November 2015 | Fetchprofits
Guerilla Marketing For Small Business: How & Why You Should Swear By It

Guerilla Marketing For Small Business: How & Why You Should Swear By It

 

Starting, running, and managing a small business can freak most sane people out. The world expects entrepreneurs to shoulder all the risk, go through the sacrifices, and expect you to do all that without spending more than you can earn.

Yet, most startups fail because they hire quickly, burn cash real fast, and have frightening spending habits.

The startup community at the San Francisco Bay Area is bursting at seams with too much money concentrated in one place, according to Wharton.

For instance, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a whopping sum of $19 billion. Yet, Mark Zuckerberg has no clue on how Whatsapp fits into Facebook’s strategy or how Facebook can monetize it.

That’s the trouble with too much cash, high valuations for nothing, and excess capital.

But there’s trouble on the other side too.

Countless small business owners don’t have basic cash levels for survival – let alone starting and running a business. Most business owners struggling with everyday business problems related to marketing, cash flow, and profitability.

We believe that bootstrapping is like organic food for small business – it’s boring, but healthy.

It’s not glamorous, but it’s old-fashioned.

Small businesses do better with Guerilla marketing – the kind of marketing that doesn’t cost much but gets you the results.

Here’s how to do it like a true blue hustler:

The Art of Shamelessness

Steli Efti of Close.io is a proponent of being “shameless” when it comes to anything you do with marketing (among other necessary things). Sending out a cold mail? Doing a cold call? Going out to meet a potential client unannounced? Setting out to visit a trade show? No matter what you do, guerilla marketing demands that you develop the art of shamelessness.

You don’t have to heave, push, and groan. You’d just have to “ask” – whenever you can.

Embrace the power of hustle

You need sales. You need marketing. You’d need to get the word out.

But, what if we could arm twist you and force you “not” to spend on anything at all? No funding, no bank loans, and we forbid family and friends to loan you any money at all?

Let’s also assume that you have no choice but to start your business (so options like getting a job are ruled out).

There’s only thing you’d do then: hustle.

Hustle involves cold calls, cold emails, walking into offices to meet strangers, attending local meet ups, gate crashing conferences, creating partnerships with other companies, networking, and more.

Hustle makes you do more with less. It forces you to earn instead of spending. Real hustle keeps you on the edge, gets you results fast, and helps you stay sustainable.

Hustle is also what makes you a real entrepreneur.

Start being cheap

Be cheap with your time, money, and the effort you’d have to put in to run your small business.

Our society is used to consumption madness — not a day passes by without showing off, spending recklessly, and adopting unnecessary expenses.

To succeed with guerilla marketing, you’d need to get cheap.

Don’t get me wrong: cheap isn’t “cheap”; sometimes cheap is smart.

Jason Fried of 37Signals (Basecamp fame) advocates using project collaboration tools and to avoid physical offices altogether (unless you are into retail, which) in his book Rework.

How exactly can you be cheap?

Build your own website. Don’t bother hiring developers. Unless you need extreme customization, a free business website builder can do a better job than actual designers and developers.

With the number of tools around for you to dabble and build websites with, you don’t even have excuses. Here are some of the best:

Get Templates from:

Or work with website DIY builders

Strikingly: Build websites in a snap. Drag. Drop. done. Sell products and services with Ecommerce options available.

Weebly: It just evolved and grew into a mature platform with “Carbon”. Build responsive websites by dragging and dropping.

SmugMug: A complete photo sharing, photo hosting, and ecommerce solution built for photographers.

Or Even Build Ecommerce Websites

Shopify

BigCommerce

  • Don’t hire staff. Go with freelancers and keep your costs low. Get your virtual assistants from Task Bullet
  • Never spend on any SaaS tool, app, or application if you can’t justify the cost.
  • Don’t invest in an office. Stay at home. Work off the kitchen table. Maybe you can look for a co-working space, maybe?

Get inspired

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just need enough inspiration to kick into you a high gear and into the action mode.

There’s no shortage of inspiration, thanks to the Internet. For instance, check out these 122 different Guerilla marketing campaigns.

Neil Sisson of Tweak Your Biz lists out another 100 Guerilla Marketing Ideas for you to help grow your business.

Remember that you only need a spark, an idea, and enough motivation to do something similar.

