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October 12, 2020 at 2:43 am #1000411
New member and first time poster here.
I’ve recently started BrandBarn, where we build websites for local businesses. The problem I’m attempting to tackle is that when starting a business, new and smaller companies (like mine) don’t want to shell out huge upfront costs to developers when they may not even have any revenue. The alternative is for a business to build the website themselves (wix, squarespace etc), however this also requires time and effort, will have varying success and detracts from the core business. So our offer is simple, get a responsive website for a fixed monthly cost, no upfront cost and cancel anytime.
The challenge I now have is finding and convincing local businesses. So other than writing on forums (hello), and reaching out to businesses direct (Cold email/DM – although not sure how successful this will be), what are some other tried and tested methods people have used? I’d rather not go down the paid advertising route at this stage until we are making some cash.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
DaveOctober 12, 2020 at 3:01 am #1224231Paul – FS ConciergeModerator
- Total posts: 3,115
Hi and welcome to Flying Solo Dave.
The one I recommend is being really helpful in business groups found on FB and LI.
PaulOctober 12, 2020 at 3:04 am #1224232
Great to know, thanks for that.
DaveOctober 12, 2020 at 4:53 am #1224233Dave – FS ConciergeModerator
- Total posts: 2,522
Reaching out directly is a solid way to get your first customer. I’d recommend:
- Having a sample website they can see
- Be honest that you’re a new business, and use that to explain why you’re offering them a deal so good you’ll lose money on it
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse (first 3 or 6 mths free for example)
- Use that first customer to get your next customer. To do that, you showcase the website, get a testimonial, and start contacting businesses in that same niche “Hey we just made this for a plumber in ___”. Now you have proof you can deliver something great for their market.
Do what you have to do, to get that first win, because you can use it in a very deliberate way to get more customers.
DaveOctober 12, 2020 at 5:24 am #1224234BusinessTradeMember
- Total posts: 210
Good luck with your venture. Are you based in Australia?
Just some construction criticism – don’t devalue your time. If you believe you are a good web designer, don’t work for below market value as there is always someone that will do work for less. You needn’t look far to find a web designer that is willing to build you an “amazing” website for less than a days work here.
If you start marketing your business as such, you’ll only get “cheap” clients that expect the world from you.October 12, 2020 at 7:40 am #1224235
Hi Dave, appreciate the feedback, some really helpful information there, I’ll try it out and let you know how I get on!
Hi BusinessTrade, Yep based in Perth and happy for any kind of feedback. My pricing was more intended to spread the cost for new/smaller businesses and separate myself from other web designers. We would ultimately benefit in the long run if a business signs up and stays, as the majority of the work is done upfront.October 14, 2020 at 10:36 pm #1224236OliverCivicParticipant
- Total posts: 12
How are you going with this?
From my experience, the best way to get started is to make sure everyone in your circles (LinkedIn, Facebook etc) knows what you’re doing. That’s what I did when I got started and I got a suprising number of leads that way. It’s amazing how many friends you have who either have a business with a crappy website or know someone who is looking to change theirs/start a new business.
In-person networking can also help. I personally hate formal networking events, but I went through NEIS (not sure if that’s Australia-wide or just NSW) and that’s a great way to meet other people new to business who need a website. Joining a co-working space has also been a great way for me to meet people who either want my services or have a client who wants them.
Good luck!October 14, 2020 at 10:38 pm #1224237OliverCivicParticipant
- Total posts: 12
Just had a look at your site and just wanted to ask — as I’m sure clients will too — why are your prices in USD?
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