The website for luk beautifood is starting to take shape (www.lukbeautifood.com), slowly slowly as i am using it as a design platform to create the brand offer. In other words I am doing it myself - despite being a scientist I am a very visual person so i have jotted down my objectives, gathered some ideas, sketched my linkage layout for a helicopter view, made a 'wish list', took some photographs and have just started to 'create' using an online web builder rather than writing myself a brief and writing all the copy in a document.
For $100 or there about pa www.webeden.co.uk provide me with a pretty amazing package (click & paste web building tool, domain name, email addresses, storage, SEO, membership tools, lots of widgets etc). I am pretty experienced with it now as I created our french barging holiday website using it (www.hearder.com.au) & setup my 'bestest friend's Scooter boutique (www.gregandaudreysgarage.com.au) on it too. It is simple to use & has bucket load of creative freedom. I can get something up and running pretty quickly, roll out pages out as i go, make as many changes as I want.
You can create your own forms etc and create a login for members so it has some pretty nice stuff. I will however need to use an additional email marketing provider as it is a little too basic for my needs. Something like www.aweber.com is looking good, ...it has a few very nice features that will enable me to manage my 'contacts' saving me time and ensuring a professional service, lots of people are using www.Mailchimp.com but after reading this review I think the answer is easy. http://podcastanswerman.com/aweber/. NB: july 22 - just added this review which gives more clarity: think traffic net - switch from mailchimp to Aweber grew biz
Webeden has a shop but to be honest it is so basic I have hunted elsewhere and just popped one on. You ready.... it took 2 hrs to find www.wazala.com sitting in front of the fire on Friday night BUT 15 minutes to set up today with some pretty smart design effects and operational capabilities including the ability to add a shop to my Facebook site & Blog and be Iphone user friendly. It works by seamlessly adding a snazzy button up the top RHS of my website and on entering darken's the background and creates it's own little intimate boutique....completely tailored to Australian market...for $9.95 pm no contracts. Woohoo! NOTE update 26/7: I need to re-check using the site live / insertion of code as Alice tried using it and could not get it to work. Sorry - stay posted til I re-check later in the week.
phasing the rollout
By doing the above I am keeping to my goal of low entry cost to biz + automating many components. It is not the full on operating model that I desire. ie fully integrated shop, stock management, invoice, accounts, CRM, streamlined system BUT after extensive research I can't get that unless I spend a lot more, so I figure to begin with I will phase it:
a) Test market: start with above web/shop model + import data from spreadsheet into Saasu Online Accounting www.saasu.com (will discuss that in another post)
b) Streamline: Most likely move to the Neto product - an Australian E-commerce website with CRM automatically that integrates with Saasu. www.neto.com.au
c) Ultimate: Find an all-in-one like Netsuite but much easier to use and with powerful CRM & e-marketing capabilities.
Here is pic from the front page of my website (yes, my pics from last week!), I will start making my own videos so I will add a little personal 'welcome' in a few days...just so you know the real me! The site has a sign up section ...so please sign up and stay in the loop so you know when I will (eventually!) launch and to ensure you taste the first samples of my lippy! (BTW I have not added the auto response section yet so be patient with me.....there is only so much a mum can do!)
Here is the great looking store I am adding to the above offer: