What is the best way to design a workable web site?
Q: My question is very basic. What is the best way to design a workable web site? I have read up on web planning, I know what I want in it, and I’ve gleaned some great ideas from the best on the Net but my poor web site doesn’t work right. I just don’t understand how to fix it. So do I find a local person who will manage my web site for me, a regional outfit that might cost more, or maybe a national web designer that I give over all my access to in order for them to keep it looking and working good. How does that work anyway?  I’m floundering in a non-functioning site. Until my site is running, I can”t move forward.  Oh, and cost is also a big factor. —R.L.

A: The question you are asking may seem basic, but it is asking many different questions within the one frame.  What isn’t working right on your site?
• The actual coding is wrong so it isn’t rendering correctly?
• It isn’t selling, marketing or pulling customers the way you hoped?
If it is the coding (backend) many people are accomplished and able to repair code, although repaired code is usually not as stable as new code.
Whether you use the "local guy", the "regional group", the "big national firms", or rentacoder.com, ask for references. Ask if they think this project is easy, (you want them to answer yes), ask how they might suggest improving your idea, and ask for a specific cost and timeline.

Web marketing is entirely different and is a multi faceted question:
   1. What is my Web site supposed to accomplish?
   2. Who is my audience?
   3. What information do I want to put out there?

Most web developers and designers do not include web marketing or internet sales skills. Web site success takes a team. It is important to look for a company that has a team of designers, coders, traffic developers, copywriting, cart setup, application maintenance and online and offline marketing, etc.

February 4th and 8th’s blog might help, interestingly enough they are on being "stuck". It might jog some ideas and answers. I know you will have the solutions that are just right for you—entrepreneurs are remarkably able to solve problems in creative ways. Sometimes it just helps to break down what appears to be a large problem into focusing on only the next action rather than all the actions, it’s not nearly as intimidating. 

Proposal Preparation
Q: I have just gotten a RFQ for a big job. I don’t know where to start and I don’t want to blow this opportunity. — S.B.

A: You just got a Request for Quote (RFQ) or a Request for Proposal (RFP), now what…

First, read the request for proposal over completely and carefully. It would amaze you to know how many of your competitors will not even read the complete request. Highlight important information as you go, e.g., the due date, the length.

Start with an Outline Page. Write those important points at the top of your Outline page. Continue through the request and note on your Outline page the different sections that they are requesting you cover in your proposal. Leave space between each section header. These section headers will become your "Chapters". As you read, make note of what they consider the problems they need you to solve. So let’s start with the formula: — to read the formula