I just started my wc business and wanted to know what the average company spends on advertising over the course of a year. I know it varies depending on the size or structure of company, but what is a good average for a newbie.
From what I know, there is no magic number. I would have to say, after your bills are payed, and just a little saved away, EVERY DIME OF IT go’s into advertising.
As a newbie I would suggest you start with a low cost advertising method such as flyers on doors, a website and if budget allows a certain amount Google pay per click advertising which has worked for me fairly well. You might also consider Angieslist.com which is free to advertise and a little later service magic.
Advertising wise I personally spend approx $2k a month up to $4k depending on time of year. Good Luck. This is a numbers game so when out hit those homes hard.
Ah the leap of faith.
As much as you can afford and then some more. The more houses you hit the better.
Advertising that gives a good return is priceless and should be invested in heavily. The key though is to test the waters a bit. Make sure you know what ads works the best for you before you pour all your extra money into it. That being said, the cheapest, most labor intensive advertising (flyers and door to door) seems to usually work the best if you have the time.
Yeah, spend whatever you can spend honestly. And try every delivery method/marketing you can think of or can afford. Get creative. Nearly all of my earnings last year were rolled right back into the company.
As you likely inferred from the various responses you received, there is no “one size fits all” response to your question, and every organization has it’s own unique circumstances and end goals which further define their spending needs. This said I recommend that you identify what you can spend and how often, and instead of taking a shotgun approach to your marketing efforts, or creating a “one big push” campaign, devise a solution that works with your budget allowing you to contact the same target base multiple times.
Studies have shown that it takes as few as three, often more, impressions before your brand, and it’s services, are identified by a prospective client. Couple this with the hectic pace of clients lives and the fact that most customers place getting their windows cleaned, driveways power washed, etc. as a lower priority, and you begin to see the problem you face. Consumers today are at an all time high in terms of the number of marketing messages they are faced with on a daily basis.
So, with all this in mind I would say identify your target market, and then devise a campaign that puts you, and your services, in front of them in a professional manner, and issues a call to action — MULTIPLE times. Do it consistently, and as often as you can afford, with the understanding you need to get your message in their hand multiple times to truly begin creating brand awareness.
In an effort to provide you a few ideas to get you brainstorming I would say direct mail may not be the best option for you out of the gate (creating flyers and mailing them, is often thought of first, but not usually cost effective and can be less effective if not done in higher volumes, or to a targeted mailing list, read more cost). Taking the same flyer and converting it to a door hanger can provide a similar approach that saves on the cost of a mailing list, and postage.
You can also look to create partnerships with sensible vendors and trade organizations that have a showroom populated by your target clients, and place flyers in their showroom. Try radio spots on the less “popular” stations such as AM talk radio, which incidentally possesses a large portion of your target demographic in terms of residential clients. Want more bang for your buck try negotiating a service swap for at least part of the bill (smaller and local radio stations are usually pretty easy to work with on this, as long as you can show your service as having value).
Similarly I have been able to obtain TV spots through partnerships with non profit groups. Working with them on a project we are typically able to get anywhere from 200-300 PSA slots per month, which equate to a couple hundred 30 second spots, at no hard cost to us. This is just a small sampling of methods you can use that should allow you to create a marketing campaign that will 1.) Present your company as a professional organization. 2.) Provide an opportunity to call your prospective clients to action. 3.) Repeat this message multiple times, creating mind share, which you can then convert to market share.
Finally, and this method has proven to be the most successful for me throughout my career - regardless of the industry, networking associations. Whether it is the BBB, BNI, Chamber, etc. Getting in front of other business owners and managers in a setting that is conducive to creating business partnerships and referrals is simply the best way to capture large contracts. All those gatekeepers and guardians you need to schmooze or slay to get to decision makers, are not there.
People are in an environment and mindset where they are actively engaging in bettering their business for the next 45 minutes to an hour. Want to work for the biggest builder in town, join the association he is in. Want to get that contract for the local hospital, find out what groups the head administrator belongs too and join. I have personally secured multi-million dollar contracts from major corporations using this approach. Best of all, fee’s for most memberships are usually a few hundred dollars, for one to three years.
Hope this helps Bruno.
Getting to the meetings week after week can be a pain sometimes, but as far as ROI goes networking groups can be worth their weight in gold…especially when you’re starting out. Here for BNI, it’s $410/first year and $300/yr after. No matter what amount you end up spending on marketing, I highly recommend joining a group like this.