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Taking the plunge, advice needed

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by sparkster, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. sparkster

    sparkster Registered Member

    Apr 12, 2013
    Likes Received:
    The South
    This is my first post, other than one in the introductions forum. Because of some personal and family issues, I've bee forced to leave a stable job and move to a city of about 600k. I had plans to start a business in the next year or so, but as I said, I've had to start early.

    My original plan was to offer data mining services for small businesses, but after giving it some thought, I think that type of business, while allowing me to charge nice hourly charges of $100+ per hour, will take some time to get off the ground. By chance, a friend of my wife asked if I did "internet optimization". She meant SEO. To make this long post a little shorter, I've settled on offering web design, SEO, and ORM services. I would like to solicit the community here for advice and criticism of my plan.

    1. Web design: I have a strong coding background and can use all the relevant languages (HTML, CSS, javascript, etc), so I plan to do most of the site building myself.
      • Marketing: I don't really have a good strategy yet. Cold calling and cold walking are possibilities, as well as word of mouth. I've also read about the technique here of making a quick WP site of existing businesses and cold calling for it.
      • Pricing: For the WP site, I plan to offer $400 flat fee. For other site building, I've found the same list of services and times they take on several websites...can't use links yet, but it's the one that has a list of services along with hours. I've tweaked it and will offer the web design part for $40-$50 per hour.
    2. SEO: I have no background in this, but I've been reading voraciously and think I have a pretty good grasp on the basic ideas.
      • Marketing: Same as the above. I also plan to use referrals and word of mouth and pay them 10% per referral. I'm going to try the method I found on here of SEOing a generic niche page then cold calling and trying to sell ad space on it.
      • Pricing: From the same link above, but now $65-$75 per hour. Stand along, one time fee of $400, $500 per month, two months up front. If they sign up for more than 6 months, I'll discount the fee.
    3. ORM: Same background as SEO.
      • Marketing: Same as SEO. I'm also going to heavily use 7878's method. I've got a list of 25 and am sending out my first batch of letters tomorrow.
      • Pricing: Unsure about this one. If it's part of a package web design deal, I was thinking maybe $300 per month. For 7878's method, same idea as stand alone SEO.

    I've signed one client that I did web design and am doing SEO and ORM. Since it's my first client and I need the practice and web portfolio we agreed on $3800, payable with $200 up front and $300 per month for a year. I'm currently working on a contract for clients. I'm filing as a sole proprietor next week.

    So that's it I guess. It's kind of scary to see it all written so quickly. I really need for this to work, but please be brutal in your comments!
  2. healzer

    healzer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Jun 26, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Somewhere in Europe
    I'm not really sure what you are asking here...?

    Kind regards