What do you need to start a website?

The indisputable answer to that question is- my programmer, Jake Carlson of the web development firm Dragon Eye Design. Jake started out as the person I hired to be the web programmer for Snabbo, but his job quickly morphed into becoming my official Consigliere. If you don’t know what that word means, either rent The Godfather or look it up on Wikipedia. Jake has advised me on everything from purchasing more domain names that were similar in spelling to Snabbo to how to write this blog!

Since there are so many items to attend to when you are a novice in starting a website, I have decided to neatly bullet point as many as I recall:

  • Write a business plan. It is boring and tedious, but the task itself helps you focus on what you want your business to look like. In the end, you may never need to show it to anyone, nevertheless, it will prove to be a useful exercise.
  • Register for a trademark as soon as possible. The process takes FOREVER and you want to have your logo secure when you launch if possible.You can either hire a trademark attorney. I recommend John Cone of Hitchcock Evert in Dallas Texas. You can also do it yourself www.uspto.gov/teas, but it is very confusing and time consuming. There are a number of costs involved and in the end you don’t know if you did it correctly and may need a lawyer anyway to fix it!
  • Purchase all domains that you can think of with similar spellings to your website. Your programmer can then point the DNS to all those domains. Then, if anyone makes a mistake in the spelling of your web address they are correctly directed to your website.
  • Do research on web hosting services. Your programmer can probably help you make that decision. Make sure they will offer you a refund if you are unhappy with their performance.
  • Apply for accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. Look into obtaining a certified privacy seal confirmation from TRUSTe.com. Both of these companies charge yearly fees, so you should weigh the options about user confidence in your website versus money out the wallet.
  • Incorporate your business. A good Certified Public Accountant can assist you. I recommend Dale H. Quenzer in Dallas, Texas. If you choose to incorporate you will need to keep up with your shareholder meeting notes.
  • Have a Non Disclosure Agreement available. You can cherry pick from templates on the internet and make your own. You just need to have people you tell about your idea sign this agreement. Hopefully, it keeps everyone honest.

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