Need feedback on my business model idea! UPDATE post #10

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chellester, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
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    I recently finished my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and I am considering starting a business, and would appreciate some feedback on an idea I am kicking around for a business model.

    The business would offer web design and custom programming services, but with one twist- the business will be aimed at women as my target market. I’m not saying that I will not work for men or have a problem working for men, but the business would be aimed at attracting women clients.


    Why women as my target market?

    1. Statistically, women now use the Internet just as much if not more than men, and many of those women are starting Internet-based businesses.

    2. Women are more likely to own or co-own a small family business and/or be work-from-home caregivers in business, which are the type of businesses I want to work for because of moral and ethical reasons.

    3. I am a woman, and I think women in business would be more comfortable working with another woman for their business’s technical needs.


    The services I would offer would be:

    1. Web design and development.

    2. Custom programming.

    3. Custom online auction template design and development and troubleshooting existing auction templates.

    4. Consulting for standard business software applications, such as Word, Excel, QuickBooks, etc.

    Services would be offered to businesses in any location, and I would work with clients using the phone, email, IMs, etc.


    If you are a woman, I would really appreciate it if you would answer the following questions:

    1. If you owned a business and needed a website, help with an eBay template, etc., would you rather work with a woman than a man, a man than a woman, or would it make no difference to you?

    2. If you knew there was a woman in business offering the services above, would you contact her for help when you had considered doing so before, but didn’t because you were not comfortable working with a man?

    3. Would you be put off if the business had a “cheeky” fun name like Geek Girl Design rather than a more serious name, such as JMB Tech (my initials)?

    4. Any other thoughts, questions or ideas?


    If you are a man, please feel free to offer any thoughts, questions or ideas about my proposed business model as well.

    I am totally open to negative as well as positive feedback, but only if it is offered as constructive criticism meant to be helpful. In other words, don’t just say “your idea sucks”, tell my why you think it sucks. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  2. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:Ok, for demographic purposes, I am a female, age 43, retired - thinking of starting home business.

    Q1) no difference to me if I work with a male or female on my web design, although it might be different if the business were more female oriented - another woman might have more insight in how to best market something.

    Q2) not applicable because of how I answered Q1, but, if I knew the person was a newer business person, and wanted to get started and make a name (and was also "even up" on skills) then I would go for the new person - to help them get going in their own business.

    Q3) not "put off" perhaps, but I always think it's better to go with the professional sounding name, rather than the fun one. A lot of people might think they are dealing with a teenager who is just in it for fun, instead of a serious "I paid big money to go to college to learn this crap" type of person. You paid for those degrees, and earned them through hard work - let people know that upfront - they will be willing to pay more for your services if they know you have the degrees to back it up.

    Q4) Good luck with this <g>. I've been considering how to go about building a web page for our family farm, which will eventually be a small family business. I may have to tap you for some help someday.

    I have done ebay in the past, and I've seen some fantastic seller sites - and some really HORRID ones, LOL some people really need help there, <g>.

    Peace -
    Meriah
     
  3. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    Thank you for your feedback Meriah, especially for Q3- at 40, I want to be taken seriously and I definitely do not want my business coming off like a teeny-bopper is running it.

    When you are ready for your website, let me know- I will give you a great deal for helping me out here! [​IMG]
     
  4. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Good luck with your new venture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  5. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Your welcome <g> and thank you, also, I may be calling on you sooner than later, LOL.

    We've got chickens and donkeys, mostly, planning to be selling donkeys as soon as we build up our breeding stock enough. The hard part will be selling those adorable baby donkeys (if you've never seen a baby donkey, you must find a pic of one - they are all fluffy and cute and cuddly - like a cross between a puppy and a teddy bear.)

    The chickens, well, I'd like to breed some to sell, eventually. I've been building my coops - I had the main coop, which was just for me, because I was just gonna have a few laying hens for some fresh eggs... yeah right...

    I have my laying hens, they are cool - then I got some fancies, and some bantams, and some guineas, and... whatever else I come home with next week. I'm still trying to talk hubby into ducks and geese - he is ok with chickens, just thinks the ducks and geese will be too messy or noisy.

    I have a great coop we just finished (well, nearly. today we're finishing the inside, and gonna run electric to it before october). It is a breeder type coop (well, in my opinion it is...) it is 8x24 - but seperated into three 8x8 coops. So now, even though I have two buildings for chickens, I actually have 4 coops. I'll need the space if I start to breed them for eggs or chicks.

    So far I am still in the planning/reading stages of the breeding - but I work quickly once I decide to do something. Maybe by next spring we'll be ready to do some selling, mostly local at first, but what the heck, if I can figure out ebay shipping, then I can figure out shipping eggs and chicks.

    I've been checking out other farm sites on the internet, to see what looks good to me, what is user friendly, that sort of thing. All I definately know is that I need lots of pics on my site - I love lots of pics on other people's sites.

    OOPs, got to go, hubby just told me I left the tack barn open, LOL gonna have donkeys eating bags and bags of sweet treats if I dont' go close it....

    Peace -
    Meriah
     
  6. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    HTH, thank you SO much for your response.

    Meriah and HTH, I hear you both on your response to Q3- the cheeky, fun name is definitely out! [​IMG] I do want to offer some explanation on why I was thinking about using a fun name instead of a more professional sounding name.

