|Forum topic by Jerry||posted 02-04-2014 02:30 AM||752 views||0 times favorited||4 replies|
02-04-2014 02:30 AM
So a totally different subject but an interesting one, at least to me. Our upcoming move to our own private property into a much bigger shop that we ‘Own’ rather than rent has me thinking about our future potential customers. I had realized that my local drive by the shop customer base had increased a fair amount since June 2013. In fact half of our customers since June 2013 were the result of a customer walking through our shop doors in town.
This is some cause for concern since working in our own shop on private acreage means no person is going to know about us except purely through word of mouth and also my web site SEO. I have had some conversations with Angie’s List and was almost set to sign on with them, the cost was not extremely high and was what I considered fair. And what was being offered was basically being at the top of the list in all of San Antonio and surrounding counties. Basically Angie’s List places listings that pay for advertising at the top while non paid listings then fall below. So if there are 200 shops in the city, and only us and a few other shops pay for advertising, we will always be at the top or the top 2 or 3. According to the sales rep only 1 or 2 other shops in the City currently pay for advertising. It also helped that Angie’s List marketing came highly recommended by a local granite shop we work with.
A couple months ago we had great success working with a small builder/George (about 5 homes a year he does). At a glance I realized we have 2 decent sized custom jobs on schedule/sold that we are working on. And then George called and said he has a new home he needs us to measure for cabinets soon, and then said he is also beginning another new home that will be about 2 months down the road. Then a few days later I was called by a lady who told me her builder/Mike had us listed in his approved booklet of contractors and she was wanting to schedule a meeting to discuss the details of her cabinets. I did not even recognize the builder by name. Upon quick research I discovered he has an office downtown and does nicer homes and completes about 10 homes per year. Then George advised me that he has a friend who is also a small builder that seen the job we did for him and now his friend wants us to do his next job.
Feeling like we might just get swamped, I advised Angie’s List I was going to hold off and not sign up for marketing as of right now. I said maybe check back with me in a few months and who knows.
Then just last Saturday I got a call from a prospective customer who only lives a few miles from our shop. I did my usual meeting and discussed the cabinets. The customer advised me that his wife as a membership with Angie’s List and that was how they found me. We have been accumulating good reviews with Angie’s List so our grade is ‘A’ and I keep the site updated with our recent project photographs. Anyhow, it was my first ever referral from Angie’s List and it was from what is currently a “Free” listing. I believe we were found because of our shop being in such close proximity to the potential customer who was doing the internet search.
Does anyone have any input. I am on the fence and part of me says to go for it. I have no doubt the ROI will be very good through Angie’s List however part of me realizes that our current schedule looks packed and could keep us busy for a long time coming.
Thanks for reading.
-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net