Ever have one of those days when a moment of clarity hits you like a two by four?
Well I did.
In fact, I just paid $800 to a Local Business that could BREAK OUT of obscurity in 90 days. But, sadly, declined. 🙁
We have an older Big, Tall and Long 1-ton Chevy truck that we brought home from one of our businesses to use around our house. We live in the hills above Los Angeles and there’s a need for picking up and delivering building materials, plants and materials when you have an acre or more. For the past 3-years, that truck has been moth-balled as I was totally focused on helping several new lawyer-clients push back against a crappy economy. Now it’s time to put that vehicle back into service as my adult son is taking on the responsibilities of property manager here at our California hacienda.
We ordered a replacement hood for the one damaged by a trash truck that inadvertently rolled back into us at a red light, scheduled a silver-gray paint job for mid summer, and then cleaned it for the short term, bought a new battery from Costco and took it for a spin. Nice truck for a heavy duty C-3500 purchased to pull a huge 36-foot long 5th wheel office and residence around the western states. Plushy power seats, 4 doors, lots of leg room, enormous 7.4L high-strung engine, but sadly, no COLD air. Sigh… It was starting to warm up in Southern California 3 weeks back in June, and just as modern-day TV Remotes, Power Windows, and Garage Door Openers are to their non-existent predecessors, once you have A/C in your vehicles, you cannot go back. That said, a 10-year old truck, no matter how sweet, is not a vehicle one wants to dump money into. I’ve learned those lessons. In past lives, I’ve had 2 planes and 3 boats. Have you heard that humorous saying?
“A boat is a hole in the water in which to throw money.”
FOUND: A Local Auto Air Conditioning Service Shop
It turns out that the AC Delco Auto Air Compressor’s body was leaking and a replacement was in order. I like to do everything “the right way” and insisted on a new factory compressor with clutch (not a re-manufactured unit) including all the other parts and processes that must be done (a new Accumulator/Receiver Drier, a new Orifice Tube, and flushing and vacuum draw-down of the system to make sure it is clean and free of moisture).
I found the perfect shop to do the work. It took some doing. They have NO digital footprint to speak of: no website, a Yelp profile under the wrong classification with 0 reviews (I’ve since written them a nice and lengthy praise review for a job well-done), an unfinished Google+ page (like so many lawyers :-), still as of today no way to get an email to them: no website OR email on their business card. So then —clever me— I was immediately compelled to propose a BARTER!
My BARTER proposition to them – I would personally oversee the research, pick the best available domain name (I found a terrific one $9), devise a strategy to bury any competitors in search and ranking, design and build-out of a fully-branded, totally-professional website that would blow his competition out of the water (if they would “work the strategy” – an easy routine task), and I would host the site for a year at no charge on a fast server. I would agree to shell out $800 to my crew in exchange for an $800 “compressor install” that might cost him $360 in parts and take him 90-minutes of his own labor.
Who would refuse that? Some of our websites, after about a year, are responsible for generating as much as $100,000/month in new cases per site to some happy and smiling attorneys. Surely we can connect an A/C guru with a constant steam of sweltering upscale Orange County drivers who are baking in their cars and already SUPER MOTIVATED to cool down…
Time for a Business Coach or Therapist You’re Thinking…
Yes. On the face of it I am as crazy as Bat Shit – Since I do as I say, I was ready and willing to invest the equivalent $800 in actual dollars to create a complete new authoritative web presence to a business owner I met only ONCE in exchange for him preforming a 90-minute compressor install. The whole concept of societies using “money” was to skip the bartering of skilled services and broadening who we could do commerce with. So WHY! Why not just pay the $800 for the service and be done with it? I never really played it out in my head in so many words back when it took place in June, but today as I am on day 90 of a new web marketing project that is taking off like a bottle rocket, and today I pondered the WHY of my BARTER offer back in June and the WHY of his office manager casually dismissing it.
The office manager? / operations manager? / business partner? / wife? – dismissed my offer, seemingly without thought nor contemplation, as if I was a penniless customer that had suggested painting the front of their business (something that will fade, diminish and have little immediate impact and NO lasting value) in lieu of handing them traditional folding green stuff.
