Many business owners make the mistake of starting out with a fleet of a dozen cars without a single day of marketing or gauging demand. This is one of the most common reasons why many of these businesses fail. All new and existing formal car hire business owners need to consider the fact that starting a hire business is challenging but marketing and reining in business can be even more challenging. Below we look at a few things that business owners should do in order to effectively get the word out about their business before investing in more new vehicles.
Make a list of whom you’re targeting
Take a look at the formal cars that you have in your lot and think about whom you’re gearing your service towards. It would be a mistake to opt for niche marketing here but if you have vehicles dating back to the 90s or early 80s these may not necessarily entice young people, so your market is automatically going to be people around thirty and above. Make a list of whom your target audience is i.e. businessmen, wedding couples, teens, tourists, budget travelers etc. This will help you gear your marketing message more effectively.
Brand your business
Does your business have a logo, slogan, website, Facebook page, and Twitter account? If not you should consider getting all of these right now. A well designed logo and slogan will help people identify your business via all the marketing that you engage in. Your Facebook page and Twitter account will help you interact with people you’re targeting. Your company’s website should be intended to supply information about your business as well as offer people a way to book formal cars, report issues and ask questions.
Local Search Marketing
The majority of formal car hire companies usually target a 40 km radius. So, your search marketing needs to focus on this vicinity around the business. Your local search marketing strategy should include newspaper advertising and advertising in online classifies. Make sure that your advertisement includes your logo and slogan. Draft five to six variations of your advertisement for each medium and run it on a rotational basis. If you’re just opening shop you should also write a couple of Press Releases and submit it to syndication websites. The best and most attention grabbing headlines include discounts, special offers, and new packages.
Add a sticker on the rear of every vehicle in your fleet
Get a couple of stickers printed and paste it to the rear of every car in your fleet. You should also offer these stickers free to prospective clients and existing clients. These should also be a part of your giveaways, including key chains and calendars. This way you’ll be able to reach a wider audience. Your stickers should include, your logo, slogan, and a few words about your business with your phone number below.
Offer a referral discount
During the off season or when you’re not getting enough business make sure to offer a referral discount. Call up all your existing clients and tell them that you’re offering a discount if they book a vehicle within a few weeks or refer someone to you. This will motivate soon to be married couples, and teens preparing for the prom to book their vehicle in advance. In some cases you can even draw some attention away from larger competitors with this discount.
Build a network
Even though larger and smaller formal car hire companies are your competitors it does not hurt to have a working relationship with them. Your working relationship will enable you to get business that these companies cannot handle, and you can transfer some overflow business over to them too. This will help you fulfill larger orders or demand for more vehicles than you can handle. The upside is that you can expect to get work even during a somewhat slow season. However, always have your payment agreement with the other company worked out and legal prior to providing a service or asking for a service.
The formal car hire business is highly competitive yet slashing your rates will not necessarily get you gigs. Many businesses fail because they compete on price rather than quality and good marketing skills. So, the tips above should give you a head start.