As the saying goes, I am Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. Advertising will be the last thing that gets my attention, time and money. If I do spend any money that I do not have, it will be some community service booklet. Little league, Boy Scouts, School Band… will be the extent of my budget.
My time is so limited being a one-man operation. I need to make choices that involve the other things that I do. First, I will need a truck. Do not pick your truck color because it is your favorite color. Buy a White Truck. It is the best background for your message. Your message is your name, phone number, and web address. Also list 1, 2, 3 or 4 things you do. No more than this. It will just clutter your message and make it harder to read. Get your truck lettered simply with this basic information. Most people in the advertising industry will advise you on the latest trends. Right now, this is truck wraps. I have to laugh when I see them. Most of these wraps you cannot read unless you are standing still and right in front of them. The basics are timeless and always work.
You can get a website presence for $1,000. Contact me and I will show you how.
Use job signs on every job. No matter how small the job. ½ hour repair gets a job sign. Tell the customer you will be putting a job sign up and will be leaving it there. They can take it down whenever they want because you will not be back to pick it up. Some people will take it down when you leave, some when they mow the grass, some will leave it up for months, some cannot throw it away and will bring it to your office, or shop. Some will have it beside their house. If you see this the next time you pass their home, stop and pick it up.
How you and your crew act on the jobsite is priceless. Homeowners do not want roofers on their property. They grit their teeth and endure us. This is because most roofers have a concert for the whole neighborhood. Most times it is not even music they would listen to if they did want to go to a concert in the middle of the day. They do not want their children around because of the language your guys use and the topics they talk about. If they have teenage daughters, whistling at them will not get you a referral no matter how good of a roofer you are.
Most people do not look at their roof until their neighbors are getting theirs done. They do look at their landscaping with the nails, small pieces of felt, cigarette butts, and other items you left behind. They do remember you when they walk through their lawn without shoes on and step on a nail. Even if you do clean up every nail, if you leave one in the gutters, it will find its way to the downspout and into the driveway. Then you give the customer a lasting memory of a flat tire months after you finished the job.
I am in business 37 years and have a nice budget with advertising advisors. The thing that they do not realize is the money that I use to pay them came from the basics. No amount of advertising budget will make up for these basic advertising principles.
Mark Holencik is the owner of Holencik Exteriors, Holencik Gutters and Holencik Insulation. See his full bio here.