View Full Version : advice needed please

11-01-2007, 09:54 PM
Hi to you all, i am new to the site and need abit of advice please.

I am currently setting my own home part - time business, i am creating a website to advertise property rentals, and possibly oither type of rentals in the future. I am currently working full time aswell doing 12 hour shifts and im going to be a dad in the next 2 weeks !! :D

i need some advice on software licensing. I will be using programs such as dreamweaver, fireworks and photoshop cs. The thing i am wondering is will i need a retail license for all these programs and will i need to to change my version of windows xp to the retail version, as i also use the computer for domestic use?

Also i have been looking to buy this software on ebay, some people may disagree buying these from ebay, but it seems like the cheapest option to me, with only having limited funds saving money is abig issue.

With regards to the windows xp retail version, some of them sold on ebay say they're origin is from "ireland" does this matter in regards of getting updates for the software as i live in england?

Any help is much appreciated and thanks for reading :)

11-01-2007, 11:19 PM
From your post it is not clear whether this software is to be used for the development of the site or whether you are building your own property management/CRM system.

As you are looking at property rentals, have you not looked into some of the dedicated packages available instead of the various ones you are looking at. Most of which can do everything, from the back end accounting, and property management to the property marketing and search, they also have web interfaces too, making things that much simpler.

Such as Aspasia, Aquaint, Core, Vebra, Dezrez etc they all can cope with the technology which has eventually been adopted by most agents (plans, virtual tours, SMS etc).

Are you going to use one of the property portals, I strongly suggest you do, as there are many property based websites out there that don't and they suffer as a consequence. There is a strong case to have your own site, which is something we at RedSofa will be looking at in the near future, however full integration into Rightmove is a must for us.

You may only be looking at 'advertise only' style sites, therefore not require any property management, however, I think the portal integration is still vital.

I know this doesn't directly answer your question but this may mean that you don't require the products you are looking at.

11-01-2007, 11:43 PM
I think what you mean is - do your licences for the softwares cover commercial use rather than domestic/personal use?

Most programs such as you mention will either be supplied with a personal, educational or commercial licence and if you intend to build sites / design elements with the software then, naturally, it should be a commercial licence.

You'll find that most cheap software sold on eBay comes with an Educational licence. Using that would be, technically "illegal".

In any case, if you buy the correctly licenced software, you can either claim for them as a business expense and/or claim back the VAT. :)

12-01-2007, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by adyinlancs
Also i have been looking to buy this software on ebay, some people may disagree buying these from ebay, but it seems like the cheapest option to me, with only having limited funds saving money is abig issue.

There is a strong risk of the cheap eBay versions being pirate copies, so my advice is to stay well clear.

I do not understand what you are saying about retail licenses, and changing your XP license.

If money is an issue, download the TheOpenCD... http://www.theopencd.org/programs

It includes NVU, an open source answer to Dreamweaver.

12-01-2007, 05:36 AM
hi, thank you all for replying

redsofa - i will be concentrating purely just on advertising, the portals is something i have looked into and it does sound like i should be partners with them. My current plan is to soley focus in my own area of lancashire advertising property for landlords and also sections for people wanting to rent places, such as students, people with poor credit etc. I know that the estate agents advertise and manage properties for lanlords, but i am hoping to build up the site so that they can see me as another option. If it does take off, then i plan to expand and accomodate adverts from other areas of the uk, but obviously this will probably a very slow process, but it also gives me a chance of running the site aswell as working full time.

Sunee - in regard to retail licenses, i mean a commercial licence, my current xp is just the home edition, but i wondered was would i need to change the license to a commercial license? as i would be running the business off the computer, but would also be using the computer for domestic use, because its in my house. If i dont need to change my version of windows or licence then it will save me abit of cash, but im guessing i will need to purchase the commercial version, and as eagle said i could try and claim the expenses back.

Thanks for all your advice and sorry for any confusion on my part :)

12-01-2007, 09:18 AM
The XP Home edition can be used for business applications, so you do not need to change your licence.

XP Pro includes a few more features, but if you already have XP home, it is not really worth changing over.

Here is a comparison:

One of the main reasons businesses use XP Pro, is for the central administration and remote installation service, which are handy when you have a large network.

12-01-2007, 09:22 AM

I wish you well as you are entering a very established and competitive arena. This is not to say that it cannot be done much better, but you will be competing against professionals who know your area very well.

As a landlord myself I see there a great need for a well targeted and cost effective way of marketing my own properties, unfortunately at present the letting and estate agents seem to have free reign as they have the marketing machines behind them.

Crack the marketing and I think the rest will fall into place, if you make it attractive to landlords you may just persuade them that paying a months rent for a finders fee is totally unnecessary.

Best of luck with it, and I hope you post your progress on here.

12-01-2007, 09:14 PM
hi, thanks for all your comments and it has helped me out alot. I will definately post my progress on here, but as im still at the research and planning stage there isnt that much to tell.

I will definately be coming back looking for web developers to help me out with my site, this will be mostly the forms and database side of things and possibly an integrated control panel so that customers can upload more images, change their descriptions when they want too.

