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  • #977575
    Bob Jones
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    Just figured I’d post an update on my progress as a small business owner of 5 months.
    Many of you know, I started a small Perth SEO company in October, 2011. As of now, I am actively looking around on the job market for opportunities in the Search industry here in Perth.

    Why?

    I really think that I’m good at what I do, and I take the quality of my work and client satisfaction very serious. However, as a one-man-band (with band groupies to feed and shelter) I have found out that having to be my own employee, accountant, bookkeeper, administrator, secretary, delivery guy, shop keeper, office manager, interior designer, cleaner and pr person – there’s a lot more involved than doing just things i love doing!

    This wasn’t a planned, well thought out transition. I jumped the gun, figuring I’d be able to attract new businesses without compromising the quality of my work.

    How wrong I was!

    The major problem is that the clients I do attract are all small budget clients. I don’t mind helping people who can’t afford bigger projects, but it means I take on a lot of extra time which I can’t really bill for. Loads of phone calls, emails and general admin work for example.

    I was hoping to attract a few bigger clients, so that I’d minimize my admin work, and spend more time on doing what I truly love doing -SEO

    With the lack of time, I’ve hardly had the opportunity to look for bigger fish, or to build my own online presence.

    Right now, I think I’ve come to the realization that working for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean more freedom. I think that there’s a tipping point where I could hire additional staff who could take some of the workload off my shoulders, so that I could focus on getting more business. However, with time I’ve accumulated certain financial responsibilities, and I’ve never been one for saving some money. This means I’m running on whatever invoices are getting paid (on time!) and it’s not working out as well as I had hoped.

    Lessons learned, in case I give this another go some time down the track, if ever:)

    I think finding a senior SEO role within a growing company would suit my lifestyle and happiness a lot better.

    #1098540
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    This post should be a stickey and serve as a warning to those who think business success is all about doing what you love.

    The law of attraction only works when its accompanied with marketing strategy and good old fashioned hard work.

    If business was as simple as giving out business cards and getting high value, profitable clients, no one would want a job.

    You’ve learnt some lessons that will serve you well in the corporate world.

    You may not get a senior position just yet bcos senior seo is more about managing the volatile variables and less about doing seo.

    All the best.

    #1098610
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    • Total posts: 1,528
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    This post should be a stickey and serve as a warning to those who think business success is all about doing what you love.

    The law of attraction only works when its accompanied with marketing strategy and good old fashioned hard work.

    If business was as simple as giving out business cards and getting high value, profitable clients, no one would want a job.

    You’ve learnt some lessons that will serve you well in the corporate world.

    You may not get a senior position just yet bcos senior seo is more about managing the volatile variables and less about doing seo.

    All the best.

    #1098542
    Bob Jones
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    • Total posts: 215
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    Khalid Adam, post: 111635 wrote:
    This post should be a stickey and serve as a warning to those who think business success is all about doing what you love.

    The law of attraction only works when its accompanied with marketing strategy and good old fashioned hard work.

    If business was as simple as giving out business cards and getting high value, profitable clients, no one would want a job.

    You’ve learnt some lessons that will serve you well in the corporate world.

    You may not get a senior position just yet bcos senior seo is more about managing the volatile variables and less about doing seo.

    All the best.

    The hard work part has nothing to do with it – it’s the lack of time that’s preventing me to reach my tipping point at this stage.

    I have over 12 years corporate experience, in which I have had senior positions – but this still doesn’t solve my time problem.

    The most valuable lessons I have learnt is that if you go at it alone, you want to be sure to have some financial reserves to fall back on.

    #1098611
    Bob Jones
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    • Total posts: 215
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    Khalid Adam, post: 111635 wrote:
    This post should be a stickey and serve as a warning to those who think business success is all about doing what you love.

    The law of attraction only works when its accompanied with marketing strategy and good old fashioned hard work.

    If business was as simple as giving out business cards and getting high value, profitable clients, no one would want a job.

    You’ve learnt some lessons that will serve you well in the corporate world.

    You may not get a senior position just yet bcos senior seo is more about managing the volatile variables and less about doing seo.

    All the best.

    The hard work part has nothing to do with it – it’s the lack of time that’s preventing me to reach my tipping point at this stage.

    I have over 12 years corporate experience, in which I have had senior positions – but this still doesn’t solve my time problem.

    The most valuable lessons I have learnt is that if you go at it alone, you want to be sure to have some financial reserves to fall back on.

    #1098544
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,528
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    most “part time” businesses required 50 hrs a week. they are part time purely because they are not the main source of income but alot of people think part time means 15hrs a week.

    what stopped you from hiring those can source and / or do the work for you while you ensure the deliverables are according to cost, quality and time?

    project managing is not easy but it’s better than doing everything yourself. what about creating a front end business and private labelling the rest?

    Bob Jones, post: 111642 wrote:
    The hard work part has nothing to do with it – it’s the lack of time that’s preventing me to reach my tipping point at this stage.

    I have over 12 years corporate experience, in which I have had senior positions – but this still doesn’t solve my time problem.

    The most valuable lessons I have learnt is that if you go at it alone, you want to be sure to have some financial reserves to fall back on.

    #1098612
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,528
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    most “part time” businesses required 50 hrs a week. they are part time purely because they are not the main source of income but alot of people think part time means 15hrs a week.

    what stopped you from hiring those can source and / or do the work for you while you ensure the deliverables are according to cost, quality and time?

    project managing is not easy but it’s better than doing everything yourself. what about creating a front end business and private labelling the rest?

    Bob Jones, post: 111642 wrote:
    The hard work part has nothing to do with it – it’s the lack of time that’s preventing me to reach my tipping point at this stage.

    I have over 12 years corporate experience, in which I have had senior positions – but this still doesn’t solve my time problem.

