My daughter needs to take a car to college this year. This is a moment we delayed for as long as possible for each of our college-student children, but just like the rest of them, her day has finally arrived. In years past, this meant finding the best deal on a reliable used car. We had a really good track record on this kind of thing…the most we ever spent on a “kid” car in the past was $4,000, and we got a lot of reliable bang for our buck. This year was different though.
As you may know, the used car market (actually, the market for all cars, new and used) has gone CRAZY in the past 2-3 years. Between COVID-19, supply chain issues, and the global microchip shortage, the inventory of new cars is extremely limited. But I’m shopping used, so this doesn’t affect me…right? WRONG!
The serious scarcity of new cars means that people who would normally be buying current-year models are now looking for gently used vehicles. And new-car buyers entering the used-car market increase the demand while also decreasing the supply. Anyone who sat through even one day of Econ 101 knows increased demand and decreased supply lead to significantly higher prices.
And I’m talking shockingly higher. To the point where we were absolutely not going to spend that kind of money on a car that is going to spend most of its time in student parking, getting door dings, scuffed bumpers, scratched fenders, and who-all-knows what else.
So that leaves one option. My car is the oldest in the family and also insanely reliable, so it’s going off to college. And since the 3 to 5-year-old cars with 60,000 miles that I would normally be looking at are selling for $3,000 MORE than MSRP on a new car of the same make and model, I guess I’m getting a brand-spankin’ new car!
Here is where the “aha” moments began.
For small business owners, the decision to work on their online presence is not easy or straightforward. Just like sending a car to college with my daughter, there is a lot of planning, consideration, false starts, and second-guessing. It’s HARD to know what your online needs are. Once you decide to explore your options, how do you know who to trust? Maybe you ask your friends for recommendations, or reach out to a few website design agencies you find on Google, but what criteria do you use to make a decision?
My epiphany in the car situation came when I received an email from Jeremy. You see, every week or so, I would email a few car dealerships asking about the model I was interested in. And sales reps at every single dealership had virtually the same reply. “No, we don’t have any new cars on the lot. You need to come in and place a custom order. And, by the way, it will be MONTHS before your vehicle will be ready.”
Jeremy was on the receiving end of one of my email inquiries and sent a surprisingly personable response. It really stood out from the emails I had received from the other dealerships. It got my attention…but then I went on with my day. The following day, Jeremy sent a video, speaking directly to me, personally! He addressed me by name, gave a short explanation of the new car situation, and invited me in for a test drive. I thought to myself, “OK, Jeremy, I’ll come talk to you.”
When we met in person, Jeremy listened to my story, understood that sharing one car long-term with my husband was not an ideal situation, and helped me make choices that could significantly reduce my wait time. He didn’t over-promise, and he still made it clear it could possibly take some time. Jeremy made me feel heard and understood − like finally, someone was on my side.
That’s what small businesses need as well. They are in unfamiliar territory when they consider their online options. And of course they are…their area of expertise lies far outside the world of the internet. They need someone who can listen to their story, give constructive suggestions, and help them make choices that make the best sense for their business.
That’s always been who I want to be for my clients. When I say, “Your success is my goal,” that’s coming from the perspective of someone who understands small business and all the worries and headaches that can come with it. I specialize in taking the concept of an “online presence” and explaining it in terms that can be understood regardless of your experience or industry. And I will work with you until we both are satisfied and proud of what we created.
If you are looking for your own “aha” moment, why not reach out and see if I can help? You can connect via my Contact page, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love a chance to be your Jeremy.