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24 October 2010

Just ticking along nicely

I popped in my local cafe the other day and the guy whose running it started his business this year around the same time I started my business in April time. I asked him how it was doing and he didn’t have any complaints and said it was just ticking along nicely. This made me think about the meaning of when we say “ticking along nicely” so I looked it up in Google and several references pointed towards it meaning “he’s just doing what he’s supposed to be doing” or like a good working order watch its ticking along nicely.

If you were to believe what you read in every start-up blog you’d think everyone’s goal was to become the next facebook or Google and get a ton on venture capital investment and get bought out for billions. There are plenty of businesses like my local cafe that are doing well as they are. Martin only has 5 tables and can’t tell from one minute to the next how many customers are going to come in his door. He told me he’d like a bigger cafe for the busier times but would find it hard to service them as its only him and one other employee that works there. In online marketing terms would a stream of customers from Groupon be useful to Martin? Probably not are my thoughts.

37 signals talk about the business that caters for the fortune 5 million, meaning businesses that provide a niche software as a service to companies with 2-3 employees that need what they are selling. Its definitely been a mix for my business in going to local networking events and seeing how we can help the little guys as well as the big players that I’ve been used to working with in previous jobs. Working with the little guys can help you be more involved and hands on without having to pass through 10 layers of management to be told you can’t approve a comment on twitter.

Sure the bigger companies have a lot more money to spend but which companies do you work with that challenge your approach to market them and provide a solution which is more than just build more links to increase their Google rankings.
Ultimately you can’t always do work for companies that don’t have a budget but my ideal would be to create a start-up pack that guides the little guy how to increase their sales online and see a return on their time invested (not their money spent on marketing as their budget is limited). I’d like to hear from companies who want to contribute to a start-up guide to online marketing with a section on their specialism?

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