Home – New Forums Marketing mastery speed up my turnover ! suggestions…

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  • #975661
    Tedious
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    • Total posts: 65
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    I run my own mechanics business I have 2 guys working for me and I’m constantly chasing my tail.

    Day to day work seams to be pathetic at the moment and its only the fact i manage to score a couple of big jobs out of the blue at the end of each month that’s saving my life at the moment.

    I’ve only been business for a year now and my company just celebrated its first birthday on October 9th coincidence is falls on the Bathurst 1000 weekend ? i think not ! :P great excuse for drinks and a BBQ at the workshop.

    I have some major expansion plans for the future and cash flow is stopping me from getting there its really starting to become a major frustration.

    I know things take time to get rolling but my workshop and guys are locked cocked and ready to shoot but the works just not coming in as regular as it should be, now i already have a very strong online advertising presence and it really helps bring in the work for the people who turn to the computer for answers but i’m lacking in the traditional styles of advertising and i know it ! i know if people realised that i’m there and the services i offer i would be kicking goals in no time.

    So the question remains on a limited budget and i mean very limited, where do i focus it ? i get calls from the local rag all the time and ive been hesitant because i myself when something gos wrong with my car wouldn’t go looking in the news paper for a place to have it repaired.

    In your mail box flyers i can do cheaply because i have a very good photocopier in my office, but its very time consuming for what i see to be very unpredictable results.

    I currently do a little $99 dollar service poster full check, oil and filter. with little tear off tabs on the bottom and stick them next to bank atms they have got a bit of attention but not the responce i’ve been looking for .

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated i find sometimes it just takes an outside view on things to point out the obvious !

    Cheers, Andrew Humphreys

    #1075714
    Anonymous
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    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for joining Flying Solo, and sorry to hear things out going so well just now. I’m sure there’ll be a some folk around here with an idea or two for you though.

    Hope it all picks up soon,
    Jayne

    #1075715
    Applied Marketing
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    • Total posts: 12
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    Hi Andrew, there are a lot of ways to get business. why dont you use referral marketing. You could create a coupon to give to each customer to give to one of their family or friends for a free oil change. The oil and filter will cost you about $50 but its a cheap way to get a new customer. And word of mouth marketing is the best type.

    Tony

    #1075716
    dextereugenio
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    hey bud

    stickers.

    they seem to be the more prominent forms of adverts for garages and theyre quite cheap.

    i have no idea what your brand is, but if you have a good logo, top image around the ‘hood, then stickers would be something i would consider.

    other great traditional types of marketing ive seen garages use successfully are:

    * cool key rings with something useful on it. (maybe discounts on presentation?)
    * calendars (all different types)
    * pens and notepads.

    other than this sort of stuff, im not really sure how you operate but the usual loan car thats stickered up, or even a drop off service using again, a stickered car is a good way of getting the message out there.

    dEx

    #1075717
    UpMax
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    G’day, I knew a mechanic who was struggling once in the early 90’s. I suggested he specialise in servicing prestige vehicles, namely SAAB. His business increased 200%. SAAB drivers are normally cashed up and any recession, global financial crisis, earthquake, flood, airline collapse … etc doesn’t really bother them.
    Drop me a line for more info.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    #1075718
    Spider
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    • Total posts: 95
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    Hi Andrew,

    Referrences.

    If your current customers are satisfied with your work and service, they should be telling others.
    Many good businesses don’t need to advertise at all and are overloaded with work purely from customers references.

    If all your current customers continually return to you, which they should be doing, and which you should make sure is happening maybe by some sort of incentive or just giving them a good and valuable experience, then when new customers come and you hold on to them too, you will soon have plenty of work.
    It probably just takes time in an industy such as yours when there is some lag time involved.

    What’s your website address?

    #1075719
    Spider
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    Also, I should have said it can cost a lot to generate new customers.
    So, work really hard on keeping them once you get them.
    They will be you long term income stream and you can build from there.

    Good luck

    #1075720
    MyGreatIdea
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    The best method of advertising is looking after your current customers.

    We have a mechanic who was recommended to us by a friend. He doesn’t advertise – not even signage on his workshop frontage !! But we had to book two weeks in advance for our first service, that’s how busy he was. He now services our two sons’ cars as well and he’s brilliant.

    Imagine how many more customers he’s received from our experience, and we’re just one of many.

    So work hard on the customers you already have and things will turn around I’m sure.

    Wendy :)

    #1075721
    Tedious
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    • Total posts: 65
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    Very shocked at the responses I didn’t expect quiet as many, everyone has given me good usable answers… ” couple it ” is freaky close to knowing exactly how my business has been setup for the past 12 months I haven’t had any signs in the front of the workshop I’ve only just got around to out laying the cash to do so this month which i’m hoping will draw in more business on its own seeing i get after school traffic jams right in front of my workshop.

    And the keeping existing customers coming back comments well not to blow my own horn but i would say 90% of new customers I pick up always return for further work I’m totally understanding of the keep them coming back concept.

