Quantcast
Jump to content


Message Boards


Recommended Posts

Thinking about installing a LED outside Message Board. At 30 to 40 grand it is a big gamble. Just wondering has anyone done this yet and if so have you seen any results from it?

Edited by CAZM
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

UPDATE ON MESSAGE BOARD. The company that is trying to sell me the sign is letting me use a rental for 2 weeks free of charge. I have had it for a week and a half now and I have several promotions running on it. So far it has brought in 4 oil changes, 1 set of 4 tires that led to up selling to a alignment, and 1 alignment, and the lady on just the alignment told us we were awesome and she would be recommending us to all her friends.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a personal note - can I recommend that you make sure it dims during the night time hours? There is nothing more annoying and unsafe than a blindingly bright LED sign at night right next to the highway!

 

Sounds like you're getting a good response to it though - good luck!

 

Thanks,

Thomas

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umm sorry to be the voice of decent, but 30-40k? Are you nuts? And you got a whooping 4 LOF and a set of tires. Please, don't take offense. I truly think that's a horrible investment. Tires run at what 20-30% gp if your lucky? LOFs are usually a loss leader ( from what I've read on here, I make money on mine).

 

To spend $30k means you have to bring in 70k. Wouldn't that be better spent towards improving efficiency and productivity? Put it towards a computerized inspection process, get the techs tablets, and increase your average RO. Then put 10 k into yelp/Adwords/ your website. Then with the left over purchase factory scan tools and now your even more productive.

 

Like I said, I'm not trying to be rude, I just think $40k on a message board is crazy. Especially with the test results you've gotten back.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Run the numbers:

$500 tires @ 20% GP = $100 profit

4 LOF @ $10 GP = $40

$100 alignment @ 60% GP = $60

1.5 week total = ~$200 profit + potential new customers

52 week total = ~$6933 profit + potential new customers

Total payoff time at this rate on 30k = 4.33 years, payoff on 40k = 5.77 years.

All in all, not a terrible investment, especially if it's in the lower end of the 30-40k scale. A 5 year payoff on new equipment is a reasonable timeframe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How big is the sign for that price? I had a door to door sales guy show me a few last year but I didn't opt to purchase one. They were in the 3-10k range installed depending on size and how many lines of info was displayed at once.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've got one at our other business. It was far more expensive at the time and really didn't draw any customers that were not on their way in already. That being said it's hard to measure it's return. In the automotive business though...no way. You will not see a return on that investment IMO! Maybe a small inside led board but you'd be better improving shop equipment or offering a new service.

They will start having issues after a few years, and the become obsolete after 2 years just like tv's and computers after 5 years the software to run ours became a freeware and received no updates.

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Edited by ncautoshop
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The real profit is in the long term value of the customer, as xrac said.


In other words, in my opinion, any money spent on any kind of marketing is going to be wasted money if your service advisors are unable to convert that customer into a repeat customer.


Here's one of many examples I can tell you about: One of our clients had a marketing program that was bringing in an average of 1 new customer per day. But he realized very quickly his marketing campaign was putting him in the red because of what happened after the customers came in for the promotion.


In other words, he had a lot of people coming in but very few customers were buying anything other then the promotion. Upon investigation, he discovered the new customers that came in weren't being offered the courtesy inspections correctly. Here's what I mean. He has two locations with each location having a team of 2 service advisors.


One team had developed this plan: they would tell customers, "it's our shop's policy to do an inspection of your vehicle."


The other team had decided they weren't going to bring it up. They were just going to do an inspection. And then, say to the customer, "while the tech was working on your vehicle, he just happened to notice...."


One day as the shop owner was walking through the waiting area of one of his shops, he overheard one customer say to the other three customers sitting there, "Keep your hand on your wallet. Chances are they're going to come out here with a list of other stuff they've found. That's how they get ya'."


A couple days later, he was at his other shop and overheard a customer questioning the service advisor saying, "You're supposed to be putting tires on. Why do you have the hood up?"


That's when he realized something was broken in the way his people were selling.


Bottom-line, marketing will only pay for itself IF your sales people have a selling system that allows you to take that brand new customer and sell them whatever other legitimate work is needed.


But most importantly, do it in a way that converts them from a one-time customer into a loyal customer that will use your shop exclusively for all their vehicle needs. And refer your shop to everyone they know.


Once you have a sales system in place - that works with today's "more educated" customers - you no longer need to spend money on marketing, as xrac said.


