It is often joked about how advertising an auto repair shop is a matter of keeping the shop filled with cars and having as much grease as you can on the tools and staff. The truth is, though, if your competitors suddenly start aggressively advertising and throwing out promotions, you can lose a big chunk of the customer base that falls outside of your core of regulars.
But, don’t panic, you can try to take advantage of some fundamental marketing tips to get that traffic back or just to expand operations without investing a ton of money. In today’s digital age, we must utilize all types of marketing in combination for the best results. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Outline a marketing budget
Before you go anywhere with this plan to expand your customer base, you should set some goals and guidelines for yourself. That way you not only prevent mistakes from impacting your business, but you also have a baseline to measure from.
Having a budget is a no-brainer for any business, but when figuring out your marketing plan, you should set out to challenge yourself with how much you can have an impact on business with as little money as possible.
The first place you should venture out to find affordable ways to market your auto repair shop is through establishing an online presence. If you can’t afford to hire a web designer yet to make your business its own website, then invest some time and money into having an active social media presence. This means running some combination of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can use your accounts as an interactive hub and community for customers to ask questions, give feedback, and for you to show off your handy-work.
Eventually, you may want to look into hiring a social media management team to improve your reach and advertise online, which is by far the most cost-effective form of advertising for a small business.
Create an online newsletter
Regardless if you have your own website or not, you should get your customers to sign up for a regular newsletter in which you can create weekly or monthly news updates on things like discount specials, customer reviews, tips from experts, and so on. This regular form of communication is integral to effective marketing, so you should work on this newsletter structure as soon as you’re setup online.
Not only does having an email subscriber list keep you in-touch with your regulars, it also allows for you to have a database of names and a personal connection establish before you even do business with others.
The bottom line
Even though you can’t afford a big ad in the newspaper or a flashy billboard downtown, you can still create some momentum for your business online, which in-turn will keep your shop full of cars and thereby completing the circle of an auto repair shop’s marketing campaign. Therefore “Stay Greasy!”, but not for show, but because you have so many clients to take care of.