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September 13, 2010 at 7:35 am #47988estanek70Participant
I am trying to start a small business in clock repair but am struggling to get my name out in the public. I cannot get in the yellow pages until next March. I have tried advetising in the local Penny Saver and I have posted some flyers at the local librarys but so far have not had any responses. Does anyone have any ideas that have worked for them?September 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm #50345clockjordanParticipant
I am in a different part of the world in ireland but i found local advertising, papers ,yellow pages etc just waisted my money.
The best way to get your name out there is on the internet.If you can put up any kind of a website to let people know where your working and what your doing.I had a one page website at the very start and i piggy backed on a friends website who dealt in old furniture.He was already getting a large numbers of hits and allowed me to add a page to his site.This is also a cheaper way of doing it .If you have a static page where you can’t make changes yourself it is also a little more cost effective.
Retail jewellers and auction houses are another source of work.
Best of luck in your new venture.October 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm #50346Bob TascioneModerator
I may be able to give you a few ideas that worked for me in the past and also seem to still work for many people just starting out.
Yellow pages always worked well for me. When people looked up “clock repair” they were interested in exactly that. In contrast advertising must incite interest that may not have been there before seeing the ad. It needs to grab and hold the readers attention, develop desire that may not have previously been there, and then motivate them to take some action. For this reason advertising can sometimes take time to have any effect. Running an ad one or two times usually won’t get much if any results. I read somewhere that most people need to be exposed to an ad 7 to 9 times before their emotions begin to stir enough to take action. This has been my experience in the past and is still. Most people stop their advertising campaign much too soon.
I know things have changed a great deal since I’ve done any retail “repair” advertising and I’ve never actually solicited repair work through a website so I can’t be of any help there. As Clockjordan mentioned in his post his website works well for him so this may be a very good way to go too.
My experience with penny saver (which was many many years ago) is that it is a very poor advertising medium for clock repair. When people did call they always seemed to be looking for a deal…unwilling to pay what you asked and then never showed up with their clock. Most readers of the penney saver are looking for a bargain…can’t blame them at all but that’s the audience you are working with. I always did well with the phone book but not too sure how effective that is now.
Now for some things that did work very well for me.
If you have a local paper (I don’t know how big your town is) that lots of people read that are not necessarily looking for a deal then you may do well with a small display ad in there. An ad with a picture of an antique clock is always a grabber…especially if your audience is say 50yrs and older.
Flyers and especially business cards put in antique stores and jewelry stores worked well too. Also renting a small space in an antique mall (store) and putting a few antique clocks in there for sale and a sign stating that you do clock repair has worked well for people. The space is usually very inexpensive and people can often leave the clocks with the store (mall) manager for an estimate…you don’t even need to be or work from the location. I know of some people that built their business entirely by doing just that.
I have always found that it’s important not to sound like you’re looking for repair business by giving specials…you want people that are willing to pay what you are worth and not what they think you are worth. The people that will benefit you the most in the long run are those that feel sentimental value in their clocks and it seems that these people are usually 50 or above and or retired…so that should be your target market. Also the fact that you are retired makes an instant and common bond between you and them…very important! So if there is some type of retirement club or retirement publication you can advertise in then THAT is definitely your market. Developing desire and trust is of utmost importance. If you can remind them of that clock they have that has sentimental value and make them feel that they should have it running well again and also can convey a feeling of friendliness and trust then you will have a good customer and possibly a future friend. Repeat and referral customers should be your ultimate goal but getting the word out and the engines churning usually takes some energy and advertising.
An example of an ad may be something like the following. It can be small or it can be a full flyer. This is just an example. First a picture of you handling an antique clock. Trust and desire are already triggered just with this picture. Then some simple text like…”would you love to bring your cherished timepiece back to life?” The question is much more powerful than saying “Get that timepiece working again” The “you” and “your” personalized it, got the mental wheels turning and is a very powerful motivator. The picture of you gives them instant confidence…an instant connection.
So if you can reach that place in their hearts that moves them towards that nostalgic feeling, if you can help them feel again that feeling they felt long ago about their timepiece and what it represented in their lives and you genuinely care about them and their timepiece then you will be their choice. People can always tell if you really care or if it’s just show. If you truly love what you do and care about them (as I know you do from our email exchanges) they WILL come to you.
Once you’ve come up with a good marketing campaign it’s important to remember that implimenting it requires a commitment to see it through. Most people quit just when it’s ready to take off.
I’m certain others here have some great ideas that are more in tune to the times that have worked for them and I encourage all to contribute whatever you can to this topic as it is such an important and interesting one.
I hope this helps,
and say Hi to Betsy!
BobNovember 5, 2010 at 8:02 pm #50347yerighParticipant
Bob has some great ideas. I have a locksmith security business that is successful due to word of mouth and no ads. In my current business people usually check the yellow pages based on an emergency situation or they are checking prices. They will call every company if they have enough time. My customers (and I believe Bob’s as well) are all word of mouth and they know we are not the cheapest, but the best. The best way I found to “get the word out” is hit the pavement. Make some nice marketing materials. By that I mean spend a little money on professional literature and color business cards with a picture and it will bring you two fold. In regards to going after the fifty plus market… Thay are your best audience. If you live in a community with a home owners association or can speak at some meetings of like minded individuals, you can show them why they need clock maintenance as apposed to just waiting for their clock to break.
I hope this helps.
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