Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Disrupt an Industry and Make a Million Dollars Doing It: An Interview with Jeremy Yamaguchi

Imagine running a company that generates over a million dollars per year in an industry where your competition barely has a clue how to keep up with you.

What would that look like?

In today’s episode, I interview Jeremy Yamaguchi, founder of GoldenShine.com and in this interview, you are going to hear Jeremy tell the story of how he started his company as a side project 3 years ago, and, thanks to some very smart online marketing, combined with some clever automation, the business is on track for 7 figures this year.

And to think, it all started because his wife was laid off.
This is a fascinating interview, and the lessons that Jeremy is going to share are applicable to virtually any local service business.

In this interview, you are going to hear Jeremy explain:

  • how he came up with the idea
  • what the first version looked like
  • how he knew that the opportunity was bigger than he originally thought
  • what he did next to capitalize on that opportunity
  • how he drives organic traffic to his site
  • how he’s expanding into new markets (and driving traffic)
  • and so much more…

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent: Hi there, Bright Idea hunters. Thank you so much for joining me for
this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. I am your host Trent Dyrsmid and
this is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to learn how
to use online marketing and sales automation tactics and strategies to
massively boost their business. And on the show with me to tell you exactly
how he has done that is my friend Jeremy Yamaguchi. Jeremy, welcome to the
show.Jeremy: Hey, Trent, happy to be here.Trent: All right, after much trouble I think we have the sound figured out.
So, for the folks in the audience, Jeremy, who don’t know who you are,
please tell us who you are and what do you do?Jeremy: So, my name is Jeremy Yamaguchi. I have a background in user
interface design, web programming, new media marketing, branding, and logo
design, somewhere along those lines. I actually ran a website design and
development firm for a number of years and I’m currently running a company
called Golden Shine Cleaning Agency. And what we’re doing is we’re taking a
high-tech, high-touched approach to a traditionally low-tech sector of
being household cleaning services.Trent: All right. So, gut reaction. Now, I know the story, so I know
there’s a big story here, but somebody listening might be going, “Household
cleaning, yeah, what’s the fun of that?” But you’ve achieved some pretty
phenomenal results, so talk to us just real quick about the business model,
how it works, and how much revenue you’re generating, and how many
customers you’ve got.Jeremy: So, it’s essentially housecleaning. That’s what it comes down to.
It’s as interesting as it sounds, let’s say. And the beauty of the business
model in and of itself is that it’s recurring in nature, so you don’t have
to continually replace your client base. Once you sign up a customer, you
can retain them for years, assuming you’re doing your job well. And in
terms of our performance as a company, we have been revolutionizing the
local industry, to put it simply. We have been around it for about three
years and we have over a million dollars in projected revenue for 2012. We
have over 4,800 customers and really we’re disrupting the space.Trent: Four thousand, eight hundred customers, that’s plenty of customers.
And you really the core of your business how these customers are finding
you, and the whole marketing, and that’s why you’re on the show, is
everything is happening online, is that correct?Jeremy: Oh, absolutely. That’s where the high-tech part of high-tech, high-
touched comes in. Yeah, that’s a story in and of its self, and I’m sure
we’ll talk about that.Trent: Indeed, we will. All right, so for the people – there’s going to be
people in this audience who maybe haven’t started a business yet, and there
are some people in my audience who are already running a business. They
always want to know more about the guest and your background. I know you
just alluded to it very briefly, but what were you doing before you started
this company?Jeremy: Well, I do have a background in web development and interface
design, so that spans prints, old media, new media, all of that. I ran, and
actually still continue to run a new media marketing firm. We build
websites. We do branding. We do SEO. We do all sorts of stuff. I handle
social media campaigns, and that’s my background. I would traditionally
work with I guess you would call it, “clients in more sexy industries,” as
it were.And that is really where the opportunity came in is applying that sexy to
what is probably somewhat less than sexy of an industry – housecleaning.
So, that’s really my background and where my skill set comes in.

Trent: Do you think, though, how much of having that background enabled you
to be successful in this business, because building your websites are not
particularly tricky these days?

