NSPG has been providing the tools that allow contractors to
increase profits and minimize business hassles. With our
simple-to-use-tools, you can make being a business owner
what you always wanted to it be -
successful, profitable and rewarding.
all know about the standard advertising sources for our
industries. From the very expensive "Yellow" books
to free word of mouth leads that cost us
nothing to generate. This month, we'll take a look
at a few low cost advertising ideas that work.
It's almost always more cost effective to sell
to an existing customer than to find a new customer.
One of the simplest ways to get an existing customer to
call is to send out a letter thanking them for their
business. A paragraph describing the broad range
of products, services, and service agreements you
specialize in is a must. Include a section describing an
inexpensive but valuable service that you can perform
for them. For a plumber, this could be a story
about replacing washing machine hoses after one has
The idea of this mailing, and really any advertising is
to put your company's name in front of your potential
customers in a positive light. Plant the seed that
they need to do something now to avoid problems later by
using the professional services you can provide.
inexpensive advertising method is the business card.
You should have professionally printed business cards
with contact information, logo, and slogan. You
and all of your employees should always have a supply of
these with you.
Give them to current customers,
prospective customers, anyone who might be or know a
potential customer. Be sure your business card
logo matches the logo on the letterhead to reinforce
your business image.
The classic means of advertising for our trades is the
side of your truck.
An attractive, simple message with your phone number,
company name, and slogan prominently displayed is a
In many places, the Internet is a primary source for
your potential customers to find you. The days of
opening the phone book or even a local paper are over.
You need to be available on the net.
In our June 2005 issue, we discussed the Google Local
search feature. This is a
allows you to search for local businesses by typing a
trade and a zip code. The number two search
engine, Yahoo has a similar service. The question for
your business is, "How do we get listed?".
Helping the search engines find you is actually pretty
easy. If you're listed in the yellow pages from
just about any of the national and most local sources, you're
probably in the search system because they have your
listing on line. Now, you need to move to the top.
To do this, you need to have your company information
listed in many places. A quick way to do this is
to do a Google local search for your trade in your area.
To illustrate, we'll search for Plumbing in the local
zip code 07640.
Here's what we get along with a map
the location of the business. If you click on the
more info>> link below the company name, a new window
opens that shows any individual listings of the company
that Google has found on the Internet.
If you click on one of these links, you will see the
original site where the company was listed. Many
of these sites are free listing services where you can
add your own company's information. Look at the
top or bottom of the listing site to see if they have an
"Add Your Company" link.
Within a few weeks, Google, Yahoo, and the other search
engines will be able to include this listing in their
search results. The more legitimate listings your
company has, the higher up on the search list you will
Don't know what to put in your listing? Find a few
high quality listings for businesses that are
similar to yours, and use them as models for your entry.
Be sure to change the listing to fit your individual
company with your own words. You should never copy any other listings.
Repeat this process for several listed companies until
you have listed your business in all of the local
advertising venues you can find. Don't forget that
many towns have their own free listings, so go to the
local town web site, and sign up. Be sure to list
your business' web site address in all of your listings.
This will improve your web site's rating on most search
engines, and could bring more local traffic to your site.
Here are a few business listing sites on the web.
(NSPG has no relationship with any
of these sites, and you should check them out before
placing your information on them).
If you're a Bio-Clean distributor, Moen certified, or
part of any number of other manufacturer programs, you
can get a free listing on the manufacturer's web site that the search
engines will find.
I any advertising you so, keep a few basic advertising
truisms in mind.
Always have a single,
simple message. Most people over 40 will have
trouble remembering your company's name, so a
complicated ad message will not work.
Be honest. If you say
you're company is the best in quality and service,
and it clearly is not, advertising will not work.
Make sure your ad
looks professional. If you have the tools and
the skill, do it yourself. If not pay a
professional to do it. The cost will be
included in your Numbers Cruncher overhead budget,
so spend it to make the sale.
- Ask for the sale. Always have your contact
information in the ad for potential customers so
they know how to take advantage of your offer
your costs and the actual performance of your
advertising should be collected and
analyzed to identify who your customers are, what they
think about your business, and how better to reach them.
Numbers Cruncher, Price Guide, Service Score Card, and
Performance Dispatch Plus can help you leverage this
information to maximize the return on your advertising
investment. Use these or any tools you have to be
sure that your advertising is working for you.
Otherwise, you could be wasting your money.
You can give Mike Conroy a call to discuss your
advertising strategy, your
numbers, or your flat rate books even if you do not use
He always enjoys talking to business owners who are
willing to work their way to success..
Measure Monthly, Adjust Quarterly
& Achieve Annual Profit Goals
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