    I think “Spiders” got the idea of where I’m stuck there’s a lag factor in the mechanics industry it doesn’t matter how good the guys workmanship is i just cant expect the workload of a 10 years in business mechanics because people are creatures of habit once they find a mechanic they tend to keep going back unless they have an unpleasant experience, the best place to nab a new customer is when other workshops are really busy and the matter is urgent then if you go that extra mile for them you stand a chance at stealing there business from the opposition.

    car window stickers and a stickered up loan are in the pipeline just waiting on the funds to make them happen.

    “Spider” my website address is http://www.tediousautomotive.com the site pretty badly setup i’ve recently registered the .com.au version and a new sites being built there once its finished i’ll be closeing the .com down and redirecting it to the .com.au version

    Thanks for all the helpful advice i’m sure i’ll be picking some more brains again soon !

    Its all just a ticking clock game really and someone keeps pressing snooze !

    #1075722
    morpheyous
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    • Total posts: 45
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    Hi,

    You seriously need to look at Google Places, a fully optimised google place listing will get you heaps of customers. You will appear at the top of the search results for mechanic/city and the inquiries will roll in. All your testimonials will end up there on your places listing and hence more job inquiries.

    Seriously I have seen heaps of businesses succeed from this method. PM me and I can help you out.

    Places is free and worth checking out, just search for Google Places.

    Good Luck

    Peter

    #1075723
    bluepenguin
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    I have a friend who makes a very good living selling people coupon cards for mechanics.

    He goes door to door selling a card that may contain $500 worth of services for $100. It’s very common in your trade as I’m sure you know. I’m not sure how effective it is though. (I’ve been shafted by a shonky mechanic in the past)

    The reason I thought of this, is because it’s a commission based and you would only have to pay if a sale is made. If the salesperson is no good, it costs you nothing.

    #1075724
    HBTRADE
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    We just outlaid $350 or so for a rear window ad – the pinhole / one way vision type that taxis & buses sometimes have. Anywhere the car is, it’s advertising for you. It is expected to last 3 > 4 years, so it is fairly economical (better if people read it & buy…)

    Might be worth the thought.

    #1075725
    Tedious
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    • Total posts: 65
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    morpheyous, post: 95526 wrote:
    Hi,

    You seriously need to look at Google Places, a fully optimised google place listing will get you heaps of customers. You will appear at the top of the search results for mechanic/city and the inquiries will roll in. All your testimonials will end up there on your places listing and hence more job inquiries.

    Seriously I have seen heaps of businesses succeed from this method. PM me and I can help you out.

    Places is free and worth checking out, just search for Google Places.

    Good Luck

    Peter

    Peter,

    Googles a hard nut to crack properly ive already done my best but search results seem to vary from computer to computer, from what i can tell i’m already highly ranked. ( well always in the top 3 places )

    Out of interest if anyone can be bothered search for me……

    Company names Tedious Automotive located in werribee

    Keywords i’ve used include: werribee mechanic, car repairs werribee, auto elec werribee and many more …

    See what you come up with, feel free to pick your own keywords see how well i have it setup.

    Cheers, Andrew

    #1075726
    yourvirtualboard
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    Some good points already – it’s also worth recognising that 1 year is hardly enough time to develop a legacy or even enough repeat business. I do about 30,000 km per year and that means two services (as per manufacturer’s specs). My wife and sons only half of that, so only one service, my point – even if 90% are coming back for servicing, it really would only be once or twice / year. Not sure how many you would like to get through per day but it means your client base really needs to grow and you can influence the speed this happens. To get real leverage you could look at some of the good points already listed in this post already. Also a “referral discount” to existing clients that refer new business may be worth considering. Signage – critical for passing trade, especially as you have congestion outside your premises already, online directories, you should have them all listing your business.

    Do you measure where new clients are coming from and where are most coming from?

    Getting back to basics, there are two points.

    1) what do I do (guess that’s clear enough for you but how are you communicating this to prospects?)
    2) who do I do it for (may seem logical but is it anyone with a car or are you more specific? Who are your biggest group of clients and are you looking to specialise in any clear demographic or area?)

    Getting really clear on what you do and who for helps in deciding where to spend your marketing time and money as a too broad approach usually doesn’t deliver great results.

    Today most are looking for convenience – how can you make that happen for your prospects and in such a way that they would be happy to tell others?

    #1075727
    Calcul8or
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    Hiya Andrew

    In line with Couple It’s views, I say look after the Customers you already have.

    One way that you could increase your bookings IMMEDIATELY is to go through your bookings from say 3 months ago. All of those cars are probably coming close to when their next service is due – hey presto, new prospective bookings!

    Further to this, just call up some of your ad hoc jobs from the past to see how they’re doing with the work you did…..kind of like a courtesy call to make sure everything was good, they were happy etc etc…..I bet you any money you’ll get some of them coming back.

    You’re sitting on a gold mine…..what a lot fo people don’t see that ALL of the advertising/marketing/promotional methods of the past, present and furture, whether powered by carrier pigeon or digital technology, ALL have one thing in common: it’s all about going after customers rather than sitting back and waiting for them to come to you.

    All the best!

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
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