A win-win business model

Once upon a time, there were companies out here which gave people the tools to set up their own Internet business. These were professional tools worth many $1,000s, out of reach for people like myself and the 100s of others who then built these companies into mega-corps.

The one to catch me first offered a full web hosting business with design tools built-in I could operate through my web browser. Full training with tutor videos was free. In return for all of this, they kept 75% off the top of all hosting fees.

Under these terms, I was able to establish an income of a few $100 per month with a dozen clients at one time plus I got to charge whatever I wanted for my services and keep all of it. Some people were much more successful than me with up to 100 clients which would at a minimum be about $2,500 per month Income.

The real puzzling thing about it all came a few years down the road. Once their servers were full and they had locked in auto-payments for all of the clients guys like me found for them, they decided that paying commissions was no longer in their best interest.

They had a win-win system running where everybody was getting something and all they had to do was sit back and collect the money from the folks we sent.

In the early days of setting up business out here it could cost more than $5,000 to set up a website to handle credit card payments. Along came another company, offered all the tools needed to set a client up with online payment processing with zero start-up costs.

This one was win-win-win. My clients saved a bundle on start-up costs, this company gained what would likely be a client for life, collecting a percentage of all transactions and I received a 5% commission on everything.

Once they were successful, they trimmed the commission down to 6 months then eventually dropped it all together. Of course they continue to harvest the fruits of all our labor.

There’s been a dozen times on the road behind when I was standing with co-workers in a situation similar to those above suggesting, “What the hell guys, we built that one, let’s build one for us.” Only God knows for sure why this always caused intense laughter and or derision. I certainly don’t.

 

 

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Basic Website Package, what’s inside?

Your Basic Website Package

My standard build for your start

tools to build your domainIt is important to note from start, everything I put together for your basic website package is intended to be simple enough for a client to take over and manage day-to-day operations of. I’ve learned over the years that few people want such a thing but it is there by default.

I’ve been working on virtual web servers since at least 1993 and have been part of the evolution. Whatever web hosting provider you are currently with, I should be able to log in and use the tools they provide for you.

Stormwire web hostingFor all new projects we will use Stormwire hosting services. I can operate their tools in my sleep or teach you to use them over the phone. Their tech support is top-notch and I have not been able to stump them in more than 10 years.

basic website package SEOFor SEO * (Search Engine Optimization) I’ve watched the gimics come and go and it’s sad to see the money wasted. I strive to build pages which the search engines rank high naturally. No gimics. I tie you in with social media also which adds to your ranking. Gimics are recognised by these companies about the time some mass marketer starts collecting $99 per month to run one for you.

In some cases, a search engine may even lower your ranking if it catches you using a gimic.

SEO is built into your place by way of the WordPress package itself and a couple of plugins I use. I create a separate email address for the webmaster, tie it to a Google account and all of their free webmaster tools.

For security, I can not get into too much detail beyond saying I establish a putting it togetherfirewall and active scanner. The webmaster is notified of security alerts, all log ins, posts, comments, need for upgrades, etc. If someone is trying to hack in, the webmaster gets an email alert on the 2nd try while the hacker gets locked out for a few days.

With OpenSource community, you have 1,000s of eager eyes watching for bugs and eager to be first one to point it out. By watching email for alerts and keeping upgrades current, your website is less likely to fall for an attack.

payment processingIf you need to collect money I highly recommend PayPal. Their services integrate near seamlessly with all of the packages I use. A link above to Payment Processing will provide more details.

Please use the comments form for questions if you like. I’ll turn it into an FAQ here.

* SEO – open your favorite search engine and ask for web hosting in Duncan, OK or Website design Duncan, OK and you will see the results of my approach. I am top of page #1 with zero gimics and get to laugh when the telemarketers offer to increase my ratings for only $399.

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Where were you for Y2K?

“… good times ‘n riches and sonofabitches I’ve seen more than I can recall …”
– Jimmy Buffett

Y2K HeadlinesYa’ll remember back when the world was gonna end because someone forgot to teach computers how to record time beyond 1999? That was one of the reasons among many. I think aliens were coming to eat us also and another group was gonna save us, the New World Order was gonna declare martial law and one radio announcer who is still a big name today swore that the Russians were coming.

Ah, the memories 🙂

Ran into some Jimmy Buffett this morning and the memories flooded in of my fledgling business and my first gig using good tools. I was a seeing eye man for a blind dog and sidekick to a high level computer geek. I babysat 3 web servers with 2 T1 lines, a full IP block filled with websites and a very large blind dog.

The dog liked to play hide ‘n seek with a ball in the back yard. I guess it didn’t know I had eyes because it would hide the ball under some leaves right in front of me then step back and wait for me to find it.

The man I worked for was like a version of me in many ways only he had lots of money, very few scruples, they just got in the way really. He was a brilliant computer geek though running Windows servers and quickly teaching me how to keep them running while he travelled the country installing fiber optic cable and new operating systems for a major retailer.

This is partly why I didn’t worry so much of the world ending. This corporation was spending millions on their project to assure that people could come in and buy things well into the next century.

It’s almost funny now to remember how I lost a great website opportunity due to my unwillingness to push the doomsday scenario. I insisted they needed to balance it all and not just sell fear. They thought I was cute and hired someone else. These people went on to television and documentaries. I coulda been rich LOL

I helped a little with one family building a survival compound up on top of a mountain. They invited me to hide there with them when the SHTF. One part of their project was to have a medicine man come build a sweat lodge and help them learn to use it. I joined in that day and was gifted with a lot of one-on-one with this man, listening to his stories and reasons behind the rituals.

Y2KAnd the world didn’t end after all. As the snooze announcers were scaring folks with tales of the enemy at the gates, I was at the local Waffle House having steak and eggs.

Oh yeah, Jimmy Buffett, almost forgot what started this post. One night, as I had settled in with the servers, I dug around in his music files, found a Jimmy Buffett collection and something just clicked inside. I was building and tweaking websites, practically dancing tween 3 stations set up on a horseshoe shaped desk with a nice chair that had slick wheels! And Jimmy Buffett rocking the walls.

For a few moments, life was good.

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