I do not know what my funds are for this at the minute, but i will be aiming at the 500 - 1000 mark for someone to the work for me ( i dont know if i will need more? advice?) . As i say this will probably be in the next few months ..... newborn babies are expensive ha ha :D

thanks everyone :)

12-01-2007, 09:23 PM
Hi there
Save your money for the baby, i will be happy to give you any advice that you need free of charge.


12-01-2007, 09:50 PM
that will great cheers !! have you got an email address that i can contact you on?

12-01-2007, 10:01 PM
Just click on my profile.
Where abouts are you based Andy?
I'm in Blackpool.

12-01-2007, 10:08 PM
im based in rossendale, lancashire ( near accrington/blackburn ) do you have your own business? or a one similar to what i am building?

its really good that you are willing to give free advice, i didnt think anything was free anymore lol, its much appreciated, thank you.



12-01-2007, 10:16 PM
Hi Andy
I have family over your way, Haslingden.
I run a computer business in Blackpool have done for about five years now, was a technician at PC Plod before that.
I stumbled upon this site whilst searching for something else, i am happy to help if i can, and as for FREE well who knows you may be able to point out a few decent places to rent near you. LOL

12-01-2007, 10:56 PM
he he yes i can point a few out lol , i currently work in haslingden aswell.

have you got any experience in web development or know people?

im trying to get as much money as i possibly can for this part as i know you get what you pay for .... like i said tho im hoping to get all the site done within 2 months, then have all operating fully by 6 months, gives me chance for marketing etc

with me being only 24 and being my first venture, your experience of running a business will be invaluable, so i will definately be in touch :D

12-01-2007, 11:06 PM
Do you have a paper layout for your site?
Its much easier to figure out if you have it on paper(a bit like a comic strip)
I can code in asp, asp.net never touched PHP but if you are planning on access or sql database then no problems.
Just mail me anytime i am always in front of this thing.

My uncle has a farm near the Rising Sun Pub.

12-01-2007, 11:33 PM
ive got basic plans on paper with features and with advertising, i have no website as such set up yet, but have got the hosting sorted out etc, im at the very early stage of planning mainly, but the database side will be the most important, as this is what will mainly make the site work. I dont think i will need any php for the site at the begining, but may be something i will look into if the site grows.

How much would you charge for creating a database and integrating it within my site? would a contol panel be possible to be created for members to use without being in php format? the control panel isnt a must i suppose, but it will be a feature that will make the site more attractive and professional.

13-01-2007, 12:39 AM
I am going to be a dad in about 9 days time as well!!!

How is your preparation, are you ready now?

We are almost ready but still doing some works in baby's room.

I have a similar plan of setting up a property portal but my website is only focusing in London area.

My website is about 80% ready after months of trials and errors.

Basically, I bought one turnkey website (paid peanut for that site) and change the codes and design by myself eventhough I have no experience in web programming (I am an accountant).

If you are interested, I could show you how to do it.

13-01-2007, 12:55 AM

yes we are about ready now, we have bought everything that we need, just waiting for the day that she decides to show herself lol, she is due on the 2nd of Feb, but my partner has a feeling that she will arrive earlier.

I have looked at templates and i dont think its for me to be honest. Some of the templates look abit drab and i know customization is possible but i want to maintain originality to the site. I have the basic design already complete, its just the content that needs to be added and also the database side of things taken care of ( which i am not very good at ).

I am aiming for the site not too look fancy, but just neat, easy to understand layout, with quick as possible page loads, most of the webspace will me taken up with images, so if the site looks on the plain side it will make the images stand out more, plus i have got the faster loading speeds.

But like i have said before im just at the researching stage, so if i just take my time, plan carefully im sure it will get set up with no problems ( beside the marketing side).

Is your site concentrating on property lettings, private sales, both? How is your preperation going ?

13-01-2007, 01:32 AM
Is your site concentrating on property lettings, private sales, both? How is your preperation going ?

I am going to do both as the main focus of my website is about the unique target market. With this in mind, I have my SEO strategy implemented and managed to secure the top 10 pages in SE for a number of preferred keywords.

Get your name and target market right, then you are in the business.

Regarding the website, if you have some money you could always ask the expert to help you. In my case, I would be very uncomfortable to deal with web designer/programmer if I don't understand the job that they are going to do for me.

By having a website to play with as a start, I have learned a lot and know what kind of things that could be done easily and what other things that need to leave to the experts.

However, I don't think having a good website is going to give you an edge in the market anymore, it is all about marketing.

you could always drop me a line at kstan1122 [a] hotmail.com

I could let you have a look at my website, if you are interested I could transfer all the files to your host for free.

13-01-2007, 01:48 AM
Thanks for reading all this and replying, i think i will go on as i am to be honest. The marketing side is a massive task and i know it wont be easy, but the website will need to meet my needs, by having some easy to understand and not fancy features will give me a degree of professionlism and it will also make people (i.e potential customers) take the company and site more seriously. It will also benefit me with working full time if alot of the site is automated and it will make life easier for the customer i.e not waiting for me to upload adverts on their behalf, so we are happy all round. :D

Most of my money will be invested in the marketing side, and my funds will be generate from me on a week by week basis. I have not got alot of money by no means, but i think i will have enough to get it started.