Starting an SEO Company these days is about ten times harder than it was just a couple of years ago. The barrier to entry is much higher due to the fact that many big companies with big budgets are starting to wake up to the fact that SEO provides an amazing ROI compared to other forms of traditional marketing. The problem is where to actually start, you need to have some sort of proven track record before a company will consider using your services. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a catch 22 situation in that you will have difficulty starting without having a portfolio of clients to chow your first customer. Also, Google’s algo’s are evolving on a daily basis and filtering out more and more of the spam, even if you are a very good SEO, I seriously doubt you will be able to complete in competitive fields if you’re starting from scratch with little resource.
If you do decide to push on with your new business venture,I would suggest the first place you start is with a business plan so you can get funding. Even if you can’t get funding, you’ll need to plan your new venture so you have some direction, this will stand you in very good stead for the future. Many companies just muddle through with little direction and will fail eventually as they fall into a “comfortable” routine of being unproductive. I believe a business plan and a solid set of goals will help you keep focused so you find the success you so desperately crave.
Another problem is how to get your name out there, do you advertise? Make cold calls? try and SEO your own site (good luck) or maybe try some PR? I’m a fan of PR and for the record, I’ve tried almost every avenue to marketing my business. There is a fine line between keeping credibility and aggressively marketing your new company, I don’t believe in Direct Marketing , I think it’s skuzzy and smacks of desperation. Advertising on the other hand is okay, however, we have not had much success for the amount of full page adverts we’ve placed in leading business magazines. We’ve had some success with the PR we’ve done in house, the advantage is that the quality of the enquiries is very, very high and the type of companies calling are exactly the type of companies I want to work with.
Unfortunately, PR is a bit of a “dark art” even more so that SEO these days, and requires that you are very creative in order to catch publishers attention, which is a bit like effective SEO ;)
I believe you need to offer a wide range of services both offline and online whilst still maintaining a niche,I would suggest staying local to your area, state, county or whatever. – this is a great example of a local SEO company that is offering a good service in the Dallas area. This will give you an edge as you will only be competing with “local-ish” companies which means competitive levels would be somewhat lower than if you were going nationally or internationally. Also, local business want to support local companies, so you’ll have a better chance of winning some SEO work.