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Journey to Creating a Business

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by LieutenantLame, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    Hey guys, I began the oldest method in the IM book a few days ago. I really needed some quick money for Christmas shopping, so I thought this would be a good method to get a couple hundred in my pocket. I didn't plan to start a journey, because I thought it was simple; buy shared hosting, charge local businesses for hosting and give them free web design. It eventually stemmed to be way more complicated than I thought. I firstly got a list of 1k business/website owners using this: (Emailing them using mailchimp, it is free and has max subscribers of 2k, more than enough for me)

    Code:
    "powered by yahoo web hosting!" "city"
    Took me about 2-3 hours to do it manually. I don't have a email scraper, mainly because I wanted to limit my budget to around $100-200, using the money I got with the Reinstecker method. I then was looking into a way to give my clients their hosting. At first, I was just going to go ahead and affiliate with Hostgator, but I heard some pretty bad things about their affiliate program, so I turned to their reseller hosting. Again, I thought it'd be easy, but nope. I ended up having to get WHMCS license (you get one for free if you purchase hostgator's reseller hosting). Then, I realized I need an SSL certificate to sell online, so I purchased that.

    At that point, I realized I was starting a very small scale online business, so thought it'd be worthy of a journey. There's no "goal money" for now, at this point, I feel like I just want to establish a good online business and build reputation. I plan to only have this journey run for 30 days, if it fails, I'll consider it a learning experience, if it works, all there is is to scale and reinvest.

    EXPENSES
    Domain - $1.17 (GoDaddy)
    Hostgator RSH Aluminum - $19.96 (1st month discount, I don't get to use their BF2013 coupon for some reason...)
    WHMCS License - $0.00
    SSL Certificate - $12.95
    Total : $34.08
     
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  2. funkybunker

    funkybunker Supreme Member

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    Praying for your success in this journey LL. I wouldn't quit after 30 days if there's a chance to make it happen, but if that's the case, give this all you've got!
    What are you planning on charging? Too many clients and you'll find yourself in headache town.
     
  3. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    Thanks. I plan to charge somewhere between $90-$130. As for quantity of clients, I'm just hoping that with around 2k emails, only 1-2% of them will actually order. So that's around 20-40 clients. If I get more clients than expected, I really have no idea what'll happen. Just kinda hoping they won't ask me to do anything past the basics...
     
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  4. Gpx45

    Gpx45 Newbie

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    show the progress of your venture
     
  5. V

    V Elite Member

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    good luck on your journey bro ;) keep us updated about ur journey (how many clients you get and all that) :)
     
  6. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    DAY 1
    Worked on the website, installed the WHMCS code and made a quick header and logo. Nothing overly detailed and grandiose. No need to spend $5 on a crap Fiverr logo if you got some basic skills with Photoshop and Illustrator. The website is pretty much done, really only spent around 1-2 hours on it. Also, I'm using the Nimble theme from ElegentThemes which I already purchased some time ago. Not the best theme, but it'll do the job. I suggest to go with a Themeforest theme if you can though, they seem to have less bugs and whatnot.

    What's coming for tomorrow. I plan to at least have another 1k emails (for a total of 2k) by the end of Wednesday PST. If everything goes smoothly, I should be able to blast them with my email on either Thursday or Friday. I have a better feeling for Friday, just because everyone feels (or should feel) good on a Friday. I also read somewhere that it is better to send emails from morning to afternoon, so I'll likely do it before I go to school at 7 am.

    I believe that this is purely a game of organization and numbers. So hopefully if I can get good numbers and I don't dick around, it should be a somewhat successful journey.
     
  7. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    Day 2
    Got another 400 emails. Less than what I wanted today partly because I was messing with WHMCS settings (first time using any sort of billing system). I went through around 3/4th's of my area list, and didn't get many emails. What does this mean? So I might not be able to reach my goal of 2k emails, which is fine. It will probably be around 1500-1700 emails.

    Anyways, I plan to implement another system into my website. Selling SEO services. Not me doing the SEO (I'm complete crap at SEO), I will probably just be reselling some BST for 20-30%. And since these are local rankings, it should be fairly easy to rank them, I think. On how I plan to go about selling SEO, I will email every client who purchased hosting that s/he can purchase an SEO package from me for a discount (I'll probably end up with a 5-10% profit after discounts).

    What I also plan to do is purchase a 800 number and start cold calling. I'll likely use netmoney1's template (basically the same thing I'm doing except this one requires more capital on hand): http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...ffline-method-complete-details-templates.html
     
  8. faithjhung

    faithjhung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good luck on this.
    I agree with you on the game of organization.
    Let me add there should also be motivation and perseverance for this game.
     
  9. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    Day 3
    Didn't get much done today, mainly because of timing. I searched through all of my cities, and now I'm out. I've gathered a list just below 1400, which is alright. I would've sent the email blast today, but because of school, I couldn't (best to email them in late morning to early afternoon). So, I'll probably email them tomorrow in early morning.

    As for my own website, it's pretty much done. I purchased a WHMCS branding removal (I feel like clients will look away if they see another brand) and had to deposit $5 for a resell.biz account (for domains).

    EXPENSES
    Branding Removal - $5
    Resell.biz Deposit - $5
    TOTAL : $44.08
     
  10. bloggersjoy

    bloggersjoy Junior Member

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    How much you have earned finally from this investment? How well is it doing right now?
     