So getting them in the door is just the first step. Converting them into a loyal customer is where the real money is.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE ON MESSAGE BOARD. The company that is trying to sell me the sign is letting me use a rental for 2 weeks free of charge. I have had it for a week and a half now and I have several promotions running on it. So far it has brought in 4 oil changes, 1 set of 4 tires that led to up selling to a alignment, and 1 alignment, and the lady on just the alignment told us we were awesome and she would be recommending us to all her friends.

Another update. After the sign was up for 2 full weeks it brought in a few more jobs, and lets keep in mind the sign was on a trailer so it was not sitting high up on a poll. After I ran all the numbers the profit the sign brought in was 493.00 dollars.

 

The hard numbers for the sign would be $30,000.00 installed and that would include running electrical to the sign. So the payment per month over 5 years would be $500.00, and in 2 weeks the rental brought in 493.00.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I was considering a $30,000 purchase with a five year commitment...

I would look at a couple of things...

 

I would see if the sign company would be willing to give you a four week trial due to the

fact that In another thread, you had said your traffic is slow for two weeks and busy

for two weeks every month. Based on that, you really need more than a two week snapshot.

 

In addition to that, I would test it by putting a killer offer on it that would tell you

beyond a shadow of a doubt what brought those customers in. Otherwise, it could

have been your other signage and/or your location on a busy road.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, I have worked with lots of tire dealers and one of the biggest challenges a tire dealer faces
is the public sees your big Michelin sign and immediately jumps to the conclusion you only sell tires.

 

In other words, that bit of information gets filed away in their brain that your store is a place they might

pop into... if and when they need tires.

 

How do I know this?

Over the years, I've talked to countless customers in tire stores about this exact subject matter.
Almost all of these customers are surprised to find out that a tire store offers more than just tires.

 

The typical response has been something along these lines...

"Wow! You guys can take care of my oil change! I thought you just sold tires!"

 

The public is unable to connect the dots on their own. They must be told specifically what

you do and why they should use you for all of their automotive needs.

That's why what happens at the counter, meaning effective communication is critical in telling

every single customer exactly what you do and why they should use your shop for everything

rather than your competition!

Here's an easy way to confirm this with your own customers....

Ask your tire customers - present customers and past customers...

Who does their oil changes? Who does their scheduled maintenance for them?

 

The answers will help you determine if this sign is the solution. And if it is... what message and

offers you should put on the sign.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a little late to the conversation. I have one and I spent about 35K when it was all said and done. We have a had it about 5 years. I rarely advertise specials and use it more for brand awareness. I look at is as cost per 1000 impressions and at the time we had about 8600 cars drive by on a daily basis. our cost was much less than some other forms of advertising when I looked at eyeball penetration.

We post a max of 4 messages in the rotation and use it to promote various events in the community. We also post a sign quote everyday that feeds our Facebook account which typically gets anywhere from 250-450 views on any given day. There is probably not a day that goes by that someone doesn't comment on our sign or something we posted. We post stuff that is encouraging, enlightening, funny or uplifting. It has been a good investment for us. I looked at a number of signs and settled on Watchfire Signs. They have been great and we have had very few problems. I had a controller go out and they replaced it very quickly. The software is easy to use and my office girl updates it. We typically have it scheduled out about 30 days in advance. We typically have a theme for our quotes revolving around the time of year. At Christmas we have stuff related to it for the month of December. At Thanksgiving we post quotes of thankfulness. We also will post if we have a position open but were very careful not to over use that. We also direct people to our website or facebook page for specials.

There are lots of variables to consider as well as local ordinances. Pole mount or monument? Traffic speed, closeness to intersection. How long does the reader have to actually read the sign?

They are very durable, you can hit them with stuff throw rocks at them and they can withstand most abuse. Is it a good investment? I think so. We'll get 10 years out of it. I am in the process of planing a new shop and an electronic sign will be in the plans.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umm sorry to be the voice of decent, but 30-40k? Are you nuts? And you got a whooping 4 LOF and a set of tires. Please, don't take offense. I truly think that's a horrible investment. Tires run at what 20-30% gp if your lucky? LOFs are usually a loss leader ( from what I've read on here, I make money on mine).

 

To spend $30k means you have to bring in 70k. Wouldn't that be better spent towards improving efficiency and productivity? Put it towards a computerized inspection process, get the techs tablets, and increase your average RO. Then put 10 k into yelp/Adwords/ your website. Then with the left over purchase factory scan tools and now your even more productive.

 

Like I said, I'm not trying to be rude, I just think $40k on a message board is crazy. Especially with the test results you've gotten back.

