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EXECUTION Growing a local service business (side hustle)

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by rybanez, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. rybanez
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    rybanez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I'm new to the forum, but thought I'd post a progress thread for a local service side hustle I just started.

    I currently make 90% of my income online (after switching lanes at the end of 2016 and closing a bricks and mortar store I owned) and with the online business continuing to grow nicely, it's affording me some extra time that I can devote to building a side business for some diversification.

    For this project, I'm plunging back into the offline world, but this time around I've ensured that the idea satisfies the CENTS commandments.

    GOALS:
    1. $2,500 in MRR by the end of 2018
    2. Buy a better vehicle and have it professionally wrapped in early 2019
    3. Hire our first employee in early-mid 2019
    What I've done so far:
    • Market Research: Studied the only local competitor there is and realized there was an opportunity to skew value in many ways. Checked how often the service was searched for on Google with the Keyword Research Tool.
    • Pilot Customers: Reached out to people I knew and offered one month of free service in exchange for testimonials, online reviews, and feedback. They all loved the service - some signed on to be paying customers.
    • Going Legit: Called local municipalities to inquire about any regulations, set up an LLC, insurance, bank account, set up Wave for invoicing and auto-pay, etc.)
    • Branding: Logo, web site, business cards, 1st iteration of branded uniforms, equipment/tools, vehicle decals, set up a branded toll free number using Grasshopper, etc.)
    • Marketing: Set up an AdWords campaign, bought Adwords Course by @Andy Black and studied it religiously, went around to local businesses where potential customers frequent and asked if I could have business cards at the register and/or on bulletin boards, mailed out 1,000 postcards to targeted demographics in laser-focused locations. Listed us on Angie's List, Google Business, Next Door, and registered on some niche-specific sites. I also am working on getting better at marketing via social media (FB, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter).
    • SOP Documentation: Started creating SOPs and customer service template e-mails. This will be an on-going process in preparation for hiring and training our first employee.
    So that's where I'm at now. Barely scratching the surface, but have a bit of traction so far.

    Why:

    I'm starting this thread to share my journey in creating value for my local community so others can learn as I flail around and get dirty. Also, I'm hoping this thread will give me more accountability as I work toward my long-term goals.

    Next Action Steps:
    • Create and mail out a new direct mail piece using a targeting method I recently came up with (using Google Maps and a few pots of coffee). It'll be tedious, but I know the competition probably hasn't thought of it (and likely doesn't have the time/energy to implement it). Will report back with my progress/results.
    Any questions or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.
     
    papi016, Midas, Motion and 2 others like this.
  2. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Following.

    How’re those AdWords campaigns working for you?
     
    rybanez likes this.
  3. rybanez
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    rybanez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    So far got a few customers with it. My impression count (and click count) took a nosedive recently, so I upped my bids a bit to test for the next week or two.

    Do you know if organic efforts matter much to AdWords impressions? For example, I recently managed to get into Google's Snack Pack and top the local competition there for the higher-impression search terms (even in their particular home town, which I don't yet service). Perhaps my ads might not be showing when I have Snack Pack placement?
     
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  4. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Snack pack? I've no idea what that is! Can you drop a screenshot (that's not of your business of course)?
     
  5. rybanez
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    rybanez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Sure, here's a screenshot of the Google search results for a random local service. I circled the "snack pack" section at the top of page 1:

    snack pack.jpg
     
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  6. Fightrepreneur
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    Fightrepreneur Contributor

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    I'm starting a service oriented business as well locally. You're process is a great template and very inspiring. There are several competitors in my area but my service isn't their main purpose, as well as come specific-target market competitors that I believe have an inconvenient business structure.

    What I'm doing centers on convenience, so I'm focusing on ways to make it more convenient than the local competitors. So far I've found that local competitors either don't service the areas I plan to focus on, or don't offer the convenience I intend to provide.

    My first step is to verify the need. I want to do physical advertising with flyers, business cards, coupon deals, referral deals etc because the competitors most likely will dominate the adspace online even though their services are inferior, and I feel an in-person face advertising the service may get more initial traction

    I am looking at targeting college students at first (live near a big university, actually the one I graduated from). There is similar services offered by the university, but again, I believe I can skew the convenience factor.

    Dorm move in date is coming up so I am trying to prepare for the massive influx of students.

    I want to verify my need before dumping money into a website and forming the business entity (looks relatively easy to set up an LLC in my area, but I don't want to buy webhosting until I'm more confident).

    Anyways man, wondering if I can PM you to discuss further. Thanks for a great thread.
     
  7. rybanez
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    rybanez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I'm glad you're getting value from the thread so far. You may PM me anytime to discuss further. Thanks.
     

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