Jeremy: Sure. Well, let’s just say that we build a lot more than websites.
Part of our advantage in this business – it’s multifaceted. There are two
sides to it. There’s the client side, which is our advertising advantage
and the fact that we can present ourselves in a fashion that a lot of our
competitors can only dream of. And then, there’s the operation side the
back end. And that’s where being a web programmer has been very
advantageous.

I built an operations management system. It’s proprietary web-based
software that automates a ton of our processes, and it not only makes us
more efficient and builds our profit, but it also allows us to provide
profoundly better service than our competitors can through the use of
technology. You know that’s our distinct technological advantage.

Trent: Okay. So, let’s walk through – well, I want to start at the
beginning. So, I know you got this idea I think when you said your wife was
laid off. She – correct me if I’m wrong – she said she liked cleaning
houses, and so originally, you just kind of threw up a quick site, put some
ads on Craigslist and you got some leads and some business from that, is
that correct?

Jeremy: Exactly. It’s a classic recession story, almost. My wife was laid
off for a day at work. We needed to fill that gap and said, “Hey, what do I
like doing? I like cleaning, maybe that’ll work.” And I said, “Why don’t I
build a website and see what kind of traction it gets.” And we posted it to
Craigslist, got a substantially larger number of leads than I expected, and
that’s where I guess the – that’s where it clicked, as it were. And I
realized that this industry is in fact pretty ripe for disruption, and
we’ve been going strong ever since.

Trent: All right. So, the key take away from that, that I really wanted
people to understand is your first version was really cheap and really
fast. Throw up just a bare bones – you didn’t build any of this back end
automation or any of this fancy stuff, correct? You just put up a basic
website, put an ad on Craigslist.

Jeremy: Sure, absolutely. Yeah, it was I mean I’m not going to say it was
hideous, because as a designer and something of a perfectionist it was
okay, but it was okay in that it was built in a day, so you could take that
as far as you can, but it wasn’t amazing, no.

Trent: The point is, is you were able to get a lot of real validation that
you – that this business had plenty of opportunity before you invested a
bunch of money. And that’s something that I think is very – it stands in a
lot of people’s way, in that they think that they have to do too much and
put too much capital at risk. Where they spend doing market research, and I
think that the best market research in the world is to throw up a shingle
and say, “Do you want to buy?”

And in your experience that’s exactly what happened, all right. So, you did
that for a while, and then you figured out, “Okay, we need to grow this
business, and bring in some automation, and some more advanced technology.”
So, kind of walk us through that process. What happened next?

Jeremy: You know it’s not so much as a single next step as much as it is a
continual iterative process of improvement. It goes from improving our
marketing on the SEO front. That’s a story in and of its self. You know how
to rank great, and as someone familiar with SEO you know that all too well,
improving on our rankings, getting a lot of great leads through web search,
through other advertising channels. And then it’s also iterating on the
back end.

Really, it’s in a sense kind of akin to the whole lean startup approach of
building as you learn. You do something. You assess its impact on your
business, and you either replace it with another test or attempts or you
keep it if it’s performing wonderfully. And you have this feedback loop
where you continually try to improve all aspects of your business from your
presentation from the client side, to the operation side, and it’s a daily
process. I don’t think I’ll ever stop working to improve this business on
every end of it.

Trent: Yeah, that’s the joy of being online is that we never lack for data
on what’s working and what isn’t working.

Jeremy: Sure.

Trent: So, what was the next step? And so we’ve got business coming in from
Craigslist, and then you realized that you – did you realize you needed
more business or did you realize you needed more automation, because you
were already finding inefficiency with the first business that was coming
in?

Jeremy: Well, it was probably more business, because while I originally
built this site as an experiment to see, “Hey, can I get my wife a cleaning
job or two?” You know I quickly realized that that wasn’t the end goal,
here, and that there was much greater market and opportunity that I could
pursue. And at that point it was – it started drawing a lot more of my
focus from my other business to this, pursuing all the marketing efforts,
all of which have – well, most of which have been totally web-centric, up
to this point.

