Hello guys. It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been building up funds to use to get started while coasting through the winter at my day job. Now that spring is getting close I want to start preparing to get out there.
Info about my area: Scattered small towns (northwest ohio) the largest is about 20,000 people. Majority of the area is rural, of course, and the biggest age demographic is 40+ int hose areas, which also tend to have the higher incomes (avg. $65,000+)
I now have $1500 to start with. In general, I would like to know how you would spend it given this information (if there is any other info you’d like, I will happily give it.)
I would like to get a website started with SEO. I’m sure some of you will suggest this. Where do I go to find good SEO marketing? Someone who is familiar with doing business suggested finding a college undergrad marketing major to offer to help get their name out there…
I know what equipment I will need.
My insinct is to get a website with SEO, and get vehicle signage, yard signs, flyers, business cards, and equipment with what’s left over?
What say you? Thanks in advance!
The best advice I can give you quickly, is purchase this book it worth the money and will give you the the direction and information you need to build on.
business cards are cheap. But you gottta be handing them out constantly and I don’t see that driving sales
Website and SEO, you’re gonna get tons of feedback. @SqueegeeNinjaNJ is in the game, but he might be backed up.
Graphics are good, however in 7 years only 30 jobs directly came from the graphics. But how many people saw our rigs here there and everywhere and then got a mailer and called?
$1500 isn’t much, be wise with it. Spend it for sure. Get jobs pump more into marketing.
Another option would be to buy a pre-existing business that already has signage, business cards, etc. The items that are specific to that business, such as the signs and business cards, have no resale value as stand alone items so will probably be priced as “throw ins” when buying the business and route(s). $1,500 isn’t much but it could be a down payment. Then determine a reasonable percentage to pay for the pre-existing accounts and make monthly payments.
Used equipment is usually realistically priced on this forum’s swap meet and Ebay. No need to get new equipment when you have a tight budget.
1500 won’t get you a website with seo.
you should buy the window cleaners marketing blueprint but you won’t have enough money to do enough flyers so you will need to start by knocking on doors.
Only advice I can give is don’t spend it all in one place. Try a handful of different marketing avenues and track your ROI for each one over time. Then when you get more work rolling in you can sink money into the best ome.
Also I’ve actually got some used Unger gear for sale. Pretty much everything you’d need to get started. PM me if you’re interested.
Sounds like you already have an idea of how to spend that $1500 and for the most part you are making solid choices. As for paying for SEO, you can probably research it a bit and probably do it yourself…especially in smaller towns where your don’t have much competition.
I operate in Toledo so probably not far from where you are right now.
Oh good, with $1500 spent on SEO you’ll be fine… that stuff is expensive.
I would recommend $200 on your own website that you can build yourself, saves money and why not learn something new.
Get a good CRM software, about $40/month on average.
Set up your DBA and bank account, get a square reader and accept credit cards from the start.
Spend another $200 on fliers, I’m a big fan of door hangers personally, distribute yourself after work and on weekends.
Spend $200 on a 24’ extension ladder, $40 on 3’ step ladder, $150 on Werner 13’ multi ladder
Get a simple tool set up for residential work.
Offer window cleaning and gutter cleaning to start… gutter cleaning is as simple as sticking your hands in a gutter and emptying the debris into an empty 5 gallon bucket.
Thanks for the input everybody! Very helpful stuff here. The marketing blueprint I will surely buy. I will also look into door hangars.
I forgot to mention that I only want to do residential. I plan on offering gutter cleaning and one day pool cleaning. I would also like to do power-washing, but I have no experience with that. Does anyone have any tips on how I can get into that?
What is a realistic budget for a website and SEO? I have another side business that nets some pretty significant profit, so I may be able to build up enough.
Alternatively, does anyone know of any good books on website building and SEO for the diy-er?
Your in Toledo huh? I work at the Toledo FiSH.
You can definately get a website for under 200$ . I could help you with that if u want, just pm me.
I would echo everything pro window cleaner said. Very good advice.
I will PM you as soon as I get on a of. Which reminds me, I also plan on buying a laptop or tablet, as my old one broke a few weeks ago.
Haha, yep. Looking at some glass right now that Fish Toledo just did at one of our commercial janitorial accounts that I never got around to selling window cleaning to. They used dirty rags to detail… Always have pride in your work and you will do fine.
I guess this will be an easy sale…
Get business cards, get flyers out and a few good tools, getting jobs is the most important
Jmo: Don’t invest heavily in a site yet and don’t get yard signs at all (especially rural, who’s gonna see em?)
A good professionally made site will cost hundreds if not more. SEO costs hundreds per month. Also, does your demographic really use the internet as a habit to find stuff? You can search on Google what gets searched to find out what applies to your area.
To begin, get listed in Google my business. It’s free and appears before websites do anyway. Create your own basic website for free using WordPress, which won’t look half bad just so you have something. Remember, even the web hosting alone can cost a hundred or more.
Now what to do:
Definitely business cards. Door hangers are also a nice cheap way to advertise effectively. You’ll want an estimate sheet of some sort, but maybe you can cheat for now and just put a space on the backside of the business cards to write estimates.
Magnets for your vehicle can both get you jobs and make you look more legit. They are cheap, like $20 each.
You need money for all the registration fees, which could be a few hundred depending on your state’s laws. Liability insurance will run you at least around $300 if you want that.
The basic equipment is simple and you can get what you need at least to begin for proly $500 i would say. There are good threads on this with specifics.
Getting some shirts printed or embroidered will make you look more legit too. Printing usually has to be done in batches and can run like $200 for say 10. Embroidery is a lot cheaper but not well suited for having something huge on the back like phone number, website, etc.
The most important piece in this equation you already have: your legs. That’s what’s really gonna make your investment worth it via “pounding the pavement” as they say.
spend every penny of it on cheap flyers. dont buy fancy . then get you out street walking with them . id think 1500 should get you 30000 flyers at the very least . Even if only 1 in 100 takes a bite thats 300 customers youll have on your books . i Guarantee that the combination of you walking and talking your spiel and doling out those flyers every day until they are gone, will build you a business to be proud of
oh ,keep a little back for a pair of comfortable shoes
some seem to think that sitting at home hitting the keyboard while watching tv and the work will come to you is the way-that never works as well