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Will This Local Business Trust Me..

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by Superconservativenes, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    Hello BHW!

    Some background first. I'm a pretty advanced web developer, but not quite an expert. I would also say I'm not that great at web designing, but I can suffice (I'll probably be using a premade template with some customizations). There is a very popular deli located near me. The deli is located between two highschools, mulitple neighborhoods, and on a busy busy street.

    I've checked out their website and it hasn't been updated since '09 and is very, very outdated both design and content wise. I'm thinking about contacting them about creating a better website and increasing their interaction via twitter, instagram, facebook, etc. BUT, the catch is I'm still in a high school and I'm not 18 yet. Basically, I'm wondering if this business would even consider my business. I'm also confused on how I should approach this. This is really my first time actually considering doing something like this. I have no experience, but I've read lots of useful info here on BHW

    I've have a basic plan of how I would create and run their site and social media. I listed some things before.
    - New site with Menus, About Page, Online Ordering, Directions, etc.
    - Mobile site with Menu, Directions, Online Ordering
    - Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to boost their interaction with their customers.

    I could go into more detail and think up more things, but I'm not even sure if I should try and contact them.


    Sorry if this thread was hard to read, this was written in a rush. Basically here is what need help on?
    - Should I even contact them about doing their website and running social media?
    - Would they take me seriously since I'm still in high school and not even 18 yet?

    I have other questions such as what other things can I do to better their business and how much should I charge, but I will save until I know I will be contacting them. If you guys have any questions please let me know. I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice on how to approach this.

    All the best!
     
  2. bigkapp

    bigkapp Regular Member

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    You never know until you try. My advise to you is try to seem as professional as possible. Show him some examples you've done and explain to him why he need's your service. It sounds like you've done some research on his business already which is a very good idea. Now just take action and make the sale. And once you've had your first taste of success, it'll be alot easier to get your next client.
     
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  3. LanceV

    LanceV Junior Member

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    Dress smart, come prepared and know what you are talking about as long as it appears like you know what is going on they will trust you. You have to try a bit harder at a young age but it's certainly possible.
     
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  4. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    How about the legality of all of this? Since I'm a minor and all. How would taxes work, etc? Would it be best to have my parents involved?

    My plan would be to have a whole plan outlined for them, maybe even a mock-up of the mobile and desktop sites. I could contact the owner, have a meeting about how my service would help them out, and then leave them a packet of my plan for them to think it over.

    Thanks for the support guys!
     
  5. jimbo13

    jimbo13 Newbie

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    Will they listen to you? The answer is yes they will. I would. I am 40 by the way and have no clue how to do any Internet stuff (I'm not kidding)

    Which is exactly why I would listen to you.

    You lot are what are termed early adopters. ie Some tech thing is invented eg Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and it is you lot that figure out what to do with it light years before any Marketing person in even a Fortune 500 company works out what to do with it. They see you doing it and then try to catch the wave. Think about that. It is true isn't it?

    What I am getting at is this. If you walk in to see me about a business matter, I might think 'Okay I'll humour him for a bit as he is a young lad' and say sure I've got 5 minutes.

    But once you start talking I will quickly forget about your age if what you say makes sense.

    I promise you that any real business person would. They want to know how to do things better and accept that other people have the skills that they lack. Business people aren't stupid but keeping up with the pace of technology is really hard to do so maybe many young people on forums like this think business people are stupid and look down on them for not doing things that are obvious to you.

    So I hope that gets the I am too young bit out of your head. :)

    Now one thing I would say ,and this is me personally but I think it is best for any sales situation if you want a decision, is this. Stick to one or two things only.

    If you went through the list in your OP my eyes would glaze over, I would be confused so I have no choice but to say I'll think about it when you finish talking.

    So stick to the basic thing he will understand easiest. eg His website is outdated and doesn't attract the youth market in the best way. After all, this hits home. Why is he located between two schools? Because that is his best target market. And you are a student at school. ie You are his target market. So who knows best what that target market reacts to? You or him? This is what you want to get across before you go into what it is you think should be done.

    Position yourself 1st - tech savvy and his target market (get him nodding at those) then go into what is wrong (get him to agree) then show him the solution, the ask him to move forward to the next step.

    Don't do it any other way.

    I can expand a bit of you want me to.

    Dan
     
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    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  6. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Have confidence and belief in yourself. Get a plan together on how you think you can improve their business. Set your prices realistically. Age shouldn't be a barrier if you can convince the owner you know what you are taking about and are willing to put the effort in. If anything tell them you are willing to do it for a lower rate for the experience. Make sure everything is agreed in writing and try to get half the money upfront. Once you have this client then you can go looking for more.

    Also if they don't sign up, it is not a failure it is a learning experience to take with you to your next client. Never give up, if you talk sense people will listen.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  7. Hartwigm

    Hartwigm Junior Member

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    Uhmm... based on your English I'm guessing you are either American or British. Either way, if you are over 16 you can work without your parent's consent. As for taxes, you just need to report them at the end of the year, as this will be contract based. Everyone above the age of 16 with income must file a tax return. In this case, you would likely have to write a check at the end of the tax year.
     
