October 2nd, 2012, 06:12 PM
Too Many Roads, Which one to choose? £5000 to invest! HELP!
I'm trying to start a website and have been doing for the past year or so, I'm so motivated at the begining of the projects and stay up til the early hours working away on them (hence why I'm posting this at 12.11am when i start work at 7am!) along with spending money on adwords and facebook advertisement, however after a certain time period, when i see no results or come up with a new "better" idea I stop with what i was working on and set off with something else. So my question is.....
Which one should i concentrate on? Ideas Below with limited description
Residential Property Adverts, sort of classifieds for property but with a bit more jazz, it's a .co.uk site, so obviously UK based.
A Vespa and Lambretta Classifieds site, totally free to use, monetized by adverts, again .co.uk site, so slightly limited.
An Eco site, selling either eco friendy products or even specifically Eco Building materials and renewable energy generators, .co.uk again.
A Dating site with a twist, .com, short domain, not been done before, so possibly high risk. Do dating sites make anything?
A worldwide travel job site and blog, spcifically aimed at backpackers, and gap years, .com site, good domain, potentially get paid commission or price per job listed.
I have a specific interest in all of these things, i want to know which would be most beneficial to those who use the internet, which is most likely to be used, and last of all which is most likely to make me even a £ or 2.
Also, I have saved £5,000 to invest into one of these ideas but it's so hard to choose. Any advice on how to spend the money wisely would also be appreciated. I hope the above makes sense, i don't want to give too much away at this early stage
Thanks in advance
October 2nd, 2012, 06:19 PM
P.S. My dream is to eventually be able to run a successful online business and earn enough money to be my own boss. With £5k to invest, i would this this is entirely possibly, but im unsure on how far this will go in to online world...
October 2nd, 2012, 08:09 PM
Investing in a new website is ultra high risk, if the money matters at all to you it would be better to put it into stocks. There is an extremely high probability that you will lose all of it if you put it into a website; at least with stocks you'll probably have something left over even if you do take losses. (Take this coming from someone who makes a living taking other peoples' money to produce code; I've seen this happen far too many times. Investing in websites is not a good idea for individuals).
Custom coding is really expensive too, easily akin to the cost of constructing a physical building. Although to an individual 5k is certainly a lot, you'll find that you burn through it exceptionally fast when paying someone for a major software project. I work for a contractor, and many of our projects have burn rates of easily $1000 (USD) or more per day for building and maintaining custom code bases.
Now, there are a lot of software packages out there that do these types of things, so you wouldn't be starting from scratch, but there is a trade off. The more unique and innovative you want to get with your site, the more custom code you're going to need and the more expensive its going to get.
As far as your specific ideas go, the Eco one sounds like by far the safest. Selling a physical product gives you a safety net of sorts when it comes to operating a for-profit website. You're making your money off the physical product, not off the site itself. This means that the website code influences your business a lot less, and a cookie cutter solution will be far more effective than it would be for any of the others. As far as the website goes, 5k should certainly be sufficient to get an e-commerce site off the ground, but of course you'll need to spend some of them on inventory and such too.
A travel blog or site is the second least risky, but it's hard to drive traffic to a blog because of how many there are. When it comes to a blog it's all about your content. If you have stellar content you have a good chance of succeeding. However, since a blog's income is heavily dependant on traffic, you'll probably have a slower start and need to spend more on advertising to make it profitable initially. 5k would be enough to get a blog off the ground provided you can write content yourself.
I would totally toss out the idea of doing a real estate, classified or dating website. These three website types depend extremely heavily on the user base. It's sort of a catch-22, the site is useless without a huge userbase, but you're not going to build a huge userbase for a useless site. On top of that, it's hard to "cookie cutter" these sites and get away with it; you need a lot of unique and innovative features to stand out, and that means lots of money. You would either need to be exceptionally lucky or have a 6-figure plus investment to get one of these sites off the ground (and at least half of that would go into advertising rather than code). Social websites of all sorts face this problem. Take a look at Google Plus; Google has virtually unlimited resources to pour into that and they are still having difficulty with attaining any sort of critical mass with the userbase.
You could actually get a blog started for free and see where that takes you. A blog is much more about content than code, and since it sounds like you're not a programmer that is the least risky starting point. If the blog takes off then you'll have the income to expand into other markets.
December 13th, 2012, 12:17 AM
Dating websites can make a ton of money, but your budget is too limited to even get you started. Earning money with advertisements doesn't seem like the holy grail to me either (in terms of money making).
The Eco site idea seems nice, but the products are probably highly expensive and you probably need to store them.
If you really want a site (business) to make money focus on a particular group of people and connect with them. What do they want??. For inspiration have a look at some Asian importer websites like http://www.alibaba.com/ Just look around.
There are still some products out there that have an immense profit in your country (make sure you read in to tax law).
Another thing you could do is a look for foreign fast growing companies that still need a base in your country. (for instance for a bizar product like beef jerky, or energy bars (if you are a gamer you know which ones I mean) which you can easily send from home. But to limit yourself to some nice domain names just for the sake of it seems like a bad idea to me. Hopefully those asian importer give you some profitable ideas (lots of them)
-edit: if you are not going to sell fysical products but online service the mentality of making money will probably limit you. pretty much all creators of all successful websites haven't figured out their moneymaking scheme (until their investors were complaining), most of them just wanted an awesome product (what's app, google, twitter etc)
Last edited by aeternus; December 13th, 2012 at 12:27 AM.