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New E-Tailer Needs Help!

How to survive as boot-strap e-tailer???



6:01 pm on Dec 8, 2000 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired


I'm brand new to this discussion group - and wondered if I coud possibly get some advise... I started my own website - www.littlefan.com a few months ago. My timing couldn't have been worse! We are an pure play internet e-tail startup selling sports fan apparel and gifts for children, which is a pretty neat niche market without a whole bunch of competition right now. The idea was to start a biz (get incorporated, find dealers, buy stock, create website, etc.) on a shoestring budget and then write a killer business plan - which we did.

Being a pure play B to C e-tailer, we initially got some serious interest from Angel and VC investors - even got into some pretty good discussions with some of them (what % of company for how much $).... But as I'm sure everyone knows, things have gone steadily downhill for pure play e-tailers since March... and we no longer attract much attention from investors....

So... we're a bootstrap company now. The problem is, who wants to buy from an amateurish looking website they’ve never heard from? We now find ourselves in the classic e-tail position – we can’t afford to drive enough traffic to our site to become profitable. We’re getting some orders, and some rave reviews from happy customers – but we just can’t put enough eyeballs on our site… and then to compound the problem our site doesn’t look too professional (I created it with FrontPage and not a whole lot of experience!), so our conversion rates aren’t as high as we’d like them.

All in all I’d say bootstrapping has been (& still is!) pretty tough for us. We submitted to as many search engines as we could think of months ago – and are just now starting to get decent traffic from them…. But without some decent investment capital, we’ll be stuck here… with a none-to-professional-looking site, and no $ for a serious site and advertising -we're just covering costs.

So I'm looking for suggestions! My website is [littlefan.com....] What should I concentrate on? Revising my business plan to include physical stores (e.g. "bricks & clicks" model), borrow more $ to advertise (or is it dumb to advertise an amateurish site), borrow money for a real web developer? Are they're some simple low cost things I can do to my site to improve it? How about driving traffic to my site? Any help/advise would be GREATLY appreciated!

6:34 pm on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 22, 2000
votes: 0

Mousemoves, They do have that option. It is on the "right Mouse Button" :) hehe

Personally I open everything in a new window that is an exernal link as then I might find something else that is new on that site. I hate being given only half of what is there on a site.. give me a link with.....

www.domain.com/example/eg1/index.html I will usually delete all of the extra url and have a look in the root.

6:45 pm on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 22, 2000
votes: 0

>to truly meet everyone's needs it would be cool to have a function that offers this as a surfer option.

Exactly my thought. Seems like it would be do-able to alter the target with js (but I haven't thought this through yet).


4:56 am on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired


here's a solution i made up. tested in Nav. 4.08 and IE 5.5
i can't capture the right click¦open in new window. as is, it just opens on self. :(

<script language="JavaScript1.1">
var openwins = 0;
var a ="url";
function wins (){
if (openwins == 0) openwins =1; else openwins = 0;}
function dowins (b){
if(openwins==1) x(b); else y(b);}
function x (u){
function y (u){

<a href="#" onclick="wins()">
Click here if you prefer links to open in a new window. If you click here again, your links will not open in a new window. etc. </a>

<a href="#"
onclick = "dowins(a)">
The Link</a>


Edited by: mousemoves


6:41 am on Dec 22, 2000 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired


here is another interesting discussion about the SEO vs. web design debate.


This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34