The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all based on my personal experience. I started with nothing and didn’t get to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success regardless of your level of education. E-mail me to get the list or any past articles. Each of the successive articles takes a closer look at one of the tactics from the first article.
Learn marketing and advertising. Of course, you need good products and services, but without good marketing you will likely underachieve or even fail. Know your customers. Have a unique selling proposition. Make the customer king; be sincere and passionate about it. If you aren’t a creative marketer, find someone to help you in this area.
Who are your customers? It’s not everyone who drives past your place; those days are over. Are you wholesale or retail? Different customers expect different things, including pricing, warranties and service. If you are predominantly late model, collision repair shops are your customers, and they are very sensitive to your quality and service levels, for instance.
If the above describes your business, my advice is doing even waste money marketing to garages in most cases, or retail. Your average invoice is high, the small retail sales are a waste of your time, and you likely don’t need anything but a bold listing in the yellow pages. Don’t bother wasting marketing dollars on a yellow pages display ad.
Mechanical shops are one notch down in the age of cars you dismantle. They are obviously interested in the mechanical warranties you offer on parts.
Retail is a different animal, and about the only recyclers making money in retail are You-Pull-Its. The days when you could be everything to everybody are over. In today’s brave new world, you have better know the answers to some key marketing questions.
What is your unique selling proposition? What makes you different from your competitors? Can you articulate it in writing? They don’t want to hear rhetoric like our quality is higher. Even in the rare cases when a quality claim is true, today’s consumers are jaded. Every yard claims to have the best quality parts. Can you prove it? Does it show in ways that matter to your buyer?
Perhaps your warranties or your delivery capabilities are better. Be able to say how. Next day delivery doesn’t mean at 5 p.m. anymore; the serious shops want their parts by noon. By noon is a unique selling proposition that will exceed 80% of your competitors.
No lip service. Make your parts quality, warranty, and service level no-hassle, best of class. Mean it. Walk it. Train it. Breathe it. Believe it. Empower your people to make the customer happy at virtually all cost.
Need help? It’s ok, as discussed in prior articles in this series, to surround yourself with people who can do things you can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do.
My favorite consulting assignments involve marketing and increasing sales profitably. Inc. Magazine wrote an article about my innovative marketing methods that micro tracked customer and prospect acquisition costs for auto parts so that I could spend marketing dollars to get the best ROI.
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.
Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.
As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.
To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.
Posted in 2014