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    • By Ron Ipach
      You might be thinking I'm going crazy, right? Talking about advertising in the Yellow Pages in this day and age, but for some shops, advertising in the Yellow Page still makes sense. Now, bear with me. Don't stop and think I've gone off my rockers. Let me explain what I'm talking about:
      Everybody's clientele is different. What is the average age of your clientele, of your better clientele? You want the people that are coming in and spending money with you. If you're finding that you have an older clientele, chances are, most likely, they're still using the Yellow Pages. Admittedly, I had to go over mom and dad's house to get a Yellow Pages because I don't have one at my home, but look, I'm not of the age demographic that is off of the internet.
      A lot of people are on the internet but quite a few people are still intimidated by the internet, and they're more likely to grab a Yellow Pages and search for a business to do business with. We don't want to alienate them, and if you're staying out of the Yellow Pages, you have a 0% chance of them ever calling your shop. This isn't for everybody. I mean, All I've been doing recently is broadcasting the importance of getting found online and getting referrals. Look, I get it, and I can't wait to hear the comments down below the post after this. For some, as a matter fact, for a lot of auto repair shops, advertising in the Yellow Pages still makes sense.
      If you recall, if you go way back depending on how long you've been in business, when I first started working with auto repair shops about 20 years ago, Yellow Pages was the dominant place where everybody advertised. If you remember what it was, it was very expensive and there was just page after page after page after page of display ads, and your chances of getting noticed amongst all that noise were pretty slim and none.
      Everybody hated the Yellow Pages because it was so expensive, but I found a way, and a lot of my clients found a great way to put in a really good ad and get a lot of business from the Yellow Pages. If you've been with me for a while, you know my style of advertising is a lot different than what most other people will do. The ads that we put in the Yellow Pages actually got a ton, and I do mean a ton, of phone calls, from perspective clients. If you put together a kick-butt ad now you could get the same results.
      I currently have a Greater Cincinnati Yellow Pages book here with me. I'm in a suburb just north of Cincinnati. There is an entire auto repair section. It starts on one page and it ends on the very next page, and that's it. A front and back of one page is all it is. Remember, this used to be pages and pages and pages of display ads. Right now, display ads, this one has one, two, three, four, five. Five display ads on this side, and we've got a small ad right here and an even smaller little in-column ad, a couple over there, and that's it.
      That's for all the auto repair shops that are in this area, and there are quite a few of them, by the way. Everybody else has decided to stay out of the Yellow Pages. Remember the problems with the Yellow Pages before. They were busy. There were too many, too much competition. They were expensive. Right now, that's not the case, so that's the reason why I would encourage shop owners to maybe look at using the Yellow Pages if you're trying to attract an older clientele.
      Again, if you find your older clientele are not the demographic that you're going for, then the Yellow Pages is the wrong idea, but if you're in a retirement community, if there's a lot of elderly people around you and you want to attract them to your shop, this could be a really good place because they still use this. They're not walking around with their mobile phones looking for a shop to do business with. They're actually still using the Yellow Pages.
      There's a lot less competition. The ads have gotten extremely cheap compared to what they used to be. The Yellow Page reps, the reality is since everybody's shying away from the Yellow Pages, they're giving great deals. I mean, they're giving away everything possible to get you to advertise in the Yellow Pages.
      Leave no stone unturned. Investigate the possibility. Look at the clientele that you have. You might even start asking people, "Hey, do you still use the Yellow Page, Pages?" and if a lot of them do, that might be a really good place for you to start advertising again.
      -- Ron Ipach (a.k.a Captain Car Count)
      President/Founder of Repair Shop Coach More articles and content like this and originated through Ron Ipach's Car Count Daily campaign Auto Repair Shop Owners, Managers, and Automotive Industry Professionals are invited to join 'Car Count Daily Boosters' LinkedIn group to provide resources and gain insight on boosting car count DAILY and filling up the bays in their shops.
    • By Gonzo
      A Tisket A Tasket
               Every mechanic worth his salt loves a good challenge when it comes to something mechanical.  Tearing engines and transmissions apart and putting them back together is kind of like “automotive therapy” for most professional wrenchers. These “therapy” jobs come in all sizes, big and small, and even in green and yellow baskets. They all start out as recognizable pieces of machinery but are now a disemboweled mechanical nightmare, haphazardly strewn into a motionless collection of parts at the bottom of a cardboard box. Yes, I’m talking about the proverbial basket case.
               They really do come in baskets, but cardboard boxes, shopping bags, burlap sacks, pillow cases, milk crates and the occasional pickup bed loaded down with what can only be described as pure chaos will suffice for a good old fashion basket case. True to form, the owner of these discombobulated ancient relics will always tell the mechanic the same thing, “Everything is there.”  Yep, everything is there alright. Everything you took apart is probably there, but what about all the parts that were missing before you started?  You know, those parts that probably set this whole thing in motion, and why it ended up in these assorted parts boxes.  And, I believe you when you tell me, you haven’t lost a bolt, a nut, or that specially shaped washer that is rarer than hen’s teeth to find. (Not!) 
               What makes matters worse is not so much what they took apart, but how they took it apart.  There are numerous components that seasoned mechanic knows better than to try and separate, even though there might be some obvious screws or fasteners or a sealed cap. However, to the weekend nut spinner it looks no different than any other part. Somehow, someway, they manage to take that sealed cap off of a spring loaded diaphragm, and the next thing you know … zip, zoom, zing, sproing… the internal pieces fling into the next county. I can only imagine how much time and effort went into removing that sealed cap!
               From window tracks to engine components, nothing is sacred when it comes to how or what someone will tear apart and then give up on.  Sooner or later the quest and the ambition to put it back together dwindles down to another feeble attempt they can mark off of their bucket list.  They’ve lost hope of ever putting it back together again.  Then, it’s time to toss all the pieces in the nearest basket or container. Someday, they’ll finish it, sell it, or maybe take it to a real mechanic.
      For the mechanic, the real challenge is trying to figure out what in the world is in the basket, what can be reused, and what has to be replaced.  Sometimes the person who brought this basket case to the mechanic just purchased it at some ridiculously cheap price, thinking it can’t be that bad to put back together.  Other times, even before they’ve bought these jumbled together crates of parts, they’re already working on how to spring this on their favorite mechanic. Once the mechanic gets his eyes on their latest flea market find the first thing he’s usually is wondering about is why in the world it was torn down this far apart in the first place.  Sometimes it’s obvious, other times it only becomes apparent when you start pulling things out of the boxes and assembling what’s there.
               A perfect example of this was the time an old rare motorcycle came to the shop in bushel baskets. Since it was an old regular customer, and I’m always up for a good challenge, I thought, heck, why not, I’ll give it a go.  Turned out the baskets contained enough for about one and a half engines, and as usual several parts were missing.  Once I sourced all the missing pieces I could come up with, I managed to get it back together. I was in for a big surprise when I fired it up though.  On the very bottom of the engine block there was a slight crack that only could be detected after the engine was warmed up. I really think this was one of those basket cases that should have remained in the basket.  And, wouldn’t ya know it, the only part that wasn’t in the baskets and impossible to find… the engine block. 
       