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  8. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    From your post this is what I've outlined so far in my head.
    1) Establish myself as a student who eats there all the time and a web developer (Maybe)
    2) Point out how well his business is doing, which from my point of view is very well.
    3) Point out some flaws and how I could fix them. For example his outdated website and lack of social interaction.
    4) Go into detail using a business packet and show him some site mockups.

    What do you think of this little plan I've created in my head. I have yet to write anything down, though I will probably think harder and create a more organized plan.
    If there is anything else you think you should elaborate on? It seems like you would have good input from a business owners side.

    What do you guys think would be a reasonable price? I mean, this is really my first business proposal and first time doing web dev and social media management for a business owner. I'm really in this for the experience, but profit would help me with school and such.


    Any other advice you guys might have would be really helpful. I'm going to be brainstorming and doing some research on BHW tonight. I will also be creating a basic outline of this whole thing, down to the slightest detail as what to wear. I will be sure to run my plans by you guys as soon as I'm done.
     
  9. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    I don't know what prices would be acceptable in your part of the world but I would think $500-$1000 one off payment or charge them monthly for ongoing work, remember the business owner wants to see a return on his/her investment. You need to show them how your service will add value to their business. get your business plan together and show them how social interaction and internet promotions could improve sales (eg the two high schools etc). It looks like you are going about it the right way. Also in my previous post I mentioned about accepting a lower fee to gain experience and get your first client but at the same time don't undervalue your services.
     
  10. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    $500-$1000. Hmm. Do you think that price is appropriate for what I would be including; web design/development (Both mobile and desktop) and a boost in their social interaction along with their ranking in sites such as yelp? I have no intentions to do SEO because they already rank 1 for their deli name as the keyword. Plus, I don't think it would be really useful to do any SEO; I would focus more on social interaction and such.

    I think $500 would be a good price for the web development + social interaction/yelp rankings. Then maybe a monthly fee after that to manage the social profiles and to increase online popularity. What do you think?

    I was also thinking about emailing the deli, just to introduce myself, give a little background, and ask if a meeting could be set up. But then again, it would seem more professional to walk in, correct?

    I little research update:
    I just did some quick research on their site. and business. They have 2 locations. Their site has an online menu and the ability to order "online" via fax. But then again, the site hasn't been updated since November 2009. I also checked they're yelp and it has 1420 reviews with a 4.5 star rank.
     
  11. jimbo13

    jimbo13 Newbie

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    That is the general idea yes. Have you eaten there? If not, might as well buy some sandwich or whatever they sell just to get a layout of the place, maybe see some faces and register names. Get a feel for the place. How busy it is etc.

    I don't know what you look like but at 16 don't try to look too different from what you normally wear. It will feel awkward. Just be clean, tidy and have clean and tidy clothes. Jeans and a shirt is fine.

    If you are a student at one of the schools just try and catch the attention of the owner and say something like, 'You know what? I am a student over at xyz High School and I eat here quite regularly because your whatevers are the best in the area. You probably see lots of us walk right on by everyday who have money in their pockets and I was thinking the reason we walk on by is because you don't engage with us in the way we are used to getting information. If you've got five minutes (now, when shop finishes, tomorrow morning) I'ld love to drop by and show you exactly what I mean and exactly what you can do about it to get that lost business. I promise you I wont be wasting your time. (Then shut up even if it is for 20 minutes. Do not say a word. Think about what is on TV or anything to keep your mind of the silence, it is not as long as the eternity it will feel like)

    This has just addressed a couple of issues. Target market has money. They are not all coming in. This kid is one of them. He knows what they want and how to reach them. He has some ideas for me. He only wants 5 minutes. What have I got to lose?

    Nothing is guaranteed in life but i think you will get a favourable response.

    Try to do it at a later time because you want to make him think you are busy with something. If he says sure how about now, say you have to run as got an appt and don't want to let them down. (Reliable too!!)

    Go home and print out his web page and outline with a marker why it is not appealing. Print out a mock up or example of another Deli other side of country that looks more like what you have in mind and print this out with highlights of what these improvements are and why. eg clarity of navigation, e-mail capture bit on front page, big telephone number on every page at the top that sort of thing.

    Do a mock up of a mobile site and print this off. All A4 size (Think this is what you call 9 x 11) Explain why mobile is relevant and tehn show him an example on your smartphone of you have one.

    That sort of thing.

    Basically you are showing the improvements, letting his mind take it in and coming up with the obvious conclusion.

    So you can see Mr Deli owner how my fellow students look at things these days and how you are not doing that at this time hence them walking on by but can you see how you can stop them in their tracks and get them in? (shut up again)

    I'm sure you get the idea for whatever you wish to sell, but the first things must be what make sense like website redesign then you upsell later once he is a happy person.

