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01 - Business Opportunities Find the Perfect Business Opportunity -- Sponsored By: Opportunity World Magazine
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2008, 01:11 PM
Paul Elliott
 
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by huggytree View Post
....yard signs is the most important thing....have the homeowner leave it up for a month as part of your contract. i have a concrete friend who does specialty concrete stamping/staining...he says every yard sign gets him ATLEAST 1 more job. he is booked months in advance
Excellent approach . . . BUT use it as a billboard NOT a business card!

Many billboards are very poorly designed. The one exception is those for most gambling casinos.

It must be easily read at a glance, and it must rivit the reader with a compelling desire to act.

Think of how you respond as you drive down a street. If you see what amounts to a business card, you probably don't even remember the business name or what else was on the sign.

On the other hand, if you are driving by a yard and the clearly designed sign says something like "Get Beautiful Painting at <phone number>!" or "Get A Great Painter at <phone number>!" (Get a cell phone with a local area code and number.)

If you are considering having some painting done, what would you do? Probably write down the phone number. You will find out the company name and location when you call the number.

So why would you, as the painter, insist in putting your company name and address on the sign with everything so small and ornate that a passing motorist will have to stop, get out in the hot sun, walk into someone else's yard to write down the information?




Other pointers--
1. Use a white background and bright red or black lettering.
2. Use upper and lower case printing
3. Use a non-ornate typeface such as Times New Roman (serifs--the little feet--are good) or Verdana (Arial's too hard to decipher--letters with plain ascenders (L's, etc.) and descenders (J's, etc.) are confusing.)
4. Use a larger sign, much like the Realtors do even with a post you have to put in with a gasoline auger. I know, I know . . . I'm asking you to buy another piece of equipment. But why not rent one for a day every couple of weeks and put up the signs of all your current work?
5. After you have gotten the customer (homeowners) to agree to your job, show them a picture of one of your signs (if he or she hasn't already seen your work at other houses with your signs out front) and make him or her a killer bargain--discount, add-on, etc.--in return for allowing you to place your sign in the yard for the duration of your work plus 3 or 4 weeks. Agree to weed-eat around them every week or 10 days, if the homeowner balks. Voila--instant billboard!
6. This is the first part of your Word-Of-Mouth advertising program. Get more ideas from my free e-course at the site in my sig. below.
Next, consider branding all your vehicles. You can pre-empt "The Little Red Truck" or "The Great Painter." Then, all your advertising and marketing promotes that theme as your vehicles serve as your rolling billboards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by huggytree View Post
What i like to do is market to builders/remodelers.....i send out mailers every 3-4 months and pick a few up each time...the advantage is they find you the work....the good ones get most of their projects....instead of bidding on 4-10 to get 1 job you bid on 2 to get 1 job.....disadvantages are payment and personality problems(or so im finding out)...
It's called Affinity Bonding, HT, and IT WORKS! IF . . . you take advantage of such things as the contacts from the C of C and BNI below. (See the "88" below.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by huggytree View Post
chamber of commerce gets me nothing, phone book barely gets me anything
The phone book is getting expensive and most sales people for the phone company don't really know how to sell in their ads. They are flashy and expensive, but can be a waste of expensive real estate. I suspect you are better off spending some of that money on your website.

HOWEVER, you should have a one line Yellow Page add from the main provider of landlines in your market areas SO YOU GET AN ENTRY IN THEIR ONLINE VERSION FOR YOUR AREAS.

The C of C may be a good place to meet contractors, but you need to get their cards and begin a relentless campaign of follow-up. Again, it's called Affinity Bonding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by huggytree View Post
i am in a BNI networking group and have done fairly well...if free time is not a problem then you cant lose....
I've found them to be a good resource, they are in and out in no more than 90 minutes, but they have a rigid mandatory attendance policy where you or someone from your organization must attend with few misses allowed. Again, it's an excellent way to build relationships . . . and YOUR LIST! Remember, your list is everythng!

The grill is calling, so I'll quit.

Keep up your excellent work!
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2008, 03:42 PM
huggytree
 
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Another good source to meet builders is to join the trade associations...im a member of the 2 main ones in my area. go to meetings....join a sub group....every time i go to one i get to know more people....one time i left with 5 cards....it whittled down to only 1 job, but 4 other people know me personally now and may use me in a year or two when they grow unhappy with their current sub.

join everything you can.....accept the chamber of commerce...complete waste..their welcome wagon never even got me a call..
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2008, 04:51 PM
Paul Elliott
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
Not sure if they have this in your area but one thing that may be inexpensive is check to see if the newspaper offers insert advertising. We did this for a painting related business in our area. We went down to the local office supply and purchased bright 8 1/2 x 11 paper (ours was goldenrod) and then created an ad with a coupon. Had this printed in just black/white so it was very inexpensive and gave us a lot of room to make a great ad. Many customers will get online and check out your website for more information.
Black ink on goldenrod or canary yields the best printed visual contrast = better readability.

Using a full sheet of 8.5 X 11 is good--paper and ink are cheap. Put more than one offer as a coupon, not necessarily as a sequenced offer, as the fast food places are currently doing--one offer this week, another for next week--but 2 (or 3 or 4) much like the carpet cleaners do. Make one offer for a whole house interior, another for a whole exterior, another for a single room, and another for working with your house remodeler.

This helps you stimulate your customer's thinking about his or her house. It also reminds them that you do interiors and exteriors AND work with contractors. I know this sounds simplistic, but (one of the "88") is that you must NEVER assume your customer knows ANYTHING about YOUR business. What may appear obvious to you may not be obvious to the rest of us.

