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  • #978287
    andy00
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    • Total posts: 23
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    Hi Guys,

    I’ve made a few posts recently trying to get my head around some things in regards to having a small (tiny) online busines, in fact it’s probably not even a business as it will cost me to have it and i won’t be making any money out of it to start with. It won’t cost me that much in the whole scheme of things, just getting a website up and then the monthly hosting fees and advertising. So i certainly won’t be losing my house over it!

    I’ve been researching Joomla, WordPress, web developers and more. The more i research the more clueless i feel and so my confidence to even make an attempt is getting worse each week!:rolleyes:

    I’m a nurse, so my business skills are non existant together with my IT, marketing etc. This isn’t enough to stop me from wanting to give it a go but i’m pulling my hair out with frustration!

    Have any of you started businesses online with ZERO previous knowledge? Did you learn as you go? Did you do a small business course? Have a mentor? Are there any groups for the clueless?
    I’ve looked to see what’s available but many groups seem to cater for women who are already successful with established businesses etc.

    Any opinions would be great.

    Thanks for reading!

    #1105955
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi Andy00,

    It’s probably still a business, even if it is costing you money in the beginning. From a tax perspective, and to obtain an ABN etc, it is a business if you have the prospect of making money, even if it’s not initially… So, just keep that in mind moving forwards :)

    If you are not familiar with the website side of things, I would encourage you to engage the services of a web designer and/or developer. Some of the ‘DIY’ systems are good, but it is time consuming to do your own, and probably more so if you are not already familiar with doing it. Time is money obviously so paying someone to do it for you might be cheaper in the long run.

    I had previous knowledge when I decided to start my own business, as it is in the same field that I have worked in for many years so was able to use that work experience for my own business – but, I still learn as I go – especially when it comes to marketing related tasks.

    As to groups, even if some are for ‘established’ businesses or women that have already become successful, these could still be good groups for you – you can learn a lot from those that have been there and done that.

    Otherwise – check out your local council. I know mine has regular seminars and event catering for all different aspects and stages of business.

    Wishing you all the best with it :)

    #1105956
    MyGreatIdea
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    Check out your local business centre – here in Perth they’re the Small Business Development Centre. They are government run and funded, offer advice, resources, and plenty of workshops.

    When I first started I had a lot of outsourcing to specialists, but nothing really tying the whole business together. I found a couple of visits to the SBDC allowed me to get an overall view and fill in the gaps where my knowledge was limited.

    It’s free, so all it will cost is your time.

    Good luck !!

    Wendy :)

    #1105957
    nikkiiwhite
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    • Total posts: 4
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    Hi Andy00,

    Thought I would answer some of your questions separately:

    andy00, post: 117639 wrote:
    I’ve been researching Joomla, WordPress, web developers and more. The more i research the more clueless i feel and so my confidence to even make an attempt is getting worse each week!:rolleyes:

    In my opinion when you are starting a business and “clueless” about websites etc that you go with someone who can set this up for you. Over time you will learn more and more about websites but to just start your business and get something out there, I would suggest outsourcing.

    This in itself can be a minefield and I see so many start ups getting ripped off from website designers. If you would like to PM me, I can suggest a few companies for you to try.

    In terms of software, in my experience I would stick with WordPress – it is easy to manage the backend once setup and you will have total control over your webpages.

    andy00, post: 117639 wrote:
    Have any of you started businesses online with ZERO previous knowledge? Did you learn as you go? Did you do a small business course? Have a mentor? Are there any groups for the clueless?
    I’ve looked to see what’s available but many groups seem to cater for women who are already successful with established businesses etc.

    Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and yes.

    I started my business over seven years ago and have learnt so so so much along the way. Yes it’s great to do a small business course and I’m sure you will find heaps that are suitable for you (not sure what type of business you are starting). Find a mentor who can guide you through the process – even if you have to pay them to do this you will save money in the long run as they will guide you and suggest providers of services and have connections that you would not get on your own. The BEC centres here in NSW run mentoring for start up businesses (which the government is ceasing next year), not sure if they have this where you are located.

    All groups are for the clueless. Don’t be intimidated by the already established business owner – they were once like you one day and you’ll find most of them are more than happy to impart some wisdom on starting a business to you. Join as many groups as you can and start meeting other business people – when you find some you like offer to shout them for a lunch if you can pick their brains on a starting up etc.

    Gosh I could go on about this for ages… feel free to PM me to gleen more info if you feel so inclined.

    Hope this helps.

    #1105958
    Adam Claydon-Platt
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    • Total posts: 63
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    Good morning Andy00!