               It’s simply amazing the extent that some people will go to when tearing down a piece of machinery.  I’ve done countless restoration projects where the entire car, bolts and all, end up in little plastic bags, as well as cardboard boxes.  I usually mark each box or bag with a number, starting with the first part I take off in a bag labeled #1.  Then, using a log sheet I work my way from the last number back to number #1 when reassembling. Seldom do I lose track of the components that way. But, to see these haphazard collections of wires, bolts, brackets, and grease covered components in the same box, all twisted together makes this anal retentive mechanic with a touch of OCD cringe every time.
               I’ve got to admit the hours spent sorting through the boxes brings out that “kid in the candy store” reaction from me. It adds to the experience of trying to bring life back to an old forgotten piece of machinery, and there’s no telling how long some of these basket cases have been abandoned back in the corner of some old garage.  Whether it’s a hundred year old oil pull motor or a rare foreign car with no source of replacement parts, the challenge and the stories you can tell afterwards are priceless.
       None of these basket cases ever pay nearly what they should, but is it really about the money on these projects? For me, it’s more about the achievements and the chance to say, “I did it.”  Yes, these basket cases can be a real challenge sometimes, but honestly, after you’ve put the last bolt on, turned the last screw, and got it to fire up, you can look back on the whole experience and tell everyone how you brought one more forgotten relic back to life, as well as emptying a few peach baskets.  That’s when it’s time to flip that peach basket over and sit down and take in all that you’ve accomplished. Believe me, it’s great therapy, and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear when that hunk of iron is up and running again.


      View full article
    • By Alex
      There are so many websites powered by wordpress, including some of the ones posted by our members. Please make sure you or your webmaster patch or update your sites to the latest version. I often see outdated wordpress sites that are never updated in fear of breaking the styling and theme. It is critical to keep web 2.0 sites up to date.
       
