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  • Advertising

    Hello,I'm new to this forum pretty interesting stuff.

    I'm a journey man plumber and I started working for myself 6 months ago.
    I was wondering about advertising,some tradesman tell me not to waste
    the money I'll get most of my business word of mouth.Then some tell me
    advertise advertise advertise.Any thoughts?

    CJ Mac

  • #2
    Re: Advertising

    It's a bit of a catch 22 eh? How are you going to get referrals if nobody knows about you in the first place?

    I think your goal should be to eliminate your advertising budget. You'd do this with exceptional service. The more people who are happy with you and refer you to others, the more your phone will ring and the less you'll need to spend on ads.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Advertising

      How much you need to advertise depends on many factors, such as the number of plumbers in your area, and the population. Some types of advertising work well if your local area population is over 200,000, and some types of advertising don't seem to work at all.

      Personally, I've never found anything that works, but the population of my area is small. I used to get more than I wanted by word of mouth, but now there are too many plumbers in the area and I'm seriously thinking about exploring different types of advertising, such as door hangers, mailers, etc.

      In some areas, it seems as if whoever has the biggest, most expensive phone book ad is more likely to get the call, in other areas, people look for the simple one-line listing because they want it cheap.

      Some plumbers charge so much that they have to have a lot of advertising to offset their lack of repeat business. Some charge so little that they have to work seven days a week and evenings to keep up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Advertising

        cj, welcome to the forum

        i've never advertised, but i too worked for a new construction shop for 14 years and did service on the side. so i already had a built in network of customers that refered me to their friends and neighbors.

        i guess it really depends on how much work you have right now. with service you need daily calls, with construction you might only need a call once a week or month.

        i wouldn't waste your money on the yellow pages. i would concentrate in the area around where you live and work that area.

        i drive about 120 miles a week. i chose to go beyond my 6 mile radius. but i charge for it. your customers will appreciate the fact that you live close and can get to the job quicker. sure you might be on a call already, but you can catch it on your way home.

        do a good job and your customer base will grow.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advertising

          Thanks for the info Gentelmen.

          I've been posting ads on craigslist as
          well as sending flyers to recently sold homes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Advertising

            here's what i did. it worked for me so, YMMV.

            as a start up business i had a dozen shirts printed. company name, phone #, what we do and slogan BIG on the back. company name Phone # and slogan over right breas.t

            printed 250 business cards on the computer.

            i wore (still do) a company shirt monday - saturday virtually everywhere i go and handed out cards constantly. i hit every hardware xtore, rental shop, supply house, real estae agent, rental manager, property manager, handyman, etc with a personal visit, a card (or cards), and an introduction of myself and my business model

            i then took out an ad in the local paper announcing that i was in business and it had a border that reads "clip & save".

            i had signs made up for the van. the side signs will be larger when i redo them 3rdn qyarter this year.

            my newspaper advertising today consists of a small ad 2x/week in the Business Classifieds and a larger ad in the body of the paper (again with the clip & save border) in the Sunday/Monday paper.

            i do have a telephone directory ad.. one display ad, and 1 "see ad in" for the yellow pages and the company inthe white pages ($1800/year or $156/month)

            i also networked with some of the better plumbers and we refer each other. our agreement, i don't do "plumbing" and they don't do drain cleaning. a win win for everyone.

            i also network with the both of the septic pumpers on the rock.

            i don't do radio or TV but may reconsider if my sole serious competitor makes that move.

            i also try to give the very best customer service possible and get referals from that.

            like i said, that's what works for me, and welcome to the forum.

            steve
            In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Advertising

              Originally posted by cjmacph View Post
              well as sending flyers to recently sold homes.
              DEAD on...perfect target for your business, I have a "shlew" of regulars I got when they first bought their homes through appraisals through RE agents.
              IF you go that route, be sure you charge for estimates...very few pan out, but the ones that do are great.
              They seldom make bones about a fee, it's a business write-off.

              Nice font by the way...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Advertising

                Good Forum to join CJ.

                Might not want to advertise RIGHT WERE YOU live . Everyone starts to treat you like your door is open 24/7 ,,,, gets old quick !

                What's worked for me ,,,, might not work for everyone ;

                Find the neighborhoods you want to work in and hit them well with advertising . Community monthly newsletters , door hangers , business cards at the local pool . Get to the Mom's who play "Bunco" or have their weekly wine parties , etc .

                Get in with these folks and you are GOLDEN !!

