Post a new topic
    12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2008 11:59 PM by TheDreamMaker

    Getting the Word Out!

    easylube4you Newbie
      Hello all please allow me to introduce myself and my business.
      My name is William McMaster and currently employed with the Tucson Air National Guard,
      Last year I started a business designed for my 18 year old which he never started. Well I decided to start this business up and so for I have had great success and review from word of mouth. I started a Mobile Oil Change business which we are the only ones in Tucson right now. We have a few contracts with local companies but I am not really into pestering people and businesses for service. We just recently had a theft of all our equipment which depleted the funds we had acquired for some small advertising. I Have a few questions on advertising:

      1. Is it ok to advertise in forums such as these?
      2. What is the best place to get help filing for small business loans? I have reviewed SBA veteran loans but good luck figuring it out.
      3. What is the best advertising means on a very low budget?
      4. I am not very outgoing in person or over the phone are there companies I could hire to make calls to other businesses for service?(I'm not shy but I do not like it when people approach me in this fashion why would I do this to them)(I do understand that this would be the best way to GET THE WORD OUT)


      Any advise would be great. I am new to this forums and will try and check it frequently.
        • Re: Getting the Word Out!
          LUCKIEST Guide
          easylube, Welcome to this forum. You will get many great answers.
          Do you know about SCORE. I am a SCORE Counselor and SCORE is a partner to Bank of America and provides FREE business assistance, both in person and online.
          To answer your questions
          One, I have seen other people MARKET their products on this forum. Your first paragraph is a form of Marketing.
          What do you mean by advertise?? as compared to marketing??
          Two, You will get many offers and lots of info on the forum for small business loans.
          Three. We need more info to help you advertise. (Again SCORE has a FREE online seminar at " "
          and includes both promoting and advertising your business.
          I will talk about 4 on my next post.
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Getting the Word Out!
            Iwrite Pioneer

            A really great business idea. I'm new to this forum so I am going to skip your first two question. I am in advertising so I'm going to stick to what I know - advertising.

            Direct mail is cheap and fairly easy. Flyers and business cards are even cheaper but leaving them on vehicles is considered a nusance. I have worked at several agencies where the mobile car wash guy comes to us on a set day. By going through the company the service had instant credibility and access. You may want to try that with some of the businesses that are interested in providing their employees with services. Look for the companies that are know for being the best to work for in your area and contact them to see if they might be interested. Maybe the local gyms and apartment complexes. radio can be cheap depending on the city and the time, but remember very few folks hear your spot at 1:00 in the morning. You need to be in drive time for radio.

            Word of mouth is the best advertising. You will hear that a lot here. I believe this, but there are risks; you do not control the message, people tend to tell more folks about a negative experience than a positive one, and you do not control the message (this is worth repeating). People may get important information wrong.

            About approaching people - very few people are really comfortable doing it. Yes, you could hire someone but that cuts into your already strained cash flow. Put together a flyer and hit the pavement. After a while it will be easier for you. Plus you get a great feel for what people are thinking. And you save money
              • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                designer Tracker
                Hi, Iwrite-

                You say "leaving flyers on cars is a nusance", and I agree. I think it's tacky but cheap for the right business like a cash wash or something. But, in your do feel about sending/receiving postcards in the mail? My graphics guy says you have to do a whole series of them in order for them to be effective. Is he just trying to make a lot of money designing 4 or 5 different postcards or is he telling the truth? And then, how do people feel about them popping up in their mail from time to time?
                  • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                    Iwrite Pioneer

                    I think postcards get a bad rep. I really think when done smartly you can get great returns. The problems is that some folks have unrealistic goals for their advertising. Price and free are not the best message always. Talk to people not at them.

                    Remember what you are trying to do with your postcard. As a customer, I may want to buy a piece of jewelry but I may not like the design or the color of the pieces on the postcard I just got. Then what? If you only send one postcard, you're done. But if on the next postcard I see something I like, I may act.

                    He is being truthful. Or I believe he is. I do think five is too many to start. I prefer working in series of threes for postcards. It lets you react quicker.

                    However, hearing your concerns, I would suggest setting up a way to measure the response rate for the first three postcards, a coupon or special offer that they can only know about from the postcards. This way you can tweak your message or your mailing list according to the responses you receive. If one zip code responds stronger than another, focus you efforts in the better one. If one style takes off, advertise more items that are similar. I don't like having them all produced at once because you cannot make changes, you have to go with what you have.

                    feel free to email me -

                      • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                        Iwrite Pioneer
                        I forgot to answer one more part of your question. People do not mind postcards or advertising when it speaks to them, shows that you understand what they need and talks to them like they have some sense.

                        Here is an example: if you were to direct your postcard to men using the message that the woman he loves is special and unique, and deserves a gift that is as special as her. With a nice picture and some strong copy, how likely is he to hang onto it for future gift ideas or go to your website to see if there is something he would like for her? As opposed to sending out a postcard with multiple pictures and some generic copy about your company, how long you have been in business and the fact that youor jewelry is one of a kind.