 

be careful taking advice from someone that has not used one. The boards are well worth the investment. The idea is to get people to notice and read it. When you drive down the road, you yourself read these boards, your almost mesmerized by them and this is the point. Advertising is about getting people to look at what your advertising, their brain will take care of the rest, mission accomplished.

 

We have one and have had it for 5 years, it helps with bringing in sales, new customers, retaining current customers, hiring people and is awesome.

I cannot imagine NOT having one.

 

They are out there BECAUSE they work.

 

good luck.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elon,

 

You bring up a lot of good points. I am on the busiest street in town and this building has been here for 30 years. I also have a very large Michelin sign out by the road, and yet we get people all the time that has lived here all their live say were are you located at. I have even drove by and the only reason I seen the place was that I work here. Now when I had the rental here for 2 weeks I had people I know say that we were definitely noticeable.

 

Now when the sign was here we ran some very aggressive specials, and we asked every body that walked in the door what brought them in. Then we only tracked the sales of the people that mentioned the sign. My office manager that has been here for over 20 years paid a lot of attention to the people coming in, and she commented that there were several new faces that she has not seen in here before.

 

We also get a lot of regulars that mention we didn't know you did that, and that would be one of the purposes of the sign is to let people know we more then just tires. I also have tried several other ways of advertising. Like newspaper and radio, and I have seen 0 return on it. Where as for the sign I can say that it is the most effective way for me to advertise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I pulled the trigger yesterday and order the sign. I was able to get some coop dollars from some of my manufacturers. After all said and done it will cost me about $23,000.00. I will be cutting all radio and print advertising which never really worked for me here so if I figure in cutting that it should come to a payment of $233.33 a month over 5 years.

 

Thank you for all the advise you posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yep, couple things, keep the messages short and to the point, graphics are the best cause they are flashy. keep in mind they are driving past around 40?? Once its up, drive past it yourself and see how you can read and comprehend the message(s).

 

good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I got mine 4x8 ft full collie programable led for 9200. Installed it ourselves. Sign company wanted $27k for the same board without installing and 1 year parts warranty. I got mine on eBay. Company is experian advertising. 5 year warranty. It has brought in significant amount of business. Felt the surge from week 1. Now the city is trying to get us to take it down but we will fight to the end. AND WIN!!! By the way, they are ALL Chinese boards, no matter who sells it to you or for how much. Check out the pictures. Www. Shumsauto.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Run the numbers:

$500 tires @ 20% GP = $100 profit

4 LOF @ $10 GP = $40

$100 alignment @ 60% GP = $60

1.5 week total = ~$200 profit + potential new customers

52 week total = ~$6933 profit + potential new customers

Total payoff time at this rate on 30k = 4.33 years, payoff on 40k = 5.77 years.

All in all, not a terrible investment, especially if it's in the lower end of the 30-40k scale. A 5 year payoff on new equipment is a reasonable timeframe.

I agree with bstewart on this matter, at least in his thoughtful approach. Calculating a potential ROI when considering the purchase of a new piece of equipment is the most responsible way to approach making a large investment in your shop. However...I think you need to consider that we're not talking about a "piece of equipment", we're considering an advetising vehicle or medium. In my opinion, the standard by which you should measure the potential return on your advertising dollar is steeper than that of, say, the purchase of another lift or a new piece of shop equipment that'll let you perform a new service.

 

I can honestly say that there are very few (if any) advertising opportunities in the realm of 30-40 thousand dollars that a single unit, independant repair shop should be considering without there being additional, bona fide considerations in the mix. For example, if you have a less-than optimal location, and you want your marketing plan to include making your company visible in some very high traffic areas, then signage or space "leasing", which can be costly based on the potential traffic, should be considered. The reason for my opinion is that there are FAR better ways to advertise that cost significantly less than that, and they'll offer you a much faster return on your investment. Once the advertising is paying for itself, assess it's overall effectiveness, and either continue it as a fixed part of a larger plan, or get out of it, and move on to the next best thing.

 

If you carried $30 into a casino, instead of betting it on one game of chance with long odds, bet $4 at a time on the game that has better odds until you find yourself with $60 in your hands. You've returned your investment, and profited...now keep doing what you've been doing, or reassess your goals. If you think you're ready for a longer risk with a greater payoff,....now maybe it's time to consider the $30 investment you considered when you walked in.

 

By the way...I'm not much of a gambler, if it happens to show...it's just a colorful methaphor.

 

Just one man's opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I'm a little late to the conversation. I have one and I spent about 35K when it was all said and done. We have a had it about 5 years. I rarely advertise specials and use it more for brand awareness. I look at is as cost per 1000 impressions and at the time we had about 8600 cars drive by on a daily basis. our cost was much less than some other forms of advertising when I looked at eyeball penetration.

