My brother and I are setting up a data recovery business with the hope of giving up our day jobs within 18months to 2 years,
We have a webname, we have the hardware and software and my brother are both highly experienced computer uses but we need help on:
1. what is the best software to use to build our site?
2. Should we pay to have the site professionally designed?
3. Is opening an ebay shop a good place to start
4. When does UK VAT laws effect us?
5. How can we market ourselves?
6. How do we get google to notice our site?
I regards to the SSL certificate.
I want to set up a store and i found openSSL, would this serve for that purpose or do istill need to buy a certificate from somwhere?
The "best" software to use is a difficult one to answer, simply because everyone has their own preference, and it depends on your level of knowledge. A lot of people promote Dream Weaver , but it's expensive to buy and you'd have to spend some time learning to use it.
I prefer Namo (www.namo.com) because it's fairly straight forward, but it's also commercial software, thyough much cheaper than Dream Weaver. If you want a good free WYSIWYG HTML editor, I suggest you take a look at NVU. Use NotTeab Light if you prefer to do it "Notepad" style.
Paying to have the site professionally designed is an option, but the problem is the designer may not have a clue. For example a lot of "flash" may look cool but it makes your site too heavy on bandwidth and not everyone has the right plugins (mobile phones users for example).
There are lots of places on the Net where you can get free templates and edit them with a free editor like NVU. If you do need help with design though, send me a Private Message - I'm always available to help.
You can skip e-bay. Rather print 1000 flyers and 250 business cards to get started. Browse the Yellow pages and send letters by standard mail to business prospects in your neighbourhood. Do a little tele-marketing too. You're likely to get a better response this way.
I'm not sure about the VAT laws in the UK. Our VAT laws only affect us once we have a reasonable turnover. Before that, registration is voluntary, but some companies won't do business unless you are registered. You'll have to find that out from your local tax office or at the government web-site.
Regarding Google, you'd obviously want to register on google.co.uk. Make sure your web pages are setup properly before you do. I'm sure there are a number of people who could advise you on this in-depth.
Word of mouth is a great way to get started. Once you do some work for clients make sure you do such a good job that they tell others about you.
As for an editor, I use PSPad, free and simple, there are plenty out there though. There are plenty of free CSS templates out there, try using one of those, it will go a long way to making your site look professional.
First off want to wish you luck on this. The fact that you are planning ahead really makes a strong point.
I use Dreamweaver myself for web design, but you have some options here. Depending on what you will be using your site for depends on how much you want to put into it.
Are you going to use it get customers, or direct current customers to it. Do you plan on using it as a brochure type site, or selling off of it?
Marketing really is easy, once you develop the marketing plan. I can help you develop the plan if you want. I'll just give you the parts and some tips and you can put it together.
just message me if you are interested.
But if I could make a bold suggestion. Before you do anything answer these 3 questions:
What kind of customer do I want to serve?
How will I compete with existing options available to my customer?
What kind of image do I need to build in order to gain my customer's attention, interest, and trust?
Those are the cores to developing your marketing plan, I talk to a lot of businesses that are struggling or worse because they didn't decide this and got into the "me too" business.