I have been mulling this over in my head for some time now, but recent threads and circumstances have me thinking it is a good idea. I actually had this idea over 2 years ago, and have had many other good ones since then. Unfortunately, I am a poor student and have very few starting funds, and a somewhat limited time to work on my business. This idea is haunting me constantly though, and I cannot stop the intuitive feelings that if I don’t start this up it would be a BIG mistake.
There are no real competitors that I would have to deal with, initially though. There are similar venues, but nothing what I am planning. It seems like a very, very good idea, but since it apparently has not been done before, I don’t know. I think it could be big. Not Amazon, or Ebay big, but big enough I can imagine me making a profit big enough for me to live on pretty comfortably. It could even grow into something HUGE, like Amazon, but that is the dreamer in me. I feel that it could be revolutionary, if I do things right.
I dont’ want to discuss specifics this early into my design, but I promise everybody here will hear about it upon release. I just don’t want anybody with more skills getting the jump on me.
The business idea doesn’t involve me buying anything, holding inventory, or doing any sort of skill myself. In fact it is, in a way, like Ebay, in that people use my service to sell their property. But it isn’t like Ebay in any other way. (no auction, no physical sales) I hope to make a profit in supplying these people with a venue in which to make money themselves for work they did. Say similar to an agents fee (10-15%). The big cost and time investment for myself is setting up the website, advertising, and running the “database.”
Now, I don’t know how to do web design. I am a pretty intellegent guy, so I can probably learn, but it would likely take months to years to do it proficiently enough to design and run one myself, especially on the level I feel I need to run this website. I have done preliminary write ups on what I want and need, and some of it seems pretty complex stuff, not unlike large scale websites like Amazon. (though not on such a massive scale) I mean such things as an internal search feature, Subject heading cross referencing, seller statistics (you have sold X amount of widgets in the last 30 days), and top seller lists that autoupdate at prescribed times.
Now, I am looking at web design sites, and think that I can get somebody to design me a website if I supply the content and tell them what I want. That isn’t hard, but it looks like it may cost anywhere from 2k-10k or beyond. I have not recieved any estimates back yet, but plan on shopping around first. Now, I can probably get a hold of 2-3k initially, but anymore and I would have to figure out how to get additional loans. Would probably have to be student loans of some sort, but I vaguely remember that it wouldn’t be kosher.
So, the question is, should I buy Dreamweaver or Frontpage and spend the next year designing this website, or should I fork out the money and have them design me one? I think that I would have to learn to use some program or another anyhow to do updates and maintenience of some sort. I have thought about trying to find a business partner that knows some programming or is a student in that field at least, but I don’t know if that is a good idea or not. None of my close friends know anything about web design either.
I think this idea has potential, but I think If I miss out on the oportunity I will regret it the rest of my life. Starting this business could be the best thing I have ever done, or I could be out a mere ‘several thousand dollars’ and at least learn something. But what do you think?
I would also love to hear about your experiences with a start up business or even an oportunity you missed out on. Also any advice would be greatly appreciated. (Potential investors or any party interested in parntership feel free to pitch in. )