My Tips for Growing Your Business

Discussion in 'Starting Your Business' started by cmoreschi, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. cmoreschi

    cmoreschi Member

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    I spent a while trying to put this post together. Please read the full article and give any feedback. I think it can be beneficial to any new guys out there.

    Earn $100,000+ by Year Two

    This post will cover how to start your service business with a focus on marketing and the exact tactics I used to get over $100,000 in revenue in two years. Aside from acquiring your licenses & insurance, this guide will teach you early low cost marketing tactics & strategy.
    A bit about myself. My name is Chris Moreschi and I own Natural Resources Pest Control based in South Florida. Even though it’s a family business with a successful history, I started out on my own and grew my own company over 100k as a solo technician in under two years. Shortly after, I merged with my families’ company to create a more successful business overall.
    I’m writing this guide from my own experience and the results I was able to achieve over a two year period. I will teach you the exact tactics I used. So let’s get started.
    The Complete Service Business Guide from $0 to $100,000 in Profits

    Part 1. What can you be the best at? Find a niche.
    Part 2. Pricing out your services
    Part 3. Claim your Google business listing
    Part 4. Building your website
    Part 5. Craigslist ads
    Part 6. Learn basic search engine optimization
    Part 7. Important WordPress plugins
    Part 8. Start generating good content
    Part 9. Share your content
    Part 10. Build an email list
    Part 11. Attend local groups and events
    Part 12. Find a few partners
    Part 13. Importance of Communication
    Part 1. What can you be the best at? Find a niche.

    You should specialize in your field. When I started I decided I wanted organic pest control to be my niche. I knew I would be dealing with a clientele that would pay a premium for the service. I also had passion behind the product and service I was offering.
    I personally know many guys focusing on one service only ie: termites, bees, or fleas and making over 1 million/year in a specific service category. Don’t think you need to offer a lot of services. It’s better to focus your marketing on one service and become known for it. You should still expand your work to other categories and upsell customers on more services over time but it’s best to keep your marketing message focused.
    As a single person focusing will greatly improve the impact of your marketing in a short time period which is what we want. So what niche will you focus on?
    Part 2. Pricing out your services

    Really nail down your prices in such a way that you can give any type of quote over the phone. This will cut down on wasted time preparing or driving out for estimates. There are some services that will require estimates but most of your services should be priced like an a la carte menu.
    You should also be very transparent about your pricing. Not many service companies place pricing on their websites but this has been a tactic that worked really well for me. You can see the pricing pages we use here: http://naturalresourcesfl.com/pricing/pricing.html
    Having set pricing that is public will make your business better. Here are some of the things it will do for you:
    - You will gain more initial trust with transparent pricing.
    - Your website will more accurately pre-qualify inbound calls.
    - Customers are happier because they are getting what they are searching for.
    - It makes pricing over the phone simpler for you and anyone in your business.
    - It forces you to stick to the pricing you want instead of giving a deal over the phone.
    I really can’t think of any negatives to posting your pricing. Being concerned about your competitors is just a waste of time. Focus your thoughts on offering better service.
    Part 3a. Claim your Google business listing

    The very first tactic you want to do is claim your google business listing. You can do that here: https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/
    Google is quite powerful for sending you local traffic and inbound leads. Setting up a listing takes 1 – 2 weeks since they send you a postcard code to verify your address.
    Once this listing is active make sure you populate it as much as you can. Upload images and all the details about your company.
    Part 3b. Google business listings & customer reviews

    The next most important tactic is garnering customer reviews for your Google business listing. In the beginning those early customers will only be trickling in from word of mouth and friends/family. With every happy customer make sure you garner a review for your Google business listing. This will be the force behind early incoming traffic from Google. 20 reviews and you will really see a difference in daily calls.
    When collecting these reviews you can practice the same business listing tactics on Yelp and AngiesList.
    Part 4. Building your website

    If you aren’t graphically inclined you will need to hire a designer. Your website branding is going to make or break the ability to bring in clients quickly. Please do not try to just throw up a site yourself if you’re not web savvy. You should scrape those early investment dollars together to budget in $1500 for a website that will actually bring in leads.
    Having a professional looking brand which gains trust, is a key factor between slow growth and fast growth. Here are the tactics behind building your branding:
    - Step 1: make sure your logo is professionally designed. You can use a site like http://99designs.com/ or hire a freelance designer. (research high quality logos to get a sense of what you may want for your own design, if you have a bad design sense then find a friend to help you)
    - Step 2: Have your website designed like a landing page. You want to create a funnel with direct calls to action. On my website we use a small contact us form and get pricing forms to capture leads.
    Here’s a great post on landing pages: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Awesome Landing Pages
    For developing your website you should use WordPress and have a professional theme done by a web designer. I recommend WordPress because it’s fairly easy to learn to manage your own site after it’s developed. More importantly it is a platform that allows you to add more content to your site over time in the form of additional pages and blog posts.
    - Step 3: Add your team photos and bio to the website. Even if you’re solo it’s better to appear personal over large and “fake”. Allow your site visitors to make a personal connection and see who is behind the company/website. It will increase your conversion rate.
    - Step 4: Look professional. Make sure your vehicle has emblems with your new branding. Have nice stock business cards printed. Work in a uniform. Even though you may be tempted to keep it really casual it will not benefit your business.
    Part 5. Craigslist ads

