Shark Warning! Surf at your Own Risk
I don't care what they think. Here is the truth. The Internet was not made for them... it was made for YOU.
Thousands of small businesses are giving away hard earned intellectual property so that middle agents can rip off chunks of margin!
Imagine a guy calls to your door. Takes a photo of you restaurant and your menu. Gets all your business data from your website. Then they add your data to their website. The spend money on SEO and branding so that they show up on searches more then you do. Then eventually they sell your products and get a commission. Imagine... if all they did was stuff you can easily do yourself.
These companies have built their businesses from your lack or time, knowledge and FOMO. (Fear of Missing Out) The only reason they are able to provide you with bookings is because you have not done it for yourself.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
I'm writing this because I know of so many small businesses who are not only giving away chunks of margin but also the most important aspect - which is the relationship with the customer.
These sharks have worked on building email lists or review websites. They need your reviews more than YOU need their business. When you have a customer - their review, positive or negative is incredibly important. Give them the opportunity to put it on your website, Google or Facebook. Respond to them and use them as a way to help you improve.
Instead... these companies encourage customers to review your business with them so that they can then go and generate revenues from you. The discounters... they take your discounted product and send it out to thousands of potential customers. They take a cut and deliver a chunk discounted business which you are never happy to supply. Learn to do it for yourself and build long lasting customer relationships. How? What do you think you have Facebook, Google and a Website for?
The internet was made for YOU not them. Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor and a mobile optimized website are all you ever need. Learn about Search Engine Optimization and Social Media and you will quickly see that you can do this all on your own or with small amount of guidance.
The only reason these sharks are circling you is because you have chosen not to understand the Internet. Do you remember the Yellow Pages... that's what these guys are doing... they will all be gone. None of them will survive because unless you choose to remain ignorant, the Internet gives you all of this for FREE.
Go on... stop being preyed on and learn to hunt for yourself.