Here’s a story about a start-up business without a budget…a Facebook page…a…
But, if you’re a new business or want to start a new business online with no cash to burn, this story might inspire you.
ABOUT US: Today, Loud Cow specialises in WordPress websites, SEO content and a bunch of other things that help small businesses find their feet online. We have a healthy client base of over 40 – close to our capped goal of 50. The vision is for long-term partnerships with clients we enjoy doing business with. We have no intention of becoming huge – just better.
How did it all start?
The business was built on a shoestring – actually, make that a shoestring fibre – back in September 2010.
How did we survive the first two years? Other than saying the standard replies such as ‘luck’ and ‘hard work’, we have absolutely no idea. Heaven forbid – we don’t even have a Facebook page – absolute social media heathens. And we didn’t start with a budget. Or a budget forecast. Or any of the other start-up business ‘must haves’. That’s the beautiful thing about businesses today – particularly online businesses. The rules of survival are different. Below is the journey from start until now…
We got hungry for better.
The first ever WordPress website I built was for myself (Catie Hughes). At that point I still had no idea what niche online services I was going to offer or how I was going to market myself. So the first site wasn’t that crash hot – in fact it was embarrassing – but the process got me hooked on wanting to do things better and smarter.
I went searching for ‘how to’ information – but only concerned myself with the stuff I could implement quickly. I didn’t have time to muck about. I found out some awesome ways of getting where I needed to be without killing myself or my start up budget of zilch.
We made quick decisions about which direction to take
The information I found online after hundreds of hours of research, particularly when it comes to websites and seo, was excruciatingly confusing – it still is. I got jack of it all and decided just to go with what made sense to me. Listening to myself and trusting my own judgement instead of others has become a valuable skill.
I couldn’t fluff about weighing up pros and cons so I just started making decisions and getting on with things. Sometimes you just have to pull a Nike and just do it.
The first ever major ‘asset’ purchase I made was a subscription to StudioPress.com. OK – So it’s only $300.00 – but when you’re not sure if that $300 is going to pay off it’s huge dollars when you’re living off savings and you don’t have an income coming in. Every dollar was like a thousand. I couldn’t waste a cent.
StudioPress community support was awesome and my first few sites were built using the Genesis framework. From there I moved onto Elegant themes and Woo Themes – two awesome theme developers.
We never stopped learning about new stuff.
Hey – all this isn’t rocket science. But keeping up to date with the latest in WP innovation is a job in itself. It’s so easy to continue working with only what you know – the tried and tested. It’s safe there. But at some point you have to venture out and learn about new stuff and test things that could be better than what you already know. Through this process I have backed a few bad horses but some awesome ones as well. I’ve had some shocker experiences with bad hosts and theme developers but have learnt heaps from some great hosts and can now deliver some awesome results after spending hours researching the ins and outs of particular plugins and themes. I’ve found some beauties I now use religiously.
We gave value
Service is very important to me. As is providing value. I give what I would expect to get if I were in the client’s shoes.
We actually gave a sh#t.
I’m a bit of an obsessive nut. It’s hard not for me to care about the stuff I do. Sleepness nights are the norm. I don’t cope with things going wrong very well and I fear letting people down. All these fears drive my passion to ensure I give my best every day. That all sounds a bit schmultzy but trueeee.
That’s what we did to survive the first two years…and how we continue to do things today.
Thinking about starting your own business or sorting a new website for an existing one? We can help. MAKE CONTACT