    Using craigslist ads in the early days will help bring those early customers and more importantly reviews. Craigslist ads are great for service companies for free marketing. Make sure you add images to your ads and try to post 1 new ad every single day.
    Part 6. Learn basic search engine optimization

    Now that you have your basic website up it’s time to start learning how to improve its ability to bring in more leads. I’m about to teach you the easiest form of search engine optimization.

    To read the second part....scroll down to the 17th reply below;
     
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  2. carpetman1000

    carpetman1000 Active Member

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  3. 1ST CHOICE CLEANING

    Staff Member Moderator Premium VIP

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    Good information
     
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  4. Gasoline

    Gasoline EcoTech Carpet Clean: The Green Choice
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    It was my understanding that if people who were looking for you via website and saw prices, they might not call; since they have the info now. No need to call, except your competitor who does not have public pricing.

    Am I wrong on this?
     
  5. Jose Rodriguez

    Jose Rodriguez Well-Known Member

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    I like this, I'm a craiglisthack as others describe here the Craiglist users. but for being a Craigslist hack I can make $8,000 to $10,000 from craiglist only per month, I'm not including what I make from my already customer list, and this is my second year full time.
     
  6. cmoreschi

    cmoreschi Member

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    "Gasoline" if they don't want to pay the price you want then they aren't your target customer.
     
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  7. cmoreschi

    cmoreschi Member

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    You're not a hack if you're consistent.
     
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  8. dmreed4311

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    Everyone is different, personally I love when companies list prices.
     
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  9. Jose Rodriguez

    Jose Rodriguez Well-Known Member

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    My second year full time in the bussiness and I can tell you that I apply half of your process in my marketing, I know I'm not a hack but here in this forum a few say they are to good to market at craiglist, I always think who will not use a free marketing tool, and you are correct consistency is the key word. Every call I get I try to book it, if I get a call from someone looking for a low quote I try to educate them before I give the the quote and is working so good because most of the time I can convert someone like that in to a good paying customer.
     
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  10. Mike Hanley

    Mike Hanley Elite Member

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  11. Gasoline

    Gasoline EcoTech Carpet Clean: The Green Choice
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    I agree. Price is just one factor for me. But I know the price shoppers are out there. I just did a quick search of some top tmfers here, their websites show pricing, in some way or another. My seo company is trying to convince me to do the opposite. Their experience shows them to keep pricing off the website and to sell them you when custys call.

    I can see the benefits both ways really.

    Just looked at 5 websites, 3 had pricing and 2 did not. For what ever that means.....
     
  12. Citrox1

    Citrox1 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Mike Hanley, but you just gave me a good chuckle. :D
     
  13. Gasoline

    Gasoline EcoTech Carpet Clean: The Green Choice
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    Out of seven of my competitors, 4 had pricing....but they only had specials or coupons on their site. Nothing permanent, or as permanent as a website can be...lol
     
  14. Deco

    Deco Active Member

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    Thanks Chris, good info, it will help as I roll out my new site.:)
     
  15. Mrs.SpeedySteamer

    Mrs.SpeedySteamer Moderator ~ And Most Awesome Member
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    What I found interesting in your article is the lead generation to your web site.

    The article is well written though, but there is so many more questions that I have for you. For example how did you start your business? It is all fine and dandy that you made $100,000 in two years, but what help did you receive to get yourself launched? What was your start up? Did you start from scratch with a loan? Did money get gifted to you? Was your vehicle and supplies gift or bought? Did you create a business plan? What is the population you serve?

    Because your title Earn $100,000 by Year Two really does pull people in because everyone is interested in earning $100,000. The article has potential to be a couple of pages on each topic. But by itself it is just repeating what has been said on this board and throughout the internet over and over again. You just took the key points and put them all together.
     
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  16. kingjoelking

    kingjoelking Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no. IF you have a website that says here are my prices and it does nothing to say what kind of service you provide. Then you are right. There is no need to call unless you are the lowest price.

    But if you have a website that shows the awesome work you do and they can see that you do it for a fair price. Then hell yeah they have a reason to call.
     