It was never about the money! In fact, paying for his service –as it worked out– was simple, with no ongoing strings, and my BARTER would surely have ended up costing me far more than $800. I’m not a philanthropist. So then, WHY did I offer?
ANSWER – This very Unique Business would be an “Easy & Spectacular WIN”
My Epiphany – Now I understand WHY I offered to barter a website. I could add a “notch” to my gun belt. This nice, hard-working small business owner would have been blown away by what a well-orchestrated web presence would result: a swelling bank balance beginning in a few short months! This unique and small business was —for me— an “EASY WIN.” That’s why I couldn’t stop myself. Their shop, while on a busy 6-lane highway in Orange County CA, is hidden behind another multi-bay auto repair facility. Passing drivers do not see the shop. A proper web marketing effort could easily double their gross or more… SEO for Local Business is almost always an Easy Win… DON’T THEY KNOW THAT!
Actually they do not have a clue. While each year I see a half dozen lawyer clients bring in a cool extra million bucks by way of a skillfully tailored web marketing program – I doubt the proprietors of this auto repair shop have ever considered that doubling or tripling ones’ bank balance was a possibility for them to aspire to. They have no basis to get them hopeful nor excited. Wouldn’t they be thrilled – I thought – back in June? No… Apparently, they were not. Not even a little bit.
As it turned out – I felt like new drug dealer attempting to sell heroin to wigged-out addicts being released from jail – with no takers. Don’t they know the power of the web; the thrill of weekly marketing victories; the satisfaction of the phone ringing like never before; the thrill of swelling bank deposits?
The business owner, while affable, gently rebuffed me by stating that he must be focused solely on the shop while his office manager? / operations manager? / relative? / partner? / wife? focuses on all “that stuff” like websites – so: “please take that up with her.” I ran the idea by the office manager? / operations manager? / relative? / partner? / wife? — She politely informed me that her sister and a “guy” who used to work for Google have been working on their new website for months and it will be done soon – so……. no need for any help. Therefore no motivation to consider my “barter” proposal.
I bit my tongue
What I did not say is: “How does ‘a guy who once worked at Google’ necessarily translate into six different skill sets including Web Marketing, Graphics Design, Photoshop, HTML5, PHP, CSS and SEO skills needed to launch a good looking and effective website and marketing strategy?”
What I did say is: – That I could have their new website researched, designed, processed through our Photoshop crew with a new LOGO and design elements, the CSS coded and LIVE on the Internet in 48 hours by tasking the whole crew. No need to wait weeks and months. Aren’t they ANXIOUS? Their growth and future is at stake… No Cigar.
Chagrined, I paid the $800. — “Undisclosed Auto A/C” will Not be Leveraging the Web to their Benefit.
I thought of them today because one my “play” websites I launched only 3 months ago is doing what most of our sites do when all the pieces are properly put in play and when I do the daily SEO / web marketing: soaring. Website visitors are more than doubling each month. If this site was the “Undisclosed Auto A/C” guy’s new site, I suspect he would be deluged with new customers. This latest project site is already GOOGLE Page ONE for more than a 100 keyword strings. At its current pace, it will soon dominate an entire city and their primary Industry. In 2013 it would have taken a year to get where it is in only 90-days. All it takes is some experience, focused knowledge and investing some effort.
SEO for Local Business takes LESS Effort – than most web marketing challenges. Maybe months or years from now the A/C Shop owner will finally get the “marketing bug” to promote his business and will understand a little bit of what I wanted to share with back him in 2014. Maybe not. There are millions of small business owners (lawyers too) “just getting by” because their potential customers DON’T KNOW THEY EXIST! These millions of individuals, professionals and business owners are but months away from experiencing a growth surge they could only dream about — IF ONLY…
…IF ONLY – they would hook up with knowledgeable people and choose to invest some focused efforts in the right places. Then their whole world could start to change in as soon as 3 months and dramatically so in the course of a year.
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