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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Small business owners, software/website questions...

Looking to pick up software that will keep tabs on business related expenses as well as keep track of inventory levels. Looking for a little better than me keeping tabs on an excel spreadsheet or pieces of paper LOL. I've looked into Quicken just because I use Turbo Tax, but really have no idea what else is out there that is relatively simple to use.

When it comes to your website, who/how was it created, approximate cost to have it built and to keep it running, etc. I do plan to have a shopping cart/check out process so I assume a little more security is involved in creating the site? I'd also like to be able to make minor changes such as inventory changes and the like myself and not have to rely on someone else to make the changes for me.

Deposit your below....

Last edited by [email protected]; 06-23-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:00 PM
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What you doin now?
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:05 PM
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Quickbooks Pro is what my accountant had me get

Has accounting features and does inventory you want and other such stuff you will probably never use.

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product...ison-chart.jsp

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:06 PM
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:07 PM
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Quickbooks. Seriously. Easy to use and will keep track of everything you want.

We are spending 100k on our current website project, but we are also building custom portals for our custoemrs in there. Go open-source and you will save a ton and have far more "community" support. You will want a programmer, obviously. If you get a good freelance guy you could get somethign going for 50$ an hour. If you are tying to some back-end database, things get a little tricky but easy for aq good developer. Also, hosting it externally will save on infrastructure costs, especially if you plan to grow your business off of it.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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I got some of it , but you lost me here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcohenchicago View Post
Go open-source and you will save a ton and have far more "community" support.
and here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcohenchicago View Post
If you are tying to some back-end database, things get a little tricky but easy for aq good developer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcohenchicago View Post
Also, hosting it externally will save on infrastructure costs, especially if you plan to grow your business off of it.
By hosting externally, you mean I pay another company to keep the website address "live" and working right instead of me buying all the computers and such to keep it "live" myself right?
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:26 PM
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What exactly are you trying to do and/or sell?


If you want a low investment and ease of use you can just use a host like GoDaddy. They have an interface that will allow you to setup Open Source shopping carts like OSCommerce by just clicking buttons. Then you just customize the cart.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
What you doin now?
Best Buy is killing my weekends. Oh, and I'm not at Vernon Hills anymore, at the Mundelein store now incase you decide to pop in again . Let me know when it's time to hook up the Accord or put TVs and cameras on the RR

Not to toot my own horn but I get paid peanuts for someone who's been doing it for 10+ years and if I'm goin to work 7 days a week, I'd rather be working for myself on the weekends. Much more enjoyable and I can actually recomend crap that fits the customer's needs and not be told to sell what's "in stock". Not that it stops me anyway, but you catch my drift lol.
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostnGTI02 View Post
Best Buy is killing my weekends. Oh, and I'm not at Vernon Hills anymore, at the Mundelein store now incase you decide to pop in again . Let me know when it's time to hook up the Accord or put TVs and cameras on the RR

Not to toot my own horn but I get paid peanuts for someone who's been doing it for 10+ years and if I'm goin to work 7 days a week, I'd rather be working for myself on the weekends. Much more enjoyable and I can actually recomend crap that fits the customer's needs and not be told to sell what's "in stock". Not that it stops me anyway, but you catch my drift lol.
So wait, you're still doing the 9-5 at Grainger, then BB mundelein store on sat/sun?
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus View Post
What exactly are you trying to do and/or sell?


If you want a low investment and ease of use you can just use a host like GoDaddy. They have an interface that will allow you to setup Open Source shopping carts like OSCommerce by just clicking buttons. Then you just customize the cart.
Mainly retail car audio/install parts, bolt on performance, and motorcycle parts. Eventually install as well when I get the scratch to get a small garage.
post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:36 PM
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+1 on QB Pro, unless you really do not have that much volume. If not, a nice spreadsheet will do the trick just fine and you will not be wasting time playing with software. As far as a website, again, it depends on the volume you predict. A simple site with a shopping cart will run you at minimum $1500 plus ~$50 a month to maintain. Again that is at minimum. Now if you just want an informational site, that will be much cheaper to start with and you can grow into it.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostnGTI02 View Post
By hosting externally, you mean I pay another company to keep the website address "live" and working right instead of me buying all the computers and such to keep it "live" myself right?
Yes on this. If you have the means to host it yourself, by all means do it. However, if it's going to be simple and potentially grow into somethign bigger (hopefully) you will want the redundancy of externally hosting and backing up your site.

On the other stuff...

There are "packages" you can buy that can be quite costly that will do what free open-source code will do. What I mean is that you can buy stuff or you can get someone that uses open-source coding which is free, leaving more money for development.

