Any advice on scaling this up?

14 replies
Ok so 14 days ago we set a website up that offers services to the UK construction market.

These services involve creating quotations and estimates that are extremely professional and contain huge amounts of detail such as Schedules, material lists, bill of quantities, detailed written quotes etc.

We do this with the use of a very detailed piece of software that can Literally save days in time if doing it manually. (We do not own the software)

In the last 14 days I have built the website, set up a new account with aweber have 2 lists, opt Ins and buyers.

We have made £1700 in sales to date that's 4 customers the majority of traffic is coming from Google Adwords, facebook and LinkedIn.

We offer many different packages depending on what's required, we also offer bulk packages at higher costs.

What I'm really looking for here is any advise on pushing this to the next level, am I missing anything that I should really be taking advantage of? Or does anyone have any suggestions as to the next phase of this business.

Thanks for your time
#advice #scaling
  • Profile picture of the author Doug
    Hi Mike,

    Here in the States contractors - siding, windows & roofing in particular - are big users of direct mail in their local market for drumming up leads. Therefore. I would (here in the States) direct mail my target audience using a 'mock up' quote/estimate of the finished product. I would include a cover/sales letter, and on the 'mock up' estimate, I would hand write and highlight notes all over that sucker pointing out detail.

    Contractors are gearing up for their season to start up in full swing as winter draws to an end... this means they are busy and headed toward insanely busy. Any type of service helping lift this load would catch attention. A direct mail piece can catch that attention.

    Would this work in the UK - I don't know.

    Couple of things, contractors are also notorious for not coming back to their lead with a quote. It happens, for many reasons - Good contractors however try very hard to service their clients - you will want to be sure you can follow through in a timely manner with your service. Don't get caught falling behind, it will be the death of your service.

    Doug
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Mike,

    14 days is not a long time to get a business going and making sales. Without knowing your business, though, I'd say you have a great start.

    The only thing I would say is to be sure that your marketing is very targeted and that you are putting your business in front of those who are most likely candidates for your service.

    I have no knowledge of the UK construction market. I would guess, however, that there are ways to tap into that market directly. Maybe you become a partner with construction companies and push leads (your customers) their way for a nice commission or finder's fee.

    Another approach would be to advertize in construction oriented newsletters or papers or journals. Are there construction "announcement" monthly publications? Is there an industry association your can join and possibly advertize to their members?

    I guess my main point is that you somehow tap into the construction industry itself rather than doing more "hit and miss" blanket advertising in Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

    My experience is . . . it pays to be very targeted in who you market to. Getting in front of the right people (who want what you have) is more important than getting lots of "reach" with your advertising dollar.

    The very best to you,

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
    You did all that, and earned that much within 14 days? My goodness you are pro
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Sounds like a growing business and you have done some common online marketing with good results, so that proves you are taking the appropriate actions and doing it all right.

    One way to scale-up a growing business is to focus on the "brand" and another is to focus on "media coverage" and when you combine both, done right, the end results (plural) will scale-up the business as a whole. The trick is to focus "now" rather than later.

    Presenting the success of your business to multiple outlets such as online/offline business magazines, radio and TV will scale-up the business, but the brand and media coverage aspects would be best settled before you approach the outlets. To save money a good idea is to employ two specialists in the fields of marketing and human relations. It is important that the two "work together" and focus on your long range plans. A good start is to thoroughly make your "vision" available to them and make it their priority. Then come up with an actionable plan.

    Good luck,
    Jeffery 100% :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author deltamatrix
      If your PPC campaigns are producing a positive ROI, expand them, tweak them, test them. Are you focused just in your local market? Can you offer your services throughout the UK?
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    • Profile picture of the author mike gregory
      Originally Posted by TeKn1qu3z View Post

      Some things might not just be scalable. Consider that you may have hit the ceiling for your niche.
      I hope this is not the case with only working on it for 2 weeks I would hope there is still room to expand.
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  • Profile picture of the author mike gregory
    Thanks everyone for your ideas very much appreciated.

    We do target the entire UK not just local, and the ROI on adverts has been excellent so far the costs on clicks has been £214 and this has produced:

    70 optins (example package)
    4 buyers

    The direct mail idea that Doug kindly suggested has already been in my line of thinking, and is definitely something we shall be looking to implement soon.

    Steve your very right and laser targeting our market is a high priority, I had the idea of connecting with some other construction service suppliers, one I found is a UK based construction network that helps contractors improve there overall marketing, plus advice on running a successful construction company it also has a very large following, maybe a JV with offering our service to their clients is an option.
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  • Mike,

    Originally Posted by mike gregory View Post

    What I'm really looking for here is any advise on pushing this to the next level, am I missing anything that I should really be taking advantage of? Or does anyone have any suggestions as to the next phase of this business.
    I'm not sure if you're asking for suggestions to expand your market reach, or to expand your service offers to your target prospects and existing customers. Anyway, I'll try to give suggestions for both...