How do you plan to do guerilla marketing for your small business? Tell me all about it.

FlyWheel Review: Hosting Has Just Gone WorldClass, Have You?

FlyWheel Review: Hosting Has Just Gone WorldClass, Have You?

They say that web hosting is akin to dating: it all looks awesome when it first begins but begins to turn sour as time goes by. Things start creeping up on you slowly. You’ll begin to start updating your WordPress core each time there’s an update, look for plugins that are incompatible with your freshly installed version, and despite what you do, WordPress comes packaged with all sorts of insecurities, malware, and vulnerable scripts that can completely derail your business.

Ask me, I’ve had all my sites (and those of my clients) hacked multiple times in the last few years and we didn’t even have proper backups for some of these sites.

The only saving grace was the manual backup effort we took for ourselves and a few clients and that saved the day. Also, none of the sites that were hacked were of the ecommerce variety so we didn’t have credit card details and other sensitive information stored on any of our partner servers.

We knew it was time to say goodbye to regular shared hosting. Packing your website along with another 30,000 of those other sites on a single server sounded a wee bit outdated, dangerous, and vulnerable.

Plus, having to update WordPress, the themes, and the plugins was way too much work. The sounding bell came in when our previous host started sending emails with a regularity that can shame clocks about this vulnerable script or that. That took hours of our precious billable time away from work and into firefighting.

Here’s just one email with a list of scripts I’ve had to manually erase from the account (out of the hundreds):

previoushostemail

It took almost 3-4 hours for each “erase this out of your account” email. Those were into hundred. Now, multiply and imagine what kind of time I had lost.

Change Was Knocking On The Door

It was time to change. We had two options and we picked both: Flywheel and WPEngine. Both FlyWheel and WPengine are managed WordPress hosting solutions. Both of these companies are so focused on WordPress hosting that don’t provide anything else like cPanel, free emails, unlimited whatever. They are clear about what they give for their price points. They don’t do emails and they don’t give you a cPanel.

Flywheel gives the best-in-class hosting, free migrations(as many as you need), free demo sites to speed up your workflow, CDN, multisite WordPress install, daily backups, Cache, and SSL support.

We started out with Flywheel

dashboardfly

Flywheel gets you clean, blazing fast, WordPress hosting. You start out with a dashboard such as this one and you’ll have your WordPress installs laid out neatly — each with its own dashboard showing you overall info, stats, staging areas, billing information, and more.

AddOns, Bells and Whistles

Flywheel Addons

Flywheel isn’t much into hype. They keep a low profile and their addons exist to do even more with your already fast and secure hosting. You can also opt to use for a small monthly fee:

  • CDN
  • Multi-site WordPress Installs
  • SSL Support for Your website.

Daily Backups

daily backups

Flywheel does the ridiculously “must-do” but really “boring to do” task such as backups. Without backups, you have nothing. Flywheel does nightly backups each day and if you ever need to restore a previous backup, you’d do that with a single click.

Your Stats and How FlyWheel counts Visits

flywheel stats

Flywheel takes every unique visit in a 24 hour window as a count towards your plan usage. The numbers that you see are unique IP addresses to your website. FlyWheel automatically removes IP addresses of all known bots, spammers, and hackers since you wouldn’t have to pay for these kinds of visits that don’t count.

If a user visits your site and checks out one page or even hundreds of them(within the span of 24 hours), that’s counted as one visit.

So, How does Flywheel Perform?

While I am not even sure if the DNS propagation is complete, you can literally feel the difference as you browse your own use after Flywheel migrates your site for free (takes 1-3 days, following which you’d have to point your DNS which can take another 2 days. You should account for this).

Note: Your website is still live while the migration is on. It’s only after that you’d have to work the DNS settings.

Here’s how my site fared on the previous host:

Site Speed With Previous Host

Pingdom pagespeed test

Page speed test

Site Speed With Flywheel

Page Speed Test

Now, there’s a lot of work left to do with respect to reducing http requests, working with h2 tags, and SEO in general. I guess all that’s because I don’t use a CDN right now. I think I should just pick up that addon Flywheel provides.

That’s where I stand with Flywheel right now and we already moved three clients’ websites on to their platform at the time of this writing. Maybe, after, I finally met the web host that has some serious long-term potential.