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Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

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  • #31
    Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

    Originally posted by mtnman1100 View Post
    Wow This Is An Awesome Bb. I Just Found It Today.
    I Am Also Just Getting My Business Off The Ground And Using Bulletin Boards Like This One, Here In Colorado, Has Attracted Some Attention. Then The Referrals Start And More Business. It's Great.
    Welcome!
    There are countless message boards for the trades online.
    This one has a much warmer feel to it than others, many of us have come to know eachother in real life, some speak over the phone often as well.

    We have our moments, disagreements happen, but being able to swap idea's and debate differences at home as if you were hanging at the supply house is amazing.

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    • #32
      Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

      Originally posted by mtnman1100 View Post
      Wow This Is An Awesome Bb. I Just Found It Today.
      I Am Also Just Getting My Business Off The Ground And Using Bulletin Boards Like This One, Here In Colorado, Has Attracted Some Attention. Then The Referrals Start And More Business. It's Great.

      Welcome to the forum and enjoy. Good luck with your adventure, the feeling is great, work hard and be fair, all the rest comes, find things that put you seperate from your competition.

      whether it is wearing booties, a good personality, find something to seperate yourself and run with it.

      congrats!!!
      sigpic

      Robert

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      • #33
        Re: http://widecircles.com?imt=3

        What do you guys do when it slows down? I don't know what happened, but my new business was finally getting somewhat steady and november, december and january were looking up. However, February and march have been really, realy dead. Its getting scary. Luckily I have a new yellowpages ad coming out in April and I am currently working on a business website. But I need work NOW!
        Any tricks to drum up some quick business?
        Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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        • #34
          Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

          Service Guy,

          Send out 50% off coupons. Then raise all your prices 50%.

          Seriously, it is slow for us right now too, but I have seen this same trend every year thus far. Reorganize your tools, get blades sharpened, clean the van and just wait. Hopefully this summer you will be asking us how to deal with your phone ringing constantly.
          Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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          • #35
            Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

            Au contraire, phones been going nuts...suddenly busier than it was this time last year.
            I'm getting some new business, but I'd wager 75% is repeats or referrals right now.
            Talked to another member last night on the phone (adam) and he's all out as well.
            One possible idea, look up old customers and give a call to ask how things are with the work you'd done...I have in the past and have been surprized at how many remember there are other things they need done.

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            • #36
              Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

              I to have been very slow in fact, last Tuesday I was ready to pack it up. Then out of the blue we got a few calls and managed to pull a half decent week.
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              Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

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              • #37
                Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                Originally posted by Tyman View Post
                Service Guy,

                Send out 50% off coupons. Then raise all your prices 50%.

                Seriously, it is slow for us right now too, but I have seen this same trend every year thus far. Reorganize your tools, get blades sharpened, clean the van and just wait. Hopefully this summer you will be asking us how to deal with your phone ringing constantly.
                That makes me feel a little bit better. I am only doing a few piddly calls/week. I am trying my best to maintain a positive outlook.
                Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                • #38
                  Re: http://widecircles.com?imt=3

                  [quote=Service Guy;129323]What do you guys do when it slows down? I don't know what happened, but my new business was finally getting somewhat steady and november, december and january were looking up. However, February and march have been really, realy dead. Its getting scary. Luckily I have a new yellowpages ad coming out in April and I am currently working on a business website. But I need work NOW!
                  Any tricks to drum up some quick business?[/quote]

                  first off, you need to get rid of the drum and go sectional

                  but seriously, there will always be slow times. typically when i look back on my computer and see my monthly totals, year after year, april will slow down due to taxes, income and property.

                  of course in the service side, things break, plug every month.

                  repeat business and customer referrals are the key to keeping busy.

                  try generating an incentive program for your current customers. maybe something as simple as a coffee, grocery gift card.

                  the more customer base, the less down time

                  with small scale jobs, i have to do a lot of little jobs to keep busy/ make money.

                  of course with large scale jobs it's the opposite. but then i can't service the little jobs that come in daily.

                  it's a toss up and you need to decide what works for you.

                  i gave up remodels and re pipes as i don't have the time or help.

                  the more time you've been in business, the easier it gets to keep busy

                  good luck keep positive. the phone will ring.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #39
                    Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                    You guys are like good, old friends already!
                    Good ideas, I decided to send out coupon postcards to all my previous customers. I don't have that many*yet...only 110 previous customers so far! But they've kept me in business this far and a friendly postcard/coupon will at least remind them of me, and even if they don't need me, that reminder may be enough to drop my name to a friend they know.

                    I know someday I'll look back at this first year of business infancy and laugh, but when I'm in the middle of it, its not so funny!
                    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                    • #40
                      Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                      Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                      I know someday I'll look back at this first year of business infancy and laugh, but when I'm in the middle of it, its not so funny!
                      No lie, that's exactly what crossed my mind just now as I drove home.
                      In the last two weeks I have gotten more calls than I can handle, especially today & yesterday...most are old customers with new projects.

