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building a website (buisness)

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does anyone have any experience/knowledge/knowhow on building a website for buisness use. Im looking to set up a relatively small (t shirt) company with a relative of mine, but I dont know how to b… Read More
amino Avatar
1d, 1w agoPosted 1 decade, 1 week ago
does anyone have any experience/knowledge/knowhow on building a website for buisness use.

Im looking to set up a relatively small (t shirt) company with a relative of mine, but I dont know how to build website and wondered if anyone has any useful links/pointers/or knowledge on the subject.

Ideally want to have a secure webpage (https) to take payments on as well as paypal payments, making it verified by visa.....basically making it as secure as we possibly can as well as having a promo code box etc etc, making a mailing list to email people, making it as secure and as stable as possible. Also not too sure on the legal side of things...can anyone just set up a site and start trading or is there some form of procedure to follow as you will be dealing with sensetive financial details etc etc ??


postage wise my gfs dad is one of the sales directors of royal mail/parcelforce so maybe hoping he can sort out some kind of deal with us for carriage of our products but thats to deal with further down the line.

How do I manage maintenance of the website and apply updates etc etc. If anyone can help in anyway possible I would greatly appreciate it.

reply here or via pm.

Many thanks everyone :)
amino Avatar
1d, 1w agoPosted 1 decade, 1 week ago
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#1
Can you give us more details please....

Potential market?
Ideas of turnover (monthly / yearly)?
Payment methods?
Advertising methods?
Any other useful information?

Making and maintaining the website is the easy bit, really it is. Getting the thing properly planned before you venture into it is the difficult part.

If you can give me more info I may be able to direct you further.

Cheers
Simon
#3
Ergh, that looks terrible!
#4
I’ve setup from scratch a successful online store as a side venture with an ex-girlfriend.

We used oscommerce a free out of the box online store. We use a company called threespires to host it and they helped us out with the SSL certificate to ensure everyone’s information was safe. The good thing about oscommerce is people are able to customise it and develop it. They then put their changes online for other people to use, so your promo codes are possible too. The secret with this option is to ensure you and your partners put the effort in design wise, with the aim of making it your own and not like the millions of other with the cheap ass template sites.

It’s a hell of a lot of hard work, but worth it in the end.

Also checkout [URL="www.shell-livewire.org"]shelllivewire [/URL]for business startup help or give me a shout
#5
the company will look to target age range from 16-27 age range but is open to anyone.

The company will make its own design tee shirts initially with scope to make exclusive distributers of overseas upcoming smaller brands.

as a parent offering we will also offer custom tee shirt orders for corporate events detailed to customer specs, photo transfers things like this.

I would like the website to accept all major credit cards securely with realtime billing and paypal, any others I should consider from your experience ? Im not sure if we need to be registered for legal side of being able to rpocess peoples card orders ??? not too clear on this


this is a small venture so advertising will be very very limited, mainly word of mouth, forum boards, ebay/ebay shop and listed on google, I will get someone to optimize the website so it comes up fairly high on the search, well thats the idea anyway.

im not entirely sure on what the turnover is going to be per unit atm as I have yeat to discuss with my relative/partner how much he is aquiring all the needed items for, im due to see him tomorrow evening to discuss this

anything else.....erm im probably giving myself about 12 months to launch this thing, I already have tee shirt suppliers with good quality shirts already have a press and all equipments.

Need to look into the carriage side of things, ideally want to make postage free or as little as possible anyway.

im also looking to implement a system a little down the line once launched where users/customers can submit their artwork and if approved and they go to press they can choose to either get a free teeshirt with their design or get a small % back of the profit on the users design based on a minimum sales of that particular design.
#6
You have a massive chalenge on your hands gettting to the top of google with an industry as competitive as t-shirts, you'll need an adwords budget of at least £50 a day.

You don't need to register the business, but you do need to register for tax i.e. sole trader. From their you can get a business bank account and from their you can subscribe upto a payment taker such as natwest streamline. Personally i'd stay away from paypal its expensive when it comes to processing transactions and the admin is a bit of a pain
#7
I realise their are hundreds of teeshirt companies out there at the moment, which is why we are trying to keep it fairly small atm.

My relative has various contacts within the City as hes a banker their so he will hopefully tie up the corporate event side of things and I can hopefully work with people on various car forums I frequent

I have gotten to know one of the main gumballer drivers personally (gumball 3000) who has just bought his own car place which is huge and his company has been around for a bit now so I want to talk to him about being his sole supplier and maybe doing promo stuff for the gumball, hes on his 5th gumball and is quite friendly with one of the main organisers of the event so im hoping something can come of that in the future.

