The Journey to Product Market Fit

You have to know your audience in order to be able to put your messaging in front of them. You need to remind them (existing customers) and invite them (new customers) to you. We have to do that on a continuous basis.

Some business owners think that marketing and advertising is an activity which happens occasionally. For serious business owners this is not true. They understand that they must have a budget for advertising at all times. As when you advertise, new customers come through the door and when you stop you will feel the lack of action.

Advertising can happen on different platforms depending where your customers are handing around. Sometimes the best results are achieved by combining advertising platforms. In order to be able to do this, your website needs to be equipped with tracking code from Google, Facebook, Bing, and others.

There are some challenges with local advertising and it maybe sometimes less and sometimes more effective depending on the season and number of competitors in your area. Some studies claim that costumers would drive between 10 and 17 minutes to reach a local business. That translates in 5-10 miles in distance.

Some other factors that will have impact on this are.

How frequently do consumers search for local businesses online?

  • 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year
  • 33% of consumers look at local businesses online every day – up from 27% last year
  • 75% of 18-55-year-olds search for businesses online each week – compared to 35% of people aged 55+

How many consumers read online reviews for local businesses?

  • 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
  • A growing number of consumers ‘always’ read reviews for local businesses
  • 52% of 18-54-year-olds ‘always’ read local business reviews, though 18-34s are less likely to read them than in 2018

What do consumers do after reading positive reviews?

  • Visit the business’s website
  • Search for more reviews
  • Visit the business
  • Continue searching for other businesses
  • Contact the business

Do consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

  • 76% trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends
  • 89% of 35-54-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 18-34-year-olds are less likely to trust reviews as much as recommendations than they were in 2018

When judging a local business on reviews, what do consumers pay attention to?

  • How recent reviews are
  • The business’s overall star rating
  • How many reviews a business has
  • How legitimate reviews appear to me
  • The sentiment of the existing reviews

How many consumers write online reviews for local businesses?

  • 66% of consumers have written an online review for local businesses – including 80% of 35-54-year-olds
  • 60% have written reviews for positive experiences, while just 25% have written reviews for negative experiences
  • 85% of consumers are willing to leave reviews

How do businesses ask customers for reviews?

  • In person during the sale
  • In an email
  • Over the phone
  • On a receipt
  • In an SMS message

Building Your Website

I will cut to the chase and make my case for WordPress right away. Considering many other options and trying some of them WP has become my CMS of choice (at least for now).

Reasons are many, I won’t list them here but you can see few reasons on this list.

How to pick a good domain name

It’s not enough just to have any domain name—you need to pick the right domain. We have a few best practices for you to keep in mind as you go about your search.

Keep it simple

First, you want to make sure your domain name is simple, not too long or difficult to remember. doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue, however, might be a better fit.

This will likely be the email that you use for your business too, so it’s important to find something that you and your customers can remember and spell out. The shorter the better, the more memorable and intuitive the better.

It should accurately represent your brand

It’s not necessary to have your business name in your domain, but it can help. Even if your business name isn’t available, you could choose to use your main offering in your domain, something like

Don’t limit yourself with your domain.

If you do choose to go the services or products route in your domain, be careful not to pick something that will limit your business.

For example, let’s say that you choose because that’s your main product as you’re getting started. But later down the road you may want to start offering tire maintenance services or selling other vehicle parts. When people see your domain, they may think that you only sell tires.

Keep the bigger picture for your business goals in mind as you choose an effective domain.

Which Hosting Do I Need

Since I opted for WordPress, your hosting need to optimized for WP CMS.

Specifically Managed WordPress Hosting would be great for your CMS. You want to have a sever that will perform at least decently. WP may sometimes be a little “heavy” and I would suggest you stay away from $3/month hosting.

You should be receiving most of your new customers via your website so I don’t think you should be taking the cheapest hosting. That would be compared you trying to save money on your tires and brakes. You don’t want that since your life depends on them. Saving on the stereo will not jeopardize your safety while driving – you can save there, but not the brakes and tires.

Getting WordPress

Normally your hosting will most likely have a WordPress installer. If not you can download it here. You will need to upload the zip file to your www folder, unzip it and open your domain URL to start the install process.

There are many videos on YouTube which will show you how to do that. In case you want help just set up an appointment and I will help you install and configure it.

Once you install it you may need additional themes and plugins to install to get the desired functionality and design that will make your business proud.

In case you want to master the foundations of WordPress you can get a comprehensive WordPress Course here. If you get your website done here you may get this entire course as a bonus (for free). If not, ask me and you may get a coupon for a significant discount of this course.

What Every Small Business Should Do Online

Create a website for your business

WordPress is free to use. is a self-hosted version where you control more of your site and take advantage of advanced plugins. works great for complete beginners, but it’s not exactly the best for a business that plans on making money so moving away from makes sense. It does have higher paid plans, but we recommend it for personal and hobby blogs.

But moving on, WordPress is free for anyone to download. It’s an open-source project that’s been around since 2003. This means that WordPress is developed by a collection of contributors. Open-source projects are typically free, with large communities. The users often take part in this community as beta testers or simple brand advocates, but there’s really no requirement for any participation if that’s not your style.

Warning: Although the WordPress software is free, you will most likely end up spending a bit of money. WordPress is self-hosted, so hosting is required. This can start at around $3 per month, for the really cheap shared servers, and go all the way to up to a few hundred per month for those needing ultimate speed and performance.