                      Back in early January, like clockwork I went through the usual "panic syndrome"...it gets predictably slow that time every year, but the economy added to my angst.
                      My wife just laughed at me and said "I don't want to hear it when you whine about 12 hour days this year...you do this every year!".
                      Sure enough I'm swamped...I might have to either sub out or look into expanding...worked Sat & sunday this weekend & thats getting old quick.

                      I am not trying to lecture, or sound like I'm the business model for success...long way to go for that.
                      What has proven to work is ALWAYS answer the phone, I've answered my cell phone at Thanksgiving while at the in-laws, I've answered the phone at 11pm, at little league games, while taking a shower, & during sex.
                      (yes, I'm kidding about the last two)
                      Bottom line, when you're reliable, people remember you.

                      I always clean the area I worked in...don't care if it's a slum with crap everywhere, my spot is clean when I'm done.

                      Be real, being constantly agreeable thinking you're being professional might come off as superficial, uptight or make you look like you're hiding something.
                      I have one customer that moved here from NYC...wears his Yankee's hat whenever I stop by....he just knows I'll give him my evil smirk and tell him they suck.
                      He also knows that if I tell him he has corroded copper lines that are going to give, I'm not inventing it.


                      This is what has worked for me, seeing you post here in the forum totally reminds me of what I went through when I first started on my own not too long ago.

                      I'm sure you know these things already, but thought I'd confirm that it really does work.

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                      • #41
                        Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                        Originally posted by Tyman View Post
                        Send out 50% off coupons. Then raise all your prices 50%.
                        Meant to comment on this before, you were kidding obviously, but the sad truth is tricks like that work.
                        Gets you a customer for one time only.
                        I know loads of guys that advertize dirt prices, then add "necessary" work once they get there.
                        Same deal, one time shots...they lose your number after the jobs done.
                        I'm no ad exec, or demographic marketing specialist, but tactics like that make your ad budget grow over time to stay busy...just my hunch.

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                        • #42
                          Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                          Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                          You guys are like good, old friends already!
                          Good ideas, I decided to send out coupon postcards to all my previous customers. I don't have that many*yet...only 110 previous customers so far! But they've kept me in business this far and a friendly postcard/coupon will at least remind them of me, and even if they don't need me, that reminder may be enough to drop my name to a friend they know.

                          I know someday I'll look back at this first year of business infancy and laugh, but when I'm in the middle of it, its not so funny!
                          I send my customers post cards like every other month. I have customers wait for the 10% off and slam me with a days work at once.

                          I also mail about 2000 postcards a month, this is really good too. Keeps me in peoples minds and keeps my logo out in front of them, so they have a picture.

                          The closer to tax time you get the slower it gets.

                          Here is a remedy to slow periods, get lots of commercial / income property accounts, these accounts always have problems, and I call them charge accounts, charge accounts are your best customers as long as you take care of them and they always have something going on.

                          Hang in there, clean your van, market yourself, straighten your tools and organize, because if you don't do it now, you won't have the time later
                          sigpic

                          Robert

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                          • #43
                            Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                            What a thread ! learned loads in the last hour.

                            You guys are brilliant, wish i had mates like you in britain.

                            You have all changed my view of an american worker.


                            (don't ask what i thought, i'm not sure)

                            Please keep this going, i'm picking some really good tips up, thanks!

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                            • #44
                              Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                              I'm a long time forum reader even if I haven't posted much.
                              I know this is probably a looney way to look at the advertising question but here goes... I'm a one man shop for 11 yrs now (34 yrs total in the plumbing business). I have never advertised (except for that church bulletin-they were customers and I felt obligated), and though I've had those slow weeks, usually never more than a month, there is always something that comes in (sometimes just in time!)
                              There are several reasons that I think referrals are preferable.
                              When a referral comes to you asking for your help, it immediately puts you in a better position than if you are asking (via advertising) for their business. First, they are not usually so demanding about appointment times and they are generally not "shopping" for the best deal.
                              They already know that your work and character are superior because after all, they were referred by a friend or relative or whomever.
                              Because they were referred, you will almost never get stiffed, for whatever reason, because they would lose face with the person that referred them, You know, most of my customers have become as friends or family even. So, they would not think of referring a deadbeat to me.
                              Regarding "drumming up" business. If one is not in this only for the sake of the work, but rather for the many relationships you develop through your work, then it kind of happens naturally.
                              If you read about one of your customers promotion in the newspaper then send a handwritten note of congratulations. Birthday cards, attend their kids recital, invite them to your kids recital, just call to check in on them (as was mentioned earlier in this thread).
                              Also, branch out into other areas. If you deal in water or air purifiers, make calls and offer to put one in for trial purposes, no charge to them. You will frequently get sales from that plus, it is a big benefit to your customer.
                              Sorry to drag on so long. If you look at all the typos in this rant you will know why I seldom post. I can't believe this thread started last June!
                              Best regards to all.
                              "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                              • #45
                                Re: Advertising VS. Word of Mouth

                                I know that it is hard at times and these are not easy times. I see the construction guys starting to do mmore of the service end of things and they really foul things up. Then there are the big "Rooter" guys that have young inexperienced techs that think they know something and just sell abill of goods. I wish that I could educate customers better about me so they would know the quality of work that I do. Any tips on how to accomplish that?
                                Keep it Green

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