Do your advertising dollars return profit ?

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RouletteFor some companies, business is booming.  Others report they are struggling to keep the doors open.  What makes the difference ?  How can you increase your profits and make “doing business” worthwhile?

One huge contributor will be the quality of your work.  Another is charging enough.  Perhaps the least tracked, however, is the money you simply throw away.  Advertising ( marketing ) is one of those investments that may, or may not, be paying off.

As a business owner, or manager, you will be contacted regularly by someone who wants to sell you a marketing service, guaranteed to grow your business.  In these situations, the sales pitch is glorious, but the results may be quite muddy.  In fact, if the “plan” doesn’t work for you, be assured the sales rep will quickly confirm you must not be using it correctly!

To make wise decisions on marketing, you need to know exactly what you invest, and exactly how much return it brings.  The costs are easy because you pay that bill every month.  It is important, though, that you also track every job you receive when it results from a marketing campaign.

Auto Shop Writer users can mark each workorder for the source.  It may be a returning customer, or it might be from one of the campaigns you are using.  Reports show the breakdown of work based on how it is characterized.  You can track as many resources or campaigns as you want.

You also need to know the profitability on the jobs in order to appreciate the value of the campaign.  Lets say you run a postcard campaign.  You spend $300 to send out the cards.  Then, your customers respond by coming in for a service.  50 people respond to the “special” and that may sound great.  However, when you look at your actual profit, you only net $5 on each special.  Thus you spent $300 and got back $250.  Your campaign actually cost you $50.  Salespeople will tell you there is a “carry over” effect that increases your customer base over time, and their might be.  That is something you can’t measure.  You can be sure that a good percentage of those people who responded simply jump on bargains.

If you want to increase profits, you need to know where your money is being spent effectively.  If you don’t get the results you need from a marketing campaign strategy, its time to refine the audience, or to look at other methods.  Ultimately it’s all about bringing you to the attention of probable clients, and then motivating them to come use your services.