People often tell me that their Side Hustle is different. The Internet will be of little to no use in their particular business. They tell me things like:
- My business is too small for the Internet to make a difference
- I’m just a local operation
- No one would bother to look for my service/business on the Internet
Well guess what? None of those three common refrains hold water and neither do most of other excuses I hear.
Let me quickly answer those three objections and then give you a few ideas that may make you rethink your feelings about this.
If your business is “too small” than perhaps the fact that you are not using up to date business tactics (like the Internet) could be the reason! I think I can teach you some simple things to do that just might move your business out of the “too small” category!
Just local? Well, great. One of two things can happen. 1) You can use the power of online marketing to increase your geographical reach, or 2) you can use that same power to enhance your local penetration. Thanks to things like Internet search and social media, the Internet has become the ultimate small business marketing tool for local business.
Local + Internet = Glove Fit
Let’s think outside the box for a minute. Many local “brick and mortar” businesses are still sitting around waiting for customers to come to them. Here’s an example. I get my haircuts from a little downtown salon that caters to both men and women. They do all the usual things and have also incorporated a few manicure stations into the layout.
I’ve observed over the years that it appears the business has seasonal surges in traffic. Holidays bring in lots of women in particular. Conversely, there seem to be periods after these bubbles when the shop seems pretty quiet.
Weekends are another busy time. Mondays and Tuesdays seem slow. Wouldn’t it be nice to fill these times with customers?
This is just the type of business that would tell me they were too small, too local or no one would look for them on the Internet.
Here’s what I would do if I owned it. Starting RIGHT NOW I would create some sort of incentive for customers to give me their email address and/or text number. I’d also try to get a birth date (not the year!). I’d let them know that from here on out we were going to be offering random discounts for our various services. Maybe birthday specials. Perhaps periodic emails on health and beauty they might find interesting. Text and email reminders of appointments.
Once you have contact information the possibilities are almost endless. I’d get those emails entered into an email automation system and start nurturing them.
If I did this for a year and got 3-4 emails a day why I would have pretty close to 1000 people in my Selling Garden email list. I would be generating goodwill with my nurturing emails and strengthening my relationship with them.
And guess what I would do if there was a lull in business? I would send out an email blast with a special offer that was irresistible and time sensitive. Of course, they would be only be good for those slow periods of the business. Maybe I’d offer discounts on a manicure if it was gotten within 48 hours of a hair appointment.
I would fill those stations with customers!
I would also set up a reward based referral system of some kind where both the referrer AND the referral got some kind of special deal. You have to constantly feed the list fresh prospects.
I guarantee this would make a small and local business stronger, bigger and more profitable. All through the simple idea of building a selling garden of existing customers.
You can do the same thing with any type of side hustle. You have to have people to sell to and there is nothing better than a selling garden email list.
Can you think how this might apply to YOUR side hustle?
Take Action Assignment: Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of 5 things you could do to get email addresses for your selling garden.