HWG Resources FAQs HWG-Business List FAQ

HWG-Business List FAQ

Table of Contents

  1. What is the HWG-Business List Charter?
  2. What resources does the HWG offer?
  3. How do I start a HTML business?
  4. How much should I charge?
  5. Where can I get contracts?
  6. What about advertising?
  7. Where can I find out about copyrights?
  8. What about Trademarks/Names?
  9. Where do I find a good Web Site host?
  10. What are the web sites for some business organizations?
  11. How can I promote my website?
  12. How can I include the subjectline in an E-Mail link?
  13. Where can I get some kind of certification for web design?
  14. Can I post a help wanted ad to the list?

  1. What is the HWG-Business List Charter?

    The HWG-Business list is used by the HTML Writers Guild to discuss matters related to the business/financial/marketing aspects of running an HTML shop. Discussions about contracts, ethics, copyright, marketing, sales techniques, etc are most appropriate. Discussing what to charge, prices, etc. is not a topic for this list. If you have a strong desire to discuss what to charge please read the Pricing FAQ at prior to posting.

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  2. What resources does the HWG offer?

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  3. How do I start a HTML business?

    Here is a full plan for how to start a HTML business.

    Or you can go to the Mailing List Archives.
    Do a subject search for From: Duif Subject: Starting a business
    Or use the direct URL

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  4. How Much Do I Charge?

    Investigate what others in your market with equal skills are charging. What you charge is also directly related to your overhead. If you are working out of your home without the expense of rent and an office, you may be more flexible and have the ability to offer a less expensive program.

    However, the key is to insure that your services offer value to your clients; and more importantly offer you a profit. Determine your expenses, and divide by the number of hours per week you work. That is the minimum hourly wage you *need* to command to be profitable.

    Each geographical location has different costs, different services, and different markets. Asking a person in Los Angeles, CA, USA what they make or charge for a particular service really doesn't apply to someone in Dodge City, KS, USA because the costs and markets are totally different. It applies even less in say: Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    See the How to Set Rates FAQ which covers this in detail. In brief you may try public sources available locally for that kind of information. The following sources exist in almost any geographical location in the U.S.:

    • The public library
    • The Chamber of Commerce
    • The Small Business Administration
    • The Better Business Bureau
    • Small Business Development Centers (larger cities, usually)
    • The Internet (published prices on various indexes, or by individual sites)

    Pricing is difficult to determine in an industry that has not yet solidified. If you offer high service levels and value, which is important to attaining and maintaining clients, you will have no problem commanding a rate that will allow you to be profitable.

    NOTE Please keep in mind that discussing what to charge on a HWG mailing list is in violation of the Mailing List Actionable Rules. The reason for this ban is listed at the Pricing Discussion FAQ, and are based on the Guild's desire to avoid even the appearance of "price fixing."

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  5. Where can I get contracts?

    There are many contract resources on the Web for you to customize for your purposes. However, it is strongly advised to find an attorney well versed in this industry to draw up a contract for you as each business' service offering is unique and you will need to tailor your agreement to your enterprise.

    To work without a contact is opening your business up to liability or legal actions from those who do not understand this industry or technology and may have unrealistic expectations in regards to what services you will offer. A contract gives you the opportunity to make clear each sides responsibilities, liabilities, expectations and recourse. A contract also allows you to address copyright and trademark issues.

    Be sure to get legal advice in this area; a contract that is not enforceable is akin to not having a contract al all.

    You can get sample contracts at the Web Developer's Contract Swipe File.

    More information about contracts:

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  6. What About Advertising?

    Let's call it marketing. The online environment and your Web presence are only a part of your business' marketing arsenal. Budget for an aggressive, consistent off-line marketing campaign. Ask yourself, "Where can I tap in to my target market?" and consider these opportunities:

    • Join Community Groups, Chambers, Clubs
    • Offer to do Internet Presentations
    • Donate Web pages to groups you believe in
    • When marketing in print, ask for the same spot and change your ad often
    • Yellow pages are critical to tapping into the off-line market not yet online. Most often as a start up, you can get a great rate on your first time in the book
    • Create strategic alliances with computer shops, hardware consultants and those related to your field; these companies are a gold mine for referrals
    • Post a flyer or your business cards at local grocery stores and community buildings
    • The best marketing of all is client word-of-mouth. Run an ethical business, do quality work, educate your clients, offer high levels of service and support and new clients will find you!

    NOTE Unless specifically allowed in the list-specific rules, we do not allow any kind of advertising messages in the mailing lists, except with previous approval of the List Guide. See The Netiquette Guidelines for more information.

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  7. Where Can I Find Out About Copyrights?

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  8. What About Trademarks/Names?

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  9. Where do I find a good Web Site host?

    The List of Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

    The List of Budget Service Providers (BSPs) (Includes Virtual Server providers with a comparison chart of features)

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  10. What are the web sites for some business organizations?

    (Please keep in mind that the inclusion of an organization does not mean that the HWG endorses the organization)

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  11. How can I promote my website?

    When you are in the business of creating websites, this usually includes promoting the websites to increase the amount of traffic to the site. Here are a few pointers to how you can promote your site on the Web:

    Please keep in mind that there is no way to completely gaurantee that a website will be listed in the #1 spot all the time. Each search engine works differently and that will affect how a site is listed.

    You should also be sure to do some off-line promotion of your site. Advertisements in local papers, magazines and yellow pages can often help increase traffic to your website. Don't limit your site promotion to just online tactics.

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  12. How can I include the subjectline in an E-Mail link?

    Keep in mind that this method works in only a few browsers and may cause problems in those browsers and/or email programs that don't support it. Also, technically this question is off-topic for the -business list, but is included here since it is commonly asked about.

    <A HREF="mailto:name@something?subject=Subjectline">

    http://www.hwg.org/msgid/199610120431.AAA08658@itchy.mindspring.com offers alternatives to the automatic subject line approach

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  13. Where can I get some kind of certification for web design?

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  14. Can I post a help wanted ad to the list?

    If you wish to post a "Help Wanted" you must send it to the List Guides approval. The ideal situation is to compose a brief message, with a URL link to company information (if appropriate) and please specify in the ad that replies should go to you and not the list. It may not mention of wages/compensation. Including "hype" would be considered advertising so keep the company info short and to the point or use a pointer. The List Guides may check the legitimacy of the post. If approved the List Guides will forward the post to the list for you. If it is not approved their will reply to you inform you of this. Please allow 2 business days for this process. This also applies for "referral services" and "referral link pages."

    NOTE: Do NOT send job postings to the List Guide alias as attachments or stylized text. All job postings should be sent as plain text included within the E-Mail to the List Guides.

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