30+ years’ experience as a business and IT/information security advisor, and a start-up/SME specialist and mentor. Huge experience of developing websites/ecommerce/apps and social media from business plans. → As a Board-level advisor, I partner senior management teams to build ambitious business and IT strategies, translating early and established business concept and vision into robust commercial plans which generate value. Steering development of new revenue streams, product/service offerings and solutions, I provide two decades of expertise in winning, designing and delivering high-value accounts with top-tier clients. → A start-up and SME specialist and mentor, I coach new and emerging business leaders to top levels of performance. Providing coaching in strategy, planning, business growth and leadership at Director level, I am also highly experienced in developing the capability of sales and technical teams. → I am a passionate fundraiser and supporter of veterans’ charities, as founder of an organisation that runs epic events and challenges, and co-founder of a specialist veterans’ mental health CIC. I can help with the development of your business and IT strategy as a non-executive director, advisor or mentor.
Have built several of these and there are problems with them all, unless your idea of how your site will work, is the same as the developers, you will face significant compromise.
Some are VERY location specific, but are weak in categories of business. A restaurant/hotel is different to a business?? No they are types of business but in general theme authors treat them as different. Well a dentist is different to a garage and also a greengrocer and a cinema.
Are you looking to focus on events? Who organises? Members??? Do they need to sell tickets. Are the organisers businesses or individuals (aka sole trader???)
What about job vacancies? Adverts??
How about different levels of "members" having greater or fewer levels of presence and promotion (gold silver bronze??)
Will you list at a basic level and let owners claim and pay for greater prominence
So definitely work out how you want to run the directory then find a theme plugin that meets that, OR decide what you can compromise you can make, so that they fit.
OR write your own!
Finally, I think the best overall solution is the geodirectory plugin, BUT by comparison to a theme it is expensive when the addons you need to make it really functional.
Don't accept any theme that only uses paypal - stripe and recurring subscriptions (possibly with woocommerce) offer greatest flexibilty
When you are prepared to pay the cost of bespoke development, the where to find will become apparent. If the site is interactive in ANY way (contact form/register/sales), then it should also undergo relevant security testing.
Bespoke + functionality = £££££££
I get hit by such calls/emails almost daily.
How not to, is often easier than how to and I get fed up of the number cold calls that breach new GDPR regulations. Often they are clearly overseas calls, worse are local calls or number withheld. If I do answer the caller often gets into an argument re GDPR - you won't win.
Do not under any circumstances send (spam) emails or scraped from new domain registrations from outlook or gmail saying that you do
using a made up name that sounds as if from the country you are targeting and offering a call/skype. Such calls/emails instantly go into spam and block.
So having started with what not to do, try to reverse the what not, into what TO do.
Have a local presence, use real domains for email, use real names/people who KNOW what they are talking about and local issues/regulations..... Have a local website, written in native language, not second language, ideally have a local human presence. Make sure you know about the business you are contacting, rather than generic rubbish.
Finally, having used several such companies, they often promise more than they deliver, if so you will never get a second engagement. SO do not under any circumstances just say what you think the listener wants to hear, tell them the truth, even if it means you don't get the business this time.
Happy to discuss further...