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I own a repair shop in south texas where damage to windshields is a daily occurance. I used to run a tent set up at the local mall for about a year, but had to change locations due to the malls change in ownership. At the mall i was fairly successful, averaging 8-12 repairs per day. Some days more, some less. I go through the insurance companies affiliated with SGC and Lynx, and of course offer a cash price.
Recently Ive leased a spot in a small strip mall on a busy road, but am not seeing near the volume of customers as i did at the mall location. My question is how are those of you with a brick and mortar location advertising? How are you tracking where your customers hear about you? And is it just me, or does everyone just expect to see a tent/van set up in this line of work? Now keep in mind this is the end of my second week at this new location, but any tips or advice would be greatly appriciated. Thanks!
- Brent Deines
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Google My Business: Properly setting up a Google My Business page and getting positive reviews from customers. We saw a 327.8% increase in windshield repairs and a 148% increase in headlight restorations in 2017, mostly because we optimized our GMB pages. It's free and relatively easy, but you have to set it up right and you have to get reviews because you will be competing with glass shops in your area, but you will not be competing with the mobile businesses much because the GMB pages are primarily for fixed locations. On a side note, we used Yelp for a while and we did receive some traffic, but not nearly the quantity or quality of the traffic we receive from Google for free. It won't happen overnight, but having a good GMB page is a good long term play.
Facebook: First let me say I've never been a Facebook fan, and I still don't have much good to say about it, but I will say that running a Facebook ad is less expensive than just about any other form of advertising, and you can target specific groups easier and better than anything else I can think of. The challenge is finding the optimal group to target, which I have to admit I leave up to our marketing manager. Facebook reviews, likes, and follows are free, and can also help your brick and mortar store.
Referral Rewards: You are probably getting tired of me talking about this one, but I really feel it can be the incredibly powerful and how much it costs is directly related to how well it is working for you. Start with businesses that are near you and small enough that you can talk directly with the owners whenever possible. Small business owners are generally open to discussing how they can put money in their pockets with no upfront cost and very little effort on their part. They also like to be able to provide something of value to their customers that costs them nothing. You provide them with brochures or coupons that save their customers X amount and every time their customer visits you they receive a referral reward. I'm absolutely shocked at how few business do this. I mean if a tire shop owner handed me a bunch of coupons to hand out to my customers, and every time someone used one of those coupons they received 10% off the service and I received a 10% referral reward, my employees and I would by handing out coupons like candy, and that tire shop owner will likely feel the same way if you give him coupons to hand out to his customers. I will say this however, you have to make it really easy for the owner of the other company and you have to get a check in their hands right away to prove you will actually pay him for the referrals. It's on the honor system so be sure you are honorable! By the way, it doesn't have to be 10%, I was just using that for an example. Remember, since you only give the discount and pay the referral reward if/when a coupon is presented, you have very little cost if it is not working. Most advertising doesn't work that way.
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Delta Kits, Inc.
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- Location: Vancouver,WA.
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Brent... how is Delta Kits requesting reviews from customer? I've been struggling to get Yelp customers to review my biz.
Ford...I think my contact info is available. Feel free to call and we can talk shop. I won't disclose everything I'm doing on the forum. Pacific time zone.
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