I also know Savage of Savage London who makes the "NORTH, EAST, SOUTH, WEST, HACKNEY" etc etc teeshirts, you may have seen that chap on Bigbrother prancing around in it..cant remember his name anyway im hoping he can offer some advice on the market and how hes attacking it, hes doing amazingly and now has 3 stores in London (covent garden, Soho and portobello) amazing locations !!!! as well as a store in Stockholm

atm although the equipment is there i just want to absorb as much info as I can before starting to execute things
#8
I would like the website to accept all major credit cards securely with realtime billing and paypal, any others I should consider from your experience ? Im not sure if we need to be registered for legal side of being able to rpocess peoples card orders ??? not too clear on this


As with any online presence, payment from your customers is the main thing. Paypal and other services (Nochex is another UK one) are really a double edged sword. On the one hand you can accept card payments (at rather high fees compared to other methods) yet you are going to lose certain amounts of trade due to the fact that there will be people who do not want to use the service becuase of their reluctance to use Paypal or its equivalent. Also from a corporate side Paypal really is not a professional solution and will not be the kind of image you want to promote. There is also a monetary limit involved too, and if a buyer goes over that limit they will have to "sign up" with these payment people before they can continue to use its services. Paypal is fine for personal use, but shoud be used as a secondary system in a more professional situation.

So what are the alternatives?

Well you have two choices....

1) A merchant account with a bank. Ideally the thing you should work towards before you start trading. Getting a merchant accout is hard enough, especially when you have little or no financial information regarding your product sales. When you have it though you are looking at a wait of 2 - 4 weeks before getting paid after a sale has been verified, this can reduce depending on volume of transactions and time with the bank First thing is first, contact your bank and get the ball rolling on this. It can take months to get this agreed and sorted from your bank and will be needed to take credit card details over the internet. You may have to manually take details before you are allowed to take internet payments though. Check with your bank on this.

2) Use a Bureau service and gain enough financial experience and data before attempting to apply for a merchant account with a bank. This is the preferred method. It will cost you more per transaction, however will mean that you do not have to have a merchant account. You can get packages that allow you to take payments over the internet and also use of a virtual terminal for manually processing card details.

One of the biggest is Worldpay and the detials of thie service can be found here... http://www.worldpay.com/uk/sme/content.php?page=service&sub=start

Its a great way to accept credit and debit card paymetrns over the internet, and although there are fees for setup and also slightly larger fees per transaction, it means you do not have to have a merchant account to accept payment. Its a good way of accpeting cards while you are applying for your merchant account. The only hazard with bureau's is tha fact that you may have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for payment after the transaction has been verified, so you will have to make sure you can cove the lack of funds in the mean time. This will come down in time though.

If you are looking at corportate sales you will really need to be VAT registered too.

My suggestion... forget the website and all that for now, concentrate on how you are going to process payments, as after all without this you have no business.

As Berthablue said, you can get a domain and webspace for as little as £20 a year (plus the extra for the secure license) and create a great looking website and shop front for absolutely nothing. There is enough free software out there to cater for all needs.

But all that that really is some way down the line. Have a look at Worldpay, and get in contact with your bank before you do anything else.

Hope this has helped, if you need to ask any more please do.
#9
Simon_G
Ergh, that looks terrible!

:lol: I didn't quite realise the scale of operation amino was after until reading the post again :lol:


amino


atm although the equipment is there i just want to absorb as much info as I can before starting to execute things


How much did the equipment cost you? To do the sort of work you're talking about at the standard necessary for corporate clients I’d say quite a bit no?
#10
Well i looked into started up a business, Buying a ton of wholesale stuff and flogging it on Ebay and then setting up and running my own site, But its just so competitive and it seemed impossible to get a foot in!

Originally had ideas of selling wholesale xbox 360 games, I knew mates etc that would have quite happily bought them off of me as i'd get the cheapest price!, Could i find any wholesalers?................nope!

You sound like you're doing good so far though, Proper plans, Who the market is aimed at, Machines etc.

As for the website, I'd go for Oscommerce aswell, I don't have any website experience but had a test site up fairly quick, It did the basic layout for me, I just needed to do the pictures, The prices, shipping pages etc.

This is a Oscommere demo page : http://demo.oscommerce.com/
#11
thanks for all the help guys, going to print this off and re read it through and have a look at the oscommerce product:thumbsup:
#12
It's also worth doing your research into who sells these products onlne, then noting their exact domain, have a a look and see what close domains are available.

Just the odd letter or 2 different spelling mistakes can produce big business if you know what your looking for.

For example, yahoo.com is massive, if you got in early and picked up uahoo.com or yajoo.com you would be getting massive traffic. (Yes it's not targeted traffic but it is still traffic, and the many clicks on any ads on your site would possibly cover your hosting for the year along with your extra domains).

I know it's a long shot, but if your ever bored it's worth looking into which major sites have not yet had their most mis-spelled domains snapped up yet.

Then get out there and, buy them and point them to your own website.
#13
beerman1
It's also worth doing your research into who sells these products onlne, then noting their exact domain, have a a look and see what close domains are available.

Just he odd letter or 2 different, spelling mistakes can produce big business if you know what your looking for.

For example, yahoo.com is massive, if you got in early and picked up uahoo.com or yajoo.com you would be getting massive traffic. (Yes it's not targeted traffic but it is still traffic, and the many clicks on any ads on your site would possibly cover your hosting for the year).

I know it's a long shot, but if your ever bored it's worth looking into which major sites have not yet had thier most mis-spelled domains snapped up yet.

Then get out there and, buy them and point them to your own website.


On first read this sounds a bit crazy but beerman has a point. My boss is always buying up URLs for products he sells. So in theory with around a 1% click through and buy rate he easily pays for the URL from the dodgy traffic generated.

on the same hand when you punch in one my personal sites to google, 4 lines down is a dodgy rival trying to trade of the back of my site.

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