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We have been doing this clock Business for 23 years out lasted 10 or 11 other shops in the NorthBay calif.
Just looking for other ways to reach out to new customers. We house call a 300 mile Radius from us & in home shop.
300 mile radius for house calls is HUGE. Roughly 6 hours one way. You'd have to bill pretty high to make that practical. Personally, I would cut that area down by at least 2/3. For me, I'm willing to drive an hour one way, and if the job is a good one I'll often eat the time and expense. For the typical job I bill for the time. It's getting harder to make a living doing clock repair. I'm retired and do it part time to keep me out of trouble.
I stopped advertising of all sorts many years ago. If I happen to gain a customer via the internet or Howard Miller's web page, that is fine. All of that is a minor part of my business and I cannot justify the expense of promoting my business with advertising. My customer base is strong and I actually have been refusing to take in new work for the last three plus months because I have been overwhelmed with clock repair work.
I believe two important keys to new customers is reputation due to customer service and sound business practices.
I operate in a small community out of my house with another, well respected repair shop in town. One would think the market would be flooded with repairers but we both prosper.
I keep thinking that the trade will sometime begin to dwindle because of trends in timekeeping. Upcoming generations (those with purchasing power) will change batteries in a clock once a year rather than wind it once a week. If the machine cannot be operated with one's thumbs while driving a car, it is not preferred. I have actually been able to cull problem customers and gross sales continue to climb. If a nasty person brings me a fine clock, they both leave.
There are many places selling "widgets, etc." There are far fewer retail outlets offering customer service.
Yes, I am bragging.
1. Google Maps is huge. It has morphed from mere directions to reviews of businesses. Business owners can even respond to Maps reviews and thank customers. That's a way to put a friendly, human face on what otherwise would be a cold, digital address listing.
My wife and I travel quite a bit, and where ever we go we are continuously asking Google Maps "restaurants near me", "ice cream near me", "pizza near me"... and businesses with 4 and 5 star ratings get the bulk of our spending allowance.
As a business owner, I would not finish reading this post without entering "clock shops near me" to A. make sure your business shows up, and B. make sure your reviews are positive. If you do not show up, or any information is incorrect, anyone with a Google account (Gmail) can submit the corrections. And you can also add photos that support your business description.
2. Facebook seems to have evolved from personal announcements to more commercial type uses. A simple FB page could link prospective customers to your established webpage, or vise versa.