The Sticky Handshake, is today launching a revolutionary new referral solution for time-poor small business owners across Australia, who have failed to win new business from Google and Facebook advertising and find industry networking time consuming, expensive and daunting.
Aimed at locally focused small businesses of all kinds including start-ups, legal, financial services or real estate professionals, business or IT consultants and freelancers of any sort, the free Sticky Handshake tool allows them to network and grow their businesses through referral, without the effort, bolshy confidence and costs required for the endless networking events.
Having spent thousands of dollars on membership fees and wasted valuable time and money at breakfasts and dinners with the aim of networking with potential clients, co-founder and CEO of The Sticky Handshake, Shaun Mahoney, wanted a way to build valuable connections. His biggest frustration was that he rarely met the right people at these networking functions and would not get the opportunity to speak to enough of the right sort of business owners.
“As the owner of two successful start-ups, I am now convinced that there is a much easier and cheaper way of building your own business and spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars attending networking events is not it!” said Shaun Mahoney.
The Sticky Handshake has launched its free small business referral solution to Australian small businesses today, after its successful launch in New Zealand, to offer small business owners a new and more targeted way of networking with prospects and contacts in their local area.
The Sticky Handshake website is very easy to use, and it only takes five minutes to set up a profile for a business. Members that sign up will be able to see who's around them, find out who they want to meet for coffee, give testimonials for businesses they have used, get multiple referrals and this is all included in their free membership.
A lot of small and micro businesses have been persuaded to part with their scarce marketing dollars due to the inflated claims made by the global advertising giants. It has been proven to be incredibly difficult, for local small business on a limited budget, to get a good return on investment from advertising on Google or Facebook.
Without the budgets that larger companies have you just can’t reach a big enough audience to get results. Then once the ad budget runs out, the ads stop, therefore the little bit of awareness created is short lived and is not sustained.
“Google and Facebook make a lot of claims to small business owners about using sophisticated targeting to help them reach more potential customers and many have invested significant amounts of money and time with these global giants but have ended up frustrated by the disappointing response,” continued Shaun Mahoney.
Having belonged to various networking groups over the years, the co-founders of The Sticky Handshake have both experienced the benefits of referral networking but wanted to offer small local businesses a smarter and cheaper way of doing the same thing.
There is also a Sticky Handshake Pro version for $30 per month, which enables members to access premium content, unlimited coffee requests, the first option to leads posted, exclusive marketing, preferential visibility and being highlighted on the map of their local area. However, 90 per cent of the functionality in the tool is available in the free version and members are able to choose whether they need it and can change their minds at any time.
The Sticky Handshake small business social networking tool will include a rewards system, where members that engage with others and make connections and recommendations are rewarded with “Sticky Coins”. They can then use these coins to access special member discounts, to purchase goods and services from other members and even to unlock the Pro version of the tool, worth $30 per month.
“When it comes to promoting your small business, there are few things more effective than word-of-mouth recommendations. So, it became obvious to us that connecting with each other was our most powerful tool. We just needed to find a way to help motivated small business owners make real connections easily, using the power of the internet,” said Carol Mahoney, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of The Sticky Handshake, who is the ex CIO of Bunnings and Ernst & Young in New Zealand.
Small businesses around New Zealand have already found The Sticky Handshake to be incredibly valuable to them in terms of widening their reach beyond the traditional methods.
"The Sticky Handshake is a refreshing and exciting way of getting to know fellow business owners not just in your own area but around the country. I love that it's free to get started so you can try it out first and it is so easy to search by industry and make contact with other users. I've already had business referred to me and have been able to refer my clients to other Sticky Members. Best of all everybody is so friendly," said Catherine Watson, owner of Documentsbydesign.co.nz.
Signing up takes just five minutes at www.thestickyhandshake.com.au and is free.
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