Working on Memorial Day

I came into the office to work on my home business. A bit of a misnomer there, I guess. But the office has brighter lighting, two 19 inch monitors (rather than a single 17-incher), and a keyboard that is easier to type on. A LOT easier.

I’ve populated by database with zip codes and city, county, and state names. By the end of today I hope to have created a few million pages on the site, each uniquely optimized for a key search engine phrase.

Heh, that sounds kinda daunting if you ignore the fact that the pages will be created dynamically in PHP. Maybe I won’t get THAT far — and truth be told, I foresee lots of stuff that needs to come first — but that’s definitely the goal for the day. By the end of the week I’d like to have the Create Account page (and all its ramifications, minus e-commerce) set up.

One problem I’m running into is the diversity of search methods used for different services. For example, if you want flowers, you probably search for “florist”. But if you want a massage, do you search for “masseuse”, or “massage”? Or “massage therapist”? (The answer: most folks search for “massage”, then “massage therapist”, THEN “masseuse”.) And say you’re looking for a home loan. Do you, the average user, look for “mortgage broker”? Or do you look up just “mortgage”? Or worse, maybe just “loan”?

The difficulty is that in creating these million+ pages, I’m counting on certain language constructs. “There are 0 _____ registered in the city of ______.” (So I can’t say “massages” there — I have to say “massage therapists”.) I’m going to build these pages using the name of the profession, but some folks might search for the service, rather than the profession. Or a different name for the profession. “CPA” rather than “accountant”, or else “certified public accountant”. And then, maybe not all accountantns ARE CPAs, in which case the pages could be misleading. That’s certainly the case with “real estate agents” and “realtors” — the latter is a trademarked term, but is also more often sought for than the former, and not all of the former are the latter.

Big ol’ can o’ beans being spilt here, eh? Okay, you guys, shhh! No telling anybody my genius idea.

I’ve found myself hungry for stuff to read lately, and a bit upset that my favorite word-sources aren’t updated with more frequency. I think I need to figure out how this whole subscription thing in LJ works so I can get new stuff sent to me.

It’s weird. I wonder if it’s just a desire for justifiable procrastination (“I wasn’t working on my business because I had some READING to do. READING.”) or if other media have disappointed me so much lately that I’ve given up on them.

My wee biz is coming along fine so far. I’ve got some plans for making Google rank my pages — I think it could be very very successful. Rebecca said we don’t need to do any more market research, she’s convinced of the idea. Now it’s just a matter of building the site and getting some salespeople started on it, or else letting the pages sell themselves.

I’ve never felt so confident in my future wealth. And that’s saying something, because I’ve been planning on being wealthy for a loooong time.

Business excitement

So, okay. I’m plugging away at this new business idea — it’s got me extremely excited, but it also has me ready to quit my job and just GO for it, rather than taking the time to research it out carefully.

Rebecca doesn’t care for that too much.

If we are going to make a go of this, I see us primarily being a call center, and there’s no reason to run a call center out of California — so I see us moving back to Utah.

If the research shows that the service is viable and sellable, then I don’t want to wait. We have enough credit to be able to finance a move and a couple months’ living expenses — but remember I wouldn’t dive into this if it wasn’t clear that I could sell it. (I’m very confident in its marketability, but until I have some numbers, I’m staying put in my tidy job.)

But now, add to that the fact that we’re getting some inheritance soon, and I’m even edgier.

Then, compound it with the fact that I now believe I could sell my other business,, for a great deal of money. (It has some sweet search engine rank, I tells ya.)

So I asked Rebecca today, “Do you have it in your head that we could be living in Utah in a month?”

She was kind of appalled. The answer was no — not because she dislikes Utah — she would like to go back, too, she says — but because she doesn’t want to take any risks.

Me, I’m so sure of this sure thing that it seems riskier to NOT jump on it right now. To NOT spend every hour recruiting sales people and building the site — whew, insanity.

In any case, I need to show that it’s marketable before anything else, so I started cold-calling today to do research. That’s HARD, dude. That’s SCARY. But I called 6 numbers before I wussed out and had lunch and went back to work. Of the 6, I spoke with 2, and one was too busy to answer questions, and the other said my questions would have to be directed to the corporate office.

I’m going to try to take a longer lunch tomorrow and get in a few dozen calls.