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Why You Should Never Stop Marketing Your Auto Repair Shop

Imagine that. A marketing guy is telling you that you should never stop marketing. Believe me when I say I understand the level of distrust that can happen when someone tells you to do something that benefits them. But I promise you what I’m saying here is the cold, hard truth – without bias.

At this same conference, the organizer spoke about how important it is to never stop marketing. The organizer is an auto repair shop coach. He doesn’t sell marketing services. He sells “success” to shop owners. So when he tells his shops they should never stop marketing, he’s doing it because he knows it’s a key factor in the success of their business.

Don’t Get A False Sense Of Security

It’s August 2021 as I type this. It’s an interesting time for the world. Everyone thought the COVID pandemic would wreak havoc on the auto repair industry. The fact is, most shops I know are thriving. They’re having record years. But why? Here are a few reasons I can think of.

  • It’s nearly impossible to buy new cars right now. The dealership lots are empty. Used cars are at record-high prices. It just makes sense to maintain and/or repair the car you already own.
  • Air travel, cruises, and other means of mass transportation are viewed as dangerous by some and simply uncomfortable by others. 2021 is the year of the road trip. Piling the family in the car and going to the beach or exploring the National Parks seems to be the thing to do right now. This requires your car to be in good condition.
  • People are holding onto money. It’s cheaper to maintain a car than to buy a new one.

A lot of shop owners have the mindset of “I have more work than I can handle. Why should I be marketing?” I get it. It’s a logical question. But the marketing you do today isn’t for the cars you have in the shop today. The marketing you do today is for the cars you’ll see months from now.

For an auto repair shop, the toughest time of the year is around the holidays. November and December can be tough. People are spending money on travel and gifts. Their minds are in a million different places and auto repair isn’t one of them.

If you’re like most shops, you’ve had a record summer. If you charted your revenue for the last 6 months it would have a nice upward trend. Will that continue for the rest of the year? Will it flat-line? Or will it start declining?

Chart showing upward revenue for an auto repair shop 's January thru August with question marks for the rest of the year.

It’s very rare that upward trends happen without outside influences. If you’ve had the recent success that many shops have had, count it as a blessing. But understand – it won’t continue if you don’t make it continue.

The Marketing Roller Coaster

Marketing should always be happening. The rise and fall of business at your shop should not dictate when you do or don’t do marketing. I can look at month-over-month income statements for a shop and tell you if they turn their marketing on and off as they need or don’t need more cars in their bays. It’s a nasty cycle.

You should have a marketing plan in place that accounts for the historic highs and lows in your business. The plan should be based on a rolling year so that you can look at the last couple of months in your business and plan for that month next year, this year.

No matter how busy you are, stick to your marketing plan.

Marketing Is An Investment, Not A Cost

Your marketing should make you money. If you were to start handing someone $1 bills and they gave you a $5 or $10 bill in return for each one, you’d give them as many $1 bills as you could find. Well, that’s how good marketing works. It’s the same as buying a tool or piece of equipment. You buy it because you know that investing this money will provide you a return.

If you’re tired of unpredictable revenue and of riding the profit roller coaster, get your marketing solid and watch your business have steady growth. If you’re not sure where to start, that’s what we’re here for. If you’d like some help, schedule a call, and let’s see if we’re a good fit.

about the author headshot Brian Walker

About The Author

Brian Walker

Brian Walker is the Owner and CEO of Shop Marketing Pros, a marketing agency specializing in marketing independently owned auto repair shops. Brian is a Mercedes Benz Master Technician and has owned multiple shops and served as the Mechanical Division Director for ASA-NC.

He's a mechanic at heart who loves fixing things that are broken which is why he love marketing so much. Digging in and figuring out why a business' marketing isn't working is a lot like it was when he was elbows deep into a car that no one else could fix. When you figure it out, there's nothing else like it. To get to do this for auto repair shop owners combines his passions, and he couldn't be more excited about helping shop owners.
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