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[Online/Offline Hybrid Journey] Starting a Local Business Directory Site

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Andres1986, May 12, 2013.

  1. Andres1986

    Andres1986 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I've decided to start yet another journey, but this one is a mix of online and offline. I believe there isn't a similar journey in this section right now, or at least I haven't seen any similar one getting updated regularly, so this will be an interesting one to have, to break the usual routine of "CPA+Youtube journeys", "PPD+Youtube", etc.

    Before going into the details, lets first define the goal of this journey and the time span to achieve that.

    What's the goal?

    Starting a local business directory site and get 1000 subscribers in one year from now.

    Now onto more details:

    I will be targeting businesses in my local region, which includes the two biggest cities of my province.

    In terms of competition, there are a few very weak directory sites around that don't represent a threat whatsoever and cover a very little percentage of the potential market (i.e: business owners). The biggest competitor is actually an offline business business directory that publishes a directory book every 3 months and also has website version of it, but as I said, they are mainly in the offline world and their online presence is practically insignificant (no SEO, Adwords, social media promotion, etc. AT ALL); not to mention their high ad cost, so they would represent a distant indirect competition.

    Another thing to take into account is that this business model has already proved to be very successful in near regions. In a province next to mine, there is an online business directory that has been working for only a couple of years and already has over 5000 subscribers.

    Why 1000 subscribers in 1 year?

    1000 subscribers in 1 year represents an average of only 3 subscription sales per day. I believe this is perfectly achievable using proper plan for online and offline promotion.

    What are the expected profits from 1000 subscribers?

    I will be selling basic ad spots (monthly subscriptions) in the local currency equivalent to USD that range from 4 USD to 6 USD. Considering that featured ads will be sold at higher prices, I expect profits that range around 5000-6500 USD with 1000 subscribers.

    What are the expected costs to get those initial 1000 subscribers?

    When calculating costs, in a project like this one most of them will be represented by advertising and sales force. That said, we need to consider that the site needs 2 types of traffic: 1- site users or visitors and 2- business owners (paid subscribers). For group 1, costs will cover online advertising such as Adwords, Facebook ads, SEO; and offline advertising which will include flyers, newspaper ads, QR codes, etc. For group 2, costs will be used mostly towards setting up a sales team that approaches business owners via phone and face to face, as well as in online sales strategies like email marketing and Facebook ads. Undoubtedly, advertising targeted towards group 1 will also lead to paid subscribers of group 2.

    In terms of specific numbers, I've calculated an estimate of 4000 USD in costs to obtain these initial 1000 subscribers. This only includes advertising. Web design (premium WP theme + logo design) and web hosting costs are minimal in comparison so they will not be considered. I'll be detailing exactly how much and towards what this advertising budget is spent in the course of this journey.

    Where am I at right now and what are my plans in the next following days/weeks?

    Right now I'm setting up the site, which includes content, adding the categories, etc. I will give myself 7-10 days to get done with this and start the promotion. On the early stages of the site (the initial first month), I'll be offering a basic ad subscription for free and a the option of a featured ad paid subscription to give the site some momentum and start populating it with listings.

    Which are my long term goals with this project?

    Even though I plan to update this journey until I reach the 1000 subscribers goal, my long term plan is to reach similar numbers to those that the mentioned business directory in a near province achieved, i.e: 5000+ paid subscribers. As my province is bigger and equally business oriented, I believe that to be a very achievable goal in a reasonable amount of time. I also plan to use the business owners subscribers as database to up-sell more advanced online advertising services.

    Internet is booming in my local area and the competition is still soft, so I think that there will not be a time better than this one to start a project such as this.

    Alright guys, this is it for now. Stay tuned for my updates in the next following days, and please do feel free to give me constructive suggestions, advice and feedback. Any of such is more than welcomed.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. psytrance

    psytrance Power Member

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    good luck andres, im sure u will succeed :)
     
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  3. MrSimon

    MrSimon Registered Member

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    Love this. Good luck!
     
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  4. Andres1986

    Andres1986 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    UPDATE:

    Still building the site. On the final touches though.

    Found out that my shared hosting account is not nearly enough for the kind of site I want to build, so I'm upgrading to Linux VPS with cpanel and I'll host the site there.
     
  5. MissioneR

    MissioneR Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    All the best for your journey
     
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  6. Beven

    Beven Elite Member

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    Best of luck and don't give up :)
     
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  7. John.

    John. Power Member

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    This could turn out to be a very interesting thread indeed, best of luck!
     
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  8. netcelal

    netcelal Senior Member

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    Good luck!
    I`m starting a local business directory site too but the monthly subscription fee will be 9,99? for Basic and 19,99? for Premium listing.
    I'll give you a tip, add more than 100 companies on your website and offer these companies a free membership for 3 months. Send they monthly Traffic with your fake referer...maybe between 30-50 visitors..once they see that visitors come across your website they will buy a 12 months membership :) I'll write tomorrow a few other ideas.

    Sorry for my bad English :eek:
     
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  9. Naveen257

    Naveen257 Regular Member

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    Fake referer as in our site name right ? That's a good idea.
     
  10. netcelal

    netcelal Senior Member

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    Yes ;)
     
  11. luisqp66

    luisqp66 Junior Member

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    any updates on this journey ?
     
  12. mikesath123

    mikesath123 Newbie

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    are there any updates?