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Old 02-07-2009, 09:06 AM   #1
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Default Writing business letters

I am a young web designer looking to build up a large portfolio of work for my business. I am going to enquire into building an e-commerce platform for a local game store (independent) and want to know what i should put in a letter to them?

Should i used headed paper?
What should i tell them?

At the moment they're only e-commerce is done through eBay and i'd like to tell them they can ditch that and have a better, nicer looking, more efficient and commission less site set up with a dedicated domain and constant support.

Any suggestions?

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Old 02-08-2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Writing business letters


I've been there and done that before, so I thought I would give you a bit of advice as I was just browsing through the forums.

Just so you know, I used to be a coder and coded PHP / MySQL, I made around $500 in the first year I was doing, and I was only coding projects online. I was currently on stand by employment for the local web design company however they aren't the best company and always used damn Jmoola for their products, which never helped me get anywhere. As you said you want to do work in the real word, and not online which I think is good of you, as many people just do it freelance online.

I would reccomend headed paper yes. If I was you I would not use normal printer paper but the slightly thicker, creamish coloured paper becuase it immediately shows that you are interested in helping them the best you can. If you have a business logo, include that and your address, and a number and email address they can contact you on, this is a good start.

The letter should be typed not handwritten, although handwritten shows you have been to the effort to think about, there would be nothing worse than them not being able to read any part of your writing.

Finally, tell them that you have analysed the way that they deal with processing orders and in your personal experience it could be alot more slick. This shows them that you have taken time to evaluate what they have, and you know what your talking about. Don't put anything too technical which will confuse them and make sure they understand everything you write. Then just advertise what you can do, and what advantage it will be to them. Put that you are happy to answer any questions that they may have.

Just for me to make it clear, do NOT offer to do it cheaper as they are your first client. If you are brave enough to tell them thats up to you, but they pay for what they get. I made that mistake and ended up doing 5 projects for $20 each that I could easily have got five times it, so NEVER offer to do things cheaper, unless of course it's friends or family and if your business is going well, you may be able to afford them free!

If you have any questions let me know, as I am willing to help you. Good luck!

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Old 02-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Writing business letters

Personally, I don't think that it's worth the time and effort of writing to companies, you may get a little work for designing them an html template for their auctions, but they are probably on ebay for exposure rather than because they don't know they could have a website just selling things on their own.

I think that the best way that you can build up a portfolio is in two ways.

1, do some work for local businesses, find friends and family who have links and make sites for cheap of free just so that you can get a portfolio.

2, go to project tendering sites.

one of the best project tendering sites that I've found for the new starter running a business of web design from home is www.rentacoder.com

all you need is a paypal account, (that's how you get paid), the site acts as a middle man, (and makes some commission obviously).

basically a company that wants something ade goes to this site and post a description of what they want, then you'll reply to their advert saying that you can do this, link to your portfolio showing relevant experience and tell them something about yourself and how much you'd charge to do the work.

don't expect to get every coding job that you apply for on a site like this, but after you've done a few jobs and built up your reputation, (they have a feedback system) you'll get a few more jobs.

even if you only get 1 in every 20 jobs that you apply for on a site like this I still think it's a better way of contracting business because you are going after hot leads and not effectively cold calling people asking if they want work done.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Writing business letters

I didn't know about tendering sites like these. I'll be signing up soon.

I think i'm gunna go ahead and put some informational letters out to local businesses aswell though, just to try and put some roll on that ball.

I'll post up a draft letter in the next day or two and you can let me know where to improve guys (if that's alright). Till then i'll look for work on that site.
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