I think I need more Customers but where is the Silver Bullet??
Almost every business thinks that they need more customers and feel they have to scramble to get them. Marketing ‘How To’ books are some of the best sellers on the market. Why is this such a mystery? How can so many people believe they need help. The question is, do you need help or are you looking for the silver bullet? Here are just the beginning steps to help your shop. They’re not hard but they do take time and effort to get them done properly. The temptation to skip steps can be great but it just destroys your spirit and wastes your time with inaccurate results. If you want more and are willing to do the work, keep reading……
This is a general guideline and is open to many variations depending on your specific shop. It is, however, a great place to start and make sure you have the basics covered before you spend any time, money or energy on Marketing. First thing, answer the following questions….
1. What do I want?
a. This for your shop and for you personally. You may get a “entrepreneurial seizure” and want to add 5 bays or create a new shop. This will help to keep you focused on the balance between your business life and your personal life. Remember that success is not measured in dollars, no matter how many times you may hear different. Everything starts with a goal.
2. What do I need?
a. Based on your goals, what will it take to get to that next level? What do I have in Labor Inventory? Does my staff give 'Good Phone'? Can they answer in a way that will bring people in? Do I need to add staff? How does this relate to fixed costs? This section is all about the math behind the business. Many people skip this stage and just go for it but without a clear plan of what they are going for. A “Win # Drill” would be a great start. Run a ‘Gap Analysis’ to see the difference between where you are and where you want to be.
3. What do I have?
a. Part of this has to do with staffing, Bays, Labor Inventory, etc….However. the biggest part here is what Customers do I have? You need to start with a ‘Customer Source Report’. What is bringing my customers in? Am I even asking them? Am I tracking where they are coming from? Am I getting new customers from the internet? Are they coming back? Are most of my Customers ‘Repeats”? Am I getting all of the cars in the household? It boils down to what is bring my customers in now and where do I need to focus to get more of them as fast and easy as possible. Another great point here is to do a ‘homemade’ Frequency Report. It’s very simple but it does take time. Find the Customers that came in, this week, 9 months ago. Look up the history and see if they have come back and make a note of 0 visits, 1 visit,2 and 3+ visits. This will help to let you know if you have a retention or an acquisition problem. Combined with the source report you can see if the first visit categories are coming back for a second visit. You will fall into the Car Count Matrix below somewhere;
High Acquisition x High Acquisition
High retention x Low retention
Low Acquisition x Low Acquisition
High Retention x Low Retention
Once you have finished this, you will be ready to start putting together a marketing plan. Depending on what quadrant you find yourself, you will need a very different strategy to grow your shop!
I will follow up with the plan for each quadrant so you can have a specific plan of action!
***This is just the beginning, but it is a very good beginning. Anything else is guessing and that just doesn’t pay the bills!!!
For a video explaining more about this topic;