advice needed

Robert. You do not need to continue justifying your company's purpose to a Complete Public Asshole such as Paul Thomas. I think most of the more mature and respectable subscribers to this list understand what
you are trying to ask. Your best bet would be to ignore Paul. He obviously needs to grow up before contributing to the conversation.
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Thanks I appreciate that. I did not realize at first, that he is just trying to be a reverse troll. That is someone who responds to a post with the express purpose of fighting and not for constructive dialogue.
I am still interested in talking to accountants about some of these matters but perhaps I will focus on buying lunch for individuals and talking rather than Usenet posts.
Thanks.
--
Robert Anderson



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I am surprised by all of the negative comments you are receiving from people in the accounting field. For some reason, most of them seem to be thinking of your website design and web hosting services as being some kind of advertising or direct marketing plan to generate new business.
I don't see it that way. I went to your website and I was impressed. Your website loads quickly, is clear and direct, and it explains what you do, how it is done, and what the various price ranges are for your services. And, it always amazes me how people who claim to do website design either have a hokey website of their own, or have some elaborate, slow-loading, complicated website that doesn't tell me anything that I would want to know -- what you do, how it is done, and what it will cost. That's not the case with your website.
You make it clear that, if an accountant or other professional wants to have a website and a web presence, he/she can do so for very little in the way of upfront costs, and a very low monthly website hosting fee -- some of the lowest available. You even make it simple for them to make their own ongoing website changes for free -- without having to pay you or anyone else for that service.
As far as what will or will not go into the website, that will be completely up to them. So, there's no need for them to be whining that you don't know what all the advertising and other rules for accountants are. Why would you need to know that? They would be telling YOU what they want in their website -- you wouldn't be making it up out of thin air, and you certainly wouldn't be telling them what was going to be in their website. After all, it would be their website, not yours. How silly can they be? Next they'll be telling you that only a physician can create a website for a physician, and only an attorney can create a website for an attorney.
Now here's what I think is the most important point:
Obviously, no website is going to reach out and find new client's for accountants or any other professional.
But, when a client is shopping for an accountant, and doesn't already know one through a referral or otherwise, he/she will probably look in the Yellow Pages, and similar advertising formats. Then the decision becomes -- which one to choose from the tens or hundreds of professionals they see advertised -- the ones that have a 2 or 3 line ad in the Yellow Pages, or the ones whose websites they can find on the internet?
When I go to an accountant's or other professional's website, I can see what they do, how they do it, what their area of specialization is, etc. I can get a ton of additional information just by viewing the person's website. And, what does it cost that professional to provide me with all of that additional information via a website? -- about 15 bucks a month. Compare that to what they have to pay for Yellow Pages ads or ads in other forums.
To me, step one is to get a potential client to know you exist, and step two is to provide more information about your services to potential clients who are searching for an accountant or other professional. I can't think of any other medium, other than an internet website, that can provide so much additional information for such a low cost.
And, what does it cost for them to get a website and ongoing presence on the internet -- less than a $1,000 one-time cost, and less than $15/month. And, how does your cost structure compare to most other website design and web hosting services? -- your cost structure is far lower than almost all others in the field.
One would think that accountants, of all people, would find that interesting.

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The fact that you have to use regular advertising mediums to advertise your website is incredible, don't you think?
--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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wrote

your
No, it's not incredible -- especially since that's not what I was suggesting. I wasn't suggesting that anyone needs to use regular advertising mediums to advertise their website.
My point was that, even if all you have is a Yellow Pages listing, and even if that listing doesn't mention a website, someone who might be interested in your services could easily do a google search and find your website. This would even be true if all the person knows is your name, and you don't even have a Yellow Pages listing.
Or, if I were to go online and try to find accountants in my area, I assume the AICPA or some state CPA associations would have listings of accountants by location, area of practice, etc. If, in those listings, an accountant had a link to his/her website, I could easily click on that link and get more detailed information.
As another example, someone I know was referred to a CPA by a friend to help him with his tax returns and with some business-related issues. He told me who the accountant was, and that he seemed to be very helpful. Meanwhile, I was interested in finding a CPA with knowledge and experience in nonprofit accounting and the A-133 independent audit process. So the first thing I did was do a google search to see if he had a website, and then went to his website to see if it said anything about these specialized areas of practice.
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Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Frankly, I was a bit surprised too. When I talk to accountants I know about things like this in person it always works out very well -- and they are always interested in learning more. I can tell that by the questions I get. I have good friends who are accountants, and thought that a discussion on this group would be similar to my personal experiences.
I think the confusion is that we also sell a permission-based email marketing service called StreamSend that we bundle with our hosting. It is for the small business person or their marketing person to use for e-newsletters and so on. We have strict rules against using the service to spam people. It is permission-based only.

Thank you. I appreciate that. We worked hard on the website, and are proud of its functional yet aesthetically pleasing site.

That's right. We think that we have a good service but I am specifically interested in making it more useful to accountants in particular. This is a genuine interest of mine, given my personal connections to people in the field. I guess it is hard to convey sincerity through Usenet.

Very well put. I should have made it very clear early on as you have done.

In fact, for $9.95/month.
Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.
--
Robert Anderson



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You're welcome.
My interest in this area has to do with a belief I have had that there is a real need for small or very small businesses to be able to easily get a website presence for a small up front cost and a low monthly hosting fee. By very small businesses, I mean even one-person businesses like painters, handymen/women, etc. Most of these people can't afford much in the way of advertising, and the few ads they do run barely give anything more than a name and a phone number. Since they are paying for advertising by the line, they can't afford to really explain what they do.
Many of them have no idea how to get any kind of internet presence, how to get a domain name (or what a domain name is), or how to create a website. Yet, if they had a website that gave more information about what they do, they could just add that website address to their business cards, letterhead, classified ads, vehicle signs, or signs they place in front of a home while they are doing a job.
And, what would it cost them to do that? -- through you, a one-time $249.95 fee and $9.95/month -- far less than they now spend on advertising.
My fantasy for a long time has been to start a small business that could do that for these types of business persons. And perhaps hire high school senior computer geeks to do most of the work, and at the same time show those seniors how they could create a small part-time business of their own where they would help people get a website and web presence. I certainly wouldn't make much money doing that, especially since by teaching the high school seniors how to go out on their own I would creating my own competitors.
So, when I happened to see your post in alt.accounting, and then clicked on your website link, I was pleased to see that you offer a very similar type of service for very low costs.
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Trent wrote:

I think a problem in usenet posts of this type is that even <if> the request is well-intentioned (as I think it probably was/is in this instance), it immediately engenders thoughts of usenet abuse. Also, usenet is widely recognized as not the most representative sampling mechanism possible... :)
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As am I. This being your first (and my guess only) trip to this newsgroup. In fact, any newsgroup.
I am surprised that you appeared in time to salvage Robert's sales pitch.
If you're not a plant, why hide who you are?
--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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wrote

newsgroup.
Not true. I read this newsgroup and about 10 others on a regular basis. About 4 or 5 of them, I read every day. I read groups like alt.accounting and alt.comp.software.financial.quickbooks less often than the rest, but I do follow them.
I have posted here before and I frequently post in other newsgroups. But I change my name often, so my posts appear with different identities. Call me paranoid, but I don't like the idea that all of my usenet posts can easily be collected and viewed by anyone for all time simply by doing a groups.google.com search.

I am not a plant and I don't know who Robert Anderson is other than what he posted here and from looking at his website after seeing his post. My late arrival in this thread is just due to the fact that I don't read alt.accounting daily.
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