Marketing for Independent Auto Repair Shops


Did Your Service Writer Check for Upcoming Services?

Did Your Service Writer Check for Upcoming Services?   The other day a customer brought in a car to a Top Shop for steering problems. Turned out some part was on a national backorder, so the car sat on the lot for a week. This in itself was not a problem.    The problem came to light when the customer got the car back, and realized that oil change was due in 79 miles! The car sat on the lot for a full week, and nobody looked up what else it might have needed. It would have saved the customer the hassle of another visit to the shop – and yes, it’s a bloody hassle. We come to the shop every day, because we work there. But for a customer it’s a hassle, plain and simple.  No matter what you offer – free coffee, Wi-Fi, free shuttle or Uber rides, it’s still a hassle – they would rather get it all done with a single visit. So… Shame on Protractor for not alerting the se ... read more


Full-On Grumpy

Are You Writing Your Marketing Plan for 2022?

Well... it's been a while... How the world has changed. 2020 turned out to be a good year as revenue goes - many clients were up over 10% year over year, despite California lockdowns. 2021 is looking good as well - lots of shops hitting new revenue highs, AROs are solid. And then there is the year 2022 - inflation is not just on the radar screen - it's here. It will get worse in 2022. Parts shortages / delays are likely to continue. So what's the good news? Building out your website still works, pay-per-click advertising is doing ok, (though you do have to watch your cost-per-click), customers are keeping their cars longer, so we get to do more services and more repairs. So have you started working on your auto repair shop marketing and advertising plan for 2022? What is your revenue goal for 2022? More domestic makes or more foreign? Services? List the ones you want to focus on in 2022. How will you convey to your customers your unique strengths? What are they? H ... read more

Week 10 of Shelter in Place – Full Steam Ahead!

Looking back at the past 10 weeks, continued execution of the SEO strategies is paying off. While other shops hunkered down, our clients improved their organic ranking through consistent execution of the search engine optimization strategy. While parts of March and entire April were pretty much lost as far as pay-per-click advertising, there was no reason not to continue with the SEO efforts - so we kept plugging away. When SEO is done right, time is on your side. For our clients it was time well spent outdistancing competitors as far as Google rankings are concerned. For most of their competitors, shelter in place was a loss We also spent time on post-shelter-in-place tactics - how can our clients better serve their customers AND use new services to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Now that the plans are in place, it’s time to execute

Week 9 of Shelter in Place – Back to Normal

We finished ninth week of shelter in place with steady phone calls and solid numbers. Technically speaking, San Francisco Bay Area is only in stage 2 of reopening, but auto repair is back in demand again. Traffic jams are back on some of the freeways, and repair shops are busy. Marketing budgets are almost back to normal, with leading shops increasing marketing and advertising by 10%-20% over comparable time last year - while most shops are still shell shocked, we are taking market share

Week 8 of Shelter in Place

Even though Bay Area counties have not loosened up restrictions, citizens decided they’ve had it with bureaucrats controlling their lives. People are walking, jogging in much larger numbers. Stores are busier. Friends are visiting friends. Auto repair shops are busy. Revenue for most of our clients is back to normal, some are posting numbers better than they did in May last year. For the first 2 weeks of May, our worst performing shop is down 22% compared to the first 2 weeks of May 2019 - but in 2019 that shop was up 31% over 2018 ( y-o-y), so in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as bad as it may seem - and the shop is still running at 1/2 of the normal marketing budget. Best performing shop is up 20% over the first 2 weeks in May 2019.Over 80% of our clients are even or up compared to the first 2 weeks of May 2019 - despite their counties still being under Shelter in Place. Naturally we monitor things on daily basis, and run weekly numbers to make sure shops hit their ... read more