Twenty years ago, the local Yellow Pages drummed up business… the landscape has evolved to a plethora of “Yellow Pages”.
In part 1 of this article, we discussed the basics that every auto repair facility needs to thrive. Among the list, we left marketing, advertising, and software for this article. We felt they warranted a much more informative approach. We thought we were going to be able to curtail this to a 2 part series, but I think we will need to break this down further to provide our readers with something they can actually use. We start part 2 with marketing, as this is usually a job within itself that medium sized firms must hire or outsource someone for. A smaller auto repair business might not be able to afford a marketing person and needs a plan in place to be noticed.
The most effective definition of marketing is simply, “Marketing is the process of teaching consumers why they should choose your product or service over your competitors. “.1 The only way to teach consumers why they should choose your product is by having a good website, an active social media presence, a good process for your customers (ie; good auto repair software like CAR), and an advertising channel that brings it all home. Advertising is covered in part 3.
Having a good web team is a lot like finding a good mechanic, hard to come by and the best usually comes from referrals. But all of them are relative to price, much like the rest of the world. However, you don’t need a crazy expensive website to draw people in. Your website needs the basics. A legible, clean and clear main page that should highlight what your auto business is about. Things like your phone number(s), address, services, and customer testimonials (if you have any) are a great start. Refer to this template for starters. Don’t be daunted by all the things there, cut out all the noise.
When you first start you need the basics! The basics all revolve around these questions:
- Where am I located?
- What is my phone number?
- Do you want people to be able to email you from your website? (PS, it’s highly recommended that they can contact you. It’s a trust thing even though you won’t get many requests from there at first.)
- What kind of vehicles do I want customers to know I work on or specialize in?
- What services do I perform on those vehicles?
- What are my hours of operation?
- What social media profiles do I want to let people know I actively participate in? ( Personally, we only recommend starting with Facebook, Google Business and Yext.)
Website Options (Cost $ to $$$$):
You can create your own website yourself at Wix. While it’s a little harder to get yourself noticed through those platforms, it provides a medium that nearly anyone can use to create some simple websites to answer all of those questions at a very low price in comparison to a web developer. If you have more of a budget and are short on time, you can use services like Fiverr to put you together with entrepreneurs who build websites for lots of clients everyday. We mention Fiverr because we were pleasantly surprised with how seamless it’s process is, there are other services that can be used.
Create A Facebook Business Page (Free):
Why is Facebook important? Because it’s presently how many people communicate, thus giving you access to that pool of people. With and without ads. All instructions for this are available at their website.
Create a Google Business Page (Free):
Why is a Google Business Page important? Ever use Google to look something up or Google Maps to get around? So has like 80% of the world’s population. You NEED to be here, even with just a free page. All instructions are available at their website.
In part 3, and 4 of this article, we will discuss the Advertising and Software on that list from Part 1. CAR has a unique process that markets on your behalf by making the customer central to the entire process at your facility. But we know that this is merely a piece of the pie in today's landscape. So our focus within this article is to explore the other areas you need to be focused on. With CAR as your auto repair software, your focus isn't required to run a successful process... we already a decent portion of the heavy lifting for you. You just need to subscribe.
Follow along with this 4 part series, where we pass on lessons about our experiences running a business in 2018. This is focused on the auto repair industry, but there is plenty here that can be applied forward to help other businesses get off the ground and noticed locally. Even though the businesses may differ significantly, the challenges of getting noticed and operating efficiently are similar.