                Foot note - Stay clean , wear shoe covers , get a little vacuum to carry in and plenty of good rags ,,,,, THESE are the best way for the customers to see how well you do. Word will spread like wildfire !

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Advertising

                  DO NOT ADVERTISE WITH A CERTAIN ####)@ PAGES.COM company im getting into the middle of a law battle with them. they are crooks anyone else have any troubles with them? i was thinking about starting a thread on this to warn other companies.
                  Mike
                  Clark County Plumbing And Drain
                  www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advertising

                    I have recently been thinking about getting geared up to do drains etc, as 3 of my 5 main builders are slow. Havn't got a set of plans from some of them since middle of summer, and the ones bid for them then the owners backed out on. Havn't done any advertising at all, just word of mouth, however it seems to me that the past 3 years of turning this kind of work down, I may need to do some target advertising to get the phone ringing. Gotta get my gear first though...Decisions decisions.

                    Greg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Advertising

                      Word of mouth, business cards, stickers once I get to do some work inside the house for the repeat business, pens and postcards, mailed out 700 today and going to mail out the rest of the 1200 in a few days.

                      Get a logo, brand yourself and build your company of looks, truthfullness, respect and dignity and your customers will do the rest.

                      Read a book, the e-myth revisited, teaches you to build your company like a franchise without franchising. Thank you greg for the book!!!

                      Don't forget the logo!! Branding is very important, just had mine put on my van. The customer may not remember the name, but they will remember the logo (unique picture)

                      Web site, also very important, gives your customers a place to go to check you out, the future is in the www!!!

                      Licensed and Insured, very important, you only want customers that care about your crudentials, all the rest are just looking for the cheap hack, build a name for yourself through clean work. Respect the trade so your future plumbers can support themselves by working in it.

                      Wash your work truck or van weekly, wear your booties inside the house and use drop rugs. customers appreciate respect to their property and investments. This also includes a clean uniform and work boots.

                      Have fun and smile, the rest will come!!!
                      sigpic

                      Robert

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Advertising

                        Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                        Word of mouth, business cards, stickers once I get to do some work inside the house for the repeat business, pens and postcards, mailed out 700 today and going to mail out the rest of the 1200 in a few days.

                        Get a logo, brand yourself and build your company of looks, truthfullness, respect and dignity and your customers will do the rest.

                        Read a book, the e-myth revisited, teaches you to build your company like a franchise without franchising. Thank you greg for the book!!!

                        Don't forget the logo!! Branding is very important, just had mine put on my van. The customer may not remember the name, but they will remember the logo (unique picture)

                        Web site, also very important, gives your customers a place to go to check you out, the future is in the www!!!

                        Licensed and Insured, very important, you only want customers that care about your crudentials, all the rest are just looking for the cheap hack, build a name for yourself through clean work. Respect the trade so your future plumbers can support themselves by working in it.

                        Wash your work truck or van weekly, wear your booties inside the house and use drop rugs. customers appreciate respect to their property and investments. This also includes a clean uniform and work boots.

                        Have fun and smile, the rest will come!!!


                        you go girl

                        i knew I didn't marry a flithy plumber

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Advertising

                          the big thing is to get your name and face out in the public eye.

                          every market is different and a lot of times it's just trial and error and a whole lot of DFL, just plain dumb luck.

                          steve
                          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Advertising

                            I have a small yellowpages ad, tried direct mailing coupons and got some business but not enough to be worth it.
                            I am currently expanding my yellowpages and doing some online search engine stuff. Also just ordered magnetic busness cards. My plan is to hand out the magnetic cards to all my clients as well as local restaurants adn realtors, I have expanded my services to include sewer& drain cleaning as not many plumbers do it and I think there is a good market.
                            I have a nice sign by the road of my office which works great, and logo on my van, compnay t-shirts...I am doing all that I can. AND YET BUSINESS IS STILL REALLY SLOW! AHHHHH! Being a first-year business is nerve-racking sometimes.
                            Most of my business is repeat customers and referrals so at least taht is a good sign that people like me and my service.
                            I guess I just need patience.
                            Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Advertising

                              all very good advice tough question to answer we have a double full page ad in our locale yellow pages we were the first ones in our aera to do it, chance yes but it worked and it also forced the competition to react. name recognition very important as well as reputation, so you really have to know you target area as well as your own strength and weakness ie how much you can do how much you can take, growth potential, what can you afford to gain or loose and how hard your willing to work. weve been around since 1948 and were still learning and evolving. good luck

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