Home – New Forums Starting your journey Local Business Directory – what to consider?

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  • #979335
    yifa
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    • Total posts: 48
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    Hi everyone,

    I’m looking at setting up my own local business directory and am wondering what exactly I need to consider.

    I don’t want advertisements on the site so any income will be solely from people subscribing. Of course, I don’t expect people to just pay me some money to be on some directory website straight off the bat, so I figure I would implement the following:

    3 Tiers of listings: Basic, Priority and Featured

    Basic
    FREE listing, with limited features

    Priority
    Paid listing, with advanced features

    Featured
    Paid listing, Priority features + featured throughout the website

    The first 100 businesses to sign up get a priority listing for free for 6 months, and a handful of people can selected to be featured. I also offer subscription discounts to those who link back to the directory site from their own website, to increase that Google juice. Any subscriptions will be paid for through PayPal’s secure environment.

    My main concerns are…

    a) Are there any specific legal issues I need to attend to?
    b) Is it something people would use? (keeping in mind that I’m aware there are heaps of directories already out there, but mine would specially be for a local area)
    c) Should the domain name be something obvious like “suchandsuchbusinessdirectory.com.au” or something that is easier to remember like “example.com.au”

    Any feedback would be great :)

    Thanks!

    Ben

    #1113629
    Anonymous
    Guest
    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi benji87,

    Welcome to Flying Solo.

    There are already quite a few threads about free directories on the boards, so you may like to have a read of some of them. The person who started this one was asking similar questions to you, so the responses they received may give you some food for thought:

    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/starting-business/19467-im-new-here-i-built-website-tackle-truelocal-need-advice-pls.html

    Good luck!
    Jayne

    #1113630
    Chris – Marketing
    Member
    • Total posts: 162
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    Have you done your research?
    why should I choose you?
    So Many directories what is going to make you stand out from the rest?
    I get a least 6 – 8 enquiries wanting me to sign each year.

    Just playing devils advocate.
    I prefer short domain names. Insurance against miss representation of client (CGU?).

    All the best

    Chris Poulios
    http://www.satisfaction-marketing.com.au
    http://www.webthreads.com.au

    #1113631
    NathanB
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    • Total posts: 775
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    Hi Ben,

    I have a bit of experience in directory type websites as well as business aggregation platforms and networks. (Click Print Save) being my person crack at it.

    Business directories are a very tough industry to crack. Your first 100 (even 500) businesses/client will know that you need them more than they need you, so my advice on that is accept it avoid “selling” them. Ask for their support instead. Claiming your their listing will do things your website probably won’t deliver on until you reach that imaginary “critical mass” target, which could be a while away, will only hurt your credibility in the long run.

    My main query regarding your business is, You need to have a very clear unique selling proposition and must be able to tell a very compelling story about how you are solving a problem that the “other guys” are not.

    If you can’t do this, then my advice would be go back to the drawing board.

    What will your business directory do that Google+ local, True Local, Start local, Hot Frog, Urban Spoon and all the others (industry specific ones too) don’t do?

    Good luck, I hope you do well.

    #1113632
    tmerrill
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    I don’t know if the other local directories already mentioned do this, but one thing that SEO people are looking for in directories is rejection. That is, Google values a directory link more (and doesn’t see it has spammy) if their is editor discretion involved and the submission is not guaranteed to get a listing.

    If the other directories aren’t doing this, you might consider it your unique selling point. You will give people better links.

    I hope that helps.

    #1113633
    John Templeton
    Member
    • Total posts: 65
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    A tough nut to crack, and even tougher to maintain paying advertisers. You need a specific point of difference that’s going to want them to be a part of your directory. Good luck.

    #1113634
    Ondetto
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    • Total posts: 110
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    I would offer only free listings at first. Nobody is going to pay for a listing on a new directory without much web traffic. That way there is no risk for people signing up and you will get more listings quickly.

    Once you have reached a critical number of listed businesses (e.g. 500) and manage to get a decent amount of traffic, you can then introduce a “premium listing” and start upselling your existing clients.

    #1113635
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi John and Ondetto,

    Just want to flag to you that this thread was actually started back in August, so Benji has hopefully progressed his plans by now.

    All the best,
    Jayne

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