Pest Control Software by GorillaDesk | How to Grow Your Service Business From $0 to $100,000 - Pest Control Software by GorillaDesk
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How to Grow Your Service Business From $0 to $100,000

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01 Nov How to Grow Your Service Business From $0 to $100,000

Earn $100,000 by Year Two

This post will cover how to start your service business with a focus on marketing and the exact tactics I used to get over $100,000 in revenue in two years. Aside from acquiring your licenses & insurance, this guide will teach you early low cost marketing tactics & strategy.

A bit about myself. My name is Chris Moreschi and I own Natural Resources Pest Control based in South Florida. Even though it’s a family business with a successful history, I started out on my own and grew my own company over 100k as a solo technician in under two years. Shortly after, I merged with my families’ company to create a more successful business overall.

I’m writing this guide from my own experience and the results I was able to achieve over a two year period. I will teach you the exact tactics I used. So let’s get started.

The Complete Service Business Guide from $0 to $100,000 in Profits

Part 1. What can you be the best at? Find a niche.
Part 2. Pricing out your services
Part 3. Claim your Google business listing
Part 4. Building your website
Part 5. Craigslist ads
Part 6. Learn basic search engine optimization
Part 7. Important WordPress plugins
Part 8. Start generating good content
Part 9. Share your content
Part 10. Build an email list
Part 11. Attend local groups and events
Part 12. Find a few partners
Part 13. Importance of Communication

Part 1. What can you be the best at? Find a niche.

You should specialize in your field. When I started I decided I wanted organic pest control to be my niche. I knew I would be dealing with a clientele that would pay a premium for the service. I also had passion behind the product and service I was offering.

I personally know many guys focusing on one service only ie: termites, bees, or fleas and making over 1 million/year in a specific service category. Don’t think you need to offer a lot of services. It’s better to focus your marketing on one service and become known for it. You should still expand your work to other categories and upsell customers on more services over time but it’s best to keep your marketing message focused.

As a single person focusing will greatly improve the impact of your marketing in a short time period which is what we want. So what niche will you focus on?

Part 2. Pricing out your services

Really nail down your prices in such a way that you can give any type of quote over the phone. This will cut down on wasted time preparing or driving out for estimates. There are some services that will require estimates but most of your services should be priced like an a la carte menu.

You should also be very transparent about your pricing. Not many service companies place pricing on their websites but this has been a tactic that worked really well for me. You can see the pricing pages we use here: http://naturalresourcesfl.com/pricing/pricing.html

Having set pricing that is public will make your business better. Here are some of the things it will do for you:
- You will gain more initial trust with transparent pricing.
- Your website will more accurately pre-qualify inbound calls.
- Customers are happier because they are getting what they are searching for.
- It makes pricing over the phone simpler for you and anyone in your business.
- It forces you to stick to the pricing you want instead of giving a deal over the phone.

I really can’t think of any negatives to posting your pricing. Being concerned about your competitors is just a waste of time. Focus your thoughts on offering better service.

Part 3a. Claim your Google business listing

The very first tactic you want to do is claim your google business listing. You can do that here: https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/

Google is quite powerful for sending you local traffic and inbound leads. Setting up a listing takes 1 – 2 weeks since they send you a postcard code to verify your address.

Once this listing is active make sure you populate it as much as you can. Upload images and all the details about your company.

Part 3b. Google business listings & customer reviews

The next most important tactic is garnering customer reviews for your Google business listing. In the beginning those early customers will only be trickling in from word of mouth and friends/family. With every happy customer make sure you garner a review for your Google business listing. This will be the force behind early incoming traffic from Google. 20 reviews and you will really see a difference in daily calls.

When collecting these reviews you can practice the same business listing tactics on Yelp and AngiesList.

Part 4. Building your website

If you aren’t graphically inclined you will need to hire a designer. Your website branding is going to make or break the ability to bring in clients quickly. Please do not try to just throw up a site yourself if you’re not web savvy. You should scrape those early investment dollars together to budget in $1500 for a website that will actually bring in leads.

Having a professional looking brand which gains trust, is a key factor between slow growth and fast growth. Here are the tactics behind building your branding:

- Step 1: make sure your logo is professionally designed. You can use a site like http://99designs.com/ or hire a freelance designer. (research high quality logos to get a sense of what you may want for your own design, if you have a bad design sense then find a friend to help you)

- Step 2: Have your website designed like a landing page. You want to create a funnel with direct calls to action. On my website we use a small contact us form and get pricing forms to capture leads.

