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You will want a catchy name for the BBS. Don't use trademarks any-

where in the name, or you will get sued.

You should make sure that your address (P.O. Box) is easily found in

the BBS so that making contributions is easy. You should include the

following in your log-on information screen:

BBS Name, BBS Phone Number (+ area code)

BBS Mailing Address (P.O. Box), Your Name, or Business Name

BBS Hours, Baud Rates & Modem Info

Protocol, Info, Time, Limitations

Number of Lines, Other Available Phone Lines

What Line User Is On, Any Networks

BBS Policy, Statement, Location

This information will probably take up about 2 screens, but don't

worry. The only people who will need to read the information are first-time

users. They will read it because they want to find out about the BBS.


Put simply, your policy will just let people know what your BBS is

about. This will determine your users. Always make sure that your policy is

easy to find. Don't be afraid to change your policy in the event that you

find a better way to work the system. You will need to state such things as

how to gain online credit, etc. As you go along, you will find more things

you want to add.


You will need to verify your users by a phone call, usually within

48 hours. Don't make your users have a hard time qualifying to use the BBS.

Let them have a lot of access as soon as they have been verified. You will

have to give them access so that you can get a group of users that will want

be there. If you want to find out if someone will not deserve access, then

grant them full access and see what happens.

If you don't allow certain people in certain areas, don't tell them

that. They don't need to know that they can't get somewhere; it will make

them angry and jealous. If you have a door only available for businessmen,

then only tell businessmen that the door exists.


Unless you are planning on having a private BBS, you can plan on

NOT making any money with the BBS. You can, however, request donations

frequently. If you want to, you can charge a minimal fee to help pay for

running the BBS, but I would operate only by donation; you will get more

users this way.

One way to get people to donate is to offer bonuses for donations.

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For example, you might give more access for donations of $10 per month. If

you are charging a fee, then make sure that the users know that it will be

worth their money to stay online with your BBS. Don't make them pay for

something that they can get free somewhere else. I would say that there is

one general rule when it comes to making money with BBSes: If your BBS is

a fun BBS, then don't plan on making a profit. If your BBS is for profit,

then don't plan on having any fun.


After you have everything set up, you will need to advertise your BBS.

You can do this by placing notices on other BBSes across the country. You

might want to advertise locally, also. Most cities have lists of BBSes just

in their area. This will get you a lot of local business, because many

people like to save money by just dialing BBSes that aren't long distance.

Your ad should tell them what your BBS is called, who it is for,

and when they can call. It should state what the BBS is used for, and

all that you would want to know if YOU were trying to decide if you wanted

to join this BBS.

You might want to make up some fliers and take them around to all

the computer stores and places that sell software. Let them know that you

would just like them to make it available to people who walk into their store.

In most cases, they will be happy to be of service to you. Just make sure

that a lot of people know about your BBS. You might want to consider

advertising in a national magazine, such as "Boardwatch Magazine."

You should also consider placing your BBS number and modem infor-

mation on your business cards and letterhead. This way, anyone who sees your

card will see your BBS number.

Don't expect people to start calling overnight. They might, but don't

expect it. You will start getting a steady line of users in about 3-4 months.

The more you advertise, the quicker your response wil be. If you don't start

getting calls in a few months, then don't despair; just keep trying to spread

the word, and eventually, people will start calling frequently. If you still

aren't getting calls, you might find that your format isn't appealing to the

public. If this is the case, you may want to change the format and start all

over. Just stay informed about what the public is interested in, and you will

soon start getting users.


Every once in a while, you will get a caller who is just there to

cause problems. If you notice that it just happens once, then give them a

chance to correct their own behavior. If they do it more than once, then you should

send them private mail outlining what it is that you don't like about their

behavior. If you notice that they are behaving better, send them a thank-you

note; if it doesn't stop, then tell them that if they don't stop immediately,

then you will terminate their access. If they cause trouble once more, then

take them out of the user list. They won't have access next time they try to

call the BBS. They will have to try to become a new user again.


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When you terminate a user, you should tell them why they were term-

inated, and explain that you would like them to join again in the future after

they change their behavior. You should make them stay off the BBS for 30 days,

60 days, or 90 days, depending on the degree of disturbance.

You should be aware of crashers and hackers who will no doubt try to

ruin your BBS. You should have some fellow sysops try to log on and crash the

system to find out if it is possible. If they can't, then you should probably

be pretty safe. You just need to make sure that nobody can get where they

don't need to be. Unless you charge for access, or brag about how nobody

can "hack" your system, you shouldn't have very many problems with hackers

or crashers.











































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