  11. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    Hey. I haven't earned anything from this investment yet, I've yet to email my clients. Hopefully, though, I could get at least one client by tomorrow.

    And just in case someone wanted to know. I'm having three hosting packages: 97$, 126$, and 132$ per year. So one client who is buying the lowest package will at least enable me to make a profit and be able to pay for hosting for the next month.
     
  12. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    DAY 4
    I decided to hold off sending the email today because when I was about to send it in the morning, I realized MailChimp had a scheduler. So, I scheduled it for tomorrow morning (Friday 10AM). What really sucks about MailChimp is they remove email addresses if it has a "role" in their name (such as "support@domain.com" or "admin@domain.com"), so they removed around 200 emails from my list. They removed another 100 because they were incomplete emails or duplicates. So now my list has exactly 1178 subscribers. I'm going to try and gather as many emails as I can today..
     
  13. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    DAY 5
    Alright so good news and bad news. Bad news is the emailing thing didn't work. I got a ton (really only around 70) unsubscribes. I also looked through the mailchimp stats, not too good. 0 opens and 0 clicks. Terrible. I imagine that the emails either ended up in the spam folder or sent to an inactive email. I'll give it a couple of days, and hopefully I'll see at least some clicks. The good news, this means that this method of acquiring clients does not work for me... for now anyways. How is this good news? Well now I know that if I need clients, I won't have to waste 2-3 days gathering emails.

    So, now to move on to the next way of acquiring clients. As much as I'd like to continue the old method, I've literally scraped every email in my location. The next way of acquiring clients is to email them directly. I'll use their contact form. I'm aiming for at least 100 contacts. This is what I'm going to do:
    1. Search "city" "niche"
    2. Look at the ads, and check if the link is anywhere on the first 2 pages. If not, I'll check the average PPC for that certain keyword, if it is on the first two pages, I'll skip it.
    3. Go down to page 3-5. These links will tell me that the site has decent content. I'll go through each one of them carefully and check out each business. I'll take note if there is a contact us page.
    4. If there is an option to email them, I'll do that first. If there's not an option, I'll cold call.

    I plan to store everything and everyone into a neat excel document. I'll put the high end business in front (such as dentistry, jewelry, etc.) and put the low end ones in the back (local game stores, restaurants). I'll try to cold call the low end ones to practice my cold-calling. I'll allow them to either purchase through my site, or we'll meet up and he can sign me a check. Now, the thing about meeting up is: 1. I don't technically have money on hand to hire an attorney to draft a contract (I feel like it'll be more professional and safe for the client if I have a contract). 2. I'm only 15, now my friends tell me I look 18, so I suppose I could 'guise as an 18 year old.

    Then again, that whole thing would be contradicting since I believe I can't "legally" bind myself into a contract. Whatever.
     
  14. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    UPDATE
    Don't know what took the emails so long to come, but I got SIX replies. My lowest package is $100, so that is at least $600 right there if I close all clients. Hopefully, I'll get at least one closed deal to cover my existing costs and to pay for next month's hosting. I replied to 4 emails. One guy wants me to call him over the weekend. The other guy will reply back to me within 48 hours. So I could scratch whatever I said in the above post, I'm getting potential clients! What's also awesome about these guys is that they have minimal knowledge of anything IM whatsoever, so I could upsell other services such as site management and SEO and whatnot.

    My replies were all unique. I offered all 4 that I replied to (will call one tomorrow) that I'll design the website first before having them switch over, and if they like it, they can switch over to my servers. Hopefully that'll kill whatever skepticism they have.
     
  15. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    DAY 6
    Didn't do much today because my dad is off on a business trip tomorrow and family decided to spend one last day out. None of the leads replied to me yet, I'll give them a couple of more days. On the other hand, while we were out, I picked this up:
    photo.jpg

    The place I went to didn't sell stamps, so I'll buy those another time. These are 100 envelopes by the way, so 100 potential clients!

    EXPENSES:
    100 Letters - $4.34
    TOTAL : $48.42
     
  16. FUBSZ

    FUBSZ Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    goodluck OP !! hopefully those 6 leads will turn into some $$ for you. please keep this thread updated so we know what happened :D
     
  17. austinteacheravalon

    austinteacheravalon Newbie

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    I hope this works out for you! Keep us updated.
     
  18. LieutenantLame

    LieutenantLame Junior Member

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    Thanks

    DAY 7
    Disappointing that none of my leads replied back to me today. I did get another lead today though. So 7 leads in total.

    I didn't want today to be unproductive so I picked the lead that I felt had the most money to throw away and started on his website. I sent him the barebones of it saying stuff like, "hey, you haven't replied yet, but I've already started work on your website. Reply back if you want me to continue."

    I have a feeling my emails are ending up in the spam folder...
     
  19. AquaticGamer

    AquaticGamer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  20. Veyron

    Veyron BANNED BANNED

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    Good luck! Remember if you don't succeed at first don't give up and keep working hard to make your goal(s) happen! :)

    Remember:

    Success if going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

    Meaning, that if you succeed at first, keep working on your visions and stay dedicated and more importantly "excited" about what it is that you're doing and eventually, you'll reach the point of success! :)

    Veyron