The modern automotive garage first appeared in the 1920s and, in addition to parking cars in them, inventors began to utilize them for different purposes.
Twenty-six years old and already a reality TV show star? For Body/Paint Tech Keenan Hons, his 15 minutes of fame happened fast and randomly.
Every body shop owner in the country wants to be green. Just ask them. But, are they willing to commit to a total green approach in every aspect of their business? Changing some light bulbs and installing low-flow toilets are positive things, but how many shops will really invest significant time, money and effort to be as green as they possibly can?
As I start to pack for my annual pilgrimage to SEMA, I’m thinking about all those overloaded shopping bags carried through the exhibit halls bulging with what we know in the business as the advertising specialty.
Even though the Internet is continuing to explode and cable TV advertising is flourishing, radio is still alive and well and more body shops are using it, according to people who know—such as: advertising agencies, media buying companies, radio stations and body shops themselves.
Every time I talk to body shop owners about social media issues, they invariably bring up three things: Yelp, Facebook and how to defend their reputations online, in that order.
Social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are rapidly gaining momentum as content distribution tools and becoming more and more attractive for B2B purposes, including within the collision industry. When new forms of social media get hot, others fall off and disappear—so how do we know which ones are gaining while others are failing? While many body shops use one or more of the aforementioned sites, smart operators can gain an advantage over other body shops that don’t know about them or care.
When I see a body shop that doesn’t have a website, two things happen. First I have to recover from my surprise, then I start asking questions. I sat down recently with Angel Iraola, the owner of Net Business Consulting & Solutions in Santa Rosa, CA, and he blew huge holes in the following arguments, each of which is a common misconception about websites. Here are the top five:
“What’s this Google+ thing I’m hearing about?” or “Should my business have a Google+ page?” and “We just figured out this Facebook thing and now we have to worry about doing Google+?” are among the comments I’ve heard recently at CAA meetings.
A body shop owner came up to me at a California Autobody Association meeting recently and shared his tale of woe. A Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) had opened a location in his hometown, where he had been doing business since the 1970s.
People used to think that blogs were light and breezy, written mostly by soccer moms or retired teachers and featuring their poetry, baby pictures and long-winded opinion pieces. But over the years blogs have changed in a big way. Nowdays, experts on certain subjects will go to blogs exclusively to see what they can’t find anywhere else on the Internet. Blogs have gone from irrelevant to pertinent within the past five years, and today more companies than ever (including body shops) have one blog and maybe even more.
In my last column, I discussed why you still need a website. Just as important is having a marketing manager, especially for companies with more than one location. In today’s world, every shop on the planet is vying for one of those top spots, where they can attract multiple DRPs and dramatically increase their revenue. To achieve this, collision repairers have to deal with every aspect of their business—from personnel to training to bookkeeping and everything in between. Marketing, unfortunately, doesn’t always make it to the top of the list, because it rarely brings results overnight and shop owners aren’t patient, as a rule.
I was at a collision-related event recently when a body shop owner asked me, “Why should I have a website? The only reason I have one now is because my main competitor next door has one,” he explained. My first response was “That’s a very good reason right there.”
A LinkedIn expert and a Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer, as well as the creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing blog and the owner of Windmill Networking, Neal Schaffer is a global social media conference speaker who is also known for his two award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing, and Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn. He currently speaks on social media at approximately 50 events each year. I sat down with Schaffer recently and asked him the question many collision repairers nationwide are asking--how can I use LinkedIn to help my business?