Marketing my application

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Ok, classic scenario.  I've written what I think is a ripper web
applications.  Its a POS (point of sale) system thats ideal for clothing
shop, jewelery shop, shoe shop, etc.    Probobly would not work for a
grocery or veggie shop as it does not include weight scale capability.

The customer is happy, and I have made it clear (in writing) that I own all
rights to the software.

So now, how should I go about marketing this software so I can make some
money out of it ?

Should I install it onto the clients computer, or host it on my own server ?

Also, I don't have thousands to spend on advertising, printing, television
or radio.

Re: Marketing my application

PW wrote:
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server ?
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If you do not have the money for advertizing, then make a website for
the software, and sell/install it everywhere you can.  Eventually you
will get a following.  Staring a company is hard enough to do when you
have adiquate capital.  Doing it with little or no capital is quite a
bit harder, and slower.


Re: Marketing my application

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Some suggestions to what you asked above:

For two main reasons I would reccomend you host it, if not on your own
server then under some kind of reseller program.

    First is the continuing income from the project.  Yes, you can probably
sell this thing for some good money, but by hosting or reselling it you can
continue to make income off it.  If it has to be hosted on the internet then
that means *somebody* is going to profit off it by charging hosting fees,
why not yourself?
    Second is the continued support of the software.  You can still support
the software no matter where its hosted, but if you are in control of the
hosting then it makes supporting the system alot easier and when you roll
out a new module or bug fix it can all be done to all businesses using the
software at once.  Think big picture here:  If you have 3 or 4 businesses
using your software it won't really matter where its hosted... but if it was
10 times that at 30 to 40 businesses... or 100 times that at 300 to 400
businesses... then you would definitly want to be in control of hosting
because just trying to apply a simple bug fix could be a rollout nightmare
if you have to log in to 300 different web hosts, using 300 different IDs
and passwords on 300 different FTP sites, etc.

First off, you want to build a website.  Odds are you won't get many hits
from people searching for a new POS system (POS systems make a tonne of
money so the search terms are all very competitive and pay-per-click
advertising can be pretty hefty)... but you want a website so that you can
send people to for more information and an easy sign up system.

    Your first priority is to get all your information up on the site
(rates, features, additional information, faq, etc) you should think about
adding a "Live Chat" module to site so that if people have questions they
can ask you.  You might even think of having one open in a popup each time a
new user visits your site with something like "Hi this is ___________
support and sales for the ABC POS System.  If you have any questions about
our service just type them below".

Once thats all set up, its time to start peddling your service to potential

Next step is to get business cards done up...  important here is that you
don't just get business cards that read something like:
Joe Shmoe
President - ABC Corporation
Phone: (555)123-4567

    Your cards should clearly specify what it is you do and what you are
selling...  if somebody receives a card like above and tucks it away in
their wallet for a month then when they finally do come back to it they
might not remember what you do and since its not clearly indicated on the
card (it just has a company name and contact info) they might wonder why
they saved it and then just toss it out.
    If you've given business cards out to people you'll notice too that a
natural reflex of people seems to be to check the back of the card... use
that and put something on the back, even if its unrelated to the POS System
(IE: "Other services we offer: web design, logo design, email, hosting, etc,
etc, etc")

    Next step I would reccomend is getting some booklets done up with
information about your service, its benefits, features, faq, contact
information, etc.
    The booklets I use for my company have a front and back cover (in color)
and 6 pages inside (8 if you count the inside covers) in black and white.
These look pretty snazzy when done and they were actually cheap to make up.
    The little booklets my company uses aren't too expensive to make...  All
the paper used is 11x17 inches.  The front/back covers are printed in color
on one side and black and white on the other side (the inside cover pages)
that costs us 50 cents (canadian) per sheet printed up.  the inside of the
booklet is double sided black and white printing/copying and the 3 pages
used cost 15 cents.
    So for a cost of 65 cents we end up with 2 booklets - we start with
11x17 inch paper and then that gets cut in half to make two booklets
measuring 5.25x8.25 inches (or 10.5x8.25 inches when opened up)
[the reason we start with 11x17 inch paper and then cut it in half, instead
of just going with 8.5x11 inch paper is because the cost to print the 11x17
sheet in color is less than the cost of printing an 8.5x11 sheet twice... it
might only be 22 cents per booklet saved or something like that overall, but
when you do up 5,000 of them it amounts to a fairly large savings]

    Once you have your booklets done up (or whatever promotional material
you decide to go with) then head on down to a central business part of town
and just go door to door handing them out to each of the businesses (with a
business card)...  this might take more time than mailing them out, but
saves you on the cost of envelopes and stamps and lets you make that first
initial contact with potential clients.

That old saying of "it takes money to make money" really fits in here... if
you go out into this with the mindset of "Whats the absolute cheapest way I
can promote this service?" then odds are you aren't going to get that much
in the way of sales for it... and so you want to think in terms of
"potential" and what is your required, and expected, rate of return.

IE: you might look at an upcoming convention  and the exhibitor fee might be
$5000.  Add to that the cost of hotel room, the cost to print up promo
material, cost to buy some kind of 'give away' prize, plane ticket(s) and
the cost of building a booth and you might be looking at a total cost of
$12,000-15,000.  Thats definitly getting up there in price, but if you break
it down as:   (total cost of convention)  divided by (profit from selling
the POS)    then that gives you the number of POS systems you have to sell
to cover the cost of the convention...

    And the same applies to everything... if you decide to go with the
booklet idea and the end cost to print and distribute them is 50 cents
each... and you are making $1000 profit off your POS system, then you should
look at it like "If I print and distribute 2000 of these booklets, I need
atleast 1 business to sign up for the service to cover the cost... if I
print up 10,000 of them then I need atleast 5 businesses to sign up to cover
the cost of printing."
    When you break it down and look at it like that, it makes the cost of
spending money alot more justifiable... and its why companies do things like
junk faxing and spam emailing... the cost to sell ratios are kept extremely
low so that they can still turn a decent profit by targetting more people
and thusly requiring a small percentage to buy to cover the cost of the


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