TURN STRESS INTO SUCCESS! 10 min or less read.

What I want to do is create a short series of blogs designed to help entrepreneurs and young businesses grow. Some of the things I’m going to talk about you can do yourself, some with help, and a few working with other businesses.   As I am your “Web Guy”, this will focus on getting people to your website. Since most of the people we know have cell phones and can Google like a champ, it might be a good idea to understand how your website works!

Episode I   KNOW THYSELF

So you’d think that we’d start with the website, but I have found that in and of itself it is the last bit to put into place when building your structure of success. The first place you need to look, when starting your marketing is yourself. Now before you stop reading; this isn’t self-help, build you up and tear you down, mumbo jumbo. This is Business… so look at yourself and decide which level of business you are:

There are three levels of business levels that operate on limited budgets: Yes, if you’re reading this you didn’t have the cash to pay for a 100k ad blitz on Wednesday of next week.

What Level of Business are you at?

Powerhouse PRO

You do all the work; you get all the jobs. From taxes, to sweeping the floors you’re a one-person show. This is mostly trades and skilled labor. From handyman, to computer repair, a power house pro is anyone who decided they didn’t want a boss, and they have the mojo to make it happen themselves.

Business on the Edge

You are doing regular work and it’s more than a single person can handle. You’ve gotten help and are able to pay them, but the profits aren’t big yet. You are probably getting some portion of your work from good referrals and directories. You should already have a website though it might not have been professionally built.

Business with the Advantage

You have reached a level where you have a pipeline of regular work, a good work force and you know your ins-and-outs enough to do well with all the paper work. Often you have trusted manager’s working with you supervising a number of individuals. Once you get here, we start talking about expanding, franchising, or exit strategy.

If you said none of the above, you are the most special snow flake that ever was born, and you’ll break the charts with your success. For the rest of us that fell roughly in one of these three camps we can start to figure out how to use the web to get what we need.

Most of us are going to start in the lower two tiers, and try to get into that “Advantage” zone. Our ad budgets are not charted out in spread sheets, and we look to $1000 or less for advertisements. The biggest catch-22 with the Powerhouse Pro is: if you get an influx of clients, you won’t be able to service them all quickly and efficiently. I know for myself when I first started I’d go door to door, and literally build one website at a time. If I had two or three I was working dusk till dawn, and definitely not happy.

So, how does this apply to my website?   Slow down, Turbo, I’m getting there.   You need to understand how much work you have to do to get a return on your investment.   You’ll hear the big kids talk about that as R-O-I: Return On Investment. You don’t need to take big risks to try and get big returns. Your big risk is your business; you’re already doing the crazy idea by trying to do it on your own.

Here’s some questions you need to ask yourself. How much money do you make per transaction and between repeat transactions? How many transactions would you need to pay for the ad you bought, and finally: how much time does each transaction take?  Think in terms of a break even for now, or a small loss.

EXAMPLE

Let’s say you’re a contractor that does concrete repair and makes a profit of about $300 per transaction.   You can do about three a day with a total of about 15 in a week before your spouse starts to file. Currently you get at least three a week per referrals and networking.   If you spend 3k on an advertisement you’d need ten jobs a month to cover its cost, probably 20 to have made a profit.

In ballpark terms, depending on how you advertise, that’s going to be 15 to 20 calls per month. Sounds good but not all calls are sales, and if you’re by yourself you might not be able to answer the phone in time to close a sale. At best you turned some dollars, and maybe squeaked by with a single big deal.   And yes in the long term you’ll get some repeat business, but the time between transactions on this client is probably annual.

This is the facts, the tough scary facts.   You start this, and even in the best, your first few years are at a loss when you advertise.   But there are some things that you can do to hedge the bets.   Knowing who you are, how much you have to spend, and how much you can do is only one part.   Knowing your clients is the next part.

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