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  17. rob allen

    rob allen Administrator
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    Part 7. Important WordPress plugins

    There are a couple WordPress plugins that are going to make managing your website much easier. Google Analytics for WordPress and WordPress SEO by Yoast.
    Make sure you are using these two plugins right away. Google analytics will allow you to measure and watch the incoming traffic to your website. The seo plugin will allow you to easily optimize your pages and blog posts for better search results. I encourage you to learn more about these two plugins and how to use them effectively.
    Part 8. Start generating good content

    The reason why we build our website on wordpress is because it allows us to add content through blog posts and pages quite easily. The next powerful tactic for attracting more inbound leads to your website will be through writing more website content.
    Adding these additional pages and blog articles will attract more eyeballs from the search engines. Over time this can generate serious traffic to your website which is free!
    I encourage you to write at least one blog post or new content page for your website per week. Of course the more content the better. Remember to use your seo strategies for writing content around keywords that have traffic volume.
    Part 9. Share your content

    So you’ve written that first blog post. This is the perfect time to share it. The easiest ways to share your content is to send it to your current customers in the form of a newsletter/update and post it to a company Facebook page.
    Being on Facebook in the early stages of your business may seem pointless but it will be good practice and will build up your social awareness in the future. Also it takes no time at all to setup and share.
    The best way to share your content is in the form of a seasonal update email to your current customers. A short and sweet email with a link to your new blog post and possibly a service offer for the upcoming season. An example of this would be:
    “I just wrote this article and wanted to share it with you. It’s on the various diseases mosquitoes carry and how to prevent bites.
    This summer we’re offering lawn service 40% off the first service. Call the office to book your lawn service appointment.”
    Usually I link to my article and offer them a deal with a call to action.
    Part 10. Build an email list

    This leads right into building your email list. A customer email list is invaluable. It allows you to stay connected and upsell throughout the year. I used MailChimp’s free tier for quite some time until I built my company.
    Make it a habit to garner customer emails over the phone and have an opt-in box on your website.
    Part 11. Attend local groups and events

    Sometimes this is hit or miss, but it’s worth it when it hits. I went to every meetup group there was from local Chambers to BNI and other networking events. You never know who you’re going to run into but most everyone can use a service company at some point.
    The real important thing here is to get around the room. And by that I mean make it a point to meet everyone there before you leave. Don’t just chat or cling to one person. Spend a little time with everyone and then focus on building the relationships that look promising. Connect with them for coffee or lunch.
    In the early days you will have extra time so make sure you’re networking.
    Part 12. Find a few partners

    There are industries that have synergy when working together. Partnering with a realtor or another service company for referrals can be a great way to boost each other’s businesses.
    You will be surprised but my best business partners were actually guys in the same field. Become part of a mastermind group within your industry or form one. Sharing ideas and resources only helps each other grow.
    A lot of my early business came from guys who didn’t want to take certain jobs, or the work was out of their service area. Find these relationships and nurture them. Consider competitors as your mentors and partners.
    Part 13. Importance of Communication

    This is the most important part of the whole guide. Communication runs through every single part of your business. Being a good communicator is THE most important part of being successful.
    You must communicate effectively to customers, know when to be understanding, diplomatic, and service oriented. Communicate well with friends, partners, and mentors. Stay humble.

    -Rest of the OP's article from their blogs RSS feed
     
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  18. cmoreschi

    cmoreschi Member

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    Thanks for replying MrSpeedy,

    I didn't take anything from the web this is from my own experience and I hope it came across as such. I started my business without 1 customer and had a loan on my vehicle which I was just getting by paying with the early jobs from craigslist. I also have a lovely wife who has a good job so we got by on one income for the first 6 months before I gained some traction.

    I started with my vehicle on a loan and spent $500 on supplies for the truck and another $500 on my initial web design which came from my personal savings.

    The only business plan I had was to use my internet marketing knowledge to start generating leads as fast as I could. Most of my plan is in the article and that's exactly what I executed.

    I do live in South Florida which is a high populated area for my required service. I'm sure this helped hit the overall number. It's true some service business' may not have the size of market I have but they can still hit a nice sized goal following a sound internet marketing strategy.

    Live within your means, focus on your goals and you'll get there with consistent daily effort.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  19. cmoreschi

    cmoreschi Member

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    Unfortunately the administrators feel the need to copy and paste content from my blog. Plenty of users link to good content off the forum but they feel my personal blog is too promotional? A shame really when all you're trying to do is provide good content.

    Please remove the whole thread instead of taking the content from my blog thanks.
     
  20. rob allen

    rob allen Administrator
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    Chris. Our TOS state that no Away Links are permitted without authorization. Just as it would be inappropriate for us to go to your site and post away links. However we did let remain in your signature your software info. We feel this was a fine balance.

    Feel free to contact me @ roballen@truckI like your presentation and outlook. You seem like a great guy Chris. Let's talk via email and phone.
     
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