Saturday, August 8, 2015

Starting a BBQ Grill Cleaning Business
Part Two

Everywhere you go you see ads for someone offering to build you a website, and if you own a new business, you get bombarded with emails of the same nature.

It seems everyone's convinced that you must have a website if you want your new venture to succeed. However, that's not entirely true.

A few years ago my online bookstore was "punished" by Google's Panda algorithm, and after that experience I vowed that if I ever decided to start a new business, its success and—most importantly—its profitability, would not depend on a website.


HAVING A WEBSITE BUILT

When I finally decided to start a new business venture, buried at the end of the "to do" list, was having a web presence.

So when the time came to have this done, I hired a local company that specialized in creating websites.

We met and I explained that I wanted a simple site with, maybe, four or five pages, some photos, and that sort of thing.

After a few days they called to say that my new website was ready.
It was horrible.


THE DO-IT-YOURSELF APPROACH

After I fired them I talked to a few other website designers. But the prices I was quoted made no sense whatsoever, so I decided to build one myself.

Not my favorite thing to do but—since I built my first web page from scratch back in 1994—I sort of have a pretty decent idea on how to go about it.

For the platform I chose Blogger.


BLOGGER

Yes, Blogger is a blog platform but—like anything else involving HTML, CSS, etc.—it can be customized quite a bit. Besides, I've been a Blogger user for years now, so I am somewhat familiar with it.

Now, webmasters and—especially—SEO "experts" everywhere will say that using Blogger to create a business website is the wrong thing to do. The beauty of it is that I don't care. I just needed a basic website for my barbecue grill cleaning business.


UNWEB YOURSELF

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Having a website is a necessary evil, at least in my case. I am not counting on customers finding me online. If they do, great, but I will not depend on it.

If my new enterprise had an ecommerce component, I would be singing a different tune. But since my new business is a local grill cleaning service, I plan to reach potential customers in more traditional ways. These include postcards through USPS's EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail), subdivision newsletters, and ad books.


WRAP IT UP


In addition to those advertising channels, I will have my equipment trailer vinyl wrapped and have custom magnets made for the truck.


Because of the nature of the service, I plan to take advantage of the fact that while on a job, my truck and trailer will be parked in front of the customer's home, and while I am there I can use my vehicle to advertise my services to neighbors.

It is liberating not to have to depend on web traffic in order to have a successful business.

Stay tuned for Part Three.