And from Craigslist we basically started an SEO campaign. Built out a
sizable website with a lot of great content, and started doing various
things to rank. That was essentially the next step, as far as I remember.

Trent: Okay, okay. That’s what I was looking for was that next step. So,
your SEO strategy was it – well, you go ahead and explain it, I’m assuming
it’s probably a long-tail strategy of some kind, but I’ll let you explain.

Jeremy: You know it’s actually all of the – it’s all of the tail. You know
if you search for the generic term “housecleaning” at the moment, and
you’re in San Diego, Google considers that to be a geo-specific search
term. So, it’ll give you a local result, and we have the number one result
for the head term “housecleaning” if you’re searching from our service
region. Also, we have targeted a ton of long-tail. I mean long-tail being
what it is that it’s hundreds and hundreds of keywords that we ranked for
that are more obscure, but that do add up to quite a significant amount of
traffic. So, we’ve targeted that, as well.

Now as far as how we target that it’s the whole smorgasbord of SEO
optimization from getting authoritative articles and back links, to we’ve
created some amazing info graphics that have actually received some great
traffic for us across Twitter, the social media sphere. And that’s resulted
in some great traction for us, and a definite jump in rankings. We really
tried a lot of things and a number of them have worked sufficiently well
that we are now ranking amazingly for the terms that we care about.

Trent: And how much content is on the site, currently? How many posts?

Jeremy: I couldn’t answer that off the top of my head, but I would say
we’ve probably got 60 blog posts, and we’ve got maybe 40 inner pages across
the site. It’s not a shallow website. It’s got some depth to it. Of course,
it could be. It’s not 10,000 pages or anything like that, but we also have
somewhat of a stringent quality standard that doesn’t allow us to just
explode out with tons of copy. We don’t release anything that doesn’t sound
– that doesn’t have the tone that we’re aiming for as business. We try to
control that – our message very, very tightly.

Trent: And in terms of ongoing content, so do you have an editorial
calendar? Are you continually adding new content, and if so what frequency,
and how long are these articles that are – that make up a post.

Jeremy: Yeah, we add content on a regular basis. We’ve actually expanded.
We’re not just in San Diego. We’ve expanded the operation now Orange County
and Los Angeles, and each of those expansions come with their own website,
complete with unique copy, which is a lot of copyrighting, and their own
blog. So, we try to post at least every other week to our blogs, and those
are three blogs, at the moment.

As we continue to expand we’re going to have maybe five or six blogs
running concurrently, and that’s a lot of high quality that you are going
to have to create. We don’t post anything that doesn’t – that isn’t
awesome. And maybe, it’s not all awesome. You can’t expect everything to be
amazing, but we have very high standards for the stuff that we release, and
that has proven to be one of the greatest challenges that we’ve faced, is
coming up with really great high quality and contextually relevant content
to post across our various websites.

Trent: So, you mentioned more than one blog. You mean GoldenShine.com not
the only blog, now. There are others?

Jeremy: No, as we’ve expanded to other regions we actually have – there’s a
few different you can take on SEO when you want to target various
geographic regions you can go with the subdomain, or the subfolder. So, you
could do GoldenShine.com/orange-county as our Orange County recommended
profile. I opted to go with whole domains, so we have
cleaningorangecounty.com is our Orange County website. We’ve got
hellocleaning.com as our L.A. website, and as we expand we’ve gone the
route of standalone domains, with very geo-specific content. As I tend to
think that that is a better approach to ranking across geographic regions,
rather than just creating more targeted content under the goldenshine.com
domain name.

Trent: Okay, and for the listeners who are listening to this and don’t have
access to the web right now, I’m just pulling up some of those other sites,
and the name on them is still Golden Shine, and the branding is still
consistent. So, you’ve kept that consistent across these various blogs.

Jeremy: Oh, absolutely. It’s an optimization effort. In a perfect world
we’d be under one domain, with one brand, but this was something that I
decided to pursue as I think it’s more advantageous on the rankings front
than going with Orange County subsections under the goldenmshine.com
domain.