    Although I do take the work I do VERY seriously, I was looking for a way to show I don't take MYSELF too seriously... I have seen many consulting websites where it seemed like it was more of a vanity page of the owner than being focused on their clients and their work, and I've always found that to be a complete turnoff.

    I do believe it's important to list my degrees, credentials and portfolio to show I can do the job and do it well, I also want to show that I sincerely care about my clients, that I want them to be happy and successful with the work I do for them, and that I put all of that above my own ego.
     
  7. themoorethemerrier

    themoorethemerrier Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2008
    WNY
    If you are a woman, I would really appreciate it if you would answer the following questions:

    1. If you owned a business and needed a website, help with an eBay template, etc., would you rather work with a woman than a man, a man than a woman, or would it make no difference to you?

    2. If you knew there was a woman in business offering the services above, would you contact her for help when you had considered doing so before, but didn’t because you were not comfortable working with a man?

    3. Would you be put off if the business had a “cheeky” fun name like Geek Girl Design rather than a more serious name, such as JMB Tech (my initials)?

    4. Any other thoughts, questions or ideas?


    Okay, I'm a younger woman, and a bit shy of the opposite sex, so I definitely prefer to work with a another woman that would identify with my own situation - work at home mom that has to constantly be on alert for a potty training emergency. Most men and single women don't sympathize with the little vioce in the background that yells "I gotta go potty! Mommy I gonna poop!" I've been on a a few business calls when that happens, and it was not only humiliating, but then I was made to feel inferior by the irritated and condescending tone to "get back to business." I always appreciate and seek out a business that I will be made to feel like an equal individual, and that understands that I am a full time mom and those interruptions do happen.

    Also, as a woman, I do not receive the encouragment from men as I do from women continue my farming business venture. I live in the sticks, where farming has always been the man's domain. So, to talk about me, a woman, doing what a man has done for centuries, seems a bit against the grain. I sometimes get the "oh, that's nice" attitude from men, whereas a woman would say, "good for you; you can do it!" If I say I can do it, than I can do it... and whatever business I would work with to get me started had better be able to not only encourage me, but believe in me. Besides, we all know that if we women can bear babies, and live through potty training (I can't even touch the teenage years or menapause,) we can successfully run a business!

    As far as the "cheeky" name goes, though I do agree with the idea that one wants their company to be taken seriously, I find that in regards to computers and technology, the younger generation is far more advanced than I. In fact, my sister-in-law who, is a senior in high school is my personal customer care service. She knows more about computers and software than most adults I know. If I am having a serious problem, I do pay her to help me, and always with excellent results. If I am wanting help with a business venture, especially with expenses, I would want an adult with business experience. What about a mix of the two JMB Tech a Geek Girl Design. You don't have to be all serious to be good at what you do. Besides, you're up-and-coming businesses are going to be run by the next "trendy" generation.

    Now that I feel empowered and inspired, I think I should work on my plans. (Do I need to pay you for that? [​IMG] ) I send you best wishes in your own business endeavour, and if my sis ever gets to be too busy for poor ol' me, I'll be looking you up! K Moore
     
  8. krjwaj

    krjwaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2008
    Apex, NC
    If you are a woman, I would really appreciate it if you would answer the following questions:

    1. If you owned a business and needed a website, help with an eBay template, etc., would you rather work with a woman than a man, a man than a woman, or would it make no difference to you?

    2. If you knew there was a woman in business offering the services above, would you contact her for help when you had considered doing so before, but didn’t because you were not comfortable working with a man?

    3. Would you be put off if the business had a “cheeky” fun name like Geek Girl Design rather than a more serious name, such as JMB Tech (my initials)?

    4. Any other thoughts, questions or ideas?

    1. I don't think I would have a preference working with a man or woman, but do like to get referrals from others. Similar ideas/goals are important.
    2. Perhaps. Women can change their minds based on mood.
    3. No, I like fun names, but not immature. JMB Tech doesn't promote your business. Geek Girl implies computer savviness [​IMG]
    4. Good luck!​
     
  9. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    Wow! I can't believe the great response and feedback I'm getting here! Thank you ALL so much! [​IMG]

    themoorethemerrier, I totally relate to where you are coming from when you say you are intimidated by men sometimes... being one of the few woman in a overwhelmingly male-dominated field, I had the same issue in the past. But, then I realized I was smart enough to know that what you have downstairs doesn't affect what you have upstairs, and if some people think otherwise, then it's their shortcomings, not mine! [​IMG]

    You are the type of person I had in mind when I thought of aiming my business toward women clients... I want to be able to help those balancing making ends meet with providing a solid home for their family. You go girl! And no, you don't have to pay me for empowering you. [​IMG] One of the reasons I wanted to run my own business is to inspire others like me trying to do the same thing, and knowing I've succeeded in doing that is really payment in itself.

    krjwaj, thank you for your input and your good luck wishes! [​IMG]
     
  10. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    I just wanted to say that I've decided just to operate more as a freelance programmer than open my own business. I've decided to do this for two reasons:

    1. By freelancing, it allows me to work for other software and web developing businesses that would be considered my competition if I were to open my own software business.

    2. I can't think of a decent business name to save my life. [​IMG]

    Thanks again to everyone who took the time to read and/or post on this thread! Seeing my ideas through other people's eyes was extremely helpful in making the desicions I needed to in order to get this all off the ground.
     

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