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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.