                        Look at what DeBeers has done for diamonds, they sell emotion. Reason and logic are never factors in their spots - it is pure emotion.
                  • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                    Buffalo Adventurer
                    Welcome to the forum.
                    Do your company vehicles have your business name, logo and contact info on them? Vehicle graphics are one of the cheapest forms of advertising you can do. Just think of the number of people that see your vehicles everyday.
                    Also when you are on the job site you can also put out a sidewalk sign or a small stepstake sign with your company info on it. When you're done put it in the vehicle and take it to the next job site.
                    I would also recomend that you offer other services such as checking tire pressure, other fluid levels, windshield wiper replacement etc. Small things that would add value to your service and of course add profit.
                    Good Luck!
                    • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                      easylube4you Newbie

                      These posts have helped me greatly. I really appreciate your advise. here are few answers to your questions and comments.

                      I have registered with Score today and hope to hear something back soon they apear to be a great business resource. I will walk through the online courses this week.

                      As for direct mailings it is really expensive to get the listings and then each item mailed I was looking at about 1500 dollars for 5,000 contacts.

                      Talking to good companies that give back to their employees is a great idea they can give away my services and theb this creates a new customer for me thank you.

                      Radio is not bad but AM talk radio seems to be the cheapest at $500 a month for morning times. Some companies wanted to trade services for services. Radio ads for Oil Changes sounds great.

                      My trailer and Truck both have advertising on them and it standsout very good when I am servicing vehicles. I was considering adding a light to the top of my Trailer so when I am servicing people will see it.

                      I have already added all fluids and checks within my service so the customer will appreciate the extra effort for free. Some places charge extra for these sevices and it takes very little time. I also do not charge tax so the price you see is what you pay. I prepay tax on all my goods therefore no tax is applied to the customer.

                      I know my research in marketing seems to be age 25 thru 35 with the most being in the lower age. People these days never have time to get the vehicles servicing done. Young people always on the go. Older have all the time in the world or prepay for service at the Dealer (which is not the best way to go).



                      So would it be a good idea to stand out in shopping areas and hand out fliers or business cards?
                      Or any major public area? I am not sure if people respond to this or not. Alot of times when they give me this I pitch it in the Garbage. :(

                      I also have a lot of interesting new facts about oil changes and motor oils in general that would help some poeple if they are interested just let me know I have some listed on my web page.

                      Also how can I get listed in google without paying so many fees???

                      Thanks again for all the replies I hope to hear from everyone again and would love to help someone else if I can.

                      Bill (easylube4you)



                        • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                          Iwrite Pioneer
                          Great! I will research getting mailing lists for direct mail. That number is high unless they are including postage. I'm checking with some of the vendors I have used. Think about staggering the direct mail so that you do a partial mailing and include an offer that encourages referrals. That way each mailing does double work. The other way to cut some of the cost of mailing is to handle that part yourself. Ask about just purchasing the mailing list.

                          Bartering is a good thing if you are getting what you need.

                          The problem with passing out flyers is that some malls and plazas don't like that. And even more importantly, people don't like it much either. Be careful with this.

                          Have you thought about spas and salons? Women are in there for an extended amount of time - it would be great if they could get their oil changed at the same time. Hotels would be another great place.
                        • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                          blueoryx Newbie
                          a good inexpensive sorce of advertising is a website. for as little as 240 per year you could have a simple website that can encompass all aspects of your services in detail, for example, why one oil versus the other. Also you can use this web site in superpages so when someone goes online and seaches the super pages for oil changes in Tucson your name and number will appear and your website. People will go to your site and there is your chance to answer all there questions and make yourself a "Leader" in the market.

                          People do judge a webpage by it's design. Would you go to a place with rusted cars piled behind a broken down gate and trash and drumbs of stuff everywhere or would you go to the clean, inviting, efficient place. For lack of a better example, jiffy lube or bob's cheap oil changes.

                          Let me know if you need any help on the web marketing front!

                 See SIMPLE CMS

                          Best of luck to you,
                          Vincenzo Barranca
                          • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                            LostBoy Newbie
                            easylube4you, Your business sounds very interesting. I think a service like yours would be good for other small business like plumbers, and contractors.
                            I'm not much of a talker myself so I like to make flyers. Visit the local business, give them a quick intro, tell them how you can make their life easier and give them a flyer.

                            I visited your website. Very informative but, it's too yellow.
                            • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                              intechspecial Ranger
                              Welcome to the community!

                              Please, tell us more about your business idea.
                              • Re: Getting the Word Out!
                                TheDreamMaker Wayfarer
                                Hi there

                                Easylube you can do so much with getting the word out about
                                your business. You should consider an informational product!

                                That something we can help you and guide you in the right direction with!

                                The information product can give your client tips on oil changes and all
                                they key points and why it is important to change your oil and so on.

                                If you are interested contact

                                Much Success