I am sure we are all aware of the do-it-yourself craze. HGTV has decorating, remodeling and home improvement programs non-stop, and are unbelievably popular right now. My mom watches HGTV more than any other channel, which is great for HGTV, but not so hot for my kids who want to watch Cars every free second. Or how about The Home Depot with it’s “you can do it, we can help” tag line, do-it-yourself opportunities are raging.
However, when it comes to business related do-it-yourself options, we are talking about a more serious proposition than a home makeover project. Deciding to paint a room some crazy color of fuchsia is one thing, but deciding how to create and run your own company is far more vital. The home improvement project is easily fixed, privately, in a few hours if it doesn’t work out, while mistakes or oversight in your business planning and management are usually public, and can be potentially damaging to your company’s reputation, and future viability for years to come. When doing-it-yourself in business, you must use the very best tools available, in order to be as efficient and effective as possible, because you are all you got, and getting it right the first time is critical.
Small business owners are naturally at a disadvantage when facing the day to day challenges of business. In the big business world, medium and large corporations, with considerably more financial resources, can choose to hire high-priced specialist/consultants to solve or address the issues facing the firm. From HR, to accounting, from legal, to marketing, experts can be bought, and results delivered. However, small business owners need to single-handedly wear a number of hats to get a company off the ground and keep it running, all while avoiding common pitfalls which can easily tank a start-up. I hope everyone, with even the very thought of starting a new business, takes the time to read Paul Graham’s post entitled “18 Mistakes that Kill Start-Ups.” (If you haven’t, please get over there quickly), it is an excellent resource. The multi-tasking strain to get a business launched and profitable can drive even the strongest of people to the very brink of insanity, especially the first time around. However, once the unrealistic dreams fade, and with time, these start up pressures become less disruptive to the small business cycle, and small business owners become better at juggling the necessary evils/responsibilities of business ownership.
Within a few months to a year, one should be able to organize a business, should have a website, and will be attempting to do it all, and do it as right as possible, with hopes of making this opportunity a resounding, long-term success. In my own mind, when someone has made it to this point, they are “living the dream,” and should be deeply proud. They should be recognized rightfully as one of the few too smart or stubborn to quit, which is a wonderful accomplishment. But it also at this point where some wonder what the next stop should be. We begin to wonder what needs to be done to keep us moving forward, and keep us ahead of the competition. Our nagging inner voice reminds us that we need to constantly be preparing to compete more efficiently with those that are either already in the marketplace, or will quickly follow when they become aware of our success. This is where I think business owners need to learn the importance of SEO, and where getting started with SEO needs to occur. Others might disagree, but they would be wrong. 😉 Getting the company’s foundation established first is paramount. Once we feel somewhat established, our system in place, then is the proper time to be concerned about our online position and future online strategy of the business. SEO has to be considered tops on the “tier two” must do list. At SoloSEO, we are pleased to provide do-it-yourself tools to assist the small business owner. SoloSEO first offers reports which show what competitors are up to online, but then also provide the tools required to optimize sites, all in one place. So not only can you can see what your competitors are doing, your can immediately use SoloSEO to do something about it, right now. Once the SEO process begins, we can track the competitive results of your SEO work over time against your competitors SEO moves, always keeping you up to date with the latest competitive data, it is very powerful. We have been encouraged that SoloSEO’s has been well received in our infancy by many SEO experts and business people alike, please take a look at these reviews on our Testimonials page to see what is being said.
Like all else you have learned in business, becoming a “SoloSEO” will take some time to master, and the process isn’t an easy one for everyone, but SEO will likely be the biggest bang for your marketing dollar, and will probably out pace even the Optimistic Pro Forma sales numbers in your outdated business plan. If you frankly don’t feel like you have the time to become a SoloSEO yourself, then perhaps paying someone to use the SoloSEO’s tools to analyze your competitors and optimize your site is the way to go. Obviously you can’t do it all forever, your kids are starting to wonder if you still live at home. The final SEO option is to hire a seasoned “SEO pro” (consultant) for some help and direction. While this can prove to be a bit more costly, it is preferable to doing nothing at all, and will move more quickly as they know what they are doing. Here is a list of a few SEO pros we feel are very good at what they do: Todd Malicoat, had a chance to sit down with him at PubCon, he was very personable, professional, and incredibly knowledgeable. Aaron Wall and Scott Smith, also met Aaron at PubCon, and heard a couple of his presentations. He was innovative and thought provoking in his analysis and suggestions. Michael Gray, we got to speak with Michael briefly at PubCon, good guy, and well respected by other SEO pros. Rand Fishkin, he wears bright colored shoes, not sure why, heard him speak a few times at PubCon. William Slawski. We met with William at PubCon, he is a great person, warm, down to earth, caring and very easy to work with, even though his background is in law :). And while discussing William, we must complement him on the new site design, it looks fantastic! We suggest taking some time to read these pro’s blogs, you can get a good feel about them from their postings, and it becomes easier to see how they would “fit” with your specific business style and expectations.
Other good resources to pick up SEO knowledge and trends is from the following blogs: Danny Sullivan, Jim Boykin, Andy Hagans, Lee Odden, Barry Schwartz, and our good friend Andy Beal. While these guys don’t take on clients as SEO providers per se, they do offer up frequent pearls of SEO wisdom, and everyone listed above are at the top of the SEO industry. I try to scan these blogs once or twice a week just to keep up on it all.
To fellow small business owners, the bottom line is this, you have come this far, you have worked hard, slept little, worried much, and you have created a business, it is an amazing accomplishment. But now overlooking the potential benefit, and possible loss of not getting your website SEO’d properly, in order to drive the traffic you deserve/desire, would be a tragedy. At SoloSEO, we are committed to providing small business owners the most efficient and effective do-it-yourself SEO tools all in one place.