    Congrats on starting your own business!! It must be a very exciting time for you :)

    re: Websites, WordPress seems to be most popular these days – and it is very easy to use – so depending on your funds in these 1st stages, it might be worth putting a few very simple pages together, just to give you a rough idea of how it works… especially when starting up, you’ll often want to be making tiny changes / tweaks etc. to text on the pages… and if you have to ask someone else to do them all it adds up…

    re: outsourcing, I highly recommend vworker.com for one-off tasks – you can get practically any type of job done via there, for great rates! So, I’d suggest you:
    a) visit that site,
    b) post a job there asking someone to setup a WordPress site for you (be sure to include a simple idea of the layout you want, text and images to insert),
    c) then wait for people around the world to bid on your project.

    It should only cost you about $50, but you’ll get a decent website for it, and learn a lot about the outsourcing process (which will be valuable in future – over the years I must have used Vworker about 150 times for various tasks!)

    Hope that helps! Let me know if you ever have any other questions – it’s one of my greatest passions helping people get their new business off the ground :)

    And yes, you’re certainly not alone in starting your business with no prior knowledge! I started my first business about 8 years ago, have been learning continuously all along the way (no courses or mentors though – just great friends and family to bounce ideas off), and while every step is a challenge, it all makes the journey of life so much more fulfilling!

    Hope this gives you some comfort – and thankfully having awesome forums like this one make it even easier to get the info you need. Good luck with everything, and more importantly, have a wonderful weekend!!

    Adam.

    #1105959
    SavvySME
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    • Total posts: 201
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    Hi there,

    Thought I’d share my experience here too as it might help you. What I’d do to start off with is work out you budget for your website and approach some trusted web-developers in Australia or your local area. There are some great low cost options

    A story about what could happen if your outsourced without any knowledge of web programming:

    Outsourcing is great but if you are totally clueless about websites it might take you more time than you save in monetary terms. In addition if you don’t spend time researching how to handle contractors in the outsource market – you can be easily waste money on the wrong people. For example my partner runs a web design business for small businesses part time, and we have been approached by a member of a pretty large company (they sell to the commbanks etc. of the world) who wanted to go cheap on his web development. He was also a “newbie” to it and had no idea about code etc. When we went into the project because 2 of the developers he hired had left without a warning, the code was a mess. They had done things and left that completely ruined the website. He spent more money re-hiring developers than he would have spend just giving us the job in the first place. Simply because so much time was spend fixing the problems of the previous developers.

    When is outsourcing a benefit:

    The real benefit of outsourced developers comes in when you know what you are doing with code. You can direct them to structure it exactly how you want . That way when someone else comes in to expand the website they don’t have to spend time recoding everything – there is such thing as messy code that no one else can pick up at a later date.

    My Story

    I was an accountant 4 years ago and now I can build my own WordPress and e-commerce sites. When I started my first online business selling lashes – I had no idea. I had to ask a friend to build the site because I was so clueless and had such a bad experience with people I found externally. You will slowly learn more about websites as you go through your online journey and thats another benefit of having a trusted local partner – they will be able to communicate to you about the ins and outs of your website as you use it. As mentioned above there are people more than happy to help recommend some for you, which is great. The very first web developer I hired in Sydney off the service seeking site whom I got to meet face to face, took off with my money and moved. I visited the consumer court a few times with no appeal. It was a frustrating experience and put me off websites for a little while. Now with my knowledge I still have bad experiences with outsourced labour – but it’s getting better now that I know more.

    I have no doubt that you will grow tremendously through your journey, even it it’s costing you money now. Knowledge has no price and neither does experience – I wish ou the very best of luck and am happy to answer any questions you have about websites online etc. :)

    Thanks for reading,

    Wendy Huang

    #1105960
    BruceR
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    • Total posts: 195
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    Hi Andy,

    Starting a new business is daunting for anyone – they probably know their field very well (if not do lots of research!) but turning it into a business is a whole different kettle of fish. When I was starting out I did use a DIY website (I actually used Joomla which in hindsight was probably overkill as I didn’t need too many bells and whistles) – being new I had the time and although it did suck up a lot more time than I expected, the learning experience was very valuable.

    Using sites like vworker, freelancer or oneflare can be very cheap but you may be taking a bit of a gamble too (I don’t know as I haven’t used them). I prefer to use people I know and trust – from a network I’ve built up since going solo. Initially I tried to do everything myself (after all I did have the time) but now outsource more – I am currently having my website redone by experts.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck.

    #1105961
    Stockings99
    Member
    • Total posts: 31
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    Learning as you go is a big part of online business. It can be frustrating at times, like online marketing. Many people try online business but the ones that make it are the ones that are obsessed with succeeding.

