I started VackerGlobal as a small electrical business in Dubai in 2013. Within 5 years, we generated customers across the world. Those included the USA, Europe, Africa, Australia and Newzealand. Every expert said that internet marketing would not work in our industry. I didn’t listen. Anyway, I did not know anything about it. They still say it does not work!!!
Now we have a wide range of technical products. Our customers are spread around the world (www.VackerGlobal.com). Manufacturers tie-up with us for global distribution of their products. We market and sell them across the world. Our own IT company carries out all our Digital Marketing and Software development activities (www.vacker360.com).
As we were in learning stages, it took 5 years to reach 30 countries. Now we can do it in under 2 years. I’ll explain to you about that. Your profession or expertise does not matter. You will be able to build up your first few customers within 3 months. ie. Even before you start investing in your office.
How we started as a local electrical shop & generated customers in 30 countries using digital marketing?
We started with a few elementary products as a local company in 2013. The products were lights and signboards. It was just a Brick and Mortar company. Just like any normal company, we simply made a website after a year. A few months later, we got our first enquiry through the website. I was intrigued that we get enquiries through the website.
We started looking at generating more enquiries through the website. I started learning digital marketing and implementing them. (I’ll explain details later). Now we have thousands of technical products. They are mainly from the USA & Europe. Our customers include Airlines, hospitals, Logistics companies. Also, many Governments across the world are on the list.
We slowly increased these digital activities. Thus we started generating enquiries from around the world. Now we have an entire team (www.vacker360.com) to manage our digital marketing activities. We are also developing our tools based on Artificial Intelligence. We combine them with Data analytics. These tools are for handling our huge number of enquiries.
Are you still confused? Please look at our article on how we grew from a local electrical shop to a global company using the internet. Yes, we really started as a traditional brick and mortar electrical shop. We still do not manufacture any products ourselves.
Build a website before you start a business
Probably 90% of small businesses do the opposite. A website is always the last priority. The typical thinking is that let the business grow before building a website. Also, they feel that they don’t have enough products or services to showcase. They feel too small that they are not confident enough to have a good website. These feelings are not wrong, but times have changed.
Some advantages of starting a website before a business are:
- You can research the business potential of your products and services.
- You can find out niche areas within your segment. Then you can focus and expand around those niche areas.
- With a little effort, you can generate enquiries within 3 months. By that time you can establish your business.
- You can show your plans to the bank or investors on the website, which obviously means that you are determined.
How to start a great business? It doesn’t matter whether you are an electrician, accountant, music teacher, personal coach or whatsoever.
In fact, this article is to help those of you in traditional industries. In technological segments, there are already enough experts. They will advise you in this regard. Are you having digital products such as an online course, software, an Ad agency etc.? This article will still help. But I’ll not be focusing on these segments.
It doesn’t matter whether you have an existing business or you are planning to start one. You can follow our methods. It does not matter whether you are an electrician, an accountant or a music teacher. Please remember that we started just as a single man electrical trader. Anyone can use internet marketing.
You will have spare time definitely these days. Why not use it to start building a business while sitting at home? You can be ready and generate business within 3-6 months. And it can be related to your area of expertise. I am not recommending to start another online business nor another get rich scheme. I am talking about building and expanding any traditional business.
There are a lot of channels in internet-based digital marketing. The most important ones are listed below:
- Organic search results in Google. Also, there are other search websites such as Bing, Baidu etc.
- Social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
- Video channels.
You do not have to be an expert in any of these. But you should know how all these works. You can hire the services of a professional on a part-time basis. He will implement internet marketing in your segment based on your needs.
Digital Marketing won’t work in your industry? Good news – Most of your competitors still think so
Your first thought might be that it won’t work in your segment. Don’t worry, I have heard it enough times. Those included engineers who run their own businesses. 95% of people tell me that it does not work in their industry segment.
You customer is using a mobile phone? Then you can build a customer portfolio using the internet marketing irrespective of your industry segment. I reiterate that it is possible for all types of segments. These include a hardware shop, electrical contracting or repair jobs. It can also be selling software, accountancy services or freelance jobs. Even if you are running a restaurant or beauty parlour, it does not matter. Or let it be personal services such as training musical instruments or personal coaching.
Any kind of businesses can use digital marketing. Even if you are a single technician working as an electrician or plumber, all of these are applicable to you. This article is equally applicable for established businesses as well as those in concept stages. Even if you are just considering starting a business follow these guidelines. You can even collect feedback on your ideas before you spend your serious money on starting a business.