The database stuff is probably somethign you won't have to deal with. For us, we have a huge database that we host and use daily, but the website is externally hosted so connections between the two need to be fast and reliable so the customers are not pissed off at slowness.

For you, a simple shopping cart, some decent front end work, and you are good to go. $2,000.00 max if you want it to look professional.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
So wait, you're still doing the 9-5 at Grainger, then BB mundelein store on sat/sun?
Yup, I'm a machine...
post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd656 View Post
+1 on QB Pro, unless you really do not have that much volume. If not, a nice spreadsheet will do the trick just fine and you will not be wasting time playing with software. As far as a website, again, it depends on the volume you predict. A simple site with a shopping cart will run you at minimum $1500 plus ~$50 a month to maintain. Again that is at minimum. Now if you just want an informational site, that will be much cheaper to start with and you can grow into it.

Yeah I predict volume will be very low for a while lol. I'm more just looking to get everything organized in one place. Sounds like QB is the way to go.


As far as a website goes, for now I'm looking for super basic, kinda like this guy's site from WERA. I just want simple that will get the job done.
post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:54 PM
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Quicken Online is free, FREE.

QuickBooks Online is great too.
http://www.abacusrex.com/serv_virtual_bookkeeping.html

===========
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
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Quicken Online is free, FREE.

QuickBooks Online is great too.
http://www.abacusrex.com/serv_virtual_bookkeeping.html
is that a free version of quickbooks?



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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 04:59 PM
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No, but cheaper than buying it. The Quicken is free though.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 05:18 PM
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ahh cool



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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 11:09 PM
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The site you listed is not even ecommerce enabled from what I can see. And it's very very basic and maybe a cheap template.

Quickbooks for sure to manage your business as a whole. But I would still recommend some 3rd party hosting. Hosting yourself or purchasing dedicated hosting is WAY to expensive and not worth the initial investment for what you are planning to do. Are you basically looking to move away from your Ebay selling profile/store that is in your signature?

I've built a bunch of sites in the past for small companies like yours and OSCommerce is not a bad way to go. Just searched to see if any are online and this one is still live. If you follow RC racing specifically 1/12 electric this company is real good.

http://bmiracing.com/webstore/catalog/

That cart is hosted at GoDaddy if I remember right, OSCom, and I did most of the original artwork and graphics for it. Now the owner knows how to add, delete, change pricing, etc and does it all on his own. OSCom is easy if you only want to use Ppal. If you want to accept credit cards then you will also need your own merchant account.

If you want to go even simpler you could build purely static site and use Paypal buttons on a product page. Paypal has a feature that you can generate the buttons and code/links then you just plug that into your HTML.


I'm 5-0 now but worked in the web dev, dot.com, private sector for 6 years before joining the donut force. Now I get to do computer stuff and have a .9mm I'm usually online all day so feel free to ping any questions directly to me or on this forum. My recommendation is to go the cheaper route first but with a nicely laid out site. Then if it really got big that's when you could explore other options in terms of e-commerce.

Last edited by Nexus; 04-08-2009 at 11:13 PM.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-08-2009, 11:31 PM
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Quickbooks will be fine and has a very user friendly interface but I prefer Peachtree. It's more difficult to learn but you can run a $100M+ business with it. QB is good up to $10M.

We operate twelve ecommerce websites and do all of the design and developement in house. We have an office in India and that is where we do all of our coding. We are in the process of a complete redesign that will combine all of our websites into one user interface.

I'm not sure what is currently available in a template based ecommerce site but that would be your best bet at this stage. Keep it simple so you can focus on the business. If things take off you can always upgrade. Let me know if you have any questions.

Also, don't forget about search engine optimization. We also do this in house so I can help you with this. It really is the most important aspect in my opinion.

Think big and good luck in your new venture!

Last edited by MVRC51; 04-09-2009 at 12:08 AM.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the help so far! Rest asured I will continue to pick your brains...
post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 08:04 AM
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QB can be had for $100 bucks from Ebay. Website is cake, if you use someone elses cart system or like Google checkout.

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I have seen the HTML "buttons" that paypal offers and thought that would be a good idea to use. Any pointers on where to start or how to start shopping for someone or a company to create a website? I'm pretty sure I can figure out how to add/change/remove things once the site is up. I do understand the basics of HTML with opening and closing tags from messing around with photobucket if some HTML knowledge is needed to make said changes.

To your point Nexus, yes I for sure want to navigate away from eBay as my main "store front". eBay eats alot of what little margins I do have to be competitive lol.
post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 11:38 AM
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I offer hosting and design services. I by no means am an expert though. PM or email me and we can talk.

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 11:43 AM
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Good luck with the business. I open mine this monday!!

RIP ASHWIN 7/23/2009



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trust me i am not the same cock sucker i was a few years ago either and so on.
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