I have owned and operated my own services businesses for over a decade. My wife and I have a cleaning business, catering to private homes, and she runs that for the most part. We opted to never expand the business in favor of keeping things simple and free from headaches. It is a very good business for us, but moreso just self-employment, which pays the bills. I also have a mobile auto detailing business that I run on the side. However, I will be shutting that down in all likelihood, as I can no longer physically take the toll that it puts on my body. I can deal with the work, but the heat and the humidity cause me to sweat profusely and I end up with huge headaches and feel terrible after work. It isn`t worth it.
So, I`m now looking for something to do. I have experience in a myriad of businesses, and love the service business industry. When I look back over my 16 years in the work force, whether employed by someone else or self-employed, one job experience has always stood out as something that I loved. I was a marketing manager for a home improvement company. That involved telemarketing, print ads, radio ads, door to door canvassing, and the like. I`ve always enjoyed marketing my own businesses as well, with flyer delivery, websites, online ads, talking to other people and networking, etc.
With that said, I`m desirous of starting a marketing company of some sort. Maybe an advertising coop, catering to small local businesses that offer services of varying types. I love to tell people about other businesses that I`ve had experience with that are noteworthy, or people with skills that can help someone else. I know a lot of people in a lot of service oriented businesses, and refer them to people all the time, for free. I`d like to take an idea and monetize it, creating my own business of marketing their businesses.
I`m thinking along the lines of a website with one business per various service categories. Maybe a profile of each business, and even a more personal interview with the owner, to give people the opportunity to know who their working with. I`d like to go to the local newspapers and other print media and see if I can get discounted advertising rates for bringing them a certain volume of advertisers, a discount that I can pass on to these businesses. The businesses would pay me some type of membership fee to obtain such discounts for them, for advertising them online, and marketing their business. I could have various packages including website building and hosting, flyer design and delivery, adwords campaign management, and on and on.
So, what do you think? Would small service businesses pay to join forces with other businesses to network, save money on advertising, perhaps work together on combined mailers to save money, and help promote one another? Would I be able to negotiate discounts with various advertising mediums in exchange for volume work? I think that there is strength in numbers, and by joining together small businesses might be able to gain some strength enjoyed by much larger ones.
In summary, my idea is one central website featuring various businesses and categories, with up close and person views of those businesses for advertising to potential clients. The group of companies that I work with would be eligible for discounted rates with large advertising companies if they work through me. I would essentially help market their companies in various ways, offering many avenues of promotion, and be paid to do so.