Welcome to the Small Business Ideas Forum! We are a community of over 100,000 small business folks with over 163,000 posts for you to browse. We pride ourselves on being the friendliest forum you will find and we'd love to have you as a member of our community. Please take a moment and register for a free account. If you need any help, please contact Chris Logan.

Small Business Ideas Forum

Small Business Ideas Forum

A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry. Topics include small business marketing, generating revenue and small business computing.

Go Back   Small Business Ideas Forum > Inspiration & Ideas > What Type of Business Should I Start?
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 14th January 2012, 07:27 AM   #1
canadian1000
Member
 
canadian1000's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Default Need As Much Advice And Feedback As Possible

Hi guys!

I am in the beginning stages of building a company here in Toronto, Canada, which is the largest city in the country as well as its center of finance.

My company is an online directory that focuses on one specific services related industry. Currently, there are several other online directories that offer the same service to users for free, but charge vendors to list with them. We plan to do the same, but to charge vendors a much, much smaller price of $25 dollars a month to list with us. With their membership, they'll receive many services that our competitors don't offer.

We are currently applying for entrepreneurial grants from the government which we plan to use for marketing and development. Our initial marketing strategy will include direct mailing advertisement post cards to about 10,000 businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (pop. 8m) as well as both email advertising and google advertising. If we are successful in Toronto, we hope to expand across the country and eventually south of the border.

What I was hoping I could get feedback on is whether or not this idea can be feasible, assuming that we offer vendors options that they can't get elsewhere, such as having their own detailed profile as well as ensuring that the website interface is user friendly and visually pleasing. Would 25 dollars per month be too expensive? Should I be feeling completely pessimistic knowing that there are a handful of competitors out there? Is our plan to send direct mail to targeted companies an idea that will produce results?

Please give me your feedback and opinions, as well as any advice that you can offer.

Thanks so much and good luck on all of your business endeavors!

canadian1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Register or log in to remove this ad.
Old 19th January 2012, 03:18 PM   #2
Rachelz
Member
 
Rachelz's Avatar
 

Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 16
Default Don't worry about competition

Hi Canadian,

DO NOT let competition deter you! Remember that it serves to benefit customers...and you have obviously put some thought to your competitive advantage so you can relay that to your potential clients.

In regards to your marketing, don't expect too much from Direct Mail Marketing. It generally has an awful success rate. I'd plan for 0.5-1% (return) of your total distribution. I don't want to bring you down...but I'd hate for you to give up because the marketing did not return the results you had hoped it would.

Because I don't know what 'specific services related industry' you're going into, it's hard to make alternate marketing recommendations. However industry specific websites or trade magazines may work. Initially you may even decide to 'hit the pavement' and go after new clients by making face-to-face appointments, as you said you want to grow the business locally. This may seem like a long and drawn out process, but in the early stages word of mouth is your best marketing tool. Building a relationship may provide you with much more than just the $300 a year you are asking for. Also, it's a very cheap way to market (if you don't get the gvmnt grant).

If I understand the nature of your business, your potential customers (listing in your directory) are going to be most concerned with 'how much exposure is this going to bring my business?' In this case, be prepared to answer questions about (a) how much traffic you already have (b) how much traffic you are aiming to have and (c) how you are going to get from (a) to (b) (i.e.: what marketing are you doing to promote the site to their customers?).

Hope this helps a bit, but just remember...if you are committed, almost any business idea can work!

Best of luck...

__________________
Business Epiphany
BIG System, Personalized Business Ideas, Motivation and Coaching
Rachelz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2012, 08:01 PM   #3
darrenvalukis
Member
 

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Default

Hi Canadian,

Well I always go back to the age ol' question that keeps you on track....

Why you and not the other guys??

Why not google?

What can i get from you the others don't have?

How will they know you're there??

The biggest issue with websites is traffic.

Now here's a BIG suggestion that would work awesome if you can figure out a way to do it.....

"See if you can build your database (listing) and Make it part of other sites that already have traffic. then link it, embed it, or however. This way you can start out with those traffic numbers. Can you offer your embedded version for a local online paper as their business department search engine.

You don't always have to be the WHOLE site these days.... Next thing you know you're building the same thing for 100 cities nationwide!! LOL

Isn't dreaming fun!

Darren

darrenvalukis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd January 2012, 07:44 AM   #4
paulplan2profit
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 16
Default Fellow Canuck

If your wondering IF something will be accepted then TEST it. The best way to discover if what you THINK is a viable idea actually IS a viable idea is by testing it and doing so on those people or companies that you have identified as your "ideal" customers.

There is and always will be lots of competition - it makes you better - so also look at those competitors, identify their weaknesses and jump on them.

Go get 'em!!!

paulplan2profit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply   

Bookmarks


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sales/ growth rate advice NRGCREATOR General Small Business Issues 8 22nd February 2011 12:55 AM
Caricaturist Asking Your Advice Fred Rogeiro Reviews 4 13th September 2010 07:38 PM
Needing Advice rdonovan1 Reviews 4 13th March 2009 07:20 AM
Free Consulting Advice million$baby Free Links 1 13th April 2008 05:27 AM
Needing Some Feedback footscapes What Type of Business Should I Start? 15 1st April 2007 01:28 PM



Thread Tools

Get Updates
RSS Feeds:
RSS Feed for What Type of Business Should I Start? RSS for this Category Only: What Type of Business Should I Start?

RSS Feed for Small Business Ideas Forum RSS for Entire Forum
Forum Rules


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Small Business Ideas Forum


 
At Your Business - Small Business Directory
Free Business Forms - Prewritten Documents
 
Search Engine Guide
Small business guide to search marketing

 
Small Business Brief
Fetching the Best Small Business Info


Free Links - Free Advertising
Free Guide - Online Directory



Advertise your business here
Contact us for more details!


Semantic Juice
Register now to access free Quick SEO service!


Rocket Lawyer
Sign up for free 7 day trial. Boost your biz!


Buy UPC Codes
Get your products listed online!




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2018 - Privacy