The mobile repair shop owner is almost always on the go.
Think about it: they’re driving from job to job, sometimes racking up hundreds of miles in a day. They may be headed to a customer’s yard, to a parking lot, or to a vehicle stranded on the side of the road. They’re constantly moving.
That can make growth challenging—at the end of a long day on the road, the last thing an owner wants to do is worry about digging up more leads, or figuring out advertising, or working on their revenue funnel.
Still, growth isn’t going to happen if you don’t do something.
We’re here to help.
Oh, sure guys, you might be thinking. You’ll tell me to hire you and let you do my marketing.
And sure, that’s an option! But we aren’t just here to tell you about our marketing services. Here are six real-life, actionable steps you can take today—and that you can do on your own—to boost your business.
- GET ON THOSE BREAKDOWN DIRECTORIES
We recommended this in a prior article about growing a brick-and-mortar shop, but subscribing to breakdown directories is an absolute must for a mobile repair business. If someone is broken down by the side of the road and needs help now, they thumb or swipe through these directories, find you, and call for help. You’ve already got your mobile repair truck ready to go; it’s basically a matter of finding out where the stranded vehicle is and heading out to the rescue.
Not only can you charge a premium for saddling up and heading out to those who need it, you may also impress them so much they end up calling on you again for more routine work.
- FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
A couple years back, our friends at Fullbay ran a pretty great webinar about the business of mobile truck repair. They brought in Kirk Buchak of Coppertop Truck Repair in Alberta, Canada; and Jason Martin of MTR Fleet Services in Georgia, USA, to talk about the lessons learned through years of running successful mobile repair businesses. Both men cited the importance of good customer service.
Yes, customer service is important for any shop, but good people skills are critical for the mobile repair world. Working with stranded drivers and harried fleet managers who are now behind on this or that delivery requires a special touch. “It takes a special kind of somebody to do that, on top of [getting out to the site and making repairs],” Jason says. “You can’t put a great mechanic with a bad attitude in a truck to go deal with a customer.”
Go the extra mile for potential customers. Bring a thermos of coffee, bottled water, and snacks to share with them. Get an idea of hotels in the area that they can stay at if necessary. Basically think about how you’d like to be treated in that situation.
- GET AND GIVE OUT FREEBIES
What’s a great way to keep people thinking about you? Freebies. We don’t mean free repair work. We mean merchandising.
Slap your shop’s name, website, and phone number on anything you can imagine. Pens, magnets, scratch pads…you name it, you can probably put your name on it. People do tend to hang on to things if they’re useful (who here doesn’t have pens from a zillion businesses?), and keeping your shop in front of people—even subconsciously—can make a difference when they do need the services you offer.
While you’re getting your freebies, don’t forget to invest in some decent business cards. Ask restaurants and hotels near truck stops and just off freeways if you can leave small stacks—these are places drivers go to when they realize their vehicles may need help.
- WRAP YOUR TRUCK
Your vehicle is your rolling billboard. Make sure you’ve got your signage on it, and make sure that signage looks good (do not, we repeat, do not let your kids spraypaint your shop name on it).
Kirk from the webinar put a bright orange bumper on his truck (Coppertop, get it?) because it stands out. Bright colors attract attention; if someone notices the bumper, they’ll notice the logo on the truck, too.
- GET A WEBSITE
We’ve talked extensively about websites before, so we’ll spare you the spiel, but…you need a website. Full stop. People need to be able to find you and see that you’re a) a real business, and b) know what you’re doing! In the best of all worlds, it’ll become a revenue driver for you.
- OFFER INSPECTIONS & DIAGNOSTICS
Everyone has to pass inspections from time to time. There’s the CVIP, the DOT, the BIT, and more. Trucks need to pass these inspections if they want to keep operating.
You can be the mobile repair shop that provides those inspections.
It’s more steady work—trucks will always need to pass inspections—and it’s incredibly convenient for the customer because you will come to them. People are willing to pay for that convenience; check out some of the numbers around inspections and diagnostics the Fullbay crew uncovered.
DON’T FORGET THE COFFEE
We’re all about those little extra touches, so we’ll provide you with one more tip before we hit the road: invest in a good coffee machine.
Kirk describes the work as requiring “a very high caffeine budget.” We believe it—especially if you expand your emergency services and wind up running longer hours.
Of course, you can also hire a marketing agency to grow your shop’s business by increasing your visibility online. Interested in seeing what a commercial repair shop marketing expert can do for your shop? The crew here at Dieselmatic would love to show you. Contact us to start your growth spurt!