    You don't want to bombard him.

    He should ask you how to get started. If not prompt him.

    Then quick price comparison 'As you know fully fledged agencies charge $xyz for doing this but I am a student and don't have their overheads. You don't need to pay me for the potted plant in reception or the filing cabinets. Here is what I can do for you...'

    Now I can't help you there as I live in England. But you should find out roughly what local companies would charge for similar things and be a little or a lot less.

    After all you want him as a case study and referal machine. Delis have loads of small tradesmen drop in dont they? They have receptionists from small companies drop in don't they? They have accounts with larger comapnies where they may deliver don't they?

    In other words a Deli owner knows tonnes of people to refer you too.

    So don't take the mickey in your pricing and do the best job you can for they guy.

    I hope this helps, it is a little generic. Also don't pin your hopes on this one person. Writing on paper/forum/chatting to friend is not the real thing.

    This is a nice one to get started but not the end of the world if it goes wrong for you.

    The word encouragement simply means to transfer and give courage. Not to succeed but to try. That is what everyone reading is doing for you. We are all behind you!!

    Good luck. ;)

    Dan
     
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  12. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    Thanks for putting the time and effort Dan! I know this took alot of time to think up Dan.

    I agree that I should dress like myself, I want to look clean and casual, but still look professional a little. I've been thinking about all the advice that was given. The most difficult thing to brainstorm is my approach. I know my first impression will dictate everything. I can worry about my business plan and prices, but that's all useless if I don't strike up some sort of opportunity with them.

    I want to approach them as someone who can get the job done and be very professional, but not someone who is cocky. I don't want to overwhelm the owner/manager with everything and I don't want to seem like some kid read something online and is just wasting the owners time. Dan, I like the example of the prompt you gave me, but doesn't that seem almost as if some robot is saying it. I want to be myself, I don't want to sound like someone else.

    How should I approach the owner and include the things Dan has, but still seem like a mature student who can get the job done professionally. Should I email them first and give a little background and try to set up an informal or semi-formal meeting with the owner? Should I buy a sandwich and see if the owner or manager is there, and strike up a conversation and arrange the meeting? Should I just walk into the deli with my mock-ups and packets and ask to talk to the owner?

    The only thing about striking up a conversation is I have no power. They see me as a young-adult, who they probably won't take as serious as someone older. Look at it from the managers or owners view. Some student from one of the highschools around the neighborhoods asks to meet the manager. Strange right?

    All the best and thanks for the help guys!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  13. gritts

    gritts Junior Member

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    Actually speaking to the manager, if they're there, won't really be an issue if you walk in as since you're a customer, they'll be willing to talk (that's their job after all) but they may ask in regards to what as they probably think you're going to complain or ask for a job. Also, if it's a manager, he/she is not the owner and will have to pass on your word to the owner. This is where it could be a problem as the manager may not think your service is needed and hence never pass it onto the owner.

    Also, because the business is doing good, they may not want your service as they think what they have now is good enough (I've had this happen to me before). Depending on your persuasion, you may get them to change their mind though so don't give up but at the same time, it's sometimes better to walk away and look for another client as some are rather stubborn and it ends up being a waste of time/effort on your part.

    As for the correct approach, to be honest, while some may argue that one method works better than the other, at the end of the day you just have to be confident and go for it. Depending on the individual some approaches may work better than others so you just have to pick something you feel comfortable doing and give it a shot and hope for the best.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  14. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    It's probably really hard to get to ta hold of the owner.

    How about a little introductory email asking to speak with the owner on a given date? Or I can ask the manager if there is some way to contact the owner as it is a business matter?
     
  15. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    Would emailing then first be a good approach? Just to give some background information to them and arrange a phone call or meeting.

    What do you think?
     
  16. rkt13

    rkt13 Junior Member

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    Lots of great advice and points. One thought I had in addition is if you had the time why not mark up a sample to show them. Create a demo home page on a subdomain or temp domain to show them an example of how you could improve their presence online and look more professional.
     
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  17. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    Thanks rkt13z. I think a demo or sample would show that I do mean business and that I'm not wasting time.
     
  18. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    Should I email them first and arrange a call and meeting with the owner? Or walk in and speak to the manager or employees?
     
  19. JoeDownLow

    JoeDownLow BANNED BANNED

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    I have the exact same problem OP! Haven't actually done any sales yet but I plan to in the next month and this could be an issue. Definitely not just read but study How To Win Friends and Influence People, it's basically the guide to selling people. Make you sure dress well and look professional as possible too. Age with be an obstacle especially if you look younger than 18 but I think at the end of the day if do a good job at presenting the value of your service enough people will opt in. 
     
  20. Superconservativenes

    Superconservativenes Registered Member

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    I don't look really young, I can pass for college probably.

    You have any tips Joe? I won't be able to pick up the book till after the holidays.

    Good luck on your sales too, I'd love to share info if you want.