Sorry in advance for the long post. Basically, I want to give my IM business a 100% serious stab at becoming a full fledged company, so I wanted to give full details as to what we've done so far & what we hope to achieve. Would appreciate any advice....
So a year ago, I partnered with a friend of mine to begin an internet marketing business. My partner was a medical sales manager with over 800 qualified medical leads we could sell to, so he was a great fit to begin selling our services. I had over 10 years experience as a software engineer & while I didn't know much about internet marketing specifically, I had a strong passion to learn everything about how IM works and how to sell it. We were going to build up slowly. He would sell the services & I would act as the project manager.
Fast forward a year...we currently have between 3-5 active accounts at any given time. Generating on average, about $2,000/mo. The problem? 2 main problems actually. One, we both still have full time jobs (and families). He dedicated 1 day a week to selling 8 hours per day. I dedicate about 4 hours each night to managing things. 2nd problem, is we're still experimenting with the best way to approach this as a business. What works, what doesn't, what prices will people pay, what services do they actually want, which ones do they not care about, etc. So I feel like we still have training wheels on.
So, the other day, my partner had a frank discussion with his father, a very successful businessman, owning 2 very profitable businesses. His father basically said, if we keep going about it this way, it'll never be anything more than a hobby. He recommended that if we truly believe in this business (which we do), to make a serious run at it. Build a solid business plan & go get a significant loan. Hire a small sales team and an account manager & go at it, but this small stuff we're doing, spending a day here...a day there...just isn't going to cut it if we want to turn this into a full time company.
So, that's where we're at & looking for any advice people can offer who've been down this path. A few big questions also:
1) We're still in this phase of experimenting with what IM strategies work & sell well & what doesn't. Would it be better to hire a consultant to get our IM strategy setup properly? How would we go about that?
2) A few details about our current business...we're selling basically any internet marketing services a client needs, specializing in the medical and legal fields. We offer everything from website design, seo, landing pages, conversion optimization, etc. We walk into a potential client's office, listen to what they need & try to offer them a marketing strategy that suits them best. Not sure this is the best way to go, but it's how we're doing it for now.
3) What do we hope to achieve? Ultimately, I'd like this to be profitable enough to be both of our full time jobs. Earning enough to pay a small sales team & account managers, as well as have enough left over to pay ourselves and support our mortgages & families.
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated