Author Topic: Advertising your business around the world  (Read 1202 times)

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Offline Chuck Kiser

  • Posts: 150
  • Carpenter in the Desert
    • Knollwood Construction Company
Advertising your business around the world
« on: May 15, 2008, 04:26 PM »
Ok, since we are a international forum I thought I'd see what the similarities and differences in advertising in our respective countries. In Chicago, and I assume the rest of the US, I (a one man finish carpentry company) drop business cards, member of a local building group, develop contacts with builders, join the local chamber of commerce, develop contacts with designers, truck signage, word of mouth referrals, yellow page listing and a small ad in the local village newsletter. I do not have a web page as yet although I have photos of my work hosted on Google so my customers can see them. I have not spent any time and money on anything else. It seems to me that my small little company would be hard pressed to justify the cost of continuous newspaper ads and fancy brochures blanket mailed or hung on doorknobs.

Surprisingly enough I have recently got some great leads from the guys at my gym. Go figure.

So what do you guys do for you carpentry businesses? ???
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Offline Paul Franklin

  • Posts: 157
Re: Advertising your business around the world
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 01:32 AM »
Chuck

Here is WA, I have an ad in the local magazine ($ times a tear) I also put flyers on door steps. But my biggest is word of mouth. I have recently been to some BNI meetings what I would like to know is anyone else a member of a BNI group, and has it helped your business?

Cheers

Paul

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Advertising your business around the world
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 02:05 AM »
I build custom cabinets and furniture in Austin, TX. last year I was listed on Service Magic (a paid referral service) they had a discussion board built into their web site which always seemed to be full of folks complaining about the lousy referrals they were getting, I was doing ok for most of the year, but the last three months or so turnarond dropped off drastically, a customer sugested I list on craigs list - so I tried it, i was getting as many sales from there for free as I used to when the referral service was actually doing me any good.

So I was faced with a choice, continue paying for useless leads, or stay with the free ones. Oddly enough, between a simple listing on craigs list and customer referrals and repeat business, I'm busier than ever.

P.S. Anyone considering signing up with Service Magic, don't bother, I've since found several bad reports of their service and frankly they really do seem to care much more about gleefully billing their customers (the business folks who sign up with them) than providing any kind of usefull service.
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline lagunaboo

  • Posts: 24
Re: Advertising your business around the world
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 03:42 AM »
Im in the UK and I advertise my business in the following order.

1) word of mouth, I have a large local base of clients (it's horrible, but I do choose the wealthier end of the Market) who also do not seem to be or are not affected by market forces. DD will know my area, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.

2) Web site. I have been using this for about 6 Years and litrally by it's age and the skilful use of meta tags I will appear at the top and no lower than the 1st page on all the normal search engines using the standard search phrases locally.

3) yellow pages. Never very much interest. Local paper, but only do this about every other year. But I will get lots of calls as I always place my web address at the top for prospective customers to 'check me out' before they phone.

4) Good business cards, van livery and here's my best one. T-shirts. I use my Avatar, that my daughter did for me, she's 16 and a fantasic graphic artist. I have it on the front of a t-shirt (small size) and on the Back (large size) with my name, telephone and web address. I really get lots of people stopping me as ive walked past and even more just secretly take my web site addy and mail me later.

5) As my local area allows me to deal within a 10 mile radius all these things get you known all over your local town.

Well thats what I do and I always have work, lots of it.

Offline Peterm

  • Posts: 262
  • I work with wood in West London, UK
    • carpenterhandyman
Re: Advertising your business around the world
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 01:12 PM »
The first thing I built when I started my business was a website and almost all my customers/potential customers check it out before contacting me. I'm in west London (UK) not far from the BBC, so there are a lot 'media' types around here; maybe that makes a difference, but I do think most people are a bit more tech-savvy these days.

Most of my work comes from repeat customers or recommendations. Just to top up the gene-pool I have annual advertisements in a couple of directories, one local to west London, one city-wide, and also through a couple of reputable 'referral' websites. I don't do any short-term advertising e.g. weekly local newspapers or magazines - never been worth it for me.

I try and keep the advertising simple, and point people to the website for more information, guide prices, pictures of past jobs etc... - seems to work well.

As well as business cards, I've always given away post-job 'freebies' with my name and number on it - tape measures, pencils, key-ring torches, penknives etc... - corny I know,  but people really seem to like them and it keeps my name and number at their fingertips. Almost all of my work is with private clients i.e. in peoples' homes - not sure this would work so well if I only worked for commercial customers.

Like others above, I market myself to the 'time-poor' professional couples and families, and pitch myself as 'big enough to handle the work, but small enough to care' i.e. not just a bloke working from the back of a van, but not a faceless franchisee either; it works for me, I've never been busier.

Cheers, Pete.

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Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4594
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Advertising your business around the world
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 04:23 PM »
I am 100% web based. I do not market nor want local customers. Illinois is just a hassle dealing with sales tax. I only ever got two people inquire in Illinois as my items are more suitable to the costs. Most my sales are in CA and Maine.
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.