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NerdSmasher

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Aug 31, 2007
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I have a few websites that I am currently making a profit off of, by selling products that I am affiliated with on clickbank, commission junction, and other sites like them. To be perfectly honest, I would like to sell my own product, but I'm trying to take this one step at a time.

What advice would you give to someone trying to turn a few websites that they own, run, manage, and advertise by themselves into a business? I know I can hire people on sites like elance.com, though I'm not completely sure that I trust them. What kind of people would I need to hire? How many? Where do I find all of the necessary people? And, probably most importantly, how do I manage them (especially if they're in a different state, or even country!)?

I really don't feel like running my business completely any more; and wish to expand. I know that this may not be the right company to expand, and perhaps I should just, essentially, start from scratch.

Any input on this is welcome :)
 
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Andrew

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Aug 8, 2007
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Are you making enough money to spend $2000-3000 a month on freelancers and employees?

If so, check out offshoring.com.
 

ToddW

New Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
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California
Are you making enough money to spend $2000-3000 a month on freelancers and employees?

If so, check out offshoring.com.

Also, if you are going to start your own e-commerce store do you have a warehouse to store your own products?

I know many people who have started e-commerce companies from the ground up but 99% of them started by themselves working 15 hour days. Shipping, receiving, and answering customer questions take a LOT more time than most people realize.
 

Inphinity

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Aug 20, 2007
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Are you planning to work with dropshipping suppliers, or how do you plan to actually carry out the process? The process of changing the products etc on your websites is simple, but you'll need to have a clear plan of how any possible requests/enquiries etc are handled - who processes incoming queries and orders, who confirms payment of, how payment is accepted, how goods are shipped etc.
 

NerdSmasher

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Aug 31, 2007
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Yes, well, as of right now, all I do is affiliate marketing. Basically, I own a website, have my own content, and throw links to different websites on there. If the person buys a product from the website I sent them to, then I make money. So, I don't have to deal with orders, accepting payment, customer service, or anything like that.

On another note, I really would like to have and sell my own products, but I think it would be a lot more work, having to do all of those things I just mentioned not having to do, lol.

Mostly, I was just trying to come up with ways to find people to manage the little bit of stuff I do for my website; hopefully even better than I do! If anything, I think I'll post a project on elance and see what comes of it. I'll also check out offshoring, and see what they offer.
 

Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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Before I start any business, I start with a back of the envelope calculation. What is the estimated profit margin, cash flow requirements and the return?

Then, if it's a go, I do a business plan. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I just reviewed business planning software for my stepson's proposed new venture and we came up with "BizPlanBuilder" as the best one. It walks you through a business plan. You'll have to think about the business A LOT to complete this program.

In my opinion, that's what is needed for most start-ups. Otherwise, you just never anticipate all the work and cash requirements...and the business just slowly goes away, proving what all the naysayers say "business is risky."

It's not business that is risky, it's lack of a plan that is risky.

When our son David was 14 he wanted to start a DJ business and need cash to buy the equipment. We had just recently adopted him and since his English wasn't great yet, asking him to write a full-blown business plan was a little too aggressive. So, we gave him a modified business plan assignment. He needed to write out (1) who his market was, (2) what he'd do with the money he made, (3) how he would pay the loan back and (4) 10 things that could go wrong and how he would fix them. The last one was the most important. Too often we entrepreneurs see only the positive and ignore the negative. If we can take the time to think of all the things that could wrong (and come up with 10 things, which will likely be hard to do) and then how to fix them, you're much better prepared.

So, anyway, David did that and went to a meeting at the "Bank of Dad" and got the loan for $1700, which he paid back. Two years later, he still does the DJ business occassionally.

As I was writing this, it made me think of all the people that are losing their properties as the ARMs adjust and value drops. I met a lady at my last seminar who had 9 properties with 125% financing, which are adjusting, and she is losing them all. What if she had taken the time to come up with the "10 things that could go wrong" and realized she needed some cash in reserve or maybe held back on buying the last few houses?

Going into anything without a plan for the best of times...and the worst of times...is just plain scary.
 

Russ H

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Jul 25, 2007
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Diane-

When we were buying the B&B, we were talking w/Tom Wheelright via DKA, and he suggested Biz Plan Builder as well (by JIAN).

We found it to be fantastic-- and were able to get our first SBA loan using it.

Two years later, we got another SBA loan using the same software.

Close to $2,000,000 in loans, helped in part by that nifty piece of software.

Very Nice! :)

-Russ H.
 

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