Business license in hand. Business line set up and routed to my cell. Website created, design-work started, marketing campaign in the works. Equipment purchased, vehicle storage found. The picture is unrelated, but one of my favorites!

Still a lot to do. Marketing is by far the most important aspect of hitting the ground running, and it’s something that a lot of my competitors know very little about.

It’s been awhile since I’ve played with adwords, but I’ll be getting back into that ASAP. Or adwords express, which I’ve also heard good things about. SEO (search engine optimization) is huge in a competitive area like Seattle, but that will come with time. Social media is another piece of the puzzle. IG page is already up and running, so a blog, Facebook and maybe even YouTube will be next. I’ll also need to join the relavent forums. Why do all this? To drive traffic. YouTube has links to IG and Facebook, Facebook will have links to Yelp and BBB, BBB will have links to your website and blog.... Etc. It’s all about visibility.

“I’ve never advertised, it’s all word of mouth!”

-Guy who has had miniscule growth compared to guy who HAS advertised.

Plenty of advertising to be done outside of the internet as well. The absolute best ROI can be found with a vehicle wrap. Nothing else even comes close. That high initial cost will pay for itself VERY quickly, if you have the supporting infrastructure (website, someone to pick up the phones, etc.).

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EDDM is generally the next best option. That’s where you send out mailers directly to mailboxes on a certain “route”. The only downside is it’s quite expensive for a new business, generally starting at $3000ish.

Yard signs are another good one. Make a simple design, spend $400 to get 100 signs printed and sent to you along with stakes. Spend a day (or night) going around the neighborhoods you want to work in and leaving signs in visible places. Also great to put anywhere that traffic frequently builds up. Downtown areas are great too, although city workers will usually take them down quickly.

Best way to get a sale is still in person. Which means... Door-to-door. I fucking hate going door-to-door, but it’s a necessary evil unless you’re willing to spend quite a bit on initial advertising. If you hit 100 houses in a day, and get 2 jobs on the books at an average price of $500 each... Assuming you complete both jobs in one day (easy) you’ll have made $500/day. Not bad for a fledgling business. But it’s better than that, because you left a business card with everyone who wasn’t interested (right?) and while you were taking care of the two homes you scored, your wrapped vehicle and yard sign placed in a good spot attracted even more attention! Again, necessary evil.

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Reviews are worth their weight in gold. Er... Well. *good* reviews are. But asking for reviews gets you absolutely nowhere. Software that automatically sends out review requests after a job are a huge help to building online presence, and definitely the route I’ll be persuing.

There you have it. Very quick initial thoughts and plans on moving forward. Am I missing anything major? All estimates are free, and will be done in person to A) have the highest chance of making the sale and B) letting me know exactly what gear I’ll need to purchase to complete the job.

I'll keep Oppo updated with progress. "I Just Washed These Windows" posts will live again...