What are the steps or process, a prospect needs to go through, to use your services? There is a login key and box at the top right however there is no explanation of the steps to join, sign-up, ask for help or contact you. Complete contact information should be on every page and the top logo should always link to the Home page from every page using that logo (which is typically every page). Do you charge for your service (if so how much?) or is your service ad supported and free? How does your service work? I have no idea. You have, I think, what maybe the basis for of a good idea and it needs to be refined and well defined. In my opinion, the keys to a successful website, besides Ease of Use are: Who We Are, What We Do, How You Benefit, Who We Work With, What Our Clients Say (testimonial quotes or letters from satisfied users), The Next Step...Contact Us...or Sign Up for Our Free eZine (or download our free eBook) or Follow us on Twitter (or all of these). Do you ask for testimonial letters or comments after someone uses your services? I would avoid words like crappy (a real negative and turnoff). Why not register bestgiftideas.com or greatgiftideas.com or uniquegiftideas.com or giveagiveable.com or all of them and have them point to one main site or make them microsites? I would also register all the sites with dashes between the words such as give-a-giveable.com. It seems two pieces of flash are going at the same time (On top of the Facebook Banner and below it). I find this a distraction and confusing. Which am I supposed to read first? Which has the most important information I need to know to stay on your site? With all the artwork available, the site defintely needs an artwork upgrade. A good web designer would probably be a good investment. Again, easy to find on Twitter, Google Search, LinkedIn, etc. The navigation should be a combination of text and graphics (usually on the top and side) and there should be text links to each page at the top and bottom of every page. A Site Map is also a must. What information are you offering for free to add value to your site? What does the visitor get by doing business with you? There also appear to be no meta tags such as title, description or key words (Although I did not go and look at the source code). Your page title is simply "Giveable". What does it mean? You can use lots of words in your title tag, so why not take advantage of this fact. Last but not least, be sure to spell and grammar check every page. Typos and poor grammar take away from crediblity as a respectable and responsible business. Just a few thoughts...please don't take offense. Cheers! Ron LaVine @rslavine (Twitter)
I would say get a good patent lawyer and patent it first, but that might be more trouble than its worth: http://www.startupsmart.com.au/intellectual-property/patent-attorneys-under-fire-over-crippling-fees/201201175095.html Anyway, is it something that you can make at home? Depending on what it is, it might be worth trying to make some as just a weekend hobby, take them to craft markets, and see how they do.
Hi Katherine This one is now 8 months old so a lot may have already eventuated and you are either well on your way to a lucrative partnership or you may be sitting back reviewing your lessons learnt. In any case, it's probably worth mentioning for others these common pitfalls for startups, especially for those with little or no business experience. 1) Many new business people are so keen and preoccupied with their concept/idea that they will take shortcuts in an effort to 'make it fly'. This includes, among others, virtually giving their idea away. Don't be naive about business ethics. I'm not saying that most businesses and corporations are dishonest or dishonourable. However experienced business operators will have a far greater sense of duty to their own bottom line, their own financial business partners and in many cases their own shareholders than looking after you. You've not given much to work with but if you have an idea which is unique you definitely will need a strong Intellectual Property (IP) strategy. This will detail how you manage the information you have such has how it is rolled out, patents and trademarks, contracts, licensing agreements, royalties and fees etc. To develop a working partnership with another company you will need to demonstrate that you have what they need. If its not a patentable idea then you will need to 'market' your proposal to them. Be very well prepared as they may like the idea but may not feel you and your business are capable of performing. This is where you will need to already have 'runs on the board'. For example, if you want to distribute their product in Australia you will probably need to have an established distribution network and can demonstrate its benefits to your prospective partner. 2) All this may sound like you might need to spend a bit of cash, and you'd be right. Patents and legal advice don't come cheap and setting up systems and infrastructure will be even more expensive and time consuming not to mention a HUGE RISK if its especially for your prospective partner. At the end of the day will you have the resources to 'make it fly'? Many small business startups are grossly under capitalised leading to many problems and possibly closure. You must compile a startup budget and 2 year cashflow forecast as a part of your business plan before you begin. Just to be sure you heard me...You must compile a startup budget and 2 year cashflow forecast as a part of your business plan before you begin. 3) Make sure you can back your idea up with sound financials, planning expertise, a little bit of marketing nous and a dash of entrepreneurship. In my experience for many green startups these are not considered. Cheers Nigel Smith
Is the idea itself the make or break with the partner or do you think the overall package is a consideration too? If it's more than just the idea then i would suggest assembling a team and making a proper presentation. More often than not people don't want their time wasted, if you have assembled an impressive team that are all working on the same basis as you then half the battle is already won. In all of the cases where any deal of any size was made that i have seen it is more about the team and the sale of the whole package, including the returns that can be made, the investors/partners then asses that against their views of the people involved based on their own experiences/requirements and then go from there.
You can contact us if you like, we have our own inhouse programming team and develop for a number of startups. I would say though that we aren't interested in one side developments, we offer a simple solution which is 50/50. Generally as a rule of thumb we would manage 100% of the development work, whilst you would be expected to do 100% of the management of the site, promotion etc. We won't sign an NDA though, too many people with too many ideas. You have to make your own decision on whether you want to share it, having said that, if you can't do it yourself then eventually you are going to have to talk to someone. www.iltli.com
There are no specific rules on how to market products however one thing to realise is that there are many many other people also trying to market their products also so a good idea is to make sure that the basics are right to begin with. The few items i have mentioned here are not exhaustive and there are many other ways, i thought to detail a few, presuming of course that you are on a budget and that you are seeking to profit from the sale of these items, rather than investing huge sums over a long period to establish a brand. 1: You need to put your mind into the point of sale, typically the higher the margin you can give to the retailer, the more interest you will have in the product. Look at how much money the retailer will make from your product, aim for the best margins you can provide. 2: Try to identify the distributors for male clothing in your target territory, spend some time learning your industry, there are many types of distributor, market types, branded clothing distributors and so on. Try and pick a target based on what you can provide, there is no point trying to approach branded clothing distributors if you can't play the big brand game, settle for a lower market. 3: Think of how you can assit the distributor, typically offering point of sale material or catchy displays free of charge give the distributor goods that their own sales team can take along to their customers. Yes they might take a high margin but don't forget, it's their time and money you are using to approach your customers. 4: Face to face contact, go there and speak to people, don't leave it to emails and phone calls. Take the time to learn how to set up meetings and close deals there and then, don't be strung along. 5: Consider finding another business partner who will invest an equal amount of time and money to yourself who has the experience in merchandising. You might be sharing a slice of the pie, but if the pie you have at the moment is nothing then there is little point having 100% of nothing. 6: Make sure the metrics are right to begin with, the worst thing you can do is start a business where the money simply does not make sense. Build your business around solid figures. If you can't afford to play that game then don't do it, target a smaller market etc. Last note, money rules the world so the more margin you can get into the hands of the retailer and or distributor the more likely you are to get orders. I hope you found something in the few points i gave you, there are many ways to skin a cat but i really wish you good luck and a load of fun in your journey Matt :-)
Following on from Amanda's idea of writing the first two chapters: you could maybe release these chapters as an ebook to generate interest well before it is even in publishing. This would also assist in showing potential publishers that there is existing interest in your book. Good luck with it. I think it is great what you are doing.
Try to secure foundation advertisers, with more benefits now as oppose to later. Take them through your marketing plan and convince them how their business will benefit from advertising on your site. It may also help to give free advertising to a major player and leverage off that initially... Good luck. Helen
Michael Given that you are already thinking about how youre going to raise revenue from this and if your idea takes off, I suggest you form a company with relevant abn's etc that you need. I would also patent or copyright your idea to protect it from being copied. Why leave yourself exposed? This is also if you are serious about making money from it? Helen
I must confess this 'gift' site sounds like a good idea. There is not much in the way of Australian websites and the big stores are horrendous things, not user friendly at all.
813 days ago
Can't wait to see what eventuates!
863 days ago
Me too Allan!
864 days ago