Building Your Website
When you feel you have collected enough information to arrange it online it's time to give thought to your website. Subsequently, you have to decide who will be building and administering your web business. We recommend you team up with a professional web developer. In the late 90's it was possible for one person with some basic HTML skills and a decent level of computer literacy to create and manage a website and even generate revenue with it. Time hasn't stood still though. Nowadays a successful internet business needs to implement the latest technologies to get the edge over its competitors. We mentioned Dave Sperling's ESL caf? as one of the pioneers in the EFL online market. When Dave created his website in 1995 in simple HTML it was quite sufficient. His website was one of the first featuring free English language materials and so thousands of people linked their website to Dave's and he didn't have to bother about getting listed in search engines, offering a newsletter and updating his website with valuable, fresh content. There was not much competition if any. Today the situation has dramatically changed. Internet users have become far more demanding. A website like Dave's would be having a very hard time even to get looked at today because it doesn't meet the requirements of a user friendly website.
Teaming Up — How Slava and I became friends
Before we go into these requirements I'd like to share another piece of the English-test.net Story with you. As soon as you start your own business you will realize that a company is all about people and the way they interact with each other. Especially on the internet it is vital to forge a strong relationship with people who have the same purposes in order to achieve your goals together with them. In December 1999 I was teaching Business English to a group of Java Programmers. That's how I got to meet Slava and Maria Gromov, two young engineers of Russian origin who moved to Germany in 1998. I have been learning Russian since I was 7 and I always refer to parallels between the English and the Russian language in my classes as many of the students either learned Russian at school or speak Russian as their mother tongue. At the end of our Business English course I exchanged phone numbers and addresses with the Gromovs and in February 2003 we started working on a joint project — English-test.net
You see, it took more than two years until our relationship finally reached a level of trust and understanding that would allow us to take responsibility for each other's purposes. When I first contacted Slava in the summer of 2000 asking him to design a website for me he said he didn't have enough time to commit himself fully to such projects because he was busy job hunting. Back then in the late 90's the prospects for a highly qualified Java programmer and webdesigner were rather good with the IT industry demanding new specialists. However, the situation changed dramatically after the IT bubble burst and although Slava had successfully completed three one-year training courses in HTML/Webdesign, Java-Programming and SQL he could not find a job. He sent out more than 200 job applications to various companies throughout Germany and after more than two years of intensive job search and a series of so called «praktika» (working for companies for free while receiving social welfare) he finally decided that the only option for him was to establish his own company.
A Word on «Timing»
As you can see the timing for your business is crucial and there are a number of factors that determine the «perfect» moment for your success. However, regardless of how long it takes for you to meet a person who will work together with you on your joint project — you always meet them at the right time. Your subconscious mind plays a big role in this process — it works like a magnet and a radio station at the same time: When you have set a goal for yourself and started acting towards achieving that goal you will attract people who think like you to join forces with them. Please remember that the vast majority wait for someone else to take the first step and tell them what to do. Therefore you should move ahead not bothering about finding the right business partners — they'll find you instead. You see, if you wait until you find someone to design your website for example you are not yet the kind of person who could create and run a business.
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Author: Torsten Daerr & Alan Townend