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Internet and Web Page Guide.


Think up good moneymaking ideas and you're on the first rung of the net revolution to making a fortune. It's not quite as simple as that, though it is possible to become very rich with the right idea and the right know-how. The trouble is it's a tall ladder, still - not an impossible climb.

If you want to make big money fast, then you'll have to work hard and take big risks. However, if you just want a presence or make a small living and build up from there, then at relatively lower costs and lower scales of business, you can do that as well.

Now, I'm going to attempt to show you the way to do it,

So listen carefully:


The first thing you'll need is a good idea, the best one's may seem to have been snapped up already but the list is infinite.

Now, ideas don't come easy (well not always). We've all spent time talking to other people only to hear them say that the idea is no good. Well, what do they know? Write as many ideas down as you can and leave them for a short while.

Go back to them later, say a day or week, and see if they still excite enthusiasm. Then go to your family and friends. Don't be surprised if they don't like it, and tell you all the reasons why it won't work: its impractical, its impossible, and its silly. They might be right but they'll more than probably be wrong. Remember one of the many good things about the web, is If it does'nt work you can always change it.

If you decide to use an old tried and tested idea, you'll just have to do some market research and make sure there's very little competition or plenty of spare capacity to accommodate you as well.

Whichever road you plumb for, before you spend too many nights burning the midnight oil, make sure it suits the web. A good Internet business offers a simple service to attract customers, that is: cheap, cheerful and more convenient. So give e-business customers a reason to use it.


I know I said that you can do this with very little money, but there maybe some of you out there who have already got a sure fire idea and just can't wait for Xmas. So this can either be for now or later, the choice is yours.

The first step is to attract first round or seed funding for web development and a management team: through venture capitalists, business angels and incubators, or find a management team who'll risk their own money. Remember your plan must be sound and a 4 or 5-page business plan will not be enough. A key element in the plan will be a directional change if the first course isn't working.

Do your research, make sure there's enough money in "your" market place to profit the money your investors are putting in. Unfortunately the bubble does seem to have burst for company's who out priced themselves and many more will fall by the wayside as time goes on. But a good idea, a sound plan, plenty of research, a good management team, the reigns held firmly on the money and you cannot lose.

It may take a little longer, but keep going, say, 12 months and prove you have a robust business plan; one that doesn't need furious financing. Listen to your customers and be prepared to change to meet their likes and dislikes. The beauty of the Internet is that you can get instant customer feedback, acknowledge it, and then use it in product development.

Always use as much of your own money as is possible, that way, a bigger chunk of the business will stay yours.

The first thing you'll need to raise money, besides your idea, is a business plan, then a demonstration to prove the technical side of your idea and a lot of shoe leather - unless you're really lucky. There is an online Business plan wizard, that might help. Also, raise an executive summary, containing the key points of your business. Just one page, so your potential investors can browse your idea.

Only pick companies, who are members of the British Venture Capital Association, (not necessarily true for other countries but I'm sure they'll help anyway) http://www.bvca.co.uk they have all signed up to a code of conduct which offers some protection. In any case, always get your own legal advice before signing.

Try some of these legal beagles:





Just remember the three R golden rule before you do anything!

Research, Research, and Research.

Now we'll move on to the hardcore stuff. This is what real sites are made of. I'm not at this stage going to tell you how to construct your site with:
HTML, ASP, PHP, CGI etc, that's for another section. This is about looks, content and a little bit more - so hold on to your hat.

There are four main stages to go through, all of which will have unique problems to solve; some technical, some financial.

They are:

Design, Develop, Test and Deploy

Each stage requires some sort of initial plan. You'll find it easier if you write it down first, draw sketches and research other web sites for useful information. Don't just copy them, use the information to develop your own ideas.

Some elements and ideas to ponder in the design stage:

Planning, Simplicity, Navigation, Interesting content, Good design, Ease of use, Simple back end performance, Help/instructions, Compatibility.


Consider first;

Who is the site for?

What information would they need and how would they want it presented?

What do I want my web site to do?

It is important to target the right audience, and that of course is dependent on the idea. Don't expect every probable type of buyer to be interested in your wares.

Do a little market research first, before you go full-steam ahead in the wrong direction.

Consumers surfing the net are given masses of choices and unless your information is more than clear, yet concise, you'll lose them.

What do you want your web site to do? be informative, promote ideas, sell ideas, enervate change, sell goods, etc, etc. Whatever it is, do not stray from your central idea anymore than absolutely necessary.

Keep the site simple. See how pages on http://www.orange.co.uk work.

Navigation should be simple and clear, allowing you to see the route from a home page to a current page.

The exit button should be clear with one button to the home page.

Consider a local search facility with a drop down menu if your site starts getting big. Look at http://www.bbc.co.uk for good navigation.

Good content is important. Put large spaces between paragraphs. Create interactivity if possible, a competition, a quiz or a game to entertain and interest your visitors, if appropriate.

Other forms of interactivity might be a request for feedback or discussion. Encourage people with environmental issues, they are always a good source of interactive discussion.

Good site design is imperative. Design the site as a kind of web tree. Dream weaver and Fusion along with some others have interactive tools to help to do this.

Content makes it interesting, data knowledge and information to target the right audience and customers.

Your site must be attractive, inviting and designed for easy and regular changes. It should be uncluttered, not too much plain text, as much image as is practical.

The site should be easy to use, look at http://www.imaginet.co.uk. Keep returned data information to the bare essentials. Keep the site running quickly while still looking pleasing. High quality graphics may have to be compromised to keep the site running quickly.

Supply a help desk file and link on each page to explain the navigation system, provide a site map.

Make the site compatible to as many versions of browsers as possible. This will open it up to more visitors. Use a JavaScript to determine which browser is used, or validate your HTML online at http://validator.w3.org it will check if all browsers can see your site and do many other checks as well, including checking hyperlinks, spelling, meta tags, how long the site would take to download and more. Finally when designing, use this on-screen philosophy: Simple is in, Useful is in, Interesting is in.


Questions to ask yourself and guide your development:

Do I need on line ordering?

How do I go about it?

How do I tell people what I've done?

To help you develop your site, look at good sites on http://www.useit.com and http://www.websitesthatsuck.com and learn by their mistakes.

If you decide to sell items on your site and take money over the net, you'll need a reliable and secure way of taking payment.

The best and most convenient way is through credit or debit cards. There are plenty of options. For example: PayPal, ClickBank, WorldPay etc, all with varying rates of commission and start-up fee's.

You can of course set up your own secure site, if you dare. Or, do it the old die-hard way and ask your customers to send a cheque or postal order up front. Create an order form that customers can print off and use to place their request.

Whichever method you choose, deliver your goods or services quickly.

Ideally, create a direct link with the order processing and the despatching. However, this might be cost prohibitive, so be prepared for a lot of manual inputting.

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