    Direct mailings and email broadcasts via authority UK list brokers that are members of accredited direct marketing associations in the UK can expand your market reach (aside from your ad campaigns in Google, LinkedIn and Facebook). Also:

    Directly contacting decision makers in relevant departments of your prospect companies (executives and managers who are responsible for service acquisitions) could probably work -- This has been working for us for more than 9 years now, though we don't target construction companies; and

    In our experience -- Phone calls, LinkedIn InMails and emails with Skype invites and Twitter introductions as follow-ups, and faxes with follow-up phone calls work (in that order of effectiveness)...

    In terms of expanding your service offers for your prospects and existing customers -- Providing lead generation services via performance / commission-based arrangements with them sounds feasible; and

    Perhaps you could also niche down, i.e. Leads with specialized needs like accessibility improvement projects for PWDs (persons with disabilities) and seniors. Also:

    How about services for those construction companies where you process required documentation and footwork for bids on government projects?

    NOTE: I don't know -- My only experience in this industry is as a customer with a disability (I'm blind) and as a friend of people who work at civil engineering departments and project bidding departments of our national government here in the Philippines. I do have a friend and co-founding board member of an NPO who is the former AP CEO of Asea Brown Boveri (world's largest power engineering firm), but he rarely talks about his experience in that industry, and as a friend of a blind architect here in the Philippines who works as a construction consultant for accessibility improvement projects at our country's largest malls...
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    • Profile picture of the author mike gregory
      Originally Posted by Marx Vergel Melencio View Post

      Mike,
      I'm not sure if you're asking for suggestions to expand your market reach, or to expand your service offers to your target prospects and existing customers. Anyway, I'll try to give suggestions for both...
      Some great advice Marx much appreciated, expanding market reach and service is exactly what i'm looking for
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  • Profile picture of the author mike gregory
    In case anyone wanted to look at the website i have the link here

    It's still very much a work in progress.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    I believe you made over $2,500 USD after currency conversions. Not sure how much you spent to make this amount (and we don't need to know this) but you can 'scale' up right inside of Adwords.

    There is a department in [right inside of adwords] who can help you with the 'overall' performance of your account.

    I forgot what the name of this team is but they can help you if you contact adwords and ask them about this team.

    In adwords...

    You need to find out what keywords are actually bringing in sales and the ones that are just wasting money. You want ads that are 'working' for you and bringing in sales 'easily' to run more and ads that are just gobbling up your advertising money to be deleted or run less.

    One more thing...

    You seem to have built up some 'momentum'. Awesome!

    But be careful not to sabotoge it in any way by trying to go too fast.

    I have seen many upcoming entrepreneurs lose their shirts on Adwords because they wanted to make more money too fast.

    Congratulations on your success!!
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Being that you're having success with Google ads, no reason why you shouldn't also run the same campaigns on Bing Ads.

    Also, put tracking in place (if you haven't already) so you know exactly where these buyers are coming from.

    Knowing which campaigns are making and losing money will help you increase your ROI.

    But if anything, try to expand your reach geographically if it doesn't involve you having to go meet these buyers/clients face to face.

    Also, as others have mentioned - you're only 14 days in.

    I would just focus on being able to continue to convert the traffic you're getting and get more of it.

    Then once you have a system in place and you know you're cost per client acquisition, and you'll need more data than you have now, then you can look for other services to sell your existing clients in an automated way.

    See what you have after about 500 - 1000 leads
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    • Profile picture of the author mike gregory
      Originally Posted by Rory Singh View Post

      I believe you made over $2,500 USD after currency conversions. Not sure how much you spent to make this amount (and we don't need to know this) but you can 'scale' up right inside of Adwords.

      There is a department in [right inside of adwords] who can help you with the 'overall' performance of your account.

      I forgot what the name of this team is but they can help you if you contact adwords and ask them about this team.

      In adwords...

      You need to find out what keywords are actually bringing in sales and the ones that are just wasting money. You want ads that are 'working' for you and bringing in sales 'easily' to run more and ads that are just gobbling up your advertising money to be deleted or run less.
      !
      Thanks! I was not aware of an adwords department who can assist with improving campaigns this is very interesting.

      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      Being that you're having success with Google ads, no reason why you shouldn't also run the same campaigns on Bing Ads.

      Also, put tracking in place (if you haven't already) so you know exactly where these buyers are coming from.

      Knowing which campaigns are making and losing money will help you increase your ROI.

      But if anything, try to expand your reach geographically if it doesn't involve you having to go meet these buyers/clients face to face.

      Also, as others have mentioned - you're only 14 days in.

      I would just focus on being able to continue to convert the traffic you're getting and get more of it.

      Then once you have a system in place and you know you're cost per client acquisition, and you'll need more data than you have now, then you can look for other services to sell your existing clients in an automated way.

      See what you have after about 500 - 1000 leads
      Excellent advice much appreciated
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