Trent: Okay. Now, you talked a lot about just a minute or two ago, about
producing this high quality content. So, talk to us a little bit about how
it’s produced. Are you using 1099 riders? Are you going to Elance? How are
you getting it done?

Jeremy: Actually, I’ve tried just about everything. I’ve used professional
copywriters. I’ve used Elance. I haven’t tried Fiber yet, as I’m not
certain that the quality that you would get for five bucks would be – would
meet our standards, but I have a – actually we have some employees who
we’ve hired for a variety of functions, one of which is good copywriting
skills. And they actually write a lot of the copy for our blogs. And we’ve
been very lucky in that they’re pretty good. And they’ve been able to
consistently deliver high quality content, that has been to our standards,
and that’s how we actually get a lot of the content that we post, now.

I do also work with various 1099 copywriters, and freelance copywriters, as
well, because we are kind of an insatiable beast when it comes to web copy.
We can use as much as can get. So, I really – I’ve used most of the options
available at the source for great copy, and while it’s hard to find, you
can find the people who do, in fact, write very well at reasonable rates.

Trent: And are you when you decide to add a new piece of content, are you
choosing the keyword first, and then creating content around that keyword,
or how do you decide what you’re going to write about?

Jeremy: You know honestly I think our foremost concern is to create
something that is interesting to our customer base, and also that’s
contextually relevant. You know that has to do with cleaning of some
variety. Maybe it’s cleaning tips like how to clean your wooden floors, and
that’s somewhat of a niche article in that not everyone has wood floors,
but we found that that’s interesting enough to our client base that we’ll
get some decent interaction from our audience both in the form of shares in
other social media distribution.

And that’s really how we enter into all of this. We want to create
something that’s interesting to the read first and foremost. With SEO being
the secondary benefit. We’re not just creating posts for the sole fact that
we might be able to get some long-tailed keywords stacked up a random
searcher once a year. It’s more that we want content that puts us in a
position where we are authoritative. Where the reader and visitor does
understand that we know what we’re talking about. That we have experience
in this industry, and that boosts our credibility and it also provides a
value to the reader. It’s genuinely valuable content that they will take
away good information from and hopefully share with their friends.

Trent: Plus it’s going that when you have good quality content you’re going
a long way to nurture your needs. I was interviewing a fellow by the name
of Jay [Baer] yesterday, and in the interview we were talking about this
topic of lead nurturing and he said, “You know everyone has questions that
they want answers to before they’re going to buy anything from you. And
there are some people have three questions, some people have 10 questions,
some people have more than that, and your content, if it’s well-written,
I’m assuming for you guys, is doing a good job of helping to answer these
questions, and therefore establish trust credibility and rapport with your
perspective customers.

Jeremy: Sure. Yeah, that’s one of the goals, and certainly, I would say the
primary goal of any content that we write.

Trent: So, in looking at, and I’m on Hello Cleaning, right now. How much of
the traffic is coming to these sites from SEO versus say paid media buys?

Jeremy: Well, it varies per property. So, for goldenshine.com, which is our
San Diego website and really the mother ship, if you will. So, it’s
majority organic. So, we get a lot of traffic from organic search, because
we’re ranking so well, organically. The other sites because they’re recent
expansions, organics can take a while to do and materialize, regardless of
how well you optimize. So, that’s a mix of PBC and other media buys across
the web, as well as some offline marketing, actually, some old media stuff
that we’ve been piloting and seeing how it works out.

So, it varies from property to property, but I would definitely say we’re
paying more for our visitors on the newer websites than we are on Golden
Shine, which happens to rank much better.

Trent: Okay. So, when I arrive at Golden Shine, however I get there, I’m
going to land most likely on a blog post as opposed to the home page, if
I’ve come organically pending upon the search term that I punched in. Would
you say that that’s accurate, or where are people landing most commonly?

Jeremy: I think the whole site is pretty well optimized, but the home page
is the authoritative page on the website, as you would expect. So, it
definitely sees the most traffic of any given page across the site, but I
guess that’s the whole long-tail versus head term question. Does a long-
tail add up to substantially more traffic than the head term, even though
the head term in and of its self, it worth more than any individual long-
tail term. I would say that it’s probably almost 50/50. We get as much
traffic from the head terms, the housecleaning, or the San Diego
housecleaning, or housecleaning San Diego, San Diego maid service stuff
like that, then as we do from longer tail terms, like how to clean hard
water deposits, or stuff like that.

Trent: Yeah, so let’s talk about the conversion process. The traffic’s
coming to me the call to action looks like the “get a quote” button or the
phone number. Both are in the top right hand portion of the screen. Is
there another call to action that I don’t see, or is that it?

Jeremy: That’s our ultimate goal for any given visitor. We want them to get
a quote. And they, yeah, they can call us. They can do it through the
website its self, that’s their choice.

Trent: Do you have metrics on the percentage of leads that you’re getting
from the “get a quote” button versus the phone number?

Jeremy: Yeah, I think we get about 50% of what we get by phone that we get
from web based conversions. So, you know if 100 people convert online,
we’ll get another 50% back on.

Trent: Okay. So, when you talked earlier in the interview about automation,
and that’s the area that I want to dig a little deeper into now. Because in
a service business like this where you are using a large number of
subcontractors, are they subcontractors or employees? Because I know we
talked about this a while ago. You had an incident, you had – so, which one
is it?

Jeremy: Yeah, they are independent contractors. We are what’s called the
domestic referral agency, which is a specific big business-type that we can
form in the State of California. And it allows us to refer independent
contractors to homes across Southern California.

Trent: Okay. So, you have a – there’s a reasonable number of people in that
pool of subcontractor so you have a lot of moving parts to manage,
scheduling, quality assurance, payment all that stuff. So, can you talk a
little bit about some of the back end automation, how you’ve made this
business more efficient so that you can actually turn a decent profit at
it.

Jeremy: Well, the system that I’ve built it’s called our operations
management system, for lack of a better name. But it automates things from
scheduling to it’s a CRM, so it handles customer records, feedback. It
handles alerts. It’ll e-mail our customers before their jobs, and they’ll
know to expect our housekeeper, which reduces the lock-out incidence rate.
You know so housekeepers don’t show up and have no one there.

It handles all sorts of stuff from reporting both on our conversion
tracking, and performance on that front, as well as it has some pretty
awesome feedback loops for housekeeper performance, as well, which allows
us to provide better, higher quality housekeepers to our customers.

So, because it allows us to analyze their performance and continue on with
those who are doing amazingly and give them preference when it comes to new
clients. If someone who has a great record and gets like some of the great
feedback, requests a job, they’re going to get it over someone who has a
lower quality performance record. So, that ensures that we’re sending the
best possible housekeeper to our clients, and it’s a great quality boost on
that front.

Trent: So, if I’m understanding this correctly you’ve got for lack of a
more detailed explanation, kind of an Amazon type rating system where your
customer is coming back after the fact and saying, “Hey, that was a four
star cleaning, or a five star cleaning, or no that wasn’t a very good
cleaning.” That information’s then going into the database and in some way
interacting with the record for each of your subcontractors, and assigning
them a score. Would that be fair to say?

Jeremy: Yes.

Trent: And then, when new jobs go into the schedule, and these
subcontractors are receiving I’m guessing some kind of notification that
there are new jobs for them to go and grab, somewhere in the math you have
made it so that those subcontractors who have a higher score can take
precedence in some way shape or form to get the job or do they get the
notification? How does that work?

Jeremy: Well, as part of the system it’s not just on our end. This
operation software actually is extended out to the housekeepers that we
work with, and plus jobs. So, as the job comes in it’ll be visible to all
of our housekeepers and they can say, “Yeah, I want that Thursday at 9:00
a.m.” And we will see that six or seven housekeepers requested a specific
job, and we can dispatch to the highest performing housekeeper as opposed
to just sending to the first person who contacts us and say they want it,
so then – go ahead.

Trent: Okay, so then. That’s what I was trying to understand the dispatch
process is that still a human interaction process where someone on your
team is saying, “Hey, we’ve got this job. It came from 123 Some Street in
L.A. and here are the six subcontractors that are bidding on it. This one
has the highest score therefore I’m going to assign the job to that
person.”

Jeremy: Exactly. Yeah, there has to be the human review, because you’ve got
to make a judgment call and say, “Is this the best person for the job?”
There’s also an additional factor in here, which is that across the level
of good housekeepers, there are fast housekeepers who are just very
efficient and get through homes real quickly, and that there are really
slow but incredibly detailed housekeepers that will clean things with a
toothbrush.

And what constitutes good, is somewhat relative to the [home]. So that’s
where our office staff has to come in and do a great job. And they do a
great job of this, of pairing housekeepers to customers for their tastes.
So, it can’t simply be boiled down to ratings, the five star housekeeper
always gets the job, because you might have a few five star
housekeepers requesting a job and it’s a matter of interpreting the needs
of the customer, and pairing them with the best possible housekeeper for
their needs. And that’s how you get great result, all around.

Trent: And repeat customers.

Jeremy: Precisely, which is the bread and butter of the business.

Trent: All right. So, we could probably continue on down that rabbit hole
of automation for ever and ever, and ever, but without people being – for
those who are listening to this – without seeing interfaces and so forth,
it would probably be not as beneficial. So, I’m going to shift gears here
and I wanted to ask you about the product launch. Did you have any kind of
formal launch for this? Or was this very much just an organic, it just kind
of built slowly over time?

Jeremy: It’s entirely organic and that’s probably due to the fact that it
was a secondary pursuit for me for a long time, because of the demands of
my website design and development firm. That sucks most of my attention,
and this was something that I saw as an opportunity and pursued kind of
with gradually greater interest. You know as time progressed and then as I
saw more and more traction, and began to realize the opportunity, I was
able to devote more and more time to it. But it wasn’t something that I
spent six months building, and then tech-crunched out of the gate to get
things off. It was very organic in that sense.

Trent: And how about the new site in Orange County, and L.A? Was there a
launch strategy for those? Was there anything you did in particular or did
you just simply put the sites up and then start to purchase traffic, start
to optimize by creating content, and over time traffic just sort of built?

Jeremy: That’s mostly what we do. I mean we’ll throw out a press release
and let people know, but given the noise it’s not exactly brand new news
that’s going to be repeated everywhere that you get your news that a
housecleaning company expanded to another geographic region. So, we haven’t
beaten too many drums over the patch, but it is definitely something that
we throw some stuff out there and we get some interest. And it’s mostly
just launching all of the region is the primary effort there when we do
build a new site and expand into a new region. It’s a lot of work and it’s
getting all of that set up and humming along smoothly that’s really the
launch, effectively.

Trent: Are you building a list of perspective customers with this? Like, I
don’t see what you see is so common. As you know, “Hey, download free
report, give me your e-mail address, that kind of thing.” Are you doing
anything like that? I just haven’t seen it, yet?

Jeremy: No, we don’t have any white papers or anything like that. In a
sense our credibility builder as it were is our blog or our various blogs,
and that’s where we build an audience. That’s where we establish ourselves
as experts in the field, which we quite frankly are. And that’s what we do
in lieu of a download or something like that.

Trent: But, without a list if you wanted to offer a special or a coupon or
this or that or the other thing, you can’t reach out and say, “Hey, come
get this discount coupon for this weekend.” And I know in my business the
list is everything. It’s the most valuable asset, so why wondering why you
chose not to go down that road.

Jeremy: Well, the thing is, is that we do in fact have a mailing list, and
it’s first and foremost we have our mailing list which is our existing
customers, and up until very recently we had an opt-in box on the website,
“sign up for our mailing list for news, tips, tricks and deals from Golden
Shine Cleaning Agency.”

