The thing I enjoy the most about being an online business owner is this: Nobody can take away what I have built with SBI! - John Shank, SBI! member since 2003

How She Used Her Online Business Experience To Succeed Offline

Written By: Mike Allton in How Solopreneurs Build Their Business | December 18, 2017

How She Used Her Online Business Experience To Succeed Offline

Build a website that creates trust, follow the Action Guide, implement SBI!’s “Local Business Reference Series” and watch the customers come in! You’ll leave your competition in the dust, scratching their heads wondering how you did it.

Welcome to A Christmas Carol — SiteSell-style! Each day we’re going to re-introduce one of our successful SBIers and their amazing stories. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past, we’ll revisit these tales of old and see what lessons we can glean.

For this second Christmas story, we’re visiting with Melissa Makris of who, unlike most of the SBIers in our stories, is entirely focused now on an offline, brick-and-mortar business.

Relax Blacksburg, a local business using SBI!
Relax Blacksburg, a local business using SBI!

What does an online business-building system have to do with an offline massage business? Let’s find out.

Getting Their Start

Melissa started her first website in 2008. She had just spent a significant amount of time recovering from debilitating health issues, and wanted to find a way to share what she’d learned. During her journey, she’d discovered many lessons that she knew would be valuable to others going through similar problems.

She spent time researching available options for building, not just an online business, but a successful one, and finally selected Solo Build It!.

The initial results were incredible.

Not only was Melissa able to start making money from her online business, the additional revenue allowed her husband to take a lower-paying job, which freed up some of his time. Those additional hours were so he could attend classes and get re-certified in his passion, massage therapy.

After a few years, Melissa’s husband was ready to start his own business. And that’s how Relax Blacksburg came into being.

Translating Online Success Into Offline Profits

When the local massage school went out of business, it opened an opportunity for Melissa and her husband to take over the space — a prime location for any business.

Of course, neither of them had ever started that kind of business with a physical location before. So she went looking for more training.

In preparation for this big move, I attended a three hour Business Basics course hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration. I figured this would provide a good gauge to see if we were on the right track. Imagine my surprise and delight when all of the information they provided was old news to me! I was a star student, answering all of their questions before the material was even covered. This gave me a secure feeling, realizing that SBI! had been preparing me for this next step all along without me even noticing!

Certainly, there are differences between online and offline businesses and promotion. Online businesses are more focused on creating a wealth of informational content, whereas an offline, local business can spend more time on promotional activities.

A local business can afford to get less traffic — as long as it’s hyper-targeted traffic. Local people looking for local services.

And that’s where the training Melissa received from Solo Build It! kicked in.

While most small, local businesses spend as little time as possible writing for their websites, publishing usually fewer than 10 pages of content, Melissa smashed that. The Relax Blacksburg site has over 40 pages of thoughtful, helpful, well-written content.

Not only does that content propel the site to the top of local searches, it delivers tremendous value to site visitors and potential customers.

With an average of just 50 website visitors a day, their business has boomed. They’ve hired additional therapists, and are consistently fully booked, month after month.

Additional Solo Build It! Benefits

There’s one more part to this story that I found particularly fascinating, and that’s Melissa’s original Solo Build It! site:

That’s the site that she started in 2008 but, when she and her husband started their new business, she no longer had the time or energy to maintain it.

But because it was performing so well, and because Solo Build It! includes a vibrant community of active solopreneurs, Melissa was able to post in the Solo Build It! Forums that her online business was for sale. In January, 2016 she sold it for her asking price!

Those funds contributed to the growth and success of Relax Blacksburg, and helped them later that year to be able to purchase the property they had been renting, giving them additional security.

Imagine, a website that was costing Melissa just $299 a year, selling for $15,000! And that represented just 2 years’ worth of revenue at part-time effort. The new owner, with minimal maintenance, will have already started to make a profit on that investment today.

That’s the power and benefit to creating a well-built business that delivers real equity. Many SBIers have gone on to sell their sites profitably. And, whether they go on to other things or, like Melissa, build new SBI! sites and businesses, we’re always thrilled to hear their success stories.

My online business provided the training wheels for our brick-and-mortar business.Melissa Markis

As we’re whisked away by the Ghost of Christmas Past, back to present-day, overlooking the streets crowded with busy people bustling through the Christmas season, we’re reminded of how important things like family really are.

Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, even we sometimes need to be challenged by such stories in order to truly recognize what’s important to us, and what we need to do to change.

Don’t let another Christmas pass by while your dreams of owning a business fester in your belly like a bit of undigested cheese. Throw open the curtains and renew your lease on life! It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Now is the time to get started.

With SiteSell’s Holiday Special in full swing, there’s never been a better time.

Save 33% Off SBI!  or   Save 33% Off SBI! For WP

P.S. When the clock strikes noon on the 29th of December, this sale, too, will be a Ghost of Christmas Past, so don’t wait too long.

Your new business awaits.

Read More Successful Online Solopreneur Christmas Stories:

  1. How He Went From America-Poor to America Top 3%
  2. How She Used Her Online Business Experience To Succeed Offline (you are here)
  3. He Eliminated $89,000 In Debt With An Online Business
  4. How He Built a Business Around His Passion to Save His Health
Mike Allton
Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies.

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