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General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #1  
Old 08-10-2011, 02:18 PM
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Hey guys, I am new the industry and have owned my company for 8-9 months now. I started with a push mower and an edger and weedeater and small blower that I bought from craigslist. I am now at around 60 customers and am about to be to the point where I hire a crew.

I have paid cash for everything I have except my toro 36inch walk behind. I financed it for just under $5,000 and will probably have it paid off in the next two months. I also have a 6x12 brand new landscape trailer, a commercial honda 21inch, Stihl weed eaters, edgers and hedge trimmers and two BR600 bp blowers.

My partner and I are both great networkers so we are always meeting new people and bringing in more business. However, it was tough at first and has been tough to get into the commercial properties. Recently I paid a buddy of ours who is good with computers to build us a cheap website. I don't care how great your website is or how much money you put into building it, it doesnt matter if the public can't find it. The website builders will never tell you that even though they are charging thousands to build it that less than 1% of people looking will ever come across it.

My buddy Jason did something called SEO coding which apparently has something to do with keywords in your website that Google recognizes more than others. Apparently there is some way to make your website much more searchable. Anyways, obviously the closer your site is to the first page on Google, means the more people will view your site.

To put it bluntly, I have been trying for 6 months to get my foot in the door with commercial properties. Jason finished out crappy little website last week that has our contact information very easily accessible. Nobody cares what all you have on your website as long as they can get ahold of you. Well in the last week I have had 4 different commercial companies email me asking for bids. To give you an idea of what type of commercial companies... I just put the first two under contract and am having to go out and hire two full time employees as well as spend about $20,000 in more equipment. I will have it paid off in the next six months with these two contracts alone. I am still waiting to hear back from one of the others that is double the size of the first two I signed. Plus if they accept my bid, they have 4 more local properties they want bids on as well.

I spent a couple hundred dollars and in a week, I had 4 commercial companies come and ask me to place a bid rather than me asking them if I could. One wasn't worth the money, three definitely were and I have already signed two of them.

If anybody wants my buddies contact info to help with their websites send me an email at Matt@fireandlawnrescue.com he is very affordable and has already made me thousands.

Matt
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:03 PM
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Matt,

Were these new clients found by them filling out your website contact information first or had you met them in the past? Do you have any other suggestions to the new start ups on how to get more customers?
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:00 PM
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He's right.

If people can't find your website, it isn't doing it's job.
(says the man with an unfinished website and no real keyword content to speak of)

There's a reason people pay money for good SEO.




Somewhat related, my Google Places listing finally became active a few weeks ago, and I've gotten a few calls that way. (I always ask how I was located)
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:16 PM
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Yea he's right.... I have a very basic website. It has a few before and after pictures and my services offered. Most importantly it has my contact page.

I had 4 residential phone calls just today while I was out cutting. One was for an area that we do not service. One was wanting a service we do not offer. The two others will have bids by tomorrow.

These were all complete strangers. Everyone that calls my office gets asked how they heard about us. We have had a few who have been referred. 90% of them found us on Google. SEO is huge!!!!!

The 4 commercial companies from last week were all from my website.

My advice..... pay for a basic website. Nothing over the top. Make it very easy to navigate and very easy to figure out how to get ahold of you. If it has that then it has done its job. Pay extra for SEO keywording. I have a friend who I highly recommend if you are unsure of a good company to do it for you.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:19 PM
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Another thing I have done was network with a local chemical fertilizer company. We have thrown business back and forth. I do not offer fertilizing as a service bc I dont have a license and dont want to pay a fine for doing it without one. He doesnt cut grass. However, he is the first lawn care company on Google search and gets calls all the time from people looking for lawn cuts. He refers me. I refer him to my customers who want chemical treatment.

Networking with other companies has been beneficial for me but the website has been by far the most beneficial.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:25 PM
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Matt,

What kind of price range would you suggest others looking to get their website search engine optimized, pay ?

Also, how long did it take for the changes to take effect?
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