As a serial entrepreneur and startup consultant to many successful businesses, I have observed cautionary business tales starting with "under the table." I'm here to tell you that even if money gets tight, you don't want to cut yourself off at the knees like them. What you need is a strategy that accommodates the big picture.
Why You Don't Want to Start and Run Your Business Under the Table
The IRS states that if you make $400 or more from a side hustle, you must file a tax return. If your hustle is meant to be profitable, it isn't considered a hobby to the government, and if you have aspirations, I’m sure it’s not a hobby to you, either. Before we discuss the rewarding benefits of picking the legitimate path, let's take a look at why illegally running a business is a short-sighted approach with negative consequences:
I have to admit I have days where I feel imprisoned by social media. I have days where I am uninspired about my own brand, and I just draw a blank as to what I should post on my business social media pages... and I'm a social media marketer! I can only imagine how you must feel. If you are attacking your social media marketing with a day-to-day method, then it is easy to fall into this trap. We all get tired, burnt out, and just don't have the creative energy that each day may require to put your message out there.
So what do we do about that?
As a small business owner, you probably encounter plenty of ads about the complexity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) marketing. They claim to do hours of work in seconds and create more relevant content, but let's look deeper.
Does AI have the same capabilities as personal marketing agencies? Walk away being able to make an informed decision about who should handle your marketing. Consider how personal marketing agencies contrast to those of AI.
AI Certainly Has Limitations.
Beware: AI has and will make SERIOUS mistakes. Even artificial intelligence requires learning, so when entrepreneurs entrust it, they need to be careful in the beginning. In fact, this month, Elon Musk and other tech leaders have asked for a 6-month global moratorium on further development because of the unknowns of what it is capable of and concerns over its harm. Here are some examples of past failures:
AI Lacks Emotional Intelligence, But WE Don't!
Here are ways that AI marketing differs from personal agencies like us:
At STS, we strategize to direct action from the readers based on your goal(s). We consider what motivates the PEOPLE in your target audience. So, we focus on their needs and the emotions surrounding them.
How do we do that?
We mentally relive our own LIFE experiences and how we emotionally process them.
Decide for yourself which marketing approach sounds more practical. No matter where you are, we can get your business results with the strategy, skill, and empathy that AI lacks. Contact STS for marketing consulting, content creation, social media marketing, strategic website design and any other services that your business needs to reach PEOPLE.
Does wondering about your competition keep you up at night?
Competition is not always a bad thing; in fact, it can be good for business!
Not only does it motivate you to strive for excellence to stand out from the crowd, but a little investigation may reveal some opportunities like:
Embracing competition requires you to go out of your comfort zone and develop friendships instead of rivals. Finally, remember, there are many kinds of fish in the sea. Even if you offer exactly the same services as another company, you have different personalities and methods, which will resonate with contradistinct customers. Nobody is you!
What do you think? Does a new local service business need a website to get customers? Or can they rely only on social media for marketing? In our never-ending quest to bring small businesses real results as quickly as possible, we pull from our recent case studies to answer this question with five reasons you absolutely should build a website for your new local business.
SEO is first driven by location, so it cannot be more important to be thorough about it when creating business listings on search engines. DO NOT FORGET to enter in ALL your service cities on your Google Business listing, not just the town your physical location is in. And if you have a website, make sure they are all indicated in your content there as well!
SCHEDULE A FREE SEO CONSULTATION
In case you missed it, See Location Tip #1.
Is your local business struggling to gain recognition online? A lot goes into finding leads, but being an entrepreneur is time-consuming!
Whether you own a small or medium-sized business, marketing is essential to gaining traction. Yes, it takes time, but not if you outsource to a marketing agency. Read on to learn how to save money and efforts on online marketing.
Why Marketing Is Crucial for All Businesses
EVERYONE is online! Engagement isn’t just a luxury. Marketing allows you to communicate with customers and attract new audiences. Consumers look to Facebook, Instagram, and Google for information, services, and products. So, you’ll need to be visible to communicate, generate leads, create social proof, and retain customers.
Utilize the Best Tools and Experience
You can avoid managing your social media alone by outsourcing a marketing agency. Outsourcing saves time in-house and leads to better response with leads.
Why not just hire a full-time in-house employee?
It’s cheaper to pay an agency! You can set your budget and optimize marketing costs. You only pay for the work that gets done for your needs, not an hourly rate for an employee. This route excludes the cost of hiring, training, benefits, insurance, and taxes.
Local Service Businesses, do you have your location on your Facebook and other social media business pages?
I recently went searching for a handyman service on Facebook by a name I had been given. I found five businesses with the same name! Only two of them had their location listed. None of them were in my area. That handyman, whoever he may be, lost business from word-of-mouth marketing that day. We all know that word-of-mouth is the life blood of small local businesses, but it failed him that day because of something that takes less than five minutes.
When you are consistent in your small business marketing it yields these results:
1. SEO - Regularly posting new content in places like your website's blog or changing page content to stay up to date with what you offer and what your goals are; or posting on social media channels whose posts show up on Google (like Twitter) increases your website's search engine standing.
Our marketing agency is finding a trend with building and service contractors that come to us for help. They just aren’t getting the results promised when they signed up to have a website and business listing created that was supposed to deliver marketing, SEO, and high visibility for leads. Instead, they find they have been paying upwards of $1200 to $1500 a month and are getting nothing but spam emails, if anything at all. As a result, their call to us is usually a last-ditch effort. They wonder if online marketing is an effective means of getting new clients for a local service business, or does it all have to be word-of-mouth and a Facebook page?
After 14 years of helping small local contracting and service businesses, I can tell you that you should expect everything you were promised, but at half the price! We get results for these kinds of companies, period. We do not believe in a set it up and forget it approach, leaving it to automation. We are hands-on everywhere your business is present online EVERY DAY. We don’t rest until you get leads.
𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞’𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤.
I am talking about any service you pay for monthly that told you, “we will build you a website or business listing that you pay monthly to have, and it will do well because it is part of our specialized network for contractors that we do marketing for." But, unfortunately, this usually means that YOU DO NOT OWN your website, and the minute, and I mean THE minute, you cancel, YOUR website vanishes, and the marketing and listings they set up for you vanish!
𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐬.