I am planning to build a new business directory with a friend (business partner). I already contracted a freelancer to set up a small business directory based on the Wordpress theme Vantage from AppThemes, but with the new buisness directory we aim higher.
To start with - I created a dropbox folder and a onenote file to work on the project and keep all the brainstormed ideas written somewhere. It also helps to give a skype session a structure, so that we are all on the same page, whenever we talk together.
It is still a niche topic, but it should be highly profitable as the CPC (AdWords) for some cities averages more than 20 Euro. I also talked to a company in that specific field and he told me that he has to spend more than 7,000 Euro per month in advertising.
Our budget for the development (programming & design) is between 10k and 20k Euro. We want to set up a business directory that gives actual value to the customer who is looking for a supplier (service provider).
We want offer 3 different memebership plans, a free basic, a silver and a gold membership. Not to mention we focus on Germany and probably Switzerland and Austria.
Maybe someone, who has experiences, can help me with some questions I still need to figure out:
- Will it be possible in the future to have a chance, while Google is putting own services in front of the organic rankings?
- Is it possible/recommended to implement Google Places or Google+ business profiles into the directory listings?
- Has anyone experiences with automated payment procedures? (This will be solved by the programmer, but I want to hear some opinions)
- Do you think it is a good point to add a blog with topic-relevant articles?
- Is it possible to start a empty directory or do you think it is better to enter data and give company owners the possibility to claim their listings?
- Do you think a obligatory backlink for service providers who use the free membership plans is a reasonable way to gain authority?