a reply to: onequestion
We previously ran our business through Facebook, but we also had a website.
Creating a Facebook page is free
. Advertising is also relatively cheap. You can target it very
specifically or give it narrow targeting. We started off with broad targeting, going for people within about 150 miles of us. After we gained a few
thousand "likes" to our page, we expanded our broad targeting to the entire Great Lakes region, while ran a more narrow targeting at certain interests
for people within 150 miles of us. Between chipping away at that, usually doing between $25-$50/month in advertising, and the eventual word of mouth
we gained, by three years we had over 15,000 likes. It's nothing spectacular, but it did keep us with a steady flow of customers.
One trick is to continuously update your Facebook page. People most often check their Facebook the hours before and after work or school. Usually
7-9am and then from 4-8pm are the peak times. Set your updates for those times. We used Hootsuite
things out. We would usually do our sales on Sunday morning (when they started), Wednesday afternoon, and then again on Saturday morning. Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday we would usually run interesting facts about our business. Tuesdays and Thursdays would be something, such as a cause or
interesting news article. Saturdays were always light and fun, but plugged the business at the same time. The key is being regular with your updates,
or people will forget about you.
If you go the route of starting a Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc... post different things on each medium. It keeps it diverse and makes your
business seem more appealing. We only did Facebook and the website. Twitter and Instagram confuse me, and I just didn't have the time for YouTube.
We used Yahoo! to host our website. It ran about $120/year for everything and we had multiple emails (admin, contact, sales, etc...) and never ran
into an issue with bandwidth. This gives you an actual domain, with emails at that domain. It's more professional than the free/discounted website
hosting out there. We used Coffee Cup Visual Site Designer
, a "what you see is what you get" platform,
to build our website. It costs $49, but we bought it on sale for $29. To upload to Yahoo! you need an FTP program to give you access. We used
, which is free. To be honest, we only updated our website once a month during most of the year. A
lot of our business came in through the holidays, so that was the only time we would update more frequently. Even so, it was only at most once or
twice a week. Facebook is just easier and was always the larger driver of traffic for us.
Another thing you can do is create a Google Voice
number. This forwards calls and text messages to your phone
(or multiple devices), email, computer, etc... It is also free, and the nice thing is you don't have to give out your personal numbers either. It also
lets you set up do no disturb hours, sending the caller right to voicemail so you don't have to worry about the late night phone call from someone
wanting your services, but allowing calls to your regular number to come through just as normal.
Also, if you pay taxes on your business, you can write off business expenses. There are lots of dos and don'ts with that, so I would strongly
encourage you to invest in Quicken Home and Business
TurboTax Home and Business
when the time comes. Not only do they
help you with your business finances, they'll also help you with personal finances.
edit on 6/12/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Fixing broken
edit on 6/12/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Fixed grammar error.