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I am currently starting up a New Online Store. The Store will sell Custom Designed Shirts, Mugs, Mouse pads, Hats, Aprons, Bags and ECT. I have $5,000 to spend on the design and probably another $3,000 to market the store.

Here are my questions:
1. Is that enough money to start a new Web Site Store?
2. Where do I find a reputable Company/Person to design and help me with the whole process? (Any References Appreciated)
3. Any other tips/recommendations that any of you have?

Thanks.
 

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Before you go spending $8,000 have you looked into the free stores that you can create through Cafe Press, Zazzle, Spreadshirt (if you are just a designer) or you can get a site through Pikiware (if you intend to be a fulfillment center), and then you can modify the HTML and CSS code within already established templates. That way you have $8K for marketing as opposed to just $3K.
 

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I am currently starting up a New Online Store. The Store will sell Custom Designed Shirts, Mugs, Mouse pads, Hats, Aprons, Bags and ECT. I have $5,000 to spend on the design and probably another $3,000 to market the store.

Here are my questions:
1. Is that enough money to start a new Web Site Store?
2. Where do I find a reputable Company/Person to design and help me with the whole process? (Any References Appreciated)
3. Any other tips/recommendations that any of you have?

Thanks.
the answer depends on your knowledge, experience and education background..

are u a IT? engineer? biz man?

if you have US$5000 for web site setup, u may invest $3000 to web site layout and $2000 to the design software.

remember u need both..a good looking web site and a functioning online design software...NOT just ether one of them.

:)
 

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try Khanik.com he is very good and he is willing to bargain but it isnt that expensive to begin with the prices are on the website
 

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I really don't think you need 5k to create a website. Check out divinedesigns.ca the owners name is Jesse. Great guy to work with, VERY professional and can work with a budget

Best of luck

Mikey
 

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there are many low price web sites (or even free) on the interest u may found. but, if u want a web site for biz and make money, and u yourself are not a IT ...my 2 cents, get a prof to do it do u.

biz is biz. fun is fun.
biz (if making money) is fun. fun (seldom) is biz.

and, good prof is expensive ...(good prof doesnt mean no need to pay bills ,,,)
 

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Get Wordpress, add specialized theme and then add the shopping cart plugin. There, you have a website and plus you learn some basic coding and installation.
 

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if you DIY it will cost you peanuts and a lot of time.

to have someone else do it right so that you get a lot of hits and make sales...yes, it does cost $ 8k or more. There is a great deal of market web research, programing and site-cosmetics work involved.



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8k is a lot of money... i agree that you should do more research first... check out a bunch of shirt sites and see which ones you like... which features...how fast the pages load... how easy it is to make a purchase...

there are free and low cost templates available also... Wordpress...Joomla... etc... if you are technically inclined...

save the money for things that will come up... thats one thing that makes running a biz difficult... running short of cash, when things come up...like... needing supplies/bills/electricity/unexpected things...
 

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Another thing to keep in mind is that an Ecommerce website store is basicaly the equivelent of a street store front.

street store front Location is the most important thing, in terms of a web store it would be top 10 on Search Engines. Today, it is very hard for new out of the box low budjet sites to land at the top because there are a gazzilion sites already duplicating Authority site's content.

So, it would take a very good writer to create unique content pages for you, along with all other very important elements in putting up a new site. This means that either you would write the content or you would need to hire someone else to do it for you. In this case, they would need to do a lot of research and learn your trade etc.....enough already. :)


I think thats how it works.

Look at this way, sure $ 8k etc is a lot of money. But its not if your website could turn around generate 200k in yearly sales.

Dont get me wrong here, Im all for Do it Yourself Websites, save money and have full control. Im the prefect example. :D



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Like many others here I would advise you to do some more research about what you WANT. Unless you have a clear idea of what functionality, design and results that you'd like to achieve, that $8k will disappear pretty quickly with your web designer, online marketer, copywriter etc. trying to interpret what you actually want and making changes once you have reviewed what they have delivered.

If you can give everyone (people quoting) a specific brief of what you want to achieve, they can be more accurate in their quote and you can be more comfortable that it will be delivered at the quoted price.

Hope this helps
 

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I agree with Jono...Your comments are spot on. My company specialises in website design and development. Without knowing what you really want..you may not like the result. Here is a link to some good information Australian Web Industry Association documents.
One area to consider is search engine optimisation. It provides a cost effective approach to achieving good results in the major search engines, we have had clients with only 10 visitors per month increase to over 500, this has provided new business without paid advertising.
Cheers
GAV
 

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.....we have had clients with only 10 visitors per month increase to over 500, this has provided new business without paid advertising.
Cheers
GAV
good info GAV.

Curious, using your above example of 500 visitors per day, would you mind giving us an idea of what percentage of such visitors DID buy and what the day sales were? :D

Thanks in advance.

btw: if anyone else can answer it, please do.


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Hi Lucy...The visitors actually increased from 10 per month to 500 per month. The company is involved in the construction industrry and does not sell on the web...Their quoting / tender applications have increased 35% and the scope / cost of projects has also increased. The company now has projects in other states in Aust and this due to the website exposure, as indicated by the MD. The SEO package has been operational for 12 months and is reviewed each quarter. Hope this helps.
 

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If you go with an american web deisng/consulting firm you will get way overcharged. I could get you a plethora of talented designer submissions for you to choose from and an entire site coded to your specs...likely for under 2k...and no more than 3k for most elaborate sites. It would be custom and original and not template garbage that you see for sale all over the net.

As a disclaimer...I am not the web designer...I just know a lot of trustworthy coders/designers that do exceptional work at a very reasonable price. I have had great experiences getting sites completed with this method and am in the process of finishing my own site the same way.....
 

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Try an open source web shop like zen-cart. (shopping cart software | Zen Cart Ecommerce Solution). It is free of any charges, easy to install and customizable. It has all the tutorials you need, and a very active forum where you can get all the help you need. It is worth trying...
Zen cart, os commerce and cre loaded are all pretty nice out of the box solutions, but a newbie doesn;t have the skill to plug that into their diy website and make it work properly. Also, I felt that those applications were very poor for the screen printing biz...it didnt allow the customization I was looking for to order multiple shirts with 3 colors on one side, etc etc. It works well for a retail shirt seller, but not for the custom work that many of us do here.

I am having one coded from the ground up that will allow me to have exact pricing for quantities, number of prints, number of colors, flashing, etc etc....but it will be user friendly so that the customer doesnt have to know the terminology to get their price quote accurate. I am also having a design center created in the mold of bluecotton once the dbase/pricing/product modukles are completed.
 
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