If you are just getting into the wrap business or are an existing sign shop adding wraps to your product line, you must understand by now how much there is to learn. You have researched different technologies, equipment, materials, software and hardware and have made the investments that fit your business.
You have educated yourself and/or hired employees to hit the right colors, install on various surfaces and clean and maintain the equipment. With all this time and money invested, it’s time to start making a profit.
CREATIVITY AND ELBOW GREASE
Marketing is the logical next step to get your phone to ring. However, looking for ways to market your business can be challenging if you have limited resources or simply don’t want to spend too much money in marketing. Don’t get me wrong, some things that need to be done to market a wrap business can be costly.
But with some creative thought, determination and elbow grease, you can find that there are a number of ways that you can market your wraps business on a shoestring budget.
Marketing strategies that put your imagination to work and let your creative juices flow can help grow your business without dipping deep into the till.
WRAP THE SHOP VEHICLES
First let’s start by stating the most obvious, and an expensive step, which is to wrap your company shop vehicles and any personal family vehicles. It’s difficult to explain the value and benefits of a wrap to a customer if your own vehicles are not wrapped. As long as the budget allows ask friends and family members to also wrap their vehicles. Wrap any employee’s vehicle that will allow you to, starting with your salespeople. Many shops have started incentive programs that may include gas money, car washes and even cash to encourage employees to wrap their vehicles. Get as many vehicles on the road that is within budget.
If your shop is on a street that gets a fair amount of traffic be sure to wrap all your windows and doors. Wrap anything inside the office that may spark a customer’s interest when they are in the shop. Desks, tables, refrigerators, walls, floors, etc. The goal is to get as much of your own product marketing your wrap business out there as possible and inform your customers about all the objects that can be wrapped.
UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
Another important marketing task that can dramatically increase sales is to build or update your website. Spend some time here because a great website will be the cornerstone of your marketing. All of your emails, direct marketing materials, print ads, newsletters, press releases, ads and wraps should feature your domain name to help build traffic. Your website should be clean, easy to navigate, contain the important and relevant information of your company and most importantly showcasing your best work. Be sure your website has a way to gather email addresses so that you can re-market to them later. Online social networking companies such as Facebook and Twitter along with powerful search engines such as Google and Yahoo have dramatically changed the way we live and do business in today’s world. Set up social media pages and be sure to link them to your website as this has become not only a very powerful tool but a constant and standard in the business world.
Keep your site content fresh so that people are sharing and your online social networks are growing.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another great way to get traffic to your website. PPC lets you create keyword related ads that will appear higher up on the search engine results. You create your ads, choose your keywords and set a daily budget. It also can be limited to your location or expanded to whatever regions you want to advertise in. Google Adwords is the most popular and most effective. PPC advertising is a fast and easy way to direct people to your website.
The easiest customers to sell to are those that already buy from you. Send them all an email or drop them a note in the mail that leads them to your website to learn about your new product line. These customers should also be asked to write a testimonial to add value and credibility to your website. Be sure to also ask them for any referrals to others that might be interested in wraps.
Social media has made growing a network a snap but nothing beats the good ol’ fashioned and very personal meet and greet. The more ways you can network, the more potential you have to meet people and speak about your wrap business. Weekly networking meetings can be great for this. Your local Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Lions Club and Rotary are great places to start. Networking is all about building relationships and once built up, it can be a very powerful tool to build your wrap business.
These organizations usually have newsletters and magazines that you can run small inexpensive ads in as well.
Another great way to get customers in the door is to throw an open house. Pound the pavement in your local area inviting business owners to visit the shop. This works great as you get to visit with the potential client twice. Be sure you have an attractive invitation that lists great reasons to attend your event. Offer complimentary food and drink, great giveaways and the ability to meet other business owners in the area. During the event be sure you have numerous wraps strategically placed to show off your great work. Have the printers running with someone there to answer questions. Invite current and past customers and vendors to show your appreciation.
Another idea along these same lines is to spearhead an event for a cause you care about. That puts you in the position of getting to know lots of people, and shows off your small business leadership skills. It’s a great networking opportunity for guests, and lets you reconnect with current clients and impress potential clients.
HIT THE PHONES
The one thing that we all dread doing is still by far the most effective and lowest cost way to acquire new wrap customers. Get on the telephone and make “cold calls.” These calls are to people who you would like to do business with. Briefly describe what you do and ask for an appointment to talk to them about the effectiveness and value of vehicle wraps.
Building a wrap business does not need to cost you a fortune in marketing dollars. The most important thing you can do to market your wrap shop is to do quality work. Care about the quality you put into each and every product. This is the one sure way to get the absolute best and cheapest marketing: The word-of-mouth referral.