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  • #979292
    JoT
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    Hello everyone. What a great website full of supportive, knowledgable people. I have been wanting to start a small business for some time now. Sick of working for someone else and want to put my efforts into something that is mine. I live regionally (Tas) and I have decided I should go online. I have been struggling with business ideas but have a couple burning at the moment. One being the selling of horse treats manufactured by myself the other is becoming a retailer of UK country clothing labels that are not sold in Australia. I currently have questions around how I should conduct market research and the set up of an e-commerce website. I have been quoted 5k for the website incl logo design. In terms of market research I will be interviewing family and friends and listing some products on eBay to test the market. Is this enough? Look forward to many visits to this website.
    Jo

    #1113357
    sam_leader
    Member
    • Total posts: 660
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    Welcome Jo,

    Hope you find some answers to your questions via this forum.

    Please consider adding a signature to your posts, via the ‘Control panel’ in the top left.

    Good luck!

    Sam on behalf of the Flying Solo team

    #1113358
    adrian
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    • Total posts: 181
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    Hi Jo,

    On the market research, I’d avoid family and friends. They are far more likely to say an idea is great… Maybe consider doing some online market testing. A good book that discusses this is “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferris. The book has a lot of hype in it, and oversimplifies things a bit, but the stuff on using Google ads to test an idea, and see what people are interesting in, is pretty solid. Basically, put some different ads on Google, and see what people respond to best.

    Another smaller way of market testing for this may be to attend some small markets at towns near you, set up a stall, and talk to potential customers. Probably the most reliable market feedback…

    If I were you, I’d probably try to avoid setting up an e-commerce site at the moment. I’d probably start out with a hosted solution, so you just pay an amount per month, and then move to a custom site later when it proves worthwhile. I like Shopify, but there are a number out there, so have a look around and see what you like.

    Best of luck with your new business!

    #1113359
    The Hobbit
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    adrian_gray, post: 126587 wrote:
    On the market research, I’d avoid family and friends.
    Dead Right. Remember your friends are usually your friends because they have similar interests therefore they will tend to like the same things as you plus they’ll want to be supportive. Doesn’t make for good research results. Try local market stalls, and try different price ranges. Remember the objective is research information not sales, that comes later. The cheapest doesn’t always sell best, if you do it right.
    #1113360
    Divert To Mobile
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,751
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    Hi Jo,

    Welcome to the forum
    You have come to the right place for information.

    Regarding this…

    JoT, post: 126566 wrote:
    … and the set up of an e-commerce website. I have been quoted 5k for the website incl logo design….

    You could try some of the people on this forum, one memeber here made our website and I was really happy with the design and after sales service.
    this is the link to his profile

    Good luck with it all.

    Steve

    #1113361
    Anonymous
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    Welcome Jo,

    Hope you learn more in here. You sure come to the right place.

    Regards,
    jean

    #1113362
    BrettM33
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    Welcome Jo! Great to hear you have decided to be your own boss! :D

    I agree with the others about not using family/friends for market research as they aren’t always the most objective types.

    There are certain sites round the web where you can get people (sometimes targeted to your niche) to answer surveys; however it can become expensive if you want a large response number.

    Another idea is if you are a part of any forums/communities related to your field you can always post your market research survey on there.

    Adrian’s comment about using a hosted solution was a good one to save money starting off, but at the same time I’m not sure what happens when you want to move things to your own server; I believe Shopify has an export option to export all your items, but then you need to make sure the ecommerce software you use can import those items.

    Another option would be to start off using the base design of the ecommerce software you use and then upgrade later to a more professional customised design. It all depends what your budget is really and how you are comfortable with how the site looks when you first start off.

    #1113363
    JoT
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Thank you to everyone here for sharing your ideas and giving me some feedback. It is much appreciated.

    Jo

    #1113364
    BrettM33
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    If you decide to go ahead with using ecommerce software rather than a hosted solution I would be happy to help you out.

    Can help with just a basic solution that uses the standard design or do you up a custom design as well. Currently looking to get some more portfolio pieces so would be happy to give you a bit of a discount and hence would be able to do a better price than the $5k quote you got. :)

    #1113365
    kathiemt
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    • Total posts: 1,167
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    I would also be interested in helping you with your site, getting a logo designed and helping you to develop your brand. There are a number of things that can be done to help get you attention from those who would be interested in your product. I have contacts in the horse industry that would be interested in hearing about the treats you mention. Would the clothing complement that, i.e. be related to people involved in the horse industry? I could see opportunities there for the promotion of both.

    At any rate, very interested in hearing more about your proposed business ideas. And welcome to the forum!

    #1113366
    TheGoldenGoose
    Member
    • Total posts: 860
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    Hi and a huge WELCOME!

    :)

    Another note re: “market research” – make sure the audience for the research are within your target market.

    As someone said above – try not to include family and friends as they can be a little bias in these situations ;)

    Best of luck with whichever venture you choose!

    #1113367
    AdvancedPetSitting
    Member
    • Total posts: 357
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    I wholeheartedly recommend my designer. He is quick, has great prices and can do both your logo and web design. Send him an email to [email protected] and see what he can do for you. His name is Tim.

    Since I found him I use him exclusively for evrything I need, whether it’s business cards, brochures, website, logo, banners, signs…

    #1113368
    JoT
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Firstly, thank you to everyone for offering their assistance and encouragement. Depending on the response I get from my market research will determine my initial investment i.e. ecommerce or web hosted website and logo design. I will certainly have plenty to choose from given the contacts I now have from this site.

    In response to kathiemt….

    kathiemt, post: 126684 wrote:
    I would also be interested in helping you with your site, getting a logo designed and helping you to develop your brand. There are a number of things that can be done to help get you attention from those who would be interested in your product. I have contacts in the horse industry that would be interested in hearing about the treats you mention. Would the clothing complement that, i.e. be related to people involved in the horse industry? I could see opportunities there for the promotion of both.

    At any rate, very interested in hearing more about your proposed business ideas. And welcome to the forum!

    I would be interested in getting some feedback from horse people that I don’t know personally in regard to my horse treats. Would be happy to send you some samples or discuss my ideas with you further. The clothing venture I was treating as a seperate idea but they are linked. The clothing range would include equestrian leisurewear from popular brands in the UK. If you like you can email me at [email protected]

    Regards
    Jo

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