As the owner of several businesses over the years, including a pool service route, I learned to focus on maximizing the 4 P’s – that is price, product, promotion, and place – in order to
maximize profits. In each case, the driver of any selection was the customer. So I modeled the successful “big boys” that tailor their offerings to the roughly 20% of customers who generate the majority of sales. However, in advising other route owners recently, I learned it sometimes can be hard to identify or reach your most valuable customers. One answer: online
technology; it can help your business cut through the clutter and reach the homeowners most likely to purchase your services. Here are 3 tips to successful tech marketing:
Acquire Third-Party References. Consumers want to entrust their needs to people they can trust. So they frequently check out a business on Yelp.com, AngiesList.com or Better
BusinessBureau.com (bbb.org) to see what others have said about the company. Invest the time and dollars to get on these lists and invite reviews on online customer review sites.
Connect online with Clients. People do business with people they know. So create a personal and business site online and become “Friends” on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites with customers. Acknowledge their posted accomplishments and share projects they are promoting. Then when you post your own successful projects, they will be inclined to do
likewise. Not only will you be touching your clients to stay top of mind with your existing customer base but your posts will be seen by the client’s entire online network.
Optimize your Web site for Searches. Small business owners often are so busy servicing clients and handling the day-to-day immediate tasks that they don’t stop to maintain their in-house technology. It’s not enough to have a website. The site should also have regular content updates that speak to homeowners’ needs and new trends in consumer products, usually in blog format. In addition, a potential customer should be able to find you when ready to buy. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Incorporating SEO will boost your company higher in online customer searches. It involves tagging your web pages, along with the videos, attachments, and images on those pages, with the keywords that current
customers are using to search for your industry’s products or services. In addition, the URL names for each page should incorporate the words that customers use in search engines.
Connecting to customers can be tricky in this age of continuous online updates, 24-hour access to information, and customers who have found ways to bypass traditional media that run advertisements. However, by staying up-to-date with technology and how consumers access the Internet, I’ve learned, you can keep your business top of mind.
By Arif Sealey, a former pool service operator and owner of Sealey Business Brokers that helps owners and future entrepreneurs buy and sell businesses in Texas, Arizona and California. For more information, call toll-free 1-844-POOL-RTE.