Repair Shop Advice

Marketing With Limited Funds by Rhonda Hiltbrand of NWZ WORX

February 21, 2011

There is no doubt about it, running a business in today’s economy is tough!  Consumers are driving fewer miles so they need to see you less often.  I just read this account today:

By Eric Schurenberg – CBS Moneywatch (It has been a rough few years)

34% Percent of Americans who say they or their spouse lost a job in the recession

27% Percent who say their personal finances won’t recover until after the end of this year

24% Percent who say their personal finances won’t ever fully recover

32 – U.S. ranking in consumer confidence of 53 nations worldwide

You know you need to market to keep business coming in so what is a shop owner to do?  When budgets are tight you can still market your business.  It takes more effort but does cost less!

Website – Be proactive with your website.  If you don’t have one, get one.  I can recommend a wonderful company that will have you up and running in no time. You don’t want a static website.  That is just a brochure.  You want one that you can add/delete and change up from time to time.  You don’t have to spend a fortune either. Check out this company.  You’ll be glad you did!  If you do a newsletter or a flyer or any type of marketing, they will be glad to place it on your website for you.  Just think…you can mail out or email a marketing piece to your customers, then let it do double duty by placing it on your website for prospects to see!  We send our mutual customers’ newsletters/flyers/blog posts to them and they place it on their website!  Double duty marketing!!

Facebook – I have so many customers who scramble to set up Facebook…then completely forget it.  Facebook alone won’t get your customers to come in more often.  You actually have to be a presence on Facebook…frequently. I’m not saying you have to say something each and every day…but at least once a week!  Facebook allows customers to know you on a more personal level.  You can put a coupon on Facebook too!  It takes time…but doesn’t cost you any money at all!

Email Blasts – Print mail is great but it is more expensive.  If you collect email addresses you can send an email blast instead.  For example, NWZ WORX can still write, design and layout your piece, but instead of printing and mailing, we would email it for you at a fraction of the cost of print/mail.  It still looks like you emailed it! Or…you could just send a text email yourself. It takes effort…you have to collect the email addresses.

The Telephone – If the above are not an option, then consider making telephone calls.  Customers usually enjoy talking to their car care provider.  You may just get a voice mail but cheerfully remind them of their next service and that you look forward to seeing them soon.  It just takes time.

Joint Effort: Join forces with a collision shop and share the cost of your marketing piece.  You both need the exposure!

I hope this helps!  Don’t get discouraged and whatever you do…don’t stop marketing.  Large corporations actually ramp up their marketing when business is slow and spend more.  I completely understand that this may not be an option for you but I wanted to send you some alternatives.  When the dollars are low you can still reach out and benefit from marketing.  It just takes more effort and time.  It will see you through until the economy turns around.  If you stop marketing yourself altogether, when it does turn around you may be left behind if your competition kept on marketing.  Those who market themselves will win!

If you are one of these shops I am here to help you like always!  Just contact me!