Most of our bike shop marketing clients are small to mid-size shops (800k-2M in sales). The owners and managers act like firefighters day to day reacting to whatever the fire may be. They have limited time and resources to apply to the things that aren’t causing them to react. This, unfortunately, more often than not includes their marketing and business strategy.
After seeing first hand the knowledge and experience gap growing between the shops that can afford to hire general marketing agencies and the smaller businesses that can’t afford the $5,000 or higher monthly fee – we had enough. We need a better bike industry and good bike shops need partners that can help them grow their bottom line, not simply feed off of it.
Maybe you aren’t ready to bring someone on to help with your marketing or maybe you are trying out your hand in paid advertising but haven’t conquered the basics of marketing first. (The shiny object syndrome!)
Well, look no further.
For you specifically, we have done my best to outline an EFFECTIVE yet simple small business marketing checklist. Do not jump into paid media for your bike shop until you have capitalized on every item on this list!
Below are a few top items on our Bike Shop Marketing Checklist. Download our Top 20 Bike Shop Marketing Tips ebook for FREE now.
The Basic Bike Shop Marketing Checklist
Spend time optimizing the spaces that you personally own and that can not be taken away by social channels or a 3rd party.
Most of your marketing efforts will be driving visitors to your website. This should be your signing star and tell your story in the most effective way. Make sure it is mobile friendly, your phone number, and relevant contact information is easy to find. When possible you should be writing content rich articles to encourage people to visit often and to add to the search engine optimization (SEO) to help Google point more people in your direction.
2. Email List – Growing and Mailing
Social media is more media than social in 2016. Facebook, Instagram, and others can simply change up the formula whenever they wish. Your customer’s email is like gold. Treat it as so. They are showing great intent to build a relationship with you when they hand it over and should be built on as any other relationship.
3. Your Phone Number and Voicemail
Too many people forget about this one, but it’s one of the most effective ways to connect with current clients and potential customers. How do you treat people when they call? What is your voicemail experience? How can you solve someone’s problems on the phone to start building a great relationship?
4. Customer Database
The most important piece of marketing you have is your current customers. Make sure you are collecting the key information like Name, Email, Phone Number, and Address if you can, or their Zipcode if they are hesitant. Don’t jump into spamming them yet, just collect it so that you can track their data, buying habits and build marketing, referral and service campaigns off of it.
1. Your Storefront
When people can see your storefront they have very few barriers to keep them from coming in. How are you enticing them from across the street, or as they drive by? Do you have a sign or an events board? Do you move great looking merchandise outside every day or dusty sale items? How can you tell an amazing story by your storefront?
2. Word of Mouth
Simply encourage your happy customers to tell friends, and review you on whatever site is important for your industry (e.g. Yelp and Google Reviews). Take this time to double check your information is listed correctly on all of these review sites, and that you have claimed them as the business owner. This allows you to reply to all reviews or comments on those websites.
3. Social Media
Be social, and authentic. Tell your story while also becoming a resource for whatever your specialty is. Note: DO NOT SELL 75% OF THE TIME!
Sometimes it is as simple as showing up, and saying hello. How can you become very consistent in your space by simply spending 30 minutes a week by being present? Example: Go to a different group ride or bike oriented meet up at least once a month.
5. Write guest articles for local community newspapers or blogs
Submit article ideas to your local community papers, and magazines. Reach out to relevant blogs, or MeetUp groups with topic ideas that would solve a problem of your target audience while also telling your story. Example: How to commute during the winter
Note: Don’t get sucked in with paying for advertising before you exhaust your free options above!
1. Online Advertising
If you have a great social presence start on Facebook. If you get most of your leads from your website then start with Google Adwords.
2. Print Advertising
Depending on your community, and type of business many of my family owned businesses find great success with mailers or ads placed in their local magazines.
3. TV and Radio
None of our current clients use this today because the costs are too high. In the past, I’ve worked with many auto dealers that saw amazing ROI with TV, Radio, and ads on services like Spotify or Pandora.
Track your results
The most important part of any marketing plan is to track results. When you are starting out this doesn’t have to be difficult or require too much digital tracking. Simply track the leads that contact you, or the customers walking in the door by asking how they found you. Keep a notebook, Google Spreadsheet, or something easy that you and your staff can add to quickly.
Your next steps are to start at the top of this list with an open mind to cleaning up or launching your marketing. Do you have a good site? Are you collecting emails? What does your voicemail sound like? No matter how long you are in business revisiting these top marketing items every year, quarter, or month will pay off immensely. I recommend asking your current customers or friends that are potential customers to go through those first three things to hear what they think of the experience. If you don’t have those dialed the rest of it will not have the impact that it could.
Do You Want More Bike Shop Marketing Tips?
Download our Top 20 Bike Shop Marketing Tips e-book for free now!
Sign Up for a Free Consultation
We would love to schedule a free consultation with you to learn more about your bike shop and to discuss your marketing strategy. In fact, did you know that we have a no-contract policy because we believe in our marketing and strategies that much? Don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a free bike shop marketing consultation now.