Startup Marketing - Commission Based?


I own a computer repair business where all work is done remotely over the internet (serving throughout the US). I started this business on a shoestring budget and I'm trying to do my best at keeping it that way (I don't have much money to play around with).

To get anywhere, I need marketing. How can I do this without money already coming in? I could probably afford somewhere around $300 monthly. I figured commission would be great, but I have a hard time finding a commission based marketing person/company.


Marketing Business

asked Jul 16 '11 at 00:47
133 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


The best marketing people are going to need $$$ for budgets.

You can do a lot of marketing yourself for very little money, but if you wanted to hire me on commission I would want several thousand a month for a budget to spend on getting customers.

In general, I think the amount of money you are expecting to pay is unrealistic given that a non-owner has no incentive to work on a commission basis when there is very little chance for success.

answered Jul 16 '11 at 03:50
Chris Kluis
1,225 points
  • That definitely makes sense! I'm just trying to find out my options. – James 13 years ago


You will not find a quality marketing professional to work on a pure commission basis, nor will you find a sales person to work on a pure commission basis without any marketing support.

Even if the marketing professional will put their own compensation at risk, there are hard costs associated with marketing -- printing, advertising, licenses, admission fees -- that cost real cash.

A marketing budget is as important to your overall business as the right tools, and knowing what to do when you log into the back end of your customer's server.

Of course there are lots of ways to do it yourself-- but they will all involve considerable investment of time. During the time you are being your own marketing professional, you will not be earning revenue. The result is that it will always get postponed for direct sale/production. The result is it probably wont get done, or will only be done in "waves" when you don't have work.

Is it worth Investing In? At a defining moment you will decide if your computer repair endeavor is a hobby or a business. When you decide it is a business you will make the hard financial choices to invest the money that is necessary to support the business growth your require.

What are the numbers? I know the numbers are right on for you -- but play for a second with this model:

Lets say that you currently charge $50/hours. And you are billing at 60% capacity-- say 30 hours a week. So total revenue is 1,500/week. Depending on the nuances of your market space and business model-- 15% of that should go to marketing and sales -- $225/week. That would be a monthly marketing/sales budget of $1,000. We are now in a respectful budget area where you can do something.

Your un-billed time is say 40% capacity or 20 additional hours. The unrealized value of that time is 1,000/week or $4,000/month. If the investment of $1,000 a month increased revenue by $4,000/month would it be worth it to you? Is that an investment you would make?

The business model. Can your current billable rate cover the marketing/advertising? If not -- what do you need to do to your business model so that it can?

On the Other Hand Of course, on the other hand -- you could find a relatively bright college student that will do lots of SEO, blogging, Q&A posting, handing out flyers, networking for $300/per month. Maybe they will be willing to do it for $200 and spend $100 of it on PPC advertising?

answered Jul 18 '11 at 13:57
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • Damn it, only one upvote per person. – Robin Vessey 13 years ago
  • Unfortunately I'm not currently making enough incoming money to be able to turn around more than that. In fact, I'm not making any money at all with this business. – James 13 years ago
  • @James Martinez I am sorry james. It sounds as though the issue is a business model and viability of the business plan rather than marketing. It sounds as though the marketing issue is a symptom of a deeper issue. Maybe the solution is to re-look at the model and plan. Sounds like a very tough situation. – Joseph Barisonzi 13 years ago
  • Joseph, no worries. This is a side business that just launched on a shoestring budget. – James 13 years ago


What about using sites like, or that let you list your services for free. You pay a small fee or percentage only after you receive a customer lead.

I believe these sites target mainly local customers, but you could start with your local area to start building up your clientele.

Since your remote computer repair service can be used by customers outside your local area, make sure you let your new local clients know this - they can refer you to "non-locals". Referral marketing is a great way to build a computer repair business because customers prefer to work with someone their friend has already used and likes.

answered Jan 25 '12 at 08:32
Home Business Center Inc
21 points


if this is all virtually, why don't you try to use an affiliate system for you? you can actually attach some webmaster to help you and pay them base on commission.

implement also coupon code marketing. this work really good I believe.
if you do not mind, post your website here and i will give you a short quick review(if time is possible for me).

find people to write article for you or testimonial or other marketing related stuff from
only usd 5.00, you can actually have a lot of talented (even not all are professional) to fulfill your needs

good luck and all the best

answered Jul 16 '11 at 13:03
186 points

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