Real Business, Online

David Carter

Thank you for visiting David-Carter.com.

The blog has now closed, but you can still find me on LinkedIn.

For those of you who’d like to catch up, or are just curious about what I’m up to these days, these are my main business sites:

BuildingSurveys.com

The actual name of the business is Commercial Property Surveys Ltd., a Chartered Building Surveying practice that operates in the UK offering commercial property landlords and tenants advice on property issues. This includes dilapidations surveys, acquisition surveys, condition surveys and asbestos surveys mainly.

The business has been running since 2004 and grew out of:

AsbestosSurveys.com

This was really the domain name that launched me into turning names into businesses. Many domain name professionals talk about “development” but very few have actually started something with no more than a name.

At the time this was launched, I made the web site for somebody else. We became business partners within months after the level of business the web site generated meant that the business owner needed some help, fast!

I undertook a training course, went out on occasional asbestos surveys for something to do during the day (I’d been working online from home for  couple of years) and the business just took off.

We still use the name AsbestosSurveys.com today and it still brings in lucrative enquiries.

AsbestosRoofing.co.uk

As asbestos and building surveyors, we were often involved in working on properties with asbestos cement roofs and soon had developed a special interest in this largely ignored market sector. So much so, that we were engaged by other building surveyors (some of the largest firms in the UK), to carry out asbestos roof inspections on their behalf.

The asbestos roofing web site was put online early in 2004 – it seems hard to believe now. All it contained was information about the pathology of asbestos roofs and it offered a surveying service.

This kind of web site is what I call a fishing line. It’s developed solely to catch a very niche audience and it worked so well, that I’ve never taken it down. It’s been changed a few times, but its purpose remains pretty much the same.

Asbestosroofcleaning.co.uk

A lot of the enquiries we received from AsbestosRoofing.co.uk were from people asking advice about how to clean an asbestos roof.

In order to deter those enquiries, since we were only looking for surveying clients, we launched asbestosroofcleaning.co.uk in 2010 to provide people with all of the information they required in order to safely clean an asbestos roof.

We became involved with a few specialist roof cleaning contractors who promised to pay a commission if we referred them.

As the commercial roof cleaning sector commands prices of up to £20 per square metre for cleaning, we felt this could be a good return on a £6 domain name for very little effort.

It kind of worked too, as the site regularly generated sales enquiries for roofs of several thousand square metres – the only problem was, that the cleaning companies that offered the commissions, suddenly weren’t that interested in paying them out!

We weren’t deterred and kept the site running, just offering the correct advice – again, in an attempt to catch surveying clients.

One day in 2012, I received an enquiry by telephone from somebody asking roof cleaning. I provided all of the information freely and asked about his roof, but was told that he didn’t have a roof – he had a coating for asbestos cement roofs that he was selling.

This conversation led to the launch of:

Asbestoseal.com

We got together with the caller, who turned out to be a paint chemist and we renamed the product Asbestoseal.

At this point, it was a single product, but with the addition of our expertise in asbestos roof pathology, we helped develop Asbestoseal into a complete asbestos roof refurbishment system.

Cash investment into research, development and testing followed and culminated in 2015, when the product became the first and only asbestos roof system to be awarded BBA Approval.

BBA stands for British Board of Agrement and it’s the only testing available in the UK construction industry that provides “fitness for purpose” certification for construction products.

We continued with product development that led to a new metal roof coating, a cut edge corrosion system and a liquid gutter liner.

However, we couldn’t call them “Asbestoseal” because of the obvious connotations and connection with asbestos, so in turn led to us launching:

Liquasil.com

The company name is Liquasil Ltd – “Liqua” for liquid products and “sil” for the fact that all of the range is made from silicone.

Liquasil Ltd sells its products via a small nationwide network of approved installers, all trained by us in the application of liquid waterproofing.

The company has come a long way in a very short period of time and is now recognised by many professional specifiers as a best of breed product range.

The story isn’t over and I am certain that there are many chapters still to be written.

It all started with a domain name and somebody else’s expertise.