Suggestion: find a web designer you know and trust and pay them to build it for you profesionally. It’s your business, give it a best chance to succeed.

Claim all your free business profiles

The following tips are listed in no particular order, but this one is at the top for a reason: the importance of claiming your business pages on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and any relevant industry-specific sites (such as OpenTable for restaurants, for example) can not be overstated.

Astounding 56% of businesses haven’t claimed their Google business profiles. This is crazy. There’s nothing more important for today’s small businesses than a solid online presence (yes, even for small, local shops), and without taking this step, any advertising money you decide to spend will simply drive your potential customers to other businesses.

People check online review sites for “social proof” before visiting local stores. 97% of customers read online reviews for local businesses. And 88% of people trust those reviews as much a personal recommendation family or friends.

It’s absolutely essential that your business show up well in local online searches, and this isn’t possible until you officially claim all your business pages. Plus, new research from Womply shows that businesses that claim their listings on multiple online business reviews sites make 58% more money!

Post your business on free business listing websites

  1. Yelp – The third most popular review website on the web, Yelp is used daily by millions searching for local small businesses, especially restaurants.
  2. Google My Business
    Shoppers use the most popular search engine for information about and directions to local stores. For everything. It’s the main street of the web. According to Google, 50% of all the mobile consumers who use Google for local searches in a day visit the businesses they search.
  3. Facebook – More than 1 out of 7 people on the planet are on Facebook, and they’re actively checking out the 65 million plus local business pages listed on the biggest social network ever. Creating a Facebook presence for your business takes five steps. Read our step-by-step guide: How to create and claim your Facebook business page.
  4. TripAdvisor – Another top five review website, TripAdvisor’s 415 million monthly users have smoke coming from their keyboards — over 535 million reviews have been published on the site. Your small business, especially if it’s in the hospitality space, is missing out on a windfall of digital awareness and feedback if you’re not on TripAdvisor.
  5. Twitter – Why is this on our list, you might wonder? True, Twitter might not “sell” your customers to come into your shop, but it surfaces to the top in searches and presents one of the easiest and fastest ways for customers to reach out to you. It’s also a location-based tool that lets you search for customers in your area.
  6. Instagram – A recent study shows 82% of customers research before they come into the store to buy. Today, especially if you’re marketing to younger demographics, photography-based Instagram is a visual invitation to come in and see for oneself.
  7. YouTube – Some people don’t have time to read reviews, scroll through a website, or comb through social media posts. A video is easy. Just hit play. A YouTube video (even just one) is a solid small business marketing vehicle to reach over 30 million customers who are watching almost 5 billion YouTube videos a day.
  8. LinkedIn – It might seem like LinkedIn only matters for national or global brands, but a local business can show researching consumers more of who they are, from owners to employees. Use LinkedIn to present yourself as a reputable, well-connected owner with years of relevant experience, especially for finance-based businesses.
  9. Yahoo – We know Google reigns supreme in search, but Yahoo is still used by 1 billion potential small business customers people every month. Why? For some, it’s preference. For others, especially Firefox web browsers, it’s the default on their machine. Similar to Google My Business, Yahoo partners with Yext (below) to display local small business listings in search results.
  10. Bing – With slightly more users than Yahoo, Bing is Microsoft’s search engine. Bing Places for Business is where small business owners can access their local listings. Every Microsoft computer’s default web browser is Internet Explorer and searches with Bing, so it’s worth your time to set up your business information for Skype, Office, Xbox, and Surface tablet users.
  11. – According the digitally re-invented Yellow Pages’ website, 60 million people still search for businesses on its directory. It’s free to claim your business’s “yp Profile.”
  12. Whitepages – With over 5 billion records, Whitepages is an enormous database of global people and businesses. One unique feature of Whitepages is its APIs, which allow businesses to buy and use the company’s extensive data to build their own software. This means a WP listing shows up not only on but also across all of their API customers’ sites as well. Whitepages uses Yext to create listings.

Write a blog

If you have solid writing skills, know someone who does, or believe you have created an interesting “niche” in the market that people might find compelling, consider starting a blog.

It can be easy to get caught up in the ego of being a “published author” of a blog, but it’s more useful to look at your blog as an advertising and SEO-boosting tool, rather than the digital equivalent of the great American novel. (One of our favorite snarky t-shirts proclaims, “More people have read this shirt than your blog.”)

Search engines consider all types of content related to your business from multiple sources, so the more sources that “talk” about your business in more locations and platforms, the better.

Remember, though, that you need to create regular, fresh content in order to get the benefits of a blog.


Develop a solid social media presence

You may notice that in addition to the standard website, almost every notable company today has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn account. This is not by accident. Many customers eschew review sites and choose to post feedback and commentary about your business via social media instead.

In addition to the value you derive from knowing what’s being said about your business online, when you engage current and potential customers on social media (and, more importantly, when people engage with you and share/re-share your posts and content), search engines view you as more important and you show up better online search results… which means, you guessed it, free advertising.

So sign up for accounts on as many of these platforms as you can manage. Be real, be interesting (funny content helps), and definitely don’t turn every post into an ad. Repost your blog content and/or website content updates to all your social media accounts.

You can also exploit the “live” broadcasting features some social media platforms offer, like Instagram live, Facebook live, etc. to host a live event or webinar.