"Help! Referral business but don't know where to start!"
I'm looking to open a referral business in LA, CA and I have no idea how to organize it all. I know that I would need a city wide advertising strategy and of course professionals that I could refer. I have an idea about the professionals, but no idea about whether to do it on line or (I think--more user friendly) with a 1800 number. I also would need ideas as to where I can get some funding since advertising isn't necessarily cheap. I would appreciate any help you can give me as well as any ideas I haven't already come up with! Thanks, Ecco 21
#1. "RE: Help! Referral business but don't know where to start!" In response to Reply # 0
Ecco, when you have an idea for a business, but no idea about how to get it off the ground, you might be better off buying into an existing business opportunity or franchise. It so happens, that I offer a contractor referral business below. If nothing else, you might be able to find ideas for how to accomplish your start up.
#2. "RE: Help! Referral business but don't know where to start!" In response to Reply # 0
Congrats on pursuing the wonderful world of entreprenuership! If you are unsure about whether to start off marketing online or offline. I would first ask myself, what am i good at? (marketing wise) Are you knowledgeable about online marketing? Do you recognize any of the these terms? PPC, CPA, Affiliate or Search Marketing, Adwords. If not, then you either have to learn about online marketing or pay someone to do it for you. (OM can be expensive)
If you have experience and had success with offline marketing, then perhaps you should start with that. Also, there are many resources here at IdeaCafe to get you started. Take a look around. Use your friend google to do some searching for different business models and for online marketing.
#3. "RE: Help! Referral business but don't know where to start!" In response to Reply # 0
Well to help a little with advertisement there are websites where you can do free business profiles such as idea cafe. Two websites I know of are craigslist.org and benspost.org . They are both free but on craigslist the advertisement only lasts for 45 days. After that you can just post it again. Another cheap and easy way to advertise is business cards. Most people throw away flyers but for some reason they are more likely to keep a business card even if they do not intend to use it at first, they hang on to it. If you go to vistaprint.com you can get 250 free business cards and only pay the shippig wich is very cheap. They also offer some free brochures agin only paying the shipping. Check out their site and get what you want. I always order my cards from them. Another wise idea for advertisement is a car magnet. I used that for my cleaning service last year and I got more calls from that alone than I did from flyers and word of mouth put together. Magnet sign are great because you can take it off anytime and they won't fall off your vehicle, and where ever you go so does your company's advertisement. I hope this helps a little. Goog luck on your venture!
#4. "RE: Help! Referral business but don't know where to start!" In response to Reply # 3
Hey, thanks for the ideas, I actually run a small business and use craigslist all the time but I didn't know about benspost.org. I'll check it out. I'm going to put something togethedr for the car magnets. My main problem is setting up the phone line and then figuring out a way to make sure the people I refer are reputable. Any ideas on that?
#5. "RE: Help! Referral business but don't know where to start!" In response to Reply # 4
>My main problem is setting up >the phone line and then figuring out a way to make sure the >people I refer are reputable. Any ideas on that?
References, references, references, and referrals, referrals, referrals. I'm surprissed at how many times employers don't check references. Verify the experience and credentials that they give you. And if you can give tests to test their knowledge, do that as well. Not sure if you will be working with executives or administrative type referrals, but you can always test skills such as data entry and typing and writing and presentation skills on the spot.