What advertising did we use in the past for the Tyre Shop-Small Garage
When I say Tyre Shop-Small Garage owner I don’t mean a “small guy” who owns a garage I mean a garage or tyre shop that probably employ’s say from 2 up to 12 staff. I can only relate this to my
own experience of owning three or four garages throughout my past 40 years as a Tyre Shop-Small Garage owner.
Back in time, like many cars orientated guys that started their own businesses in the Auto trade the choice of promoting your tyre shop services were limited to a few choices. As a tyre shop owner our advertising budget was very limited. At first we depended solely on “word of mouth” and a small advert in the “Yellow Pages” who were very pro-active at trying to sign up small businesses for larger adverts that the tyre shop actually needed.
I remember the first time that I wanted a small ad in “yellow Pages”; I was constantly pressured into taking out more additional advertising space to compete with the bigger national
tyre companies and, in the end, they finally convinced me to take out more advertising, with the help of spreading out the payments over a twelve-month period, I never did know whether or not the ads worked or not, but the economy was doing well and so were we, so, in the end, I don’t think it really mattered.
However, the larger companies of the seventies and eighties began to expand at pace and we were sort of pushed to compete, I saw myself as an entrepreneur and not just a tyre shop owner, or by then we did almost everything to a car, servicing, tyres, engine diagnostics and not to forget Mot testing, we followed the footsteps of say Kwikfit, with their American model that was imported to the UK by Tommy Farmer. To compete we were drawn into newspaper advertising and many a week we would buy a full page advert, covering all our services and over the years, we grew into having three local depots.
I am sure that many of my readers can relate to what I am saying, because so many auto-centres sprung up around the country and many had developed the same business model that still exist today, with a similar Marketing Strategy. however time went by a things remained pretty much static with people having a dabble into radio advertising and a little TV, but generally this media was a little too
expensive, with the radio stations once again trying to up-sell us all the time, offering better time slots or Small Business Marketing plans(at more expensive prices), but in general we left these advertising medias to the larger national companies and stuck to the newspapers, that is until we were dragged into the world of the Internet.
This was to become a crazy time for the tyre shop owner. The World was flooded by new companies offering us the World. I did not have a clue, but once again as an entrepreneur who owned a garage, I jumped in “head first” and tried to do everything I could to embrace the internet and bring my business into the 21st
century. There would be no more press advertising, we had to have a web-site, and this was going to be the future?
Well, so I thought, I completely forgot about the advertising budget and just threw thousands of pounds at this new concept trying to get a better Marketing Mix, that would rule the World and change the way that businesses operated for good. I actually thought that once we had our own website, then we would grow and grow. But of course, we didn’t: we did grow but only through the old favourite “word of mouth”. I just did not know anything about the search engines and, in particular, Google.
In the mean while the big tyre and garage companies with cash to spare started to hire “IT” men
and I as the boss started to learn about “SEO” search engine optimisation. I began taking in what I could in this alien World and began to be succored in by these “we will get you to the top” internet companies, buying links and traffic, as cheaply as I could.
Things never got much better, with my website struggling to get to page three and four and all the top tyre companies hitting number one spot and pulling in all the business. We did sell one or two things, but we were not getting any ROI (return on interest).
This was all four or five years ago and I am still hammering away at SEO, but I find that I actually enjoy writing articles for my blog, and in recent times Google are changing things that in my opinion will help the small business compete better against the big boys. My spammy link building got me into loads of trouble with Google and my site was downgraded, as were millions of other even larger sites, due to Googles huge Panda and Penguin search changes and I believe it will give the smaller business like ourselves a much better chance to compete and rank higher.
I have just finished reading an article about the advertising spend for the small business on… http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2326399/Avoid-SEO-Hype-Why-Small-Businesses-Should-Focus-on-Return-on-Investment
I have now come to a different conclusion about my businesses promotional work and have decided that we should concentrate on social media, especially Facebook and my blog, as I
have mentioned in an earlier article.
I am also going to take notice of what Google are saying and only writing the best content that I can (within my educational limits), and also I will be starting to revert back to some of my earlier successful business periods and have done a deal with our local paper “The Halifax Courier” and have advertised on our very own local radio station “Phoenix Radio”. Both these companies gave us a great deal and at the moment the big companies are battling away on the internet. I have a good feeling that we may just sneak under the wire and win back some business the old fashioned way? I since received a Google penalty for outbound links, but after weeks of going through and checking my blog, Google revoked the penalty and i am once again on track.
Hi, I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre shop and Battery business now for 40 years. I have worked for a couple of national tyre companies in my younger days, before starting my first business. I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their
related products that will help my business. We are members of Point-S and Motor-Codes and are also a Unipart Car Care Centre and, of course, Tyre-safe.