Part 1 of 5: Is Facebook and online media your Friend or Foe? If so, what to do with it?
Sometime back in Jan 2015, I meet up with a couple of friends a day after another.
Coincidently, they represent 2 extreme ends of businesses.
The joy of meeting business owners. Always something new to learn!
New lessons, new experiences, new possibilities. Always Exciting!
I’ll talk about both over the next few days, in 4 or more parts, so it is more digestible.
Traditional service line vs online product selling.
Part 1 Traditional servicing line, home repair and maintenance.
No website or Facebook page.
Views online presence a high mountain to overcome.
Mr.Tan’s (fake name of course) current marketing initiative is to advertise on product and service listing booklet that is distributed periodically to HDB, Private and Landed property. He gets to choose which monthly issue to be featured, depending on the distribution.
The reach is about 55,000 per month, costing him in the range of $700-$900 per issue. (yes the price fluctuates unless the sales guy locks it for him should he commits to a few months)
According to Mr.Tan, the response is ‘not bad’ though there is no way to track it. Customer may not call him until there’s a repair or maintenance work to be done. He admits it is highly random. (if the receiver keeps the booklet if the booklet is found when they need it if they need the service)
Once a sale is made for such repair work, Mr.Tan hopes that the customer will get to know that he can and does construction and installation of cabins, wardrobe and other interior work.
Such projects he admits will only be known much later down the road. Current testimony has it that a customer he served 2-3 years ago, suddenly called him for interior work.
Meanwhile, Mr.Tan relies on the name cards he gives out on a daily basis, depending on how many people he meets.
Besides that, he depends on the word-of-mouth recommendation from the 150+ past clients who have been referring businesses to him. That’s over the past 7-8 years…
I briefly suggested having at least an online presence via Facebook as that’s where the potential customers are interacting.
Mr.Tan replied that he is not keen on Facebook because of possible irrational or subjective negative comments that can scare potential customers away. To him, this fear is very real. Not knowing what part of the work the customer may choose to focus on.
A ray of light is, Mr.Tan wants to expand his business as he is tired of running this like a self-employed.
What may I suggest to Mr.Tan?
I’ll carry on in the next post.
Update: 27 Sep 2017
I last check with Mr Tan; he is not doing this interior business anymore. There wasn’t enough customer to sustain his operation.