Low-cost auto repair marketing ideas outside the Box: Business Cards
While marketing your auto repair business is a critical part of building a successful business, it doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. Many different kinds of marketing exist; you’re probably aware of: print, online ads, social media, radio, television, and direct mail marketing, but what about the old-fashioned go-to-where-the-customers-are kind? There are several options available using the everyday business card you already have but probably underuse.
Michael Taft used them to build his own auto service business. His advice? “Go to local companies that serve the automotive industry and ask them to send you the customers that they cannot serve. For example, I went to Discount Tire in my local area and asked them to send me customers who needed wheel alignments.” Taft had special business cards printed giving the bearer a 25% discount on a 4-wheel alignment. Since Discount Tire benefited from the properly aligned wheels lasting longer, they were happy, and Taft added an extra 20-30 customers a month just from Discount Tire referrals alone. “Those wheel alignments turned in to brake jobs, tie rods, pitman arms, idler arms and a whole lot more, not to mention the fact that they are now part of my mailing list so I can market to them regularly.”
Entrepreneur.com recommends extending your garage service outside of your garage by offering mobile mechanic services. For people who can’t easily drive their motorized vehicle to a garage, this would be a godsend. Distribute your business cards to local businesses and government offices. Pass them out to RV parks and private campgrounds, hotels, convention centers, anyone who might appreciate this service, but have no idea who to call when they need it. “Your customers can be anybody with wheels. Target the average driver on the street as well as corporations and institutions that will be delighted to have you arrive on site so their employees don’t need to be away from their desks.” Even if you have no interest in starting a mobile mechanic unit, these are great places to cover with business cards. Try to develop a friendly relationship with customer service representatives in these places, so they remember to pass out your card when the time comes.
Use business cards with flyers, and hang them in public places – grocery store or university bulletin boards, anywhere that gets a lot of traffic, especially more affluent areas. If you make your flyer eye-catching and informative, highlighting your business’s experience, and your business logo is memorable, you may find yourself with a number of new customers. Make sure to check to see if the cards need to be replaced or refilled.
It is probably not worth it to flash your business card randomly at social occasions, and you likely won’t get many new customers from putting them in fishbowls at restaurants, but business cards are a very focused form of advertising, and, given their reasonable cost, it would be a shame not to use them to target a broader audience for your auto repair business. What other ideas to you have to market your auto repair shop?