And we did see some interest there, but that was a call that I made to
remove that sign-up list, quite frankly because we didn’t have the time to
reach on the regular basis to our existing list. We weren’t essentially as
much advantage of it as we could. And being that that was the case and had
been for some time, I made a call to remove the mailing list call to action
from the site, because it did detract from our primary call to action,
which is to get a quote for your home.

And as the saying goes, “When you emphasize everything, you emphasize
nothing” and I wanted to reduce the things that we were emphasizing and
kind of pitching to a website visitor in order to focus on the things that
were really the most important to us.

Trent: Okay. Every business owner has a period I call it the, “Oh, beep
moment.” Where stuff hits the fan, things go drastically wrong, and I’m
wondering if you had an incident like that at all in the last three years,
or maybe you had more than one?

Jeremy: The Valley of Sorrow. Yeah, you know we – yeah, I’ve definitely
been through that. In our particular case it came in the form of a letter
from the employment development department letting us know that we were
being audited for employment classification purposes. So, they just wanted
to make sure that the housekeepers that we work with are correctly
classified as independents, so we’re operating under all the regulations
and that we’re in compliance with the civil code that we operate under as a
domestic’s referral agency.

And thankfully, we were. We passed that audit just fine, because we were in
fact compliant, but it’s never a pleasant thing to receive a letter from a
state or government agency, particularly if it has “audit” in the title.
And that I would say is definitely the “Oh, bleep moment,” as it were, so
far. I’m sure there’s going to be a few more occasions where I have my day
promptly ruined by something I received in the mail, but as of yet, that’s
been the primary source of stress. But that’s behind us; thankfully I’m
proud to report.

Trent: So, we’re going to wrap up here quickly – fairly shortly rather. I’m
having trouble speaking today – fairly soon, and before we do that a couple
things. I want to know in case there are people who are listening to this
who are thinking that, “Hey, maybe they want to be able to do some kind of
business with you, or they want to partner with you.” What are some of your
plans for this future, and how can people get a hold of you?

Jeremy: Well, right now it’s now of what we’ve done to date. We are working
on expanding out to other geographic regions. We’re currently focused on
California for the moment, but we certainly are interested in scaling on a
more national level given the opportunity and the time, really it’s what it
comes down to.

And then, we’re also still at the continual process of improvement,
iterating on what we’re currently doing, and figuring out a way to do it
better, whether that’s our customer service, and the way that we deal with
problems when they do arise, or the way that we attract new clients in our
marketing, the client facing end of things. That’s something that I think
there’s always room for improvement on that front. And that’s something
that we are definitely pursuing on a continual basis.

If people feel like they can help contribute in that sense, I am all ears.
I’m always open for new ideas to see what kind of products people have that
can help move us forward in any of those various directions.

Trent: Okay. One last question just popped into my mind. The software, are
you using open source, and putting existing objects together or did you
just start with Note Pad and write from scratch?

Jeremy: Blank slate.

Trent: Really?

Jeremy: Yeah, white screen writing it up from scratch. That’s not to say
that we don’t use tools. We use stuff like JQuery and existing libraries
that developers provide to help make programming easier, but we haven’t
built off of preexisting CRM systems or anything like that. This is all
built from the ground, and it kind of had to be that way I think because of
how specific our needs are. It’s allowed us to tailor things very well to
fit our needs and that isn’t something we could of necessarily could have
done if we went with and out of the box solution.

Trent: Did you look at Infusionsoft in any detail before you built your
own?

Jeremy: The CRM?

Trent: Yeah.

Jeremy: I didn’t. Although, I did look at Salesforce, Zoho, and a few of
these other various CRM systems, and they’re great as far as CRM’s go, but
we needed something that is like a CRM on steroids. The CRM is probably
only about 25% of what our system does. The automation that comes in on the
provider side, on the scheduling, and on the reporting side is something
that it’s too specific to our needs to have been solved with an out of the
box solution, I think.

So, we programmed it. Yeah, it was absolutely a great investment of time.
It’s been years in the making, but it’s our distinct technological
advantage. Having built it, this is what separates us from the competition.

