Overview Of Business Model
This business takes advantage of several of the primary strengths of the Internet â€”dynamic presentation of information, easy update-ability, and quick and easy accessibility. Community events usually are posted in the newspaper or occasionally are advertised on television. Finding and attending one of these events can be quite a hassle, especially for people working in an office all day. The purpose of a community event Web site is to provide easy, up-to-date access to a complete list of community events. By using the Internet to dynamically present this information, you will gain a significant advantage over newspapers and television. With the right online marketing strategy, you will have a lot of traffic. You will make your money primarily through advertising.
Your staff must have basic computer skills. Ability to program in HTML and design graphics would be useful if you donâ€™t want to go through the time and expense to have a user-friendly database developed. You will want to develop online marketing expertise, as the more traffic you attract to your site, the greater your revenue will be.
Cost To Start This Business
This is a relatively easy and inexpensive business to start online. You will need to invest in a computer, appropriate software, Web site design, development, and hosting. You should also invest in marketing both online and offline to create exposure and traffic for your site. Start-up costs will range from $3,000 to $10,000.
Number Of Employees Needed To Start
The number of employees needed depends on the skills of your employees. You will need at least one of each of the following: a Web developer, a graphic designer, and someone to keep your information up to date. A highly skilled and dedicated individual could perform all three jobs.
The international potential of your business is extremely low. Only tourists visiting your city and looking for something to do during their stay would be interested in your site.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
Since you are providing an information service, it is imperative that your information be up to the minute and constantly updated. This should be relatively easy, however, since your basic service is effectively free advertising for those interested in exposure for their event. If you choose to allow for online ordering of tickets, then you will need to arrange a place for your customers to pick the tickets up or a delivery mechanism.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Asking if your customers would like to be kept updated via e-mail on events in a specific field of interest is a great way to implement permission marketing.
- Develop coupons and discounts for various events to be used as an incentive. Ask site visitors if they would like to join your mail list to regularly receive these coupons and specials.
- You might also consider using a viral marketing technique like â€œTell a Friend.â€ This will allow your customers to promote your site to their friends.
- Develop a comprehensive link strategy. Request links from as many local Web sites as possible by offering them in return access to the updated information for their site visitors from your site.
- Develop a banner advertising campaign targeting local sites that get a lot of traffic. Having your banner ad prominently displayed on local newspaper sites generally is effective. Quite often you can trade the banner placement for a weekly posting of your Calendar of Events in their newspaper.
A way to expand your service is to allow for the online ordering of tickets to the events through your Web site. Depending on how you choose to do this, it could work one of two ways. You could make the ticket providers pay for the privilege of offering their tickets through your service. However, unless you are well known and have a significant volume of Web site traffic, this is unlikely to work. Usually you will charge a small fee to the purchaser for your efforts. You could provide Calendar of Events listings for free but charge a fee if they want a hypertext link to their site or enhanced graphics.