Stop Wasting Money

2016-08-31 flyers

So many businesses are haemorrhaging money and they don’t even know it. One of the key places they waste money is in their advertising. 

Each week businesses spend thousands on letterbox drops, local paper advertising, posters and even local sport sponsorship. Each week, these same businesses refuse to track or even service the business that comes in from this advertising. So save yourself the money and stop advertising!

For example, recently we needed some gutter work done on an investment property. Serendipitously we received in the letterbox an A5 sized coloured flyer promoting a local gutter specialist. Let’s just work out the cost of that. 

A quick Google shows that 5,000 flyers cost about $500 to distribute and about $500 to design and print. So that’s a $1,000 for the minimum run of 5,000 flyers to print and distribute. To pay for that, the business needs to bring in a new customer and a new job that pays $1,000 in PROFIT not just revenue.

Our gutter specialist not only did a letter box drop, they did an advert in the local paper “Trade” section. But it wasn’t a normal sized advert, theirs was a double advert so it was twice as big as everyone else’s.  Now they service multiple areas so it is possible that they have this advert in multiple local papers. Their advertising spend continues to grow.

The reality is a little different. We called and let them know what we wanted. Putting aside the rough and ready way they answered the phone (“Hullo?”), we said we would be on site for the next three days. The guy said that “I will try to get there and if not I will be in touch.”

It has now been three weeks and we are yet to hear from them. (But their advert was in the paper again this week). So not only is it a waste of money, it is really poor customer service.

Stop wasting your money. If you don’t have the systems and processes in place to deal with the new business your advertising is generating, you are doing yourself more harm than good.

Your systems MUST be ready to accept new customers, discover where they are from (so you can track the effectiveness of your marketing) and then be able to service them. With the number of supporting products and services available in the market place today, there is no excuse for poor systems and poor service.

Here is how this experience could have gone.

The number on the advertising could have been for a virtual service. The person answering the phone could have asked for basic job and contact details, how the caller found out about them and then advised that the tradie would be back in touch within 48 hours (unless it was urgent), typically after 4pm when they finished hands on work.

If they tradie called within 24 hours, the customer would feel good simply because they called within 24 and not 48 hours. The tradie could advise that all quotes are done on Fridays and the next available quote slot is this Friday at 2pm (or whenever). They book a quote time and then start the process.

This whole process not only makes it easy for the customer, it also helps set their expectation for the service they will be receiving. Their customer service experience has not been left to chance.

Michael Gerber said, “The systems run the business and the team run the systems.” This is particularly important for solo business operators like tradies and entrepreneurs.

So look at what you are doing. Are you wasting money on advertising because you are not set up to actually take on the new business? Are you annoying people with bad service that you can easily avoid? Put your systems in place and make your success happen.

Whatever you do, stop wasting money!