Get into the internal dialogs we customers have going on in our heads and learn how to direct them.

Inform us about how you can benefit us. WIIFM -- "What's in it for me?" is the first question a customer has. (WIGCM -- "What's it gonna cost me?" is the second.)

Focus on the benefits to me, the customer, not the features you offer. If you focus on what you have to offer, you are telling me you have no clue what my needs are, and you are risking that I can translate your features into benefits to me. DO NOT take the risk that I can do that effectively. NEVER leave to chance ANYTHING over which you can exert some control. (88)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
We did these in 5,000 increments, and had our ads inserted into the paper (we selected only the Sunday edition. The paper let us target the zipcodes they would be distributed to so we could choose the areas and income level of our customers. We found that people were more likely to pull the ad out and save it. We found people presenting us with our ads even a year later.

Our results were good and we repeated it as needed. This was a number of years ago so I am not sure if this is available now but thought you might want to check.
A time limit on any coupon is valuable for a couple of reasons. First, it creates a sense of urgency or scarcity. Second, it protects you from having to deliver on something far later than you had intended. You may not even be offering that service any longer, but to avoid a charge of fraud you may have to do so or pay another vendor to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
One other small tip, when it came to our company we know that 75% of our customers got a bid from us and and bid from our competitors. Our sales person would take a nice presentation type notebook. In this we had a technical specification sheet of the product we were using followed by actual letters of recommendations (in nice plastic sheet covers) we had received from happy customers. This added professionalism really made a difference and we walked away with a successful sale.
Perception is everything!(88) While you may do a better painting job than the person with the slick presentation, we as your customers have NO way of determining that to be the case. DO NOT force US to try to figure that out. Give us the "social proof" that you are the painting company we should use.

As soon as you have made a presentation, drop a Thank You card in the mail THAT day! That's one more stroke in your affinity bonding process. PM me to learn of a quick and easy way to do this, if you are interested.

My best to you, and keep up your excellent work!
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2008, 05:45 PM
chicagopressrelease
 
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Have you tried distributing a press release to local media in your area?
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2008, 05:59 PM
Paul Elliott
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagopressrelease View Post
Have you tried distributing a press release to local media in your area?
James, how about giving them some ideas on creating newsworthy ideas that would be attractive to the local media outlets.

Thank you.
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  #16  
Old 05-28-2008, 08:29 PM
willanfei
 
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Read it , hoping bring me some new ideas for my site promotion.
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  #17  
Old 05-29-2008, 01:56 PM
tscheer
 
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I think you are taking the right steps. Flyers, brochures and the other things you said you have done are great steps in building word of mouth.

Possibly start to offer refferal incentives.

Did you get a yellow page listing?
Do you accept credit cards?
Do you offer any customer testimonials?
Keep a mailing list of all of your old customers, send them thank you cards!

I wish you luck!
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  #18  
Old 05-30-2008, 06:43 AM
kimsonsolutions
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EPS Painting View Post
Ok. Need some help, hope you can help!

What tips does anyone have on marketing a painting company. I have tried all of the obvious ideas such as direct mail through trifolds, postcards, and flyers and now looking into some newspaper advertising. We are a small company with only a few years under our belt. We mainly work in MA, so I need some new ideas on how to get our business out there. Anyone have ideas for me?


Thanks!!


www.epspainting.com
you should try to focus on which kind of people could need your services , in your case people who are doing some work or renovation on their home for exemple

than try to create partnership with company in that area of services ...

you can also look for forums like this one giving advices on specialized forums in order to make your company known

why not filming your work and post it on a video sharing website , for a painting company the visual impact is really importantn

hope it will help you
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  #19  
Old 06-01-2008, 08:09 PM
willanfei
 
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Default

That is great!
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  #20  
Old 06-09-2008, 07:57 PM
randykirk
 
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Private residences. Go knock on the door of every neighbor within 2 blocks prior to doing the house you have as a client. Let them know you will be in the neighborhood, doing that house, and that you will give a discount to neighbors who sign up while you are still in this area. When the job is 90% complete, go around a second time, especially to any house that looks like it needs a paint job.

Ask the client for referrals. Be willing to pay for dinners out, or some other serious bonus for any referral, and a big bonus for any that actually sign up.

Find neighborhoods that were built 8-10 years ago. They are all ready for repaint. Do door-to-door or leave door knob hangers 4 or 5 weeks in a row.

See my posts under marketing for the use of Flickr.com, YouTube.com and Google Maps local business Center for free ways to create extra web presence. I'll be happy to help you with these by phone (not free). Your business is an obvious benefactor of this kind of effort.

Apartments and business rentals. This type of interior paint business offers ongoing business. Every time someone moves out, it probably needs painting. It may be pretty competitive. The key is creating clever ways to drive your cost down while maintaining quality. Find out who is in the business of cleaning vacated rentals and do cross promotions. Call on apartment management or small business park management companies, and ask to be able to bid.

Lots of small apartments and small business parks are self managed by the owner. Here is where the personal relationship building is most important. Once you land one, do an AMAZING job. Then get a letter of referral. Put the referral letter on your website. The hardest part about letters of referral is that people hate to write them. Write it up yourself, and ask the customer to make any changes.

You might also look into opt in e-mail blasting. You can probably do some small blasts for about $.10 a name. The key is subject line and "from." I can help.

Local business fairs may be of help. You just set up a pop-up and show pictures of your work.

Home and Garden shows are more expensive, but you are likely to get the upscale customer there.

That's enough for today.
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