advertising and marketing

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
29 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

advertising and marketing

none
As we get into the slower time of the year I am interested in how you advertise.

I personally get the best bang for the buck using banners since I am on a very busy road. The problem is that the city council doesn't allow them so if I leave them up for too long I get threats of fines. I can hang them inside the building so I hang them from the roll up garage door usually. The best price I have found on custom banners is http://www.buildasign.com/

Swooper flags are cheap and help to get your location noticed but don't really advertise a message.
A cheap place for a whole kit; https://www.sign4x.com/smog-check-swooper-flag-p-595
or just the flag (I made a pole out of conduit); http://www.ebay.com/itm/151074010913?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I have not had very good luck with newspaper ads and direct mailers but I don't lower my price when I do them. I just advertise my regular price. I don't want three customers with the same cars all paying different amounts. I do see ads in the same mailer that will say "$20 OFF" and that will bring it to my normal price and people will still think it is a better deal. (or ask if I will honor their coupon)

How about online advertising, What works for you?

How about phone book ads? I just do in-column ads.

Any thoughts about anything I didn't mention?  

   
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

D Rochells 150861
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

scanner
In reply to this post by none
none wrote
Swooper flags are cheap and help to get your location noticed but don't really advertise a message.
I can't even put those up.   Seem like the different divisions of Building and Safety are following each other when they come to my shop.   They keep threatening to fine me if I continue to put them up.   It bugs me that the bakery across the street is allowed to keep their flags flying.  Selective enforcement if you ask me.  

How about online advertising, What works for you?
I've been getting most of my internet referrals from Yelp.   I guess it helps that I have 28 "5 star" reviews out of 29.   The owner of the auto parts store I buy my parts from gave me 4 stars.  

Sorry, I'm not looking to expand.  Maybe 4 more years for me, and I'll retire.   I like repairing cars, but I hate the LA city government.


Why make it simple, when it will work equally as well complicated.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

Smogtech
In reply to this post by none
we use smogtips.com  smogdeals.com, and local get1free. all this about 20% customer using it.  the rest repeat and referral from fam and friend.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

Midnightdrummer
In reply to this post by none
We don't really advertise at all. A lot of people come from Yelp and we offer $5 off if they "check-in." Other than that they're a lot of repeat customers.

No banners, no flags, and just a sign out front that you can barely see. I think my boss has just gotten lazy, because the coupon on their website expired over two years ago...
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

Best Answer I Can Give
In reply to this post by Smogtech
 Word of mouth, that's the best advertising you can get.

 When I started the shop I heard something that rang true. You do good 3 people will hear about it. Bad and 8 will.

 You need to learn that we have cycles. It's normally slow this time of year. Yes it is weird slow now. It just get SLOW.

 If your going to throw money at it to get cars in, my thinking, start now when we get back into the faster time of year. Why throw fish food into a empty pond?

 Learn to listen to your phone. Is it ringing? Mines not and we are slow. If it's slow and the phone keeps ringing, a shop is better than you. Remember you never have another chance to make a first impression. If you are shitty on the phone, you lost them.

 I have put stuff down about a good taste. When they walked in,was it clean and neat That = a good taste\ feeling. As they leave, same thing. AC the waiting room. Hotter than HELL when they walk into a cold room, Good feeling. As they step back out into the heat. "That was nice in there" = good taste.

 People I am not the cheapest by far. This shop still does over 20 on a really slow day. We have worked at that good feeling\ taste when they leave.

 Do the DMV thing. Hell I get 5 a day just because of that.
Ask D, his boss does it. Ask him if it works.
Dog treats and Otter pop's go along way.

 Any shop can piss off a consumer. Try to be the shop that doesn't.
And yes I have pissed off my share, but mostly the person doing the complaining, all any any friends they may have know that person complaining can be a jerk.
 Never make fun of the choices your wife makes. You were one of them.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

D Rochells 150861
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

Karupt
D, you live in San Leandro ? omg , I used to visit my grandmas every summer there until she moved to Union City . Sooo, yall giving out free diabetes huh? jk that is a good idea very thoughtful . Here , we have a coke machine and snack machine nothing free just the cold water(for us techs too,not like Pn g ,free cold water only to customers lol) and we do have AC in the office .
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

D Rochells 150861
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

none
In reply to this post by Smogtech
Smogtech wrote
we use smogtips.com  smogdeals.com, and local get1free. all this about 20% customer using it.  the rest repeat and referral from fam and friend.
Thanks, that is the type of stuff I was wondering about and will check into it. Does it seem like it is worth the cost?

When I first started I would advertise in the local newspaper and direct mailer but by the time you figure the cost of the ad and some overhead I was just breaking even on those. I think it was worth it for the first two years to get my name out there but I dropped it after that.
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

xcinlb
In reply to this post by D Rochells 150861
Best answer, do you mean doing the registration thing? When you say you get 5 a day from it, do you mean DMV, sends them in?

Halloween candy on the dash, nice touch. :)
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

Smogtech
In reply to this post by none
none, 20% customer coming from the ads, I would do for the first year or 2 when you have enough customers, I would stop the the ads.  $300 to $500 per month for 1 ad. 4 ads approx $1500.  I also have $10 on the biz card, that stapled to the vir.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

D Rochells 150861
In reply to this post by xcinlb
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

none
In reply to this post by Smogtech
Even $300 is more than I want to pay. I stay quite busy April through October and would add another smog tech if I had the room but I would love to stay near full capacity through winter too. One reason it drops off is that used car sales are stronger in the summer too. I work with a few car lots who just drop the cars off here and I can do them when I get a chance or at the end of the day and that fills holes in the schedule but not so much in winter.

As for the DMV thing, I don't know that I want to deal with that when it is busy but maybe it is worth it. I get maybe 2 people a month who ask if we do tags. If I advertise it I am sure I could bring in more but it has to be enough to offset the costs.

 
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

xcinlb
Good point about the DMV thing when busy, NONE. If it brought in enough business, perhaps a permanent counter person would be feasible.

NONE, do you give the car dealers a special deal?
iha
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

iha
In reply to this post by none
I took a class from RSA to explore the in and outs of DMV service. The class taught the basics of DMV training and title transfer. What they did not offer was a step by step process to get into the business. I was thinking of initially not advertising and maybe offering it on Saturday's. I want to ease into the process. RSA did promise to offer this type of class but no luck so far.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

Karupt
Iha , you need to get bonded, you need to get livescanned , and then you can skip RSA all together or work with them , they also have a grading system just thought you would like to know . NO more than 3 errors a month or you get the boot . But I would def. keep on that path , I think the livescan is the cheapest thing to start off with .
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

none
In reply to this post by xcinlb
xcinlb wrote
NONE, do you give the car dealers a special deal?
Three dollars off is all but for a few I bill at the end of the month and it saves a lot of time when you don't have to write the invoices until you have time. There are others that I have pay at the time they pick them up but they still get the discount.
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

LFA Exhaust Tip
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: advertising and marketing

none
Das Boot wrote
And don't forget all those pending codes that come with the dealer accounts!
You need better dealer accounts. The biggest dealer account I have doesn't even want any incomplete monitors, even evap. He is concerned about happy customers and it helps my FPR I'm guessing too. That and I like burning his gas to drive them home at times, a Subaru WRX yesterday.

Car dealers seem to be either good or bad in many ways. The bad ones don't want to pay, don't want to wait, and their cars are crap. They can go elsewhere. I like the ones who pay their bills without being asked and treat you like their equal not their slave.
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
12