Your experience with Local Small Business? Was it profitable?

15 replies
I have been looking to target small business in my local area to test the waters to see if it is profitable regards to online marketing. I was curious if anyone has had any success with working with small business either training them about marketing online or setting up websites etc.

I just see the Mom and Pop style places are going to be a large source of business for online marketing this next couple of years as everyone starts to get into the social media and always having live updates etc. Does anyone of you do consulting or provide service to your local area? If you do please PM me I would like to ask a few questions.


Thanks,
Jason
#business #experience #local #profitable #small
  • Profile picture of the author Steve MacLellan
    I put up a website to showcase local used cars for sale. The used car dealerships paid for their listings. I gave them a month free to see if it would be worth while for them. The second month I collected around $3000 from them, and the business continued to grow.

    By the time I closed the business down I didn't have to chase new clients -- they were calling me and begging me to take their money :-) I had magnets on the side of my car advertising the business. I actually had people pull me over in town to take their orders.

    Best Regards,
    Steve MacLellan
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    I have been helping small business with online marketing for several years now. If you are good at marketing and can help them get more clients, you will do fine. I go to Chamber and Business mixers to find clients. Look at my website if you want to see what I charge my clients. Consulting
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  • Profile picture of the author matts5150
    Sure it's profitable, I charge the same price per hr for seo as I do everything else which is $100 an hr however I've been doing consulting full time since '99. The easiest way to find clients with consulting is finding a cpa firm to get in good with, the ones with rich clients and make sure you do a phenominal job on their stuff, go above and beyond. So good that they then brag about you to all of their rich clients where you can BANK! My biggest client did over $100 mil last year and was a referal from a cpa. When I first started consulting it was because I was laid off and broke. Thru word of mouth a local cpa had heard about me and wanted me to give him an estimate on some IT Services, I lowballed the offer as it was a large project to get it and went did stuff I didn't even charge for so everything would work perfect. Within 1 year he'd sent me over 30 clients he'd spent years building a relationship with. Next year I made 6 figures.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Zalesky
    Have any of you tried just selling information products to them or just did live consulting?
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  • Profile picture of the author matts5150
    I sell all computer related equipment to them as well, including all hardware, software, routers, point of sell systems, etc. Believe it or not I still sell pc clones for $1,200 - $1,500 a pop because most don't consider the possible downtime worth it to buy a cheap pc from Fry's loaded with crap, some of the smaller companies do though. The way I do this is I tell them each pc they have is like a cash machine, when it running they're making money from it, however when it crashes because they bought the floor demo at Fry's they're loosing employee time, paying someone to fix it and also the revenue it normally generates, plus the chance for lost data. When you tell them like that they typically have now problem with buying a quality pc over a disposable pc. I also give them 3 years hardware warranty so I stand behind what I build. In addition to that I typically refer them to t1 carriers like cbeyond, cbeyond then sends me a check each month for 10% of their monthly bill for the life of their contract which is typically 3 years. So now it's also created thousands of dollars each month of passive income. There's really a ton of cash out there in small business, you just have to work at it until you become one of their "trusted advisors" where they buy whatever you tell they should buy. However you need to make sure they actually need to buy it, don't just sell something to make a quick buck or you may not stay in that trusted advisor role for long.
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    • Profile picture of the author um1001
      I get approached by family or friends to help Mom and Pop type business with their efforts to get online now and then. Honestly, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it.

      I almost always make a fair bit of side money doing these projects. I usually quote out pretty high but the problems I run into are:
      1. I hate writing quotes and these people want everything explained to them before you actually get paid.
      2. You are practically educating them at the same time as you are providing a service to them. They don't (usually) start with even basic knowledge (what is a domain name? how does hosting work? what is SEO? why is it important to rank, and on and on).
      3. This type of work can be very time-consuming
      4. Payment is sometimes delayed by a long time because of invoices/AP and other issues (although I've learned that providing GOOD terms up front really reduces the amount of reworking)
      Of course, the main benefit is that you can be very creative on what you are charging for these services.
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      -- Jack Morrison / um1001

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Zalesky
    I can understand.....this would be a legit business offering though. Not just a side job type of thing. I am looking to create something to teach customers, establish leads and online presence. I am trying to go the route of have a online training course they go through or something or live classes. I was mainly looking at if people here saw a good enough demand for this type of product or not for local small business
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    • Profile picture of the author Bayo
      Originally Posted by Jason Zalesky View Post

      I can understand.....this would be a legit business offering though. Not just a side job type of thing. I am looking to create something to teach customers, establish leads and online presence. I am trying to go the route of have a online training course they go through or something or live classes. I was mainly looking at if people here saw a good enough demand for this type of product or not for local small business
      You're on the right path with your goals Jason.