Here’s a great post on landing pages: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Awesome Landing Pages

For developing your website you should use WordPress and have a professional theme done by a web designer. I recommend WordPress because it’s fairly easy to learn to manage your own site after it’s developed. More importantly it is a platform that allows you to add more content to your site over time in the form of additional pages and blog posts.

- Step 3: Add your team photos and bio to the website. Even if you’re solo it’s better to appear personal over large and “fake”. Allow your site visitors to make a personal connection and see who is behind the company/website. It will increase your conversion rate.

- Step 4: Look professional. Make sure your vehicle has emblems with your new branding. Have nice stock business cards printed. Work in a uniform. Even though you may be tempted to keep it really casual it will not benefit your business.

Part 5. Craigslist ads

Using craigslist ads in the early days will help bring those early customers and more importantly reviews. Craigslist ads are great for service companies for free marketing. Make sure you add images to your ads and try to post 1 new ad every single day.

Part 6. Learn basic search engine optimization

Now that you have your basic website up it’s time to start learning how to improve its ability to bring in more leads. I’m about to teach you the easiest form of search engine optimization.

There is one tool you will need which is the google keyword tool. Using this tool you can see how many people are searching for a keyword term. You want to make sure you are optimizing for terms that have search volume instead of terms that have no one searching for them. You also want to make sure you’re optimizing for terms that will convert into paying customers.

There are many resources available to learn seo and I encourage you to read a bit and then implement. Don’t get stuck into doing too much research without actually implementing what you’re learning. Some of my favorite sites to learn seo from are:

http://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-seo/
http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seohttp://searchengineland.com/guide/seo

Part 7. Important WordPress plugins

There are a couple WordPress plugins that are going to make managing your website much easier. Google Analytics for WordPress and WordPress SEO by Yoast.

Make sure you are using these two plugins right away. Google analytics will allow you to measure and watch the incoming traffic to your website. The seo plugin will allow you to easily optimize your pages and blog posts for better search results. I encourage you to learn more about these two plugins and how to use them effectively.
Part 8. Start generating good content

The reason why we build our website on wordpress is because it allows us to add content through blog posts and pages quite easily. The next powerful tactic for attracting more inbound leads to your website will be through writing more website content.

Adding these additional pages and blog articles will attract more eyeballs from the search engines. Over time this can generate serious traffic to your website which is free!

I encourage you to write at least one blog post or new content page for your website per week. Of course the more content the better. Remember to use your seo strategies for writing content around keywords that have traffic volume.

Part 9. Share your content

So you’ve written that first blog post. This is the perfect time to share it. The easiest ways to share your content is to send it to your current customers in the form of a newsletter/update and post it to a company Facebook page.

Being on Facebook in the early stages of your business may seem pointless but it will be good practice and will build up your social awareness in the future. Also it takes no time at all to setup and share.

The best way to share your content is in the form of a seasonal update email to your current customers. A short and sweet email with a link to your new blog post and possibly a service offer for the upcoming season. An example of this would be:

“I just wrote this article and wanted to share it with you. It’s on the various diseases mosquitoes carry and how to prevent bites.

This summer we’re offering lawn service 40% off the first service. Call the office to book your lawn service appointment.”

Usually I link to my article and offer them a deal with a call to action.

Part 10. Build an email list

This leads right into building your email list. A customer email list is invaluable. It allows you to stay connected and upsell throughout the year. I used MailChimp’s free tier for quite some time until I built my company.

Make it a habit to garner customer emails over the phone and have an opt-in box on your website.

Part 11. Attend local groups and events

Sometimes this is hit or miss, but it’s worth it when it hits. I went to every meetup group there was from local Chambers to BNI and other networking events. You never know who you’re going to run into but most everyone can use a service company at some point.

The real important thing here is to get around the room. And by that I mean make it a point to meet everyone there before you leave. Don’t just chat or cling to one person. Spend a little time with everyone and then focus on building the relationships that look promising. Connect with them for coffee or lunch.

In the early days you will have extra time so make sure you’re networking.

Part 12. Find a few partners

There are industries that have synergy when working together. Partnering with a realtor or another service company for referrals can be a great way to boost each other’s businesses.

You will be surprised but my best business partners were actually guys in the same field. Become part of a mastermind group within your industry or form one. Sharing ideas and resources only helps each other grow.
A lot of my early business came from guys who didn’t want to take certain jobs, or the work was out of their service area. Find these relationships and nurture them. Consider competitors as your mentors and partners.

Part 13. Importance of Communication

This is the most important part of the whole guide. Communication runs through every single part of your business. Being a good communicator is THE most important part of being successful.

You must communicate effectively to customers, know when to be understanding, diplomatic, and service oriented. Communicate well with friends, partners, and mentors. Stay humble.

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