Starting a Small Business Online

The first thing you have to do is decide what type of business you would enjoy. It is important to offer products or services that are of interest to you. Once you figure out what type of business you want to start then you will be able to take the necessary steps to set your business up online. You will need to advertise your business so that people can get to know all about what you are offering. Advertising can be done online or offline for your new internet business. You will find many internet advertisers to help you with advertising your new business. This will help to lead traffic to your business website.

When starting up a small business online you will need to put products or services on your website. If you do not have a website, there are many web designers who would be happy to offer you their services. There is always the option of making your own website – all it takes is a little hard work and the patience to learn something on your own. You will need to think very carefully, about what products and services you want on your website because you want items that will have a good chance of selling to make your small business a success. It is a good idea to place a few items up for sale just to see how well they do. Then you will know how much inventory you will need to carry for each item. After your website is set up, you will need to advertise as much as possible.

The internet is a great place to set up a small business. If you advertise often, you will get a good deal of customers looking at your website to buy your products or services. Any information that you need to know about running a small online business is available online. You can research products and services to see what is selling well so that you will know what to offer your customers. There are countless resources online for tips on running a small online business. Just be sure to make sure the sources of the advice you take from the internet are reputable. It is very important when starting a business to take advantage of all the marketing and advertising tools you can get to make your business a success. Your website will need to generate enough traffic to stay in business – the more your website appears in search engines, the more traffic you will receive.

The prices of your products and services should be competitive with other websites offering the same products or services, so it is good to do some research in advance to know how to set your prices. Your website should be interesting and easy to navigate, and you should have a contact email on your website for customers to contact you to ask any questions about your products and/or services. This will encourage your customers to come back again. It takes time and patience when operating a small online business. You have to advertise and build a website so that people know what you are selling; these things take time so it is important not to get discouraged in the beginning.

What Do I Look For in a Website Designer?

If your thinking of having a new web site or re developing your existing site, it’s important that you select the best web design agency for you. Affordable Web Design, offers you excellent service, fantastic websites at a fraction of the cost.

Below we have listed some of the things you will need to consider when planning on have a website designed.

The price of your website may vary a great deal, you can pay a fortune for a very simple one page website, prices generally start at around $400 for a normal web site. This price will vary off course depending on the level of design and functionality that you are looking for in your site. It’s important to keep in mind the standard of work that the website agency can produce, and the amount of customer service that they provide. You will want a web design agency that provides you will after sale service and does not just take your money and run. Remember that you will get what you paid for with most agencies, but it’s best to do some research into the company before you select them. Cheap does not always mean nasty in the web design industry. Many expensive companies can provide you with poor work.

Also keep in mind that the web design company you are thinking of having your site built through can do a search engine friendly site. The term SEO (search engine optimisation) can often be over emphasised by most web design agencies. They promise to get you on the front page of Google, charge you a fortune, but then provide no service for this. Check previous work they have done in relation to this to make sure they can do what they say.

Remember that first impressions make a huge difference to how your prospective client will view your site. So ask as many questions as you need to, because if you don’t you may end up with a website that is nothing like what you want.

It is possible to find yourself an Affordable Website Design agency with minimal effort, but it’s advised that you take into consideration the points stated, and research the design company as best you can, this will save you time and money in the long run, and provide you with a fantastic web site you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Design Online Concept Gathers Pace

The design online concept has been around for a long time. Customers have been able to design their own business cards, birthday cards, mugs and t shirts for years. It has taken a while but the concept looks to be coming more widespread with even small bespoke furniture makers offering design online facilities for items such as oak coffee tables.

Clearly the customer will pay a premium for such a service, but the benefits, to me, justify spending that bit extra. Whilst researching the design online concept I came across a number of products that would typically cost double their mass produced equivalent, yet the personalised end product represents fantastic value. A good example would be the door mat my sister purchased recently. She’s one of those people who goes that extra yard to make her home as welcoming as possible, and now she’s the proud owner of a door mat which states “Welcome to the Critchley’s” – how much more welcoming can you get?

Another example would be the major sportswear manufacturer offering a design online service for sports shoes. This has got me well and truly hooked. I will be ordering a pair a trainers once I’ve finally decided exactly how I want them, but there’s just so much choice available it’s taking a while.

In my opinion the concept appears to be evolving. Firstly, from my research, we had the business cards and t shirts etc. From my limited knowledge of both products, I can quite easily see how they can be custom made with modern technology and both are easily transportable. Second, we have the huge multinational companies making products such as sports shoes exactly to the customers requirements. Again with my limited knowledge, I struggle to see how this could be profitable initially – certainly compared with mass producing by the million. I wonder if such companies have seen a future whereby the customer, rather than seeing the concept as niche, demands custom design and views it as standard?

Now, small companies are getting in on the act. Online trade is becoming overcrowded – it’s not as easy as it used to be. Therefore some smaller companies look to be going down the design online root, rather than compete with larger companies selling identical products. Home Farm Oak is such a company, they offer a design online facility where customers design their own solid oak coffee tables [http://www.homefarmoak.co.uk/available-now.html] online. Typically the customer pays a small deposit when ordering and pays the balance just prior to delivery. Whilst this clearly isn’t as simple as designing your own business card and I doubt it will be as exciting as designing your own sports shoes, it is a fantastic example of how small companies are fighting for market share. It also, in my opinion, offers an insight into how online trade will evolve in the future – where the customer will demand what they want – exactly how they want it.

