Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Frus...

It was September 2007 when I finally decided to give it a go to start an online business selling baby pouch slings... something I am passionate about. After all, I am not a businessperson and for me to sell anything would mean that I have to believe in them. Otherwise, I knos for sure I will not succeed.

Just recently, I have read of my Chinese astro sign "GOAT- Elegant, charming and artistic. Need to feel loved and protected. Goat people are dreamers. Business is definitely not the strength in a goat, they will make good craftsman, artist or writers."... How true, I must say. Especially the part where "...Business is definitely not the strength in a goat".

Anyway, with my passion of the pouch sling and with a mission to spread to the world the benefits of babywearing, I have decided to start an online business selling the pouch sling I love so much. Indeed, I have been sewing them for some time before I decide to take the plunge.

So, I asked around for recommendations on website development.. not many, considering most of those around me are not online shoppers... indeed, they don't go online much. Anyway, got recommended to a company that supports the disabled... Yes, I am a sucker for things that are linked to doing a good cause. So, without much thought, I decided to engage their services... Sadly, 'doing a good cause' in this case came with a huge price to pay. Til now, my site is still not ready. Til now, it is a mess and I am selling my stuff through a blog. *Frus**Frus*

It is so bad that my customers are starting to provide recommendations to other web developers... huh... so, I asked them one last time about when will it possibly be ready and wow! I got a quick reply saying that it is ready.. just need to do beta testing.

Yes, you guessed it right. It is SO NOT READY. There are a bunch of functions that I do not require. There are a bunch of information that are foreign to me.. even to them... There are so much mistakes with the English language... I am no language expert but really, broken English is what I would not deem professional and might turn me off a site... can you believe it??! Anyway, after letting out my dissatisfaction, they are now suggesting that I do not continue with their service... "no point to keep you unsatisfied"?? What??!!

So, here I am... looking around for web developers... will be calling some of those who were recommended to me (Yes, more than one person recommended, looking at how long it's taking. It was only after 2 months did I realise that a site could really be up and running in a month!).. yet, struggling with a budget. Don't know if I have enough to start from scratch again... Did make partial payment to them, you know...

Anyway, for those of you looking at starting an online store, please, please consider these before engaging their services:

  1. Ask for sample sites (it never occured to me to ask as I have seen a site they have came up with... however, the one I saw was an informational site and believe me, it is really very different. When I finally asked for a sample site using the shopping cart... well, only then did they tell me I am their first customer of such... It is VERY VERY IMPORTANT to have a look at their commercial sites as I'd later learnt that most developers has a set template to it. All they do is to modify the graphics and tailor make a bit here and there... in my case, the main problem is the template... I kept asking them about it and they kept telling me to wait... that things can be modified. Naive of me but I'd always thought that anything can be modified to my liking... in my case, not true at all...)
  2. Check on the time required to have it up and running (Yes.. 3 months for me and it's still hanging there with a big pile of mess. Perhaps they thought it's be easy with the template. Poor guys (or, poor me?) ... they met with a customer who knows how a site should work or at least how a site should look like...)
  3. Ask for details (I am still not sure if I am asking all the right things now but I'd probably just go with an experienced developer this time... and make sure I ask for more than one sample site, to be sure)

Now, I am hoping they don't charge me anything more... Now, I am hoping they will let me keep the design I love...

Now, with my limited resources, and with the charges of website development costing quite a fair bit, I am not sure if I shall really get another developer.. perhaps, I should just sell off the blog for the meantime??

Thank you so much for 'listening' and would appreciate your comments.

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