      More info:
      Recent WordPress vulnerability used to deface 1.5 million pages
      Over One Million WordPress Sites Defaced
       
      It's easy to see if you are running a wordpress site (as long as the admin panel has not been moved) just append /wp-admin/ to your domain name. Example: yoursite.com/wp-admin/
    • By AutoShopOwner
      What's a business owner to do?
       
       
      Recently there was a news item from the Orlando, Florida area regarding Yellow Pages. What makes an ubiquitous book like the Yellow Pages a news story? Exactly that! They are everywhere! Evidently, at least in the Orlando area, something is going to be done about it.
       
       
       
       
       
      It doesn't matter if you are a small business owner or a consumer, you have the same problem. Which book do I use? The consumer is only going to keep so many Yellow Page books and a business can only afford to advertise in a few. Of course both parties are looking for the same thing — Results! Either you want to find what you are looking for in the Yellow Pages you decide to keep - or - you want sales from the book you decided to advertise in.
       
       
      The interesting part of all this is that many consumers and some very tech savvy business owners have already solved the problem. They stopped using phone directories and have opted for a faster, less expensive option.
       
       
      What is it?
       
       
      The Internet! If you go to your favorite search engine and type in the words "yellow pages" you will find over 450,000,000 results. Whatever you want to know about Yellow Pages from online to offline is there. Of course you will find many online Yellow Pages to help you find anything from A to Z in your area also.
       
       
      If you are a business owner and you are not online with your business now, you should be looking into it immediately. The costs are dramatically lower and if you do it right the results are great. The buzzword that you have to familiarize yourself with is "local search". What that means is if someone in you area is looking on the Internet they will type in something like "Barber, Specific City, Specific State" and you want your barbershop to come up.
       
       
      Statistics are now showing that there are more people going to their computers than picking up their Yellow Page Book. Most people will do an online search for products and product reviews before they go to make their purchase locally. Just think if you could be the business that answers their questions, gives them product reviews, and the business where they go to buy what they want.
       
       
      Orlando, Florida may be on to something. But do we need government in the market telling consumers and business owners how many Yellow Page books they can have? The market is already making its choice. Yellow Page advertising is getting very expensive, and putting an ad in all of the books is impossible. Consumers aren't using Yellow Pages like they did in the past. So you can bet in the near future you will see many of the Yellow Page books going out of business as business owners go more and more online to attract customers.
       
       
       
       
      View the full article
    • By AutoShopOwner
      What's a business owner to do?
       
      Recently there was a news item from the Orlando, Florida area regarding Yellow Pages. What makes an ubiquitous book like the Yellow Pages a news story? Exactly that! They are everywhere! Evidently, at least in the Orlando area, something is going to be done about it.
       
       
       
      It doesn't matter if you are a small business owner or a consumer, you have the same problem. Which book do I use? The consumer is only going to keep so many Yellow Page books and a business can only afford to advertise in a few. Of course both parties are looking for the same thing — Results! Either you want to find what you are looking for in the Yellow Pages you decide to keep – or – you want sales from the book you decided to advertise in.
       
      The interesting part of all this is that many consumers and some very tech savvy business owners have already solved the problem. They stopped using phone directories and have opted for a faster, less expensive option.
       
      What is it?
       
      The Internet! If you go to your favorite search engine and type in the words "yellow pages" you will find over 450,000,000 results. Whatever you want to know about Yellow Pages from online to offline is there. Of course you will find many online Yellow Pages to help you find anything from A to Z in your area also.
       
      If you are a business owner and you are not online with your business now, you should be looking into it immediately. The costs are dramatically lower and if you do it right the results are great. The buzzword that you have to familiarize yourself with is "local search". What that means is if someone in you area is looking on the Internet they will type in something like "Barber, Specific City, Specific State" and you want your barbershop to come up.
       
      Statistics are now showing that there are more people going to their computers than picking up their Yellow Page Book. Most people will do an online search for products and product reviews before they go to make their purchase locally. Just think if you could be the business that answers their questions, gives them product reviews, and the business where they go to buy what they want.
       
      Orlando, Florida may be on to something. But do we need government in the market telling consumers and business owners how many Yellow Page books they can have? The market is already making its choice. Yellow Page advertising is getting very expensive, and putting an ad in all of the books is impossible. Consumers aren't using Yellow Pages like they did in the past. So you can bet in the near future you will see many of the Yellow Page books going out of business as business owners go more and more online to attract customers.
       
       
       
      View the full article
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