Have you ever thought about starting a business helping offline businesses get online?
Think about the area that you live in
It might be a big city, a town, or it might be a small village
Now think about how many small businesses exist in your local area
There are the ones you see such as the butcher, the cafe or the newspaper shop
And there will be the ones you don’t see that people may be running from their homes,
Or on an industrial estate somewhere
Or the local builder, taxi company, driving instructor, or garden maintenance company
How many do you think have an online presence that they are satisfied with and helps them with their business?
Now I don’t live by you (unless you live in the North West of England) but I bet it is a lot
How much money do you think you could make by helping these offline businesses get online (and stay online)?
Not Everybody Knows Everything
This hit home the other day when I was speaking to my daughter about a business idea she had
Despite being tech-savvy and as up to date as any teenager, she had no idea how to put a website up.
She had no clue what hosting was, or how to set up an email newsletter through an autoresponder
More surprisingly she had little knowledge of Facebook business pages and running Facebook ads
There are many easy and simple services you could offer to people and businesses that they might not think they can do themselves.
And the beauty of this model is that you could also offer an ongoing “maintenance” service for hosting and keeping websites up to date
This should bring you a nice ongoing monthly income as well
Sure, there might be a learning curve for you, but it would be worth it if you are prepared to sit down and work at it…
Here are some ideas for your business helping offline businesses get online
How to Help Offline Businesses Get Online:
Here are some suggestions as to online services you could offer to offline businesses
1. Create a Websites for a Small Business
A reasonable website can be created in just a couple of hours,
And it wouldn’t be difficult to find someone willing to pay at least a few hundred dollars for a website.
If you had a template for such a website so it was easy to create then you would be more efficient in your build
The website will need to be hosted somewhere on the web so you could offer hosting services
This could be on a shared hosting service – the more clients you get the more efficient you become
You could offer an add-on service to keep the website updated every month or so
Or what about a service to help with promotion through Google?
or Facebooks Ads?
And what about Search Engine Optimisation?
You could easily charge $200/£200 for such a website so one website a week could be an additional $1000 per month
2. Create Facebook Pages for Small Businesses.
Smaller businesses tend to have very little in the way of marketing employees.
Many of those businesses are also too small to justify hiring a full-blown marketing firm,
And it is often the business owner who does all the marketing, despite having no marketing experience
Lots of small businesses would need help in setting up a Facebook business page
And help with driving customers to it via social media (and Facebook ads)
Templates are available that would allow you to create a Facebook page for a business in just a few minutes.
You could easily charge $100 or more for such a page – two or three a week and you are hitting $1000 a month.
3. Create YouTube Videos for Small Businesses.
A few simple shots of the owner, and of the business itself can be made into a slideshow with free software and a little bit of time.
Alternatively, just make a live video or an interview with the owner
Set up a Youtube channel for the business and see where you go
4. Create and Operate Twitter Accounts for Businesses.
Many small businesses would love to have a Twitter account, but they are unsure how to go about setting it up.
Set up a business account and either hand it over to them or operate it yourself by tweeting maybe once a day
5. Start a Local Directory of Small Businesses
A local directory works a bit like the yellow pages (remember that?)
It is effectively one website (called something like mylocalareabusinessdirectory.com (use your imagination!))
Categories would be “business type” eg: plumbers, taxi services
The idea is that each local business would have a page in the directory advertising their services
Simple and effective – as your directory grows, so would the web presence of everybody signed up
Sounds Great – So How Do I Get Started?
The first thing to do is to get your own business online
First of all, you need to learn how to do whatever it is you are going to offer
So your first client should actually be yourself
Get yourself a website set up which describes your business
Follow it up with a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and run a newsletter from it
It is really important that you learn how to do what you are going to offer
If you are feeling brave add a blog to your website so you can update it regularly
As you get more customers you can add testimonials and reviews of your services
You never know, your own website might take off as well!
Get Those Customers Rolling In
The common methods for finding customers (in order of effectiveness) are:
- an in-person visit
- a phone-call
- word of mouth/recommendation
- physical post
- the local paper, newsletter, or directory
You might be surprised how easy it is to find a client if you can muster the courage and stop by or pick up the phone.
There will be many, many small businesses out there just waiting for somebody out there to come along and help them
The opportunity for you to help these offline businesses get online is out there (I promise you!)
Good luck – these services are all much easier to provide than you probably realize.
You can teach yourself everything you need to know very quickly by taking an online course
Check out this article
Which is what I did when I created this website (which is all self-taught)
For more great money-making and business ideas check out all my articles