Kindred Companions is excited to have the creator of The Modern Dog Trainer blog, Ines Gaschot here to talk about the scary topic of moving with a business. I have to say that everything Ines says is this article is so true and every professional needs to follow these 5 steps. At Kindred Companions, we follow these same steps regularly (even with no plans to move) and we know you will get the same excellent results. Ines also has a very exciting program she is announcing at the end of her blog so stick around and check it out.
Moving is stressful. Combine that with making the bet that my dog training business would support my entire household once I moved across the country to somewhere I had never been and you bet I was pulling my hair out. Thankfully, years of being active online meant I knew a thing or two about online marketing.
First of all, yes, you read that right. I moved across the country to a city I had never been to – not even visited. I had no connections in the area and certainly no referral sources set up yet. My plan was to rely on Google to provide me customers.
As soon as I had decided to move across the country, I put a few things in motion to hopefully start getting customer calls in my new service area. Five months before the move, I started to optimize my website so that Google would know I wasn’t in Texas anymore.
5 Steps I Took to Move My Dog Training Business
1 – Updated My Website
At the time I decided to move, I was actually working for someone else. This made it easy to update my website since I wasn’t relying on it to get clients in Texas. I used SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to ensure Google would recognize that I was in a new location and would populate my website in searches related to the new service area.
Since no one tells Google what to do and when to do it, it took 4-5 months for my website to start showing up in searches related to my new area. Fortunately, this meant I actually started getting client calls almost immediately after my move. In fact, I was able to book my first client two weeks after the move. I just barely had time to set up my new LLC and insurance!
2 – Blogged
Part of a good SEO strategy includes publishing regular content related to words that someone might search for to get to your site. Five months before the move I started posting one or two blog posts a week that were relevant to potential customers. This allowed customers to get to know me, my training style and provided Google with a greater understanding of my location, industry, and skill set. Specifically, one of my keywords was “positive dog training in Buffalo NY”
3 – Updated All My Directory Listings
It isn’t until you move that you realize how many websites list your business! 6 months after the move and I’m still finding directories that have my business listed in Texas. Luckily, many of these are easy to claim and update with the proper information. Some directories and listings you want to make sure you update are Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Thumbtack, local business listings, organizations you’re associated with and organizations you’re certified through. All of these listings contribute to how complete your listing looks on Google. Moz has a FREE listing checker so you can see how your business looks across the internet.
4 – Tracked My Progress
All this effort wouldn’t have gotten me very far if I had not tracked the results. Tracking your progress is important so that you know you’re doing things correctly. It would have been tough if I had moved and then realized everything wasn’t working how I had thought. Use Google Analytics to see how people are discovering your site. In Google Analytics you can even see your viewer’s demographics, location, browser, device type, and so much more! This can help you create blog articles that may be more related to their searches.
5 – Opened my LLC in New York
Thankfully most, if not all, allow you to file for an LLC online. Before you file, make sure no one else in the state used the business name you plan on using. Search through Google as well as the State’s business listing directory. Attempting to file for a business name that is already in place can be a costly mistake. In addition to getting an LLC set up, don’t forget to file for a DBA (“Doing Business As”) and get your insurance in order before meeting with your first client.
If you’re planning on moving out of state, the sooner you begin to implement these changes the better. It takes time, dedication, and organization to make the transfer. Google is a great way to get consistent clients without running around town trying to meet veterinarians or small businesses.
If you’re new to the modern age of digital marketing but are interested in learning how to utilize it to support your business, check out my article, An Intro to Marketing for Dog Trainers .
Ines Gaschot, CPDT-KA
Ines is the founder of The Modern Dog Trainer blog and is a dog trainer currently located in Buffalo, NY. She owns and operates All Postive Dog Training LLC and The Crossover Trainer blog. She has been studying and working with dogs for over 10 years and enjoys helping people regain tranquility in their lives with modern dog training techniques.