A smallish budget and a need to spend it wisely – I think the most important thing to do is ensure that you are aiming at actual potential customers. Luckily as auto repair guys – you have a head start as most people have cars nowadays. But…. . make sure that you are aiming at people who own the kind of cars that you repair – be that make of car, age of car and/or income level.
Second consideration is what you want to market – Be Specific. Have a service – or make one up – that you can explain in a few words. Try something like “Pre Freeze Tune Up” or “First Car Service” or “Pre Purchase Checkup”. Notice how the name explains it all. Try and offer something that will be appealing and that no one else is offering. It is far easier to sell a particular service on a small marketing budget than it is to sell all that you do! Identify your company with good branding – one that sticks in the mind – like “The Spanner Man”, “Jim’ll Fix It”, “The service you can trust” – you get the idea.
Get printed some posters in 4 color – about the size of a paperback book – is the most versatile size. Make sure they explain your offer and are easy to read, include graphics and not too many words. Don’t forget your contact phone number, address and company name.
So we have your potential customers and what you want to sell to them – now you need to market your company where these people are likely to be. Here are a few suggestions for you. Please always get permission to make your postings.
* Car parks: Arrange to put up small posters on the payment machines, at the entry barriers or at the payment booth. Wherever the motorist pauses for a while.
* Movies, restaurants etc: Particularly useful if you have a younger cliental. Place the posters on the notice boards, in the restrooms and wherever people wait for a while.
* Your local take outs: Place them where people are waiting for their meals. Do an exchange of services to ensure this.
* Clubs, pubs and sports areas: Place them where they can be seen as people meet or line up.
* Car Sellers: Offer commission to sellers who send you clients. Swap adverts with them.
If your budget will stretch, some other guerrilla ideas are:
* Place your advert on the lid of takeout food coffee cup sleeves, bags, tickets etc.
* Beer mats with your service – bring it to you and get a discount.
* Special offers sent to local businesses and their staff.
* Interesting fridge magnets – maybe in the shape of a comic car!
* A competition (legal of course) that your local paper will hopefully feature for you. It can be something like guess the washers in a can to win a free service. Anything that will bring people into your business where you can show yourselves off and provide sales material.
Tip: Send off details of your new service to the local press and local radio stations, in the form of a press release. Hopefully they will run this information to give you more free coverage.
Lastly – think a little out of the box, differentiate yourself and aim to introduce just one small element of your service – the rest will follow.
© Copyright 2006 Biz Guru LLC
Lee Lister, writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites including her own sites http://www.BizGuru.us With over 20 year’s management and business consultancy experience with businesses large and small as well as being a serial entrepreneur, she now helps others set up, develop and market their businesses. Also visit http://www.clikks.com for all our informational products. You might like to join our
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