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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Did not get as many responds to the question of what is best form of promotion for your business and the followup question of who has a formal program for referrals.

    One post did prompt me to make this post about basic marketing. If you recall the poster indicated that they use referral and word of mouth because all other forms of adverting did not work.

    To say advertising does not work is inaccurate. Whatever this person did, unfortunately did not work, but it may have been more a case of poor marketing or no marketing before advertising dollars were spent.

    You must develop a marketing strategy before spending one cent on promotion, advertising, etc.

    Marketing does not have to be complicated all you have to do is simply answer some questions:

    1. What am I selling? Is it just detailing or is it protection of investment; protection of leisure time or ego gratification? You must know which customers you are targeting.

    2. Who will buy it? You must profile the customer and what they are buying

    3. Where are they? Do they work near your shop; live near your shop. If mobile do they work or live in your market service area.

    4. How do you reach them? That is, what media do you use to reach them? Direct mail; handbills; newspaper advertising; radio, TV, what?

    5. What do you say to them to get them to call or come by?

    You advertising must answer these questions quickly:

    a. Who are you?

    b. What do you want?

    c. Who says (testimonials)

    d. What`s in it for me? (what does the customer gain)

    If you can answer these simple marketing questions you will get the most bang for your advertising buck.

    Never buy advertising because it is cheap. It may not be your market. For example what if a local radio station offers you 30 - 30 second spots a month for $30. Great deal right? But what is the station is a rock and roll station whose listening audience is the 18 to 25 crowd. Not going to get much bang from that crowd are you?

    Wouldn`t you rather reach the 35 to 55 crowd?

    If you answer the questions and send me the answers I would be happy to give you some suggestion.


    Bud Abraham

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Arlington, TX
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    You sound like my college marketing professor!

    You are right on about targeting our market since it is so specific. Radio is too broad, Yellow Pages and craigslist tend to cater to the price shoppers. Places like golf courses are a good start, they tend to have a more wealthy customer base. Even putting a business card on a high end car can pay off. 1 business card on one car has brought me continual business for 16 years now from that customer along with several other customers I have picked up over the years he has referred me to.

    I test for Optimum, Clearkote, Meguiars

    Authorized Opti-Coat Pro installer

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Thank you for this post buda and for yours Scottwax. I`ve gotten into this business more as a passion than as a business man, having no prior business experience! I am now doing this for a living. Some things you`ve said here have given me some ideas and got the creative wheels spinning in my head.

    On The Spot Mobile Detailing

    Serving Saint John and Surrounding Area

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Bud, I wanted to bump this because I don`t think you get as many replies and credit as you deserve for your incredibly valuable posts in the business section of this forum. They`re all incredibly well written, and pertain exactly to the industry. Just wanted to say thanks for your work putting these together!


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by RenuAuto
    Bud, I wanted to bump this because I don`t think you get as many replies and credit as you deserve for your incredibly valuable posts in the business section of this forum. They`re all incredibly well written, and pertain exactly to the industry. Just wanted to say thanks for your work putting these together!


    Grant, thank you very much for your kind words. Glad to know that you find the information of value in your business. That is, hopefully, the point of this type of post and information.

    Detailers are pretty good technicians and working hard to learn more about the technical side of the business, but unfortunately it is very difficult for a "technician mentality" to run a business. It is proven time and time again. Sure there are exceptions, but in the main, they either struggle or go out of business.

    There is a great book written by Michael Gerber, "The E Myth - Revisited" that every existing detailer and anyone thinking of starting a detail business MUST read.

    He states that the "fatal mistake that most small business people make is that they believe if you know the technical work of a business, you can run a business that does technical work."

    He states that it is fatal because it is not true and the #1 cause of their failure in business.

    Most small businesses are started by technicians who get the urge for a number of reasons to start their own businesses. The problem is that is all the skill they have is "technical." And when in business and they are confronted by business problems they have NO knowledge or skills on how to handle them and they either guess or try to solve them with "technical" solutions. And, not solving the business problems they fail or at best struggle to make a living.

    The book can be purchased used on for far less than the new price of $7.50. It is 1/2" thick and can be easily read in a couple of days, even if you are a slow reader.

    Grant, evidence of the Gerber premise is shown here on the forum where, as you point out, few posts with regard to my article/posts on business issues.

    You compare the posts and these type of articles vs posts on technical issues and they will run 3 or 4 to 1.


    Bud Abraham




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