    #1105962
    Printerboy
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    • Total posts: 151
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    Hi,

    You will be fine with starting a business!

      Spend a bit of time on google and related forums before you make any important decisions.
      If you get a website developer make sure that you have the whole website planned out before you let them loose, don’t allow them to guess what you are thinking.
      WordPress is easy to install if you use the right hosting accounts I use Hostgator. They have a simple to use installation in your account menu.

    * I have created a quick page on how to install a wordpress site as well: Installing WordPress

    Have you registered a domain name?

      Keep the name short, this makes it easy for people to remember.
      Avoid any names with duplicate spellings, and or hard to spell words.

    If you want to just throw ideas around I am always happy to talk over email:
    [email protected]

    All the best with your business.

    #1105963
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,739
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    andy00, post: 117639 wrote:
    Hi Guys,

    I’ve made a few posts recently trying to get my head around some things in regards to having a small (tiny) online busines, in fact it’s probably not even a business as it will cost me to have it and i won’t be making any money out of it to start with. It won’t cost me that much in the whole scheme of things, just getting a website up and then the monthly hosting fees and advertising. So i certainly won’t be losing my house over it!

    I’ve been researching Joomla, WordPress, web developers and more. The more i research the more clueless i feel and so my confidence to even make an attempt is getting worse each week!:rolleyes:

    I’m a nurse, so my business skills are non existant together with my IT, marketing etc. This isn’t enough to stop me from wanting to give it a go but i’m pulling my hair out with frustration!

    Have any of you started businesses online with ZERO previous knowledge? Did you learn as you go? Did you do a small business course? Have a mentor? Are there any groups for the clueless?
    I’ve looked to see what’s available but many groups seem to cater for women who are already successful with established businesses etc.

    Any opinions would be great.

    Thanks for reading!

    Hi Andy. Perhaps you could indicate what your objectives are with this particular business. If there a few then maybe post them all in order of importance.

    One thing is for sure – if you go ahead you will be successful in learning more about about the commercial / business world. Provided you don’t bet the farm, gaining a practical education can only be a good thing.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1105964
    andy00
    Member
    • Total posts: 23
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    Thanks everyone for your input.

    I’m just going to take it one step at a time and see what happens, I also have an appointment with a business mentor this week. I hope i come out of it a bit clearer.

    Thanks again!

    #1105965
    Mr B
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
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    andy00, post: 117639 wrote:
    Hi Guys,

    I’ve made a few posts recently trying to get my head around some things in regards to having a small (tiny) online busines, in fact it’s probably not even a business as it will cost me to have it and i won’t be making any money out of it to start with. It won’t cost me that much in the whole scheme of things, just getting a website up and then the monthly hosting fees and advertising. So i certainly won’t be losing my house over it!

    I’ve been researching Joomla, WordPress, web developers and more. The more i research the more clueless i feel and so my confidence to even make an attempt is getting worse each week!:rolleyes:

    I’m a nurse, so my business skills are non existant together with my IT, marketing etc. This isn’t enough to stop me from wanting to give it a go but i’m pulling my hair out with frustration!

    Have any of you started businesses online with ZERO previous knowledge? Did you learn as you go? Did you do a small business course? Have a mentor? Are there any groups for the clueless?
    I’ve looked to see what’s available but many groups seem to cater for women who are already successful with established businesses etc.

    Any opinions would be great.

    Thanks for reading!

    Hi Andy 00

    We were in precisely the same boat as you a while back. Had a vision for an online business but had no experience, was not sure exactly how to make it happen and the more we researched the more confusing and frustrating it became. On a couple of occasions we almost gave up and are happy we pushed through. So my advice is to keep going and you will learn as you go along, its part of the journey.We have used a mentor from time to time and would suggest using one. They can be found at the Small Business Mentoring Service. The most difficult part for us was finding a good developer within our limited budget. The expert developers were costly and the more affordable developers just underestimated the scale of the project. For us it boiled down to persitence and a bit of luck. I would only use local developers….forget offshore. Keep a very tight rein on your budget as you can bleed money at a rapid rate of knots if not careful. Lastly, dont be put off by what may seem overwhelming in the beginning and get started.

    All the best and good luck

    Andrew
    [email protected]
    http://www.findacarer.com.au

    #1105966
    andy00
    Member
    • Total posts: 23
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    Thanks Andrew,

    I’m actually meeting up with a mentor from the Small Business Mentoring Service later this week.
    I’m a bit nervous, as I mentioned earlier I don’t have any grand business plans and I’m not in any way a business person.

    I will take whatever advice on board and see what i can do.
    For the moment if I do decide on a website later on it will be with someone local as I will also need a bit of a “lesson” on how to manage it.

    Thanks again!

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