    The most valuable lessons I have learnt is that if you go at it alone, you want to be sure to have some financial reserves to fall back on.

    #1098546
    MatthewKeath
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    • Total posts: 3,184
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    Bob Jones, post: 111642 wrote:
    The hard work part has nothing to do with it – it’s the lack of time that’s preventing me to reach my tipping point at this stage.
    Lack of time? Or marketing problems? I was lucky that I was able to get a small loan that helped me out when I was starting out which helped me through the slow periods.

    I have always thought that SEO would be a tough game to get into.

    That said, it took longer than a few months to establish myself. I thought about quitting many times, but stuck with it and now I am reaping the rewards. Time (or lack of) is not an issue.

    Good luck with the new career.

    #1098613
    MatthewKeath
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    Bob Jones, post: 111642 wrote:
    The hard work part has nothing to do with it – it’s the lack of time that’s preventing me to reach my tipping point at this stage.
    Lack of time? Or marketing problems? I was lucky that I was able to get a small loan that helped me out when I was starting out which helped me through the slow periods.

    I have always thought that SEO would be a tough game to get into.

    That said, it took longer than a few months to establish myself. I thought about quitting many times, but stuck with it and now I am reaping the rewards. Time (or lack of) is not an issue.

    Good luck with the new career.

    #1098614
    BlackCoffeeComms
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    • Total posts: 472
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    Hi Bob

    5 months isn’t a lot in the whole small business scheme of things. I’m been solo for about 9 months and am very much still finding my feet. I did, however, have savings to fall back on – and a husband who works full-time. But we have still had to tighten our belts.

    Like you, I am attracting the low-end clients and one-off jobs and it is very frustrating, I know. Unlike you, though, I have no intention of giving up.

    I realise the problem is in my marketing strategy – it’s not reaching the high ends clients and that needs to change. I’m also looking at a slight refocus of my services. Finally, I have started working with other soloists to team together and send joint tenders to the big boys.

    What about putting some money aside to get someone to help with the marketing – to get you in front of the right eyes? There are approximately 16 bajillion SEO “experts” out there (including a lot of snake oil salesmen), so why should someone go to you?? Or maybe doing some heavy networking with web developers/internet marketers to become a preferred SEO supplier?

    Maybe, financially, you will need to do this while working for someone else, but at least the ducks will be in a row next time you take the leap.

    Good luck

    Nicole

    #1098547
    BlackCoffeeComms
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    • Total posts: 472
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    Hi Bob

    5 months isn’t a lot in the whole small business scheme of things. I’m been solo for about 9 months and am very much still finding my feet. I did, however, have savings to fall back on – and a husband who works full-time. But we have still had to tighten our belts.

    Like you, I am attracting the low-end clients and one-off jobs and it is very frustrating, I know. Unlike you, though, I have no intention of giving up.

    I realise the problem is in my marketing strategy – it’s not reaching the high ends clients and that needs to change. I’m also looking at a slight refocus of my services. Finally, I have started working with other soloists to team together and send joint tenders to the big boys.

    What about putting some money aside to get someone to help with the marketing – to get you in front of the right eyes? There are approximately 16 bajillion SEO “experts” out there (including a lot of snake oil salesmen), so why should someone go to you?? Or maybe doing some heavy networking with web developers/internet marketers to become a preferred SEO supplier?

    Maybe, financially, you will need to do this while working for someone else, but at least the ducks will be in a row next time you take the leap.

    Good luck

    Nicole

    #1098549
    ExactEditing
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Hi Bob
    Really sorry to hear it’s not working out the way you would like. But can I suggest you change your plan of attack (and this is only my personal opinion and I know my business certainly needs some work too) but you said you want larger clients so you spend more time doing what you love – so target the big clients. Offering a 1 hour free consult is great, but that will be used and abused by private people who don’t have money to pay. Larger businesses know they need to pay for the services they get and they have the money to do this. You also state in your footer that you are servicing small and medium sized businesses. If I was a large corporation I would think you may not have the high-level experience I need. But if you advertise at a high level, and I’m a small business, I would know you have the skills to do a large company, and could help me too if your time allowed. Do you see the difference? You’ve clearly got the skills, just change your plan of attack. Something I’ve also learned – sometimes you just have to say no :) Good luck!

    #1098615
    ExactEditing
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Hi Bob
    Really sorry to hear it’s not working out the way you would like. But can I suggest you change your plan of attack (and this is only my personal opinion and I know my business certainly needs some work too) but you said you want larger clients so you spend more time doing what you love – so target the big clients. Offering a 1 hour free consult is great, but that will be used and abused by private people who don’t have money to pay. Larger businesses know they need to pay for the services they get and they have the money to do this. You also state in your footer that you are servicing small and medium sized businesses. If I was a large corporation I would think you may not have the high-level experience I need. But if you advertise at a high level, and I’m a small business, I would know you have the skills to do a large company, and could help me too if your time allowed. Do you see the difference? You’ve clearly got the skills, just change your plan of attack. Something I’ve also learned – sometimes you just have to say no :) Good luck!

    #1098551
    King
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    You will never do any good with micro or the smaller end of small business – they simply don’t have the money nor the appreciation for value to pay what you need to charge.

    I gave up offering marketing services to small business years ago for this reason.

    As others have said, change your client size focus. Get a few bigger ones that provide the core income and if you have the time/inclination to dabble with small business for whatever reason then you can.

    #1098616
    King
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    • Total posts: 2,212
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    You will never do any good with micro or the smaller end of small business – they simply don’t have the money nor the appreciation for value to pay what you need to charge.

    I gave up offering marketing services to small business years ago for this reason.

    As others have said, change your client size focus. Get a few bigger ones that provide the core income and if you have the time/inclination to dabble with small business for whatever reason then you can.

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