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    7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2007 5:03 PM by MTCreations

    Critique of

    mrbizplan Wayfarer

      I own a small business resource Web Site at Our network resources include (our Blog) and Capital Business Plan Software (our free online software).

      I am going to revise the Web Site for 2008 and I would like some ideas from you all if you are willing.

      Some of the things we are planning include:

      • simplifying the main section pages so that there is less text and more features of the site and the software.
      • adding an advanced three year financial projection to the online planware.
      • adding another site that has more of the features and benefits concentrating on the software.

      If you want to test the online planware without registering you can login using:

      username: testing
      password: testing123


      Thanks for your comments.
      Donovan AKA Mr BizPlan
        • Re: Critique of
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Does this help?? LUCKIEST

          h3. 6 Steps to Small Business Success

          1. Start Smart
          2. Plan Ahead
          3. Set up Systems
          4. Seek out Sales
          5. Aim for Growth
          6. Leverage Opportunities



          1. Start Smart.
          Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
          for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
          for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
          facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
          meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
          many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
          create your own success.


          Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
          the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
          serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
          than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
          idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your

          2. Plan Ahead.
          People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
          lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
          but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
          taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
          maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
          how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
          focus and increases your chances of success.


          The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
          business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
          The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
          business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
          multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of


          Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
          include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
          mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
          success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
          by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

          3. Set up Systems.
          The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
          system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
          support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
          budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
          the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
          you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
          operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your



          4. Seek out Sales.
          The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
          sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
          everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
          community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
          selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
          as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
          for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
          then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
          know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
          customers, and then broaden from there.



          5. Aim for Growth.
          The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
          are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
          investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
          is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
          want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
          Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
          There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
          important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
          your company.


          6. Leverage Opportunities.
          Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
          business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
          and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
          Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
          potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
          business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
          the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
          for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
          your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
          company's resources.
          • Re: Critique of
            Visually/ Front End:

            1. Font for content way too small - stop mouse speaking (grin). Punch it up at least 2 point sizes.
            2. all those header text-as-graphics should be text and in H1 or H2 tags, as better search engine help guides (search egnines cannot read graphics, but yes, could read an ALT attribute of an image - but text is nicer)
            3. Where are you located - contact us page is one-way, which is usually an indicator of someone who really doesn't want to be contacted.
            4. Amazing amount of great content, lots of articles, but they get very little search engine juice because they are all front ended by the 'read more' link, which tells me, the search engines, and assistive readers (for the blind/hard of seeing) NOTHING. Better that you link the title of the articles to their article page - now we have some nice keywords in the link, and everyone can tell what the link will lead to.
            That's just a few things I noticed - I do this for a living, so giving away the store (my complete analysis) for free seems counter productive.

            Back end (under the hood) - you got tables, dude! (grin). And inline styles, and embedded scripts, and oh look, the keyword meta tag, how 2001 of you.

            In short, you don't take the advice of your own 'Web Design Basics' article on your website - Clean Code! What that means is separating, as much as possible, the content from the presentation, and using properly structured and formatted code, along with CSS (style sheets) to determine the look of the site, so that the search engines don't have to drill down through layers of gunk (table tags, formatting tags, inline styles) to get to the content.

            Powerful extra benefit of full CSS website - a new redesign would mean you update the CSS, and some include files, and never touch the content pages themselves, and Viola! A new website, in a fraction of the time it would take to hammer at each page of content applying a new design layout.

            If you'd like to not DIY on your website makeover, give me a call - I can certainly help you out.

            Mike -
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Critique of
                mrbizplan Wayfarer
                Thanks for the advice. Maybe I will take you up on pursuing a quote for the redesign.

                Some responses to your feedback:

                Front End - I agree that the font is too small on some pages. And honestly, not knowing alot about websites when I started this in 2006 I was shooting for keyword density without trying to stack the pages. Now...I realize that I need to focus on features and benefits of the software in easy to read sections/bullit points.

                The three year projection is completed...just needs to be uploaded. I am hemming and hawing about making the online software crippleware and charging to unlock certain features allowing me to give away the free and charge for the premium features. Also, I would like to actually integrate the excel spreadsheets into the pages rather than have it a seperate file.

                The one way contact is something that I always wanted to fix...but...the website is a conflict of interest with my current full time job so until this year I had to keep it under wraps. Going into 2008 that won't be an issue so I am going to have full contact info including a 1-800 number (something I will need if I intend to monitize the site).

                Back End - I outsourced the programming and while I am happy with how the site looks there is not a lot I know about how it works or the quality of the code (I paid a relitively small amount for the initial development so I would hate to nitpick).

                Regarding keywords...I know I am not the only person to use keyword metatags. I also know they are of little importance...but why leave them out?

                Thanks again for the advice.

                Donovan - Mr BizPlan
                  • Re: Critique of
                    regarding meta-tag KEYWORDS...

                    technically, no harm in leaving them in at all. But too many people use them with the false notion that they somehow influence rankings, and get caught up in the voodoo of it all. If it helps you think about phrases that you'd like to be found under for a search, then great - knock yourself out.

                    But instead of updating the tag itself, make sure the key phrases are in your content, your title, your H1 and your meta-tag DESCRIPTION, which are all looked at carefully by the search engines.

                    Also avoid trying to rank all pages for all things - each page of your site should work at attracting one or two major phrases of value.

                    I'd be happy to quote on building you a new website, with a great looking design, easy to navigate, easy to read/scan/grok content, fast to download, search engine friendly, PLUS a CMS to help you maintain the articles section of your content. We normally don't do site-wide CMS, since so many pages require a good eye for layout and knowledge of HTML/CSS to layout effectively, so we provide pre-paid maintenance for those sections.

                    Ready when you are. Mike
                • Re: Critique of
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  Great analysis from MTCreations.

                  I'll offer a different viewpoint on just one thing he wrote: As a purchaser and a frequent "recommender" of software tools like this for clients, I actually LIKE the smaller font (the dark text on white is easily readable). The reason I like it is because I'm generally searching/comparing products like this for a specific person and application -- so when I arrive at your page, I want to see as much information as possible without having to drill down. The more that's there, the more likely I am to decide that this is what I need (or to realize that it isn't, but to have learned enough to know it will suit a future need, resulting in a bookmark and a return to buy in the future). If you use a larger font, either I have to keep scrolling down or chasing through links -- and I won't do either (too many competing products to see, too little time). I'll just move on and never return. I know blocks of text can be problematic in other ways, so I'm not saying you should leave it as it is -- just consider how your actual customers shop and buy if you do redesign it.

                  I do very strongly agree that your name and contact information should appear at the bottom of each page. Whether it's right or wrong, my assumption is that not having that there means you're just a pass-through order taker, and that I'll find the same thing for a better price with better service somewhere else.

                  By the way, I think the three-year projection you mentioned would be an important function to add.

                  Hope this helps. Best wishes.
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful