We've recently had 3 or 4 enquiries asking us if we could design and build the equivalents of leading global enterprise brands.
"I bought a domain a few years ago and I've done nothing with it, www.trollzebrafishdonut.com. So me and my mate thought we'd get a website developer to put something on it that would make us a lot of money".
"What we want is a website where users can create accounts, write about themselves, share photos and invite their friends, we have £3,000, can you do it?"
"You mean a Facebook copy?" "Better than Facebook, we'd have a load of big adverts on it and we'd charge users to have an account."
"Right, OK... so do you have a business plan?" "Not yet, we're just gathering costings at the moment." "Have you ever started or managed a business before?" "No, but I watch Dragons' Den". "OK, go and watch the re-runs on Dave carefully... on the TV in your local mental hospital!"
And another one - "I want a Groupon daily deals type website, I have about £2,000, can you build it for me?" And another one - "What I want is a social interaction website, where musicians can upload their music and videos, and invite their fans to create user accounts, it will have the best bits from Myspace, YouTube and Facebook but with more adverts. We have about £2,500." And another - "Can you make me a website where people can sell things they don't want, a bit like eBay, I have £1,000?"
Clearly these people are sadly deluded.
Firstly, if you have a great idea for an online enterprise; realise it takes great talent to ensure a tech start-up is successful, talent is not cheap; so secondly you need sufficient funds to cover all of the first few year's costs, to approximate what these would be you need a well researched business plan with a SWOT analysis; and to effectively research, analyse and plan you need business skills and experience.
There are plenty or sources of help and guidance for starting a business, but the initial idea still needs to be realistic. If you have an idea for a great product, there are people and companies that could help with funding in exchange for equity, or you could sell your invention or license it out. If your idea is an online enterprise service, like eBay, Groupon or Facebook, you'll need to find talent to help you develop it.
Big projects like these require the employment of researchers, software engineers and coders, designers, UX testers, project managers, marketeers, sales people, department managers, and people for data entry, admin, legal, finance and credit control, accounting, customer support, etc. You can't just hire a web development company - you need to find and employ a team.
That £3,000 won't even cover the cost of desks and chairs. Add 3 or 4 extra zeros and maybe your idea will have a chance of success.