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7. Develop your portal site with free or low cost tools. Some of web tools can be found at DollarTemplates.com. Hire a freelance consultant or offshore consultant to work on your portal project. It is much cheaper than hiring a full service consulting firm.
8. Develop your portal site structure and service offers. For instance, a B2B portal should include Storefronts and optional classifieds, auctions, and request for quotes (RFQ’s) serve their needs. Community features should have online polls, mailing list management, real-time news feed. They provide a highly profitable and competitive offering in most vertical portals. User personalization can also make your portal "sticky."
9. Manage your finance efficiently. Forget about free lunches or parties. Start with solid budget plans and spend your money wisely and carefully. Market your portal site by forming strategic alliances with other websites rather than spending hard-earned cash.
10. Many startups fail because of their poor management. If you want to start with low risk and low budget, consult with freelance consultant rather than hiring a consulting firm. Freelance consultants offer services and expertise at very reasonable rates. If you think about seeking venture capital to jump-start or strengthen your project, you may get a sample plan "B2B DotCom Startup Company Business Plan and Executive Summary" at B2B Resources Center at http://www.SmarTechLab.com/b2b.htm. However, it is very difficult for a dotcom startup to get VC funding now.
11. Partner with other startups or businesses to strengthen market presence. Many smaller portals are willing to team up with other portal sites to create a network presence on World Wide Web. Simply ask other portals and it would not hurt you at all!
In conclusion, it has never been easy to build a sound and successful dotcom operation, but keep your dream alive by working hard and working smart. Money will eventually be pouring in.
Brian Su is a senior consultant of SmarTechLab.com - an Illinois-based consulting firm that specializes in e-business marketing strategy. He also manages a popular microportal at http://www.DollarTemplates.com that provides pre-made web templates and technical resources to growing businesses around the world.