Turning Online Business Idea To Reality?

Discussion in 'Business Ideas' started by serenity, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. serenity

    serenity
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    Hello,

    I'm in need of a little help or tips into making a small online business idea a reality. I am still a young person and have little knowledge about online businesses, but have good knowledge to implement a proper website that I have in my mind, and am quite confident in that area.

    Idea: My idea is simple: website where people can easily search for restaurants. This involves reviewing of restaurants, ratings and so on. In my country, there's no proper website for this.

    My questions are:

    - How would I know if this would be successful? Should it be just a risk of trying and seeing if it will fail or succeed?

    - How do I gain trust from restaurant owners to submit their details to my website? Just through emails or phoning? Should I be visiting each one personally?

    - What are ways of getting money from this? I was thinking around the lines that each restaurant can be viewed on the website for free for X months, then if they want to keep their entry they need to pay.
     
  2. martinrussel

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    business Idea

    Hi! this is martin i read all. and rest about your query so i am also running a small Yellow pages directory. firstly you can scrap data from various sources and put it into your site you don't need permission from owners like restaurants. but i can't ensure you for success. because every business depends upon the demand.
     
  3. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum serenity and thanks for posting your business questions. Will this be a full time or part time business for you?

    You can never really know for sure that a business is going to be successful. Preparing a business plan is one way to move forward and to get clarity on your idea. Is this something that you intend to do? Even a two or three page overview of the business could help you and if that is something that interests you I can provide some links to help.

    As regards making money from the idea, one thing that I would suggest is offering free basic listings and than charging for premium listings. For example you could charge to allow restaurants to add their menu, a link to their website, to put them above standard listings or to add other additional information about themselves.

    I'll think more about it and add more suggestions tomorrow, in the meantime perhaps you could please post back with a little more detail on your plans.

    [Moving thread to Online Business forum!]
     
  4. serenity

    serenity
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    Sorry for posting in the wrong forum, and thank you for the replies. To answer your questions:

    It will definitely be a part-time business. I'm a student at the end of my course, but I don't think this really lessens my potential.

    I agree that it might be a good idea to prepare even a brief business plan. I already found helpful links about it from this forum, a really good way to start.

    A bit more details of my idea:
    • A website that allows the searching of restaurants in the country. The simple search will be flexible, allowing keywords that can match to restaurant names, places, type of food (ex. chinese food), etc...
    • Registered members can rate restaurants or leave a review. Administration of reviews is important.
    • The website can show statistics such as top restaurants, daily picks, etc...
    That's the basic picture I have so far. I also wish that members get some small benefit for reviewing restaurants or rating them, but this can be abused and needs a lot of thought.

    I like the idea about the premium listing and is also something to consider.

    Your help is very much appreciated.
     
  5. Alexishost

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    Can you mention exact budget you are willing to pay for it?
     
  6. Fergal

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    A good place to start would be to look at similar sites in other countries. Have a look at how they add value to the restaurants listed on them, what type of services they provide and how they generate revenue. Then ask yourself if that kind of service could be profitable in your country.

    Some of the more popular restaurant directory websites in Ireland are;

    http://www.menupages.ie
    http://www.tasteofireland.com/
    http://www.leadingrestaurants.com/
    http://entertainment.ie/restaurants/

    One thing I have noticed from the various restaurant directories that I've looked at, is that a lot of them include Adsense ads on their sites. This may be a good potential source of revenue for you.

    You could also check out other types of portal and directory sites, in other words similar sites for other industries. For example, there are a huge number of quality web hosting directories, hotel directories, financial services portals, etc, on the web. Perhaps you could get some ideas from them, that would be useful for your restaurant site.

    Can you tell us what country you will be launching the business in, or would you prefer keep it confidential for the moment.

    Good luck with it and please keep us posted on your thoughts.
     
  7. serenity

    serenity
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    Thanks once again. That was very helpful.

    I am not certain about the budget, perhaps between €200 to €300. The main costs I can think of is the domain registration, hosting and marketing.

    I'd like to keep the country confidential for now, although I should say that it is a very tiny country (that already eliminates most countries but anyhow :)), so I think AdSense won't be too useful.

    My target is to make this website the easiest and best restaurant searching site in my country, so that when the users grow, restaurants and other companies will be more willing to pay for advertising on the website.

    So my uncertainty at this point is still how to get the information about the restaurants. If it's really legal, I guess I can take the information from their websites, although not all have their own website, or could lack some information. I was thinking of making an online form which restaurant owners can fill to put up their entry on the website, but how would I earn their trust?
     
  8. Fergal

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    I'd suggest adding the information from the restaurant's website. Then email the restaurant, tell them that you have added their details, give them a link where they can view their listing and mention some of the benefits of being listed on your site.

    Ask them to reply if they would like anything about their listing changed or if they would like to upgrade to a premium listing. You could even ask them for a link back to your site in return, but make it clear to them that this is not a requirement.
     
  9. foreverest

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    Good luck to you! Do you have enough time?
     

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