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New shop need help to increase business


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Hey guy's, I am pretty new to the site, and new to the shop business, from a business stand point.

We opened a little shop here in Franklinton, NC, we are only a few months old at this point.

We are right on a highway and seam to be getting a few walk ins here and there, but nothing to crazy.

 

I am looking for some advice on advertising/ marketing to help increase business.

we currently have a Website, FB page, listing in Angie's list and on Yelp. We have done some mailings, and handed out flyers.

 

Any help and advice would be great.

 

Thanks for the help, I love the site and hope to be around here for a long time

 

Ken

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The number 1 return on investment for me has been mailouts. Combined with a professional looking website, those 2 have brought in the most. Facebook brought in none. A few from google ads (probably count them on 2 hands). Maybe 1 on Yelp, but I don't pay for Yelp.

 

Most people say they got my mailouts, then they checked out my website. After that, it's word of mouth. I've done 5 mailouts and only been open 17 months. Each mail out consisted of at least 1,500 pieces, 2 where over 10K pieces. Getting ready to do another one in December or January.

 

I also have an ad running in a small retirement 'golf' community newspaper. Surprisingly good return on it. Very cheap to advertise in.

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Your best salespeople are your customers. Give them perks for referrals. It costs +- $100.00 per new customer so invest it in you customers. Drive around your neighborhood and see what's in their driveway that you want to service. Contact them . Everywhere you go or do business with should be reminded that you are in the car service business. Most customers like to pick up their cars Hand WASHED AND TOP OF THE FUEL. When they notice it Thank them for their referrals and give them a few cards.

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I'm constantly amazed at the number of cars we get that don't have enough gas to do a test drive! We put $5 in and put it on the invoice.As far as promoting your shop, I agree word of mouth is best, but it takes time. Internet advertising in our business is very competitive and expensive. Every door direct mail is a good approach for a new business. You can select individual postal delivery routes and the rates are pretty good. If you need help, there are lots of guys that will do the job end-to-end. We use Mudlick, but there are lots of them out there. A good one will coach you and work with you to produce the most effective mailpiece to achieve your goals. Try and get the local paper to do an article on your business. You have to post on FB like crazy. Look at how many people your post reached - it's probably in the single digits, but if you "boost post" they will send it to thousands. Not real expensive and it helps increase followers. You have to play in Google+ to build Google search rank. Do some videos, even if they are amateurish and put them on youtube. Youtube is the second biggest search engine.

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First; welcome and the best of luck. Building a business takes time...one customer at a time.

 

Let me add that your need to also reach out into the community. Let everyone know who you are and what you do. Create flyers and make sure you hand out your business cards like its candy. You don't have to promote discounts on the flyer, just let your community know you, and I mean everyone. From the deli owner, to the diner, to the hardware store, the local schools, Churches, everyone.

 

 

It will take time, but you will get there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good Day everyone!

 

We just had our 1st Anniversary, Last November 27th. Our shop is focus on Maintenance, Brakes, Suspension Work, and Minor Eng. repairs.

 

We have not done any advertising other than visit different tire shops, Rent a Tire and Discount Tire.

 

Down here in Brownsville, TX the Auto Industry is very competitive, not to mention that we're a border town and the competition is really Mexico, where the prices on labor are "dirt cheap"

 

what I have learned in this year is "Word of a Mouth" is your best advertising.

 

Discount Tire send us their customers for Alignment. What we do for them in exchange is to remove the broken/striped wheel stud for them at low cost(sometimes free) and it works...

 

JP

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  • 3 weeks later...

When I had my shop i found that just random advertising was expensive and very hard to track. My advertising budget was about $8 grand a year and I found giving price breaks or free work to selected individuals paid off well for me. The firemen were restoring a old fire truck, so I did all of the work they brought to me for free, and made sure to tell them let others know I'm doing this work. Fireman seem to know a lot of people. Car clubs, church or religious groups got help for free or at a much reduced price from me. A radio personality came in and we bartered work for advertising. As other have said, get your name talked about, get involved in the community and do good work. I talked to every customer, found out what they did, where they worked and in my mind how much influence they might have where they worked for getting work into my shop. They might get special pricing and were made aware this was their price not what the job normally cost. I let them know I need more customers and needed their help. It paid off well for us and in the long run it was cheaper than my budget of 8 grand a year doing it this way.

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FROGFRINDER, topped of with fuel? Really?

ya this must be for high end dealership. hahaha top off fuel, no way. next thing they say was my car ran fine until you put fuel etc in it. no thanks. sounds great and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, but not this guy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have tried all the mailing statigies. It has worked a little. I think it is probably our location. We are some what in the middle of no where. Every new customer says that they never new we were here, even though they have driven past our shop many times. Mailing lists get to become pretty expensive, and I have tried post cards, brochures, and letters. They all seem to get about the same returns. Recently, I spoke to someone from a tech group that I am involved with, and they mentioned an upcoming website that is suppose to advertise for you. He also said it is going to be fairly cheap (We'll see?). I guess it works in conjunction with word-of-mouth. Its a lead generator. It gets the customers to our doors, and our quality services keeps them there. I will let everyone know if I here anymore updates. It may be worth a try.

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The number 1 return on investment for me has been mailouts. Combined with a professional looking website, those 2 have brought in the most. Facebook brought in none. A few from google ads (probably count them on 2 hands). Maybe 1 on Yelp, but I don't pay for Yelp.

 

Most people say they got my mailouts, then they checked out my website. After that, it's word of mouth. I've done 5 mailouts and only been open 17 months. Each mail out consisted of at least 1,500 pieces, 2 where over 10K pieces. Getting ready to do another one in December or January.

 

I also have an ad running in a small retirement 'golf' community newspaper. Surprisingly good return on it. Very cheap to advertise in.

The retirement communities are where 80 million American motorists are going in the coming years.

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      There are many things to consider when creating a marketing plan. Among them are establishing a budget, what forms of media should be used, and whether traditional advertising, such as TV, radio, and print, is still relevant.  And of course, how much should be allocated to social media and digital advertising?
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