Auto Repair Shops… What does it take to grow your business?
A good mechanic is one of the most valuable connections most people have, but in this highly competitive industry is it enough to be a talented mechanic? What does it really take to grow an Auto Repair Business?
A sign on the door isn’t enough exposure for your business to be successful. A good reputation, knowing your customers, and building your referral base is extremely important. Like most businesses, a good location and a welcoming waiting room are also important to your business success. All of these elements combined put you on the path to success, but how do customers know you are in business in the first place?
Most great mechanics would prefer working on vehicles instead of spending time and a lot of money on marketing. What directs customers to choose your shop over another? Good solid marketing. Here are a few simple and affordable ideas that can help you grow your auto mechanic shop.
First You Need a Website. Yes. You Need a Website!
People research mechanics like they do doctors. Even a referred client wants to know a little bit about your shop before they come in. Your website doesn’t have to be fully loaded, but it needs to give them an idea of who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Do you have a specialty? Do you work on their make and model of vehicle? Do you have the equipment necessary for the repairs? Customers will also be searching your website for your hours, phone and location (with a map). Adding a video goes a long way to showing your capabilities; and remember to add the testimonials or reviews!
PRO TIP: Include an offer on your website, for example, a free inspection or tire rotation for new customers.
Next, Use Social Media to Enhance Your Online Presence
Just having a website is not enough marketing effort. There are many free and low-cost ways to manage your online presence to attract people to your site. You can have a presence (or profile) on an automotive mechanic review website, Google, or other review sites with or without buying advertising. A Facebook page (or other social media channel) is also free and can be very effective. Social Media provides a place to keep your client base informed as to what is new in your shop or remind them to get their vehicle checked before taking it on a road trip, or you can post a short video or photo of the ‘cool’ vehicle you just worked on. You can also have a customer make a testimonial video when they pick up their car. Spending a few minutes a week, consistently, will keep you active with your client base so when they need you or have a friend that needs your shop, you are right there, interacting with them.
PRO TIP: Remember to always link social media sites back to your website.
GO Offline to Market Your Online Presence
Distributing business cards, brochures, and flyers in strategic locations and placing ads are ways to drive business to your website and ultimately your shop. Signage and seasonally painting your windows can also advertise to drive-by customers.
How could you promote your business in a surprising, new, and effective way?
One very cool, new promotion technique is mobile Proximity Marketing. It has the ability to advertise your business to people where they look the most: on their smartphones!
Imagine a client walking by your shop or, maybe, they are sitting at the business next door having a cup of coffee, when they see a brief message on their phone that says something like “YOU NEED A MECHANIC: WE CAN HELP!” or “SCHEDULE YOUR FREE INSPECTION…NOW!” with a clickable link to your website, Google Review, or Social Media site!
How Exactly Does Proximity Marketing Work?
When you subscribe to GO SERVICES, you receive a GO, a portable, wireless device that can fit in the palm of your hand. The GOs are very easy to place on the back of sandwich boards, benches, billboards, shop windows or anywhere you see a lot of foot traffic and people looking at their smart devices. You can decide where to place your GO-based on your target market.
Using web-based programming platform called GO SERVICES, you craft a variety of targeted 40 character messages, each with a clickable link which can be viewed as a notification on smartphones and devices that come within range. An optional add-on called GO PLUS enables you to easily design an actual ad that includes:
a photo, graphic or video
– a special or discount to attract a new customer
– details about the offer
– your phone number
– your address
– and a click-through link to your website or social media site.
Your ad can be saved to people’s mobile phones in an e-wallet, shared by email or text, and even posted to Facebook. How cool is that!
As you can see from the chart: reports are available to show you how your GOs are working. You would think this technology would be expensive, but you can have it for less than a cup of coffee a day!
This three-step process of first creating a website, then driving customers to your information through your online presence and your offline marketing, including GO SERVICES by, can help promote your Auto Repair Shop simply, affordably and effectively.