I had for years gone on the assumption that my work would
> speak for itself and people would come in and buy." That's like
the movie "Build it and it will come". True to a point. But that's
like "go out and hunt for berries and you won't starve." That's
true but by planting a field of corn now and you will eat like
kings later. Keep putting off planting and "eating like kings
later" will be later and later.I have concluded that some promotion
is absolutely necessary."
Depending upon your sales and situation you should put about 13% of
your total sales into a combination of rent and advertising. If rent
is 5% of sales, put 8% into advertising.
You need to advertise for many reasons:
20% of the population moves each year. So 20% of your customers
The 20% who MOVE INTO your city don’t know you so they don’t
replace the ones who left. You have to advertise to them to let them
know who you are.
You can’t rely upon word of mouth. Although there are ways of
promotion word of mouth, people only talk about how wonderful you
are for a week or if someone says “great looking ring”. It’s reported
that 2% of the population needs your product on any given day. A
DIFFERENT 2% needs it tomorrow.
So if Mrs. Jones needs a ring repaired today and she isn’t having
lunch with Mrs. Smith who had a ring fixed at your place, she won’t
be given your name as a lead.
When I first started advertising in the newspaper I was told to
advertise each Saturday, which I did. I was told people use the
newspaper as a reference material, like so:
I need my ring fixed. Every Saturday in the main news is somebody
advertising jewelry repair. I'll look in Saturday's paper and see
who that is and call them."
Sure enough, that was true for us. I went from an office building to
a strip center in 1983 at $200,000 per year in revenue. I started
advertising each week and in 3 years sales were up to $830,000.00.
People saw that ad every week and it brought NEW customers in (I had
been in business 9 years before moving.)
Advertising also will bring up slow months. April was always slow
because of tax time. Being we were 75% custom and it took a month or
more to deliver work, it affected May’s income too. (No work
delivered meant no money coming in.)
So we started advertising in March to our customer list and in the
newspaper a 20% sale on anything repair, custom design and showcase
products. It didn’t take a few years and April became a higher sales
month than March and MAY, WOW! May’s sales soon were 50% higher than
the previous May. This sale made May the second highest sales month
only to December.
I would suggest 3-4 mailings a year to your customer list. Also
recommend a consistent advertising medium that will work for you:
weekly newspaper, radio, billboard or cable.
I don’t suggest the coupons so much any more. They just bring in
discount oriented people who only get that service. If Home Depot
runs a full page ad in your paper for a cost of $10,000, do you think
they will be happy if it brings in sales of $10,000 to $15,000? NOPE!
And neither should you.
So don’t do a coupon mailing which cost about $700.00 and be happy
with a $500 to $1000 return. If you sell $1000 worth of products and
you make 50%, your cost of the products is $500. Add to that the $700
for mailing and your TOTAL COST to sell $1000 of products is
$1200.00. And don’t give me that advertising carp “you’ll make it up
Advertising should build your business, tell the customer what you
can do for them and get them to do something.
Our newspaper ad showed a broken ring and mentioned 5 things we do
to fix rings. Also in the same ad was a picture of a free form ring
and talked about we will make jewelry with your old gold and we
mentioned the fee we charged. The last section showed the arthritic
shank we sold. The size was about 4x6". We now use cable as it’s more
bang for the buck than our newspaper.
I speak to a lot of jewelers. The ones who had a GOOD year in 2001
were those who consistently advertised all year and spent time having
store meetings training the staff on a regular basis. What more clues
does one need?
I live, eat, breathe & sleep this vocation. Think about some how
getting that message out somehow with out being negative.
Tooting your own horn is not negative. If you live, eat, breathe and
sleep this stuff TELL OTHER PEOPLE that you do. But more importantly,
you should be well paid for it. Happy with your income? Well car
mechanics, plumbers, computer people and other technical people live
their vocations and they are well paid. You should be too and
consistent advertising will get you there.
The Repair & Design Pricing Guy