The good news is that most companies still think that it does not work for them. Even those who take some efforts, give the job to a digital agency. That will be the end of it. Digital agencies are capable of doing a great technical job. But you need to be knowledgeable about it so that you can guide them properly in your segment. They may not know your segment and especially your vision.
Don’t spend more than $300-400 per month until you start generating returns.
It does not matter whether you are planning a new business or an established SME. Don’t spend more than $300-400 per month until you start to recover this money on a monthly basis. You don’t have to be an expert on websites. You can get plenty of freelancers. Once you get the grasp of the subject, you may decide on higher budgets.
How to start a business using digital marketing better than we did?
In a nutshell, we started our website one year after we started our business. And it took another 2 years to really learn internet marketing. Your first step is to start a website with great quality content. You have to do it even before you open your shop. That is what we currently do for our new businesses. Also, you can do a lot of internet research on the most profitable niches in your segment.
We slowly started receiving orders from around the world. For nearby countries, we depute our engineers from our Dubai office. Otherwise, we appoint local distributors in those countries. Now we are undertaking the global distribution of Small and Medium manufacturers from Europe. We sell those products around the world. We provide complete technical support. The manufacturer can focus on the design and manufacture of products. We focus on marketing and sales across the world.
Digital marketing is not for any particular profession. Which profession are you in?
I want to make it clear that digital marketing will work in any profession. I’m listing below a variety of traditional professions. This list will give you the confidence that it can work in any segment.
- An electrician can offer his freelancer service. Also, he can start to build his own electrical company. The company can be either a supplier or contractor. You can build a local or national company.
- A plumber can offer a freelancer service. He can also start a hardware shop or a plumbing company. He can start building a local or countrywide company.
- A technician can do a freelancer job offering home maintenance. Also, he can start a company offering technical services.
- An automobile technician can build local or countrywide workshops. Or he can start a business of custom-built cars and bikes. He can specialise in a particular segment.
- An accountant can offer his services of bookkeeping. It will be useful for Small & Medium companies. He can also offer service as an investment manager. Or he can build an audit firm.
- A music teacher can offer teaching sessions to kids. She can definitely start a teaching academy too.
- A personal coach can offer any type of coaching services. He can have clients across the world.
- A hardware shop can expand into multiple states. It is easy using internet marketing. You can either start a new one or build a network.
- A therapist can build a local or nationwide therapy centre. Internet marketing works well for personal care services.
- A lawyer can offer his services as an individual or a law firm. He can offer to a particular niche segment of clients. He can become world-class in his own segment.
- An Architect can offer freelance services to premium clients. He can also build a company building up an entire team.
- A cleaner can definitely and easily build a cleaning company.
- A Hairstylist or beautician can offer home services. Or she can build a boutique store. She can grow through internet marketing in both cases.
- An HR professional can offer his services on a part-time basis. This will be useful for small or medium companies. Also, she can build an HR services company.
- Based on your expertise, you can easily offer consultancy services. You can do this locally or internationally. Also, you can build a full-fledged consultant office.
- Are you a freelancer offering any kind of physical or digital service? You can definitely continue to build clientele in any selected location.
- Are you a Dietitian or nutritionist? You can find out niche areas using internet analysis. Then you can focus on these segments and become world-class experts.
I have listed the above just as examples. This is to reassure you that your profession does not matter. Is your profession is not listed above? Are you still confused? Please ask me through the comments section.
Consider an example internet marketing of a plumbing repair shop
Just as an example, I would list out some methods for a plumbing technician who runs a plumbing shop. We will look at how he can use internet marketing in his city.
It is possible to do internet-based marketing without a website. However, that is technically bit challenging for a beginner. Hence I suggest having a basic website to start with. Now consider some special services that you provide. It is ideal to start with such services. Initially don’t focus on the services that everybody is providing. Also, your customer might have asked a particular question a few times. Look at those questions. The basic idea is that there are many people searching the internet for the same question.
Now assume that you are providing repairing of leakage in houses and offices. Your customers might have asked for a phone call alert system. Now you can publish this as a service. You have to publish with a big article on your website. Now anybody who searches the internet in your area will land on this page.
If you can list out 10 such special products and services, that will be an awesome start.
Wait for more news on starting a business using internet marketing.