Website Design – Things to Look Out For Before You Outsource Website Design

If you are not well-verse in website design and development, developing a website can be a very tedious process. You need to deal with all sorts of things like HTML, tables, CSS, slicing, etc. So I believe that you should spend your time on what you do best and outsource website design to an experienced web design agency.

When you decide to outsource website design, it is important that you find a trustworthy and capable agency to do the job. In this article, let me share with you a few things to look out for before you outsource your website design.

Firstly, you must know who you are dealing with. Usually, an agency will send a designer and a salesperson to talk to you about the project. During the meeting, you should ask them a series of questions before you decide to engage them. No question should be left in your mind. This is the best time to clear any doubt you have. On the other hand, they should have a series of questions to ask you too. They will want to find out the direction, corporate color, target audience and other information about your business. You should try your best to answer every question so that they can design a website that suits your vision.

Next, if you do not have a clear design for the designer to work on, you should give the designer a few sites to take reference from. Try to give the designer as much information as possible to facilitate the process. Once they are done with the first draft, they should send you the initial sample. Take a look at the sample and don’t be afraid to point out anything that you don’t like about it.

When you outsource your website design to an agency, open communication is very important. They will not mind if you drop them an email with more information or when you have any question about the website. Open communication minimizes misunderstanding and makes the project goes smoothly.

These are some of the things to look out for if you want to outsource your website design to an agency. If you are not well-verse in web design, it is best that you spend your time on the things that you do best. Leave the tedious development to the professionals.

A good website is like a good salesperson. You should not compromise the quality of your website for anything. So be serious about this and create a good website that will bring you more business.

Finding a Digital Agency: What to Look for in a Web Design or Web Development Agency?

Narrow down your digital agency selection using our handy top ten tips on choosing a web design agency.

1) Check out their own site

Do you like it? Does it sell to you? Does it contain all the types of skills that you’re looking for e.g. good web design, well designed user interface, well built, works on mobiles. Does it impress you?

2) Ask to look at their portfolio

Are the case studies recent? Do you recognize the company names? Do a Google search and check that the companies exist and have the same website that the agency designed. Do you like the website designs they have produced? Ask yourself: Do they represent the company well? Would you use this website? Do they have experience of website design in your field? Do the website’s meet their objectives?

3) Check References

Ask the web agency if they can send you references or testimonials from customers. And when you get these testimonials, make sure you check them out. Call the clients up and check that the testimonials are real.

Finally, ask how long the agency has been running. Age doesn’t always matter, but it does help to identify experience.

4) Capabilities

All agencies will be good at some things and not at others. Find out what they have experience in and what they do well, they often have a bias to one content management technology or another. Often, it’s helpful to get the CV’s of all staff employed. The best agencies will have a balance of online marketing, development and creative. If you have specific requirements – make a list and ask the agency what their proficiency is in the specific skills.

5) Availability – Service levels

Check that they can meet your needs. Quite often companies have a client account team in the UK but their main development team may be based elsewhere. Make sure you get a phone number not just an email address (and not a premium rate number either). Ask the web design agency what the turnaround time is for responding to emails.

6) Resourcing

You want your web design agency to be big enough to ensure that if your account manager is off sick or on holiday your business is not forgotten.

Do you prefer a larger, higher resourced agency or a smaller, more flexible agency? The general rule would be to find a web agency that’s resourced to reflect the size of tasks and projects you require. If you have 1000 employees but your actual marketing and development budget is reasonably low, you are only likely to need an agency of 5-10 employees. If you have 100 employees, but you are heavily reliant on outsourced projects, a larger agency may be more suitable. No one size fits all!

7) Age of agency

Age doesn’t always matter, but in this industry it can be an important factor. The web has seen many changes in a relatively short space of time, if a website design agency has been in business for five or more years it have obviously been managed well. The internet has seen the boom and bust of many company’s; those that live to tell the tale are obviously being run well.

8) Are the staff approachable and professional?

It’s important that you connect with the people managing your account. The best results will be created when you forge a partnership with your web agency.

Do they provide an off the shelf package, or do they tailor their resources to your needs? Do they use a lot of jargon or explain things clearly? Have they provided relevant suggestions suitable for your business? Far too often, company’s try to sell you products that you don’t need and are not tailored to your needs.

9) Check out the agency’s terms and conditions

This is quite important and helps avoid problems further down the line. Here’s some helpful questions to ask:

  • Are there any hidden costs, like set up fees or holding fees?
  • Can you make staged payments for your web project?
  • Are updates and maintenance included in the website design fees?
  • Are bug fixes charged for?
  • Will you get a copy of the source files?
  • Who owns the source code?
  • Who owns copyright of the design?
  • Are the files back-up?
  • Will it work on smartphones?

10) Do they outsource their work?

Check to see if your project will be developed in house or if it will be outsourced. Ask to meet the design or technical team. If work is going to be outsourced, find out where, are you able to contact the team? There are many cases of company’s who have an account management team, and an outsourced development team. It’s common for technical development to be done off shore as resources abroad are cheaper. The problem with this scenario is guaranteeing the quality of the work produced. Does the account management team check the back end code? Does it meet current guidelines and legal requirements? Can they be flexible enough to meet your needs?

Want a web agency with a difference contact Alchemy Interactive