Trent: The only reason I bring that up is there’s going to be some people
who are listening to this who would be daunted – overwhelmed by the idea of
maybe building their own custom solution. If that’s you I don’t obviously
know Jeremy’s back end business processes, but I’ve interviewed quite a few
people that use Infusionsoft. I use Infusionsoft, and it is a CRM system on
steroids, and it is amazing what you can do in terms of customization, work
flows automation.

So, don’t let the fact that Jeremy built software from scratch discourage
you from getting into this or any business where you think that you want
that back end automation, because it can be had without being a programmer.
And there are obviously more than one platform. I just happen to be
familiar with Infusionsoft, because I use and again, because I’ve
interviewed a lot of people that have used it.

Jeremy: Well, I definitely agree. I think you can certainly choose an out
of the box software that will solve your problem for 90% of the use cases.
And it’s just we chose to go this direction to get to the 99%, but if you
can get 90% of your problem solved without investing years into developing
custom software, that might be a better decision, arguably.

Trent: Yeah, okay.

Jeremy: Yeah, do not feel daunted.

Trent: Last thing is how do people – what’s the best way to get a hold of
you, Jeremy?

Jeremy: You can actually contact me at Jeremy@goldenshine.com. That’s
probably the best way to get a hold me. You can also just LinkedIn me,
Jeremy Yamaguchi, and I’m pretty accessible through that format, as well.
So, pick your choice.

Trent: Okay, terrific. Jeremy, thanks very much for being a guest here on
the podcast. It’s been a pleasure to have you on.

Jeremy: Thanks for having Trent, appreciate it.

Trent: All right. Take care.

Jeremy: Bye-bye.

Trent: All right, if you want to get the show notes for my interview with
Jeremy, just go to brightideas.co/19, and the other thing that you’ll want
to do is head over to brightideas.co/massive-traffic. If you enter your e-
mail address there you’re going to get free instant access to my massive
traffic tool kit.

So, here’s what the tool kit is. It’s a compilation of all of the best
traffic generation strategies that have been shared with me by my guests
here on Bright Ideas. And the best part about it is you don’t need to be an
SEO guru to be able to implement any of the strategies. So, you can get it
at brightideas.co/massive-traffic.

So, that’s it for this episode for the Bright Ideas podcast. I am your host
Trent Dyrsmid. If you enjoyed this episode, please do me a small favor,
head over to iTunes and leave us a five star rating along with some
feedback. Every time that you do that it helps the show to get a little bit
more exposure in iTunes and with more exposure we can help more
entrepreneurs to discover Bright Ideas to help them massively boost their
business. Thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure. We’ll see you in the next
episode.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast.
Check us out on the web at brightideas.co.

 

About Jeremy Yamaguchi

JeremyYJeremy started as a web designer and developer, as the founder of Aeron Creative.  Jeremy has a strong design aesthetic and the ability to create highly functional web apps. These skills have provided him with a distinct technological advantage when applied to the household services sector.

As founder and president of Golden Shine, an employment agency for household-related services, over the course of a few short years Jeremy has grown the business to seven figures.

Want to Help Out Bright Ideas?

If you enjoy the information you get from Bright Ideas and think that others would also benefit from it, I would be extremely grateful if you would take a moment to leave a review for the Bright Ideas podcast.

  • http://goldenshine.com Jeremy Yamaguchi

    Thanks for having me Trent!

    • http://judeosborn.com Jude Osborn

      Great interview. Glad to hear Golden Shine is going well. Some great food for thought!

  • http://freeandhandy.com Free and Handy

    Awesome article and video! It’s inspiring to see and hear about new ideas and true-life accounts of success.

  • http://www.wellwrittencv.com Will Taylor

    I loved listening to you two. I certainly have a tendency to overthink things with my business – and it’s nice to hear what seems like down to earth, relaxed experiences.

    • Trent Dyrsmid

      Hey Will,

      Thanks for the positive feedback :)

      Trent