We post a max of 4 messages in the rotation and use it to promote various events in the community. We also post a sign quote everyday that feeds our Facebook account which typically gets anywhere from 250-450 views on any given day. There is probably not a day that goes by that someone doesn't comment on our sign or something we posted. We post stuff that is encouraging, enlightening, funny or uplifting. It has been a good investment for us. I looked at a number of signs and settled on Watchfire Signs. They have been great and we have had very few problems. I had a controller go out and they replaced it very quickly. The software is easy to use and my office girl updates it. We typically have it scheduled out about 30 days in advance. We typically have a theme for our quotes revolving around the time of year. At Christmas we have stuff related to it for the month of December. At Thanksgiving we post quotes of thankfulness. We also will post if we have a position open but were very careful not to over use that. We also direct people to our website or facebook page for specials.

There are lots of variables to consider as well as local ordinances. Pole mount or monument? Traffic speed, closeness to intersection. How long does the reader have to actually read the sign?

They are very durable, you can hit them with stuff throw rocks at them and they can withstand most abuse. Is it a good investment? I think so. We'll get 10 years out of it. I am in the process of planing a new shop and an electronic sign will be in the plans.

Were do you get your ideas for the sign quotes and sayings you do? Do you just come up with them or find them on the web

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

I got a quote for this sign, installed and everything, for $34.5K. Can have it financed for 60 months at $722.20, $0 down. Does this sound in line with what others have out there?

post-1435-0-86749500-1454121331_thumb.jpg

Edited by mmotley
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got a quote for this sign, installed and everything, for $34.5K. Can have it financed for 60 months at $722.20, $0 down. Does this sound in line with what others have out there?

What is the size and make of the sign? Is It full color? I have a little over $23,000.00 in mine. I can tell you that they do help. There has been so many new faces in here its been unreal. My SA who has been here almost 30 years claims she can't remember seeing so many new faces. Also after comparing last January when I didn't have the sign to this January with the sign my profits are up enough that I could almost make 2 years worth of payments with the extra.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I was going to pull the trigger on a message board but decided to try a lower cost alternative. I had some big 4x8 outdoor banners made up with big bright easy to read letters stating "tire sale" "alignment" "check engine specialist on duty" etc and put them up facing the road on posts. Total cost less than $1000. It seems to be working. Electricity costs zero. You can't see them at night. I think they'll last at least a year, it'll be time for new messages then anyway. I have over 1000' of highway frontage so there's no problem spacing them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Changing The Industry
      Has Certification Testing Been Dumbed Down? #podcast #automotivebusiness #carrepair
    • By Changing The Industry
      Can You Have Heart In A Business? #podcast #automotivebusiness #carrepair #autorepairbusiness
    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Andy Bizub explores the influential book "Driving Force: Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People" by Peter Schultz. Dive into the pivotal role of culture in business success with personal insights on maintaining a positive work environment. This episode is packed with wisdom for business owners and leaders seeking to improve their operations and team dynamics. Andy Bizub, Midwest Performance Cars, Chicago and Northbrook, IL.  Andy’s previous episodes HERE. Show Notes
      Email Lori Schutz for your copy of "The Driving Force: Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People": [email protected] Leadership Book Insights (00:02:07 ) Exploring 'The Driving Force by Peter Schutz's' perspectives on leadership and empowerment. Book's Business Influence (00:03:04) The book's influence on leadership strategies and business operations. Book Discussion (00:05:35) Diving into the book's content and its effects on businesses. Cultural Preservation (00:06:34) The role of culture in maintaining successful business practices. Toxic Employees (00:10:41) Addressing the challenges of toxic employees in the workplace. Empowering Leadership (00:12:14) How leaders can empower their employees to achieve excellence. Employee Growth (00:13:27) Encouraging employees to grow and potentially outperform their leaders. Team Diversity (00:15:27) The benefits of having a diverse and skilled team. Overcoming Barriers (00:18:39) Sharing a story about overcoming barriers at Cummins Engine and its relevance to shop communication. Communication Barriers (00:20:04) The effects of cultural and physical barriers on shop communication. Slack for Shop Communication (00:22:31) Using Slack to improve communication and reduce barriers in the shop. Customer Quality (00:23:42) The impact of customer quality on business success. Customer Vetting (00:29:58) Identifying red flags and conveying service value to potential customers.
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections  
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • Water Proof And Self Adhesive
    • By Changing The Industry
      Today is the last day for registration - Send us a message on HOW to register for this show.


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...