Within weeks of publishing Start a Knife Sharpening Service, I shut down my sharpening business in Santa Fe and moved across the country to Brooklyn, NY. It was a move I had been wanting to make my whole life. Because of the pandemic, many people moved out of New York which opened up apartments, brought rent prices down, and made a ton of jobs available. I saw an opportunity and I decided to pounce on it. It wasn't easy, but I think it's the best decision I've ever made.
I've been living in Brooklyn for almost six months. I decided to not start a knife sharpening service right away because I wanted to get to know my new home first, And, I'll be honest, I wanted a little bit of time to just relax and have fun this summer. But now, with winter right around the corner, it's time to get back to the grind!
What's awesome is now I get to start a brand new sharpening service, and I get to write about it as I'm going. I'll be posting regularly with blog and video content about what I'm doing to attract customers and operate my business. With lots of knives to sharpen, I'll be able to create a ton of video content about sharpening knives as well.
Over the past weekend, I created and published a website for my new sharpening business. To my surprise, the name New York Knife Sharpening wasn't already taken! And neither was the web domain nycsharpening.com. Please feel free to check out the website here. The site is fairly basic right now, but it exists and it functions. I'll be working to add more to it and optimize it over the coming weeks.
I decided to name the business New York Knife Sharpening simply for the SEO value. People who are looking for sharpening services in New York are likely to search in Google using the terms "knife sharpening," "knife sharpening New York," or "New York knife sharpening." I figured naming my business exactly that might give me an edge over my competition in the city, and after seeing that the domain nycsharpening.com was available, I knew that's the name I had to choose.
Before purchasing the domain or doing anything else, I created a new email address for the business. I chose firstname.lastname@example.org. The reason this was my first step was so I could register all my online accounts for this business under one email address that's separate from my other business or personal email addresses. It's just good practice to stay organized by keeping things separate.
I decided to go with Squarespace for my web platform. It's very affordable (I pay $16 a month) and I found it incredibly easy to use. I purchased the domain directly from Squarespace which only cost me $20 a year, and because I purchased the domain directly I didn't have to pay to transfer the domain, which is something you would need to do if you purchase a domain from a source like GoDaddy.com.
My last website for my sharpening service in Santa Fe was built on the Wix platform, which does offer a lot of customization but I think it's a little more time consuming to build out a website. I really like the experience I've had with Squarespace so far. It only took me three hours to build the site! However, I will admit that I had a leg up because most of my content was already done. I just copied and pasted a lot from my previous website, and I was able to use the testimonials from my previous sharpening business. If you're just starting out, it will take a little more time.
Here are some tips about the key elements to include on your website:
- A home page with nice imagery and an enticing offer. You can use stock photography for your website's images. Here's a tip: Adobe Stock offers 10 free images when you sign up for their 30-day free trial. Simply sign up, find and download your 10 images, and then immediately cancel you subscription so you don't get billed the next month.
- An "about" page where you can talk about yourself, the way your business operates, the sharpening equipment you use, the purpose for the business, etcetera.
- A page or section that tells your customers exactly how your sharpening service works and the experience they can expect when they order with you. I've found that people will be more likely to order if they can visualize the process.
- A "contact" page so customers can know how to contact you and place orders for sharpening.
- An order form - I used a Google Form because it's easy, helps me keep organized, and it's free.
- A testimonials page - If you're just starting out, you won't have this yet, but it's important to ask your customers to give you a review after you sharpen their knives. Testimonials work!
After and publishing my website, I created a free Google listing and a free Yelp listing for my business so people searching on those platforms will be more likely to find my business. This took about 15 minutes to sign up for each. For Google, go to googlemybusiness.com. For Yelp, go to biz.yelp.com.
Stay tuned for the next post! I'll be discussing the opportunities and challenges I'm facing with my new sharpening service.