      Education is the key to opening doors. if you can invest time in educating your prospects, they will become your clients much, much easier than if you tried to use open or covert selling techniques.

      Offer them information of high perceived value (to them) and you'll find that if you're visible, you generate interest, you can convert well and you can retain your clients you'll be massively successful.

      Regards.

      BAYO
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Jason Zalesky View Post

      I can understand.....this would be a legit business offering though. Not just a side job type of thing. I am looking to create something to teach customers, establish leads and online presence. I am trying to go the route of have a online training course they go through or something or live classes. I was mainly looking at if people here saw a good enough demand for this type of product or not for local small business
      Given the success of guys like Joe Polish (carpet cleaners) and Rory Fatt (restaurateurs), I think there's definitely a market for this kind of thing. Your challenge is going to be matching that kind of package, which comes with collateral materials (sample letters, ads, etc.) which have already been tested.

      Another challenge is going to be the way you present it. For the one-man band or Mom and Pop shop, the owner is likely to be the one that needs to learn to market effectively. You'll want to target them directly. Then you have the next level, where the owner may not want to learn the mechanics themselves, but they might pay for one of their key people to learn what you can teach. You'll still target the business owners, but you'll position your course as something for one of their trusted subordinates.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
      Originally Posted by Jason Zalesky View Post

      I can understand.....this would be a legit business offering though. Not just a side job type of thing. I am looking to create something to teach customers, establish leads and online presence. I am trying to go the route of have a online training course they go through or something or live classes. I was mainly looking at if people here saw a good enough demand for this type of product or not for local small business
      I disagree with Bayo and John...

      For every business owner who has the time and desire
      to learn how to do it themselves there are 100.. 1000...
      who would much rather have you do it for them.

      If I'm a hardware store owner I'm in the business of
      selling hardware... not in the business of building and
      marketing websites.

      Every moment I spend dinking around with that is a moment
      I'm not spending growing my primary business. That's like
      walking past hundred dollar bills to pick up loose change on
      the sidewalk.

      Tsnyder
      Signature
      If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    I just collected a $700 check for 2hours of Interviewing a Client on what THEIR business does.

    They have now agreed to proceed with me re-designing their website, and then a full marketing strategy...

    I'd say there's money with local businesses
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  • Profile picture of the author moneyblogger1
    I just helped my real estate agent set-up a blog. He wants to increase his web presence. He has not cut his paper advertising in half and now is directing that money to online efforts.

    I would think that anybody in sales would be good to target. The future market is online, not in the papers.

    Brandon
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    Suck a video? Hate creating them? Let us do it for you. Get a custom video for 1/10th the industry standard price: http://www.angulusmarketing.com/Video.html

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Zalesky
    Great stuff guys thanks for all the responses. I love posting questions on here cause you get so many answers which help you brainstorm and fill in the gaps.

    Overall it looks like the best business is to have different levels. One side looking to target the person who cant afford anything major and has to do it themselves.

    The other being the intermediate business that has and employee who they want trained.

    And the last of the bunch would be providing a full service package competing everything for the client.

    Sounds like a good business model and now its time to do more research in the local market.


    Thanks everyone,
    Jason Z.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    So far there's money in it... but I've had a lot of practice over
    the years turning down deals that didn't appeal to me for one
    reason or another.

    Being able to discern when a deal isn't for you, and having the
    guts to walk away is critical to your success and happiness.
    Bad clients will drive you crazy, but they usually give warning
    signs before the deal is closed, if you know what to watch for.
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  • Profile picture of the author HomeComputerGames
    Your pricing also differs depending upon the client even though you may do the same thing for either one.
    For the work you got paid $1000 by the local diner for, if you walk into a larger corporation and give a price of $1000 you may get walked to the door and considered a desperate scammer.
    Where if you had bid $10K or more they may have hired you even though you had just made a fair buck from the mom and pop shop for the exact same work at a much lower cost.

    Too low of a price makes you look desperate to a company that is accustomed to and expects to pay high wage.

    So you do have to judge each client accordingly.
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    yes, I am....

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