How did you come up with the idea for your business?
It was a branch of the startup that I was a part of years ago. Through that, I met the guy that owned Murfreesboro.com. With what we were doing with that previous company, I thought it would be great if we could do it on Murfreesboro.com and we could make a business model for other sites, yadda yadda yadda.
I ended up contacting the guy who owned it, he wasn’t doing anything with it, so he let me use it. He let me use it for a little while before I wanted to make things official, and so we bought it. He was very generous about it. He had done great for himself in real estate and no longer had a use for it.
How did you make your first sale?
I really respect my dad when it comes to business, and he told me not to expect to make a sale for six months. He told me to just get my face out there and to meet people. I was literally just going door-to-door, just handing out my business cards. I even went to some ‘No Soliciting’ spots because I wasn’t technically soliciting any services.
After a while, the website started getting some traffic, and then I started trying to make sales. My first sale was for $35 a month to a power washing company. I was super excited, and that only went up as the business grew.
What’s unique about owning and running a business in Murfreesboro?
When we were first getting started, Murfreesboro was still a “little big town.” You could walk into places and get some hellos and how’re ya doings, I find that people are more open to things and people than somewhere like Nashville. The more people you meet, you find that the people of this town are connected.
I’ve actually gotten some of our biggest clients that way. They’ll say something like, “Oh, you treated ____ really well and they told me about you.”
How do you advertise your business?
Now, it’s reached the point where I just need to keep steady. If I miss a PAWS video, I get all sorts of messages asking where the puppy videos are. Every once in a while, I’ll do some targeted ads on Facebook if I’m really trying to get something, but it’s mostly just keeping it steady. Making the content interesting and constant is the constant struggle.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
All of the above. As I’m sure you guys know, the biggest struggle is not being able to turn your brain off. Learning when to shut it off and being able to shut it off is a never-ending battle. I’ll even wake up in the middle of the night and put notes on my phone.
What was one pivot you had to do in order to grow your business?
Covid hit us like a brick. What happened was, a lot of our clients went on hold or even had to close their doors. Our clients have contracts, so I called each one of them individually and said, “We’re not going to hold you to it. We know that what’s happening is really crappy.”
Now, all of our old clients are coming back, and they want more stuff. On top of that, we’re also getting a wave of new clients that want to get their businesses out there.
The way we do content didn’t change much, but the way I had to talk to clients changed quite a bit, and our pricing structure changed to reflect that.
If you could travel back in time, what would you change about your business?
A lot of things, probably. You’re going to get more no’s than yes’s, so don’t take things personally. Don’t get stuff on the small stuff. I would get frustrated at small things, but I would always move forward.
Give yourself some quality of life. My old schedule was to work 16 hours, go to the gym for a few hours, go home, eat, and watch TV for a while, then go to sleep and do it all over again. It had a cyclical effect for years. You need a brain break.
My wife would always tell me to be present.
What’s one thing you’re doing, from a marketing perspective, that you do to get customers?
Be consistent with social media, because everyone is doing it. My wife, my kids, I’ll just catch them scrolling for an hour.
I’ve always found that an ‘____ of the day’ or having a list of things you can post will help a lot. I had a real estate agent ask me what kinds of things to post, and I told them to do something like ‘Top Ten most expensive homes ____ has sold’ or something like that. Just having constant content is super important.
Do you have one business lesson you’re willing to share?
Get an accountant, I have been saved by my accountant many times. They will catch things that you won’t. “Oh, I can’t deduct that, gotcha. But I can deduct this entire truck, cool!”
Also, surround yourself with people that cover your gaps. I used to micromanage all of my stuff, I would be super busy and never sleep. Nowadays, I always take financial stuff to my accountant and legal stuff to my lawyer.
What podcasts or books do you listen to/read?
You’ll probably laugh, but Gary Vee. He’s so direct, and the cool thing with Gary is that he goes back to things 10 years ago that he said. He almost predicted Tik Tok and the success it would have.
What do you use for your daily to-do list?
My wife has me on a checklist, a written to-do list. She went out and got me a planner and I write in it almost every day. There’s something very satisfying about being able to cross something off the list.
What social media tools do you use?
As far as editing goes, thankfully, we have employees for that now. I used to use Canva for my photos. I do all my posting manually as well because Facebook really doesn’t like when you post from a 3rd party app.
Learn more about John Iaccheri, the Murfreesboro Guy here.