UPDATED: Jan 15th, 2019
This month marks 12 weeks since BookingKoala has officially launched.
We are pleased to say that we hit over 500 sign ups during that time period.
We’ve gotten lots of positive feedback and everyone is loving what we’ve created thus far.
Over 50% of those sign-ups were new and upcoming entrepreneurs that are starting businesses for the first time.
First of all, I would like to congratulate those taking the initial step on becoming first time entrepreneurs.
It is a challenging step in life that many never get to.
Now, since many of you requested me to write about this topic I decided to spend some time giving you the best personal advice based on years of experience.
Here is how I would start a service business if I were to start all over today with only $100 in my bank account.
1. Pick an industry that brings in recurring revenue.
If you provide great service for the right price you will start to scale quickly by adding in new clients each month.
It is much easier to scale when you know that each month money will be coming in from recurring clients.
2. Set up your website and forms on BookingKoala (for future users who did not yet sign up).
You can start for free if you have 10 appointments or less.
Ten cleaning jobs a month at $75 a piece means you just brought in $750 in revenue that month.
If you are performing jobs yourself you will at least profit $500/month which is a great start.
Once you start to grow, you can upgrade and use the more advanced features and if you can afford to do so now, I would highly encourage it and I will tell you why later.
With BookingKoala, you can set up your own website in less than 60 seconds and all of our forms will be already pre-installed for you.
Example of a theme:
Example of a form:
You do not have to pay a single dollar, no credit card is required and no contracts need to be singed.
We designed this in order to help young and upcoming entrepreneurs get started at no cost since I know personally how hard it was to save up $6,000 to get started and create our first website.
At no cost, you will already be years ahead of me.
3. Pick a marketing channel that can be scalable.
I talk about using the door-to-door technique in the courses we made for you guys.
This is a technique that will let you scale your service at the cheapest price possible.
When you have no money to work with you have to put in “sweat equity” as Mark Cuban likes to call it.
Most people already have a mobile device or a tablet that has access to the internet.
Do some research and find out where your customers could potentially be at and go up to them in person.
Many will turn you down within seconds but the ones that don’t will become your first paying clients.
Do a presentation for them on your mobile device and show them how easy it is to sign up for your services online and all the awesome things they can do inside the account that is created for them when they sign up.
Sell them on convenience.
This takes time to do but imagine spending 4 hours a day and selling just 1 person each day.
If you are working 20 days a month, you will have around 120 recurring clients after 6 months.
As an example, if you charge $50 per appointment you will have $6,000 in revenue each month, that is if these folks only have 1 appointment per month.
If you sell someone on ‘dog walking’, some folks need their dog walked 5-7 times a week or multiple times a day.
Here is a neat trick that one of our beta testers Reji found very effective when converting a client.
Whenever someone shows interest but does not buy on the spot, Reji leaves them a coupon code.
Later, whenever someone comes to his booking form they add the coupon code and book with him.
4. Start getting reviews on Facebook.
Once you start gaining clients you should ask them to review you on Facebook.
There is a great increase in Facebooks search over the last 2-3 years.
People are using it and people are also asking friends for recommendations on Facebook.
You might have already seen it a few times before:
This is a great time to get ahead of all the others before Facebook becomes saturated.
Also, it is a great way to showcase reviews for those that Google your business in the future.
Tip: Make sure you respond to all of your reviews!
5. Referral system.
When you start growing you can upgrade to our ‘Premium’ plan to gain access to referrals.
This will help you grow naturally.
If you provide awesome service people will happily refer their friends and family members to you in exchange for free credits.
Referrals is the most popular way for a company to grow for the cheapest price and once you start making sales I would highly suggest promoting the referral program to your existing clients.
Another thing to keep in mind once you reach the ‘Premium’ level is to check out the “Rating system‘.
This is something that will help you gain insights on your business.
Customers will be able to rate your service providers and then you will later be able to showcase those reviews to up-sell customers during the booking process.
6. How to hire your first professional?
We made an entire blog post about this topic.
To find out how to hire your first professional you should read this quick blog post.
There you have it!
Hope this blog post helped and if you have other requests please let us know!
We are here to help you all grow.