Getting customers for your headlight restoration business is the first step, upselling them is the second, and keeping them coming back is the third. To achieve all of these, you must identify and pursue your target audience, offer complimentary services in addition to headlight restoration, and gather customer data so you can continue to communicate with them. You must also carefully craft your company's brand through your website, logo, colors, brochures and other marketing material.
Don't forget to promote your product or service through related companies such as major retailer stores or local auto-service businesses that do not compete with your service. Negotiate with buyers to get your product on their shelves, or advertise your services at their local branches.
Design a logo and color scheme for your headlight restoration company. This will help you create a brand. Include this logo and these colors on all marketing material.
Consider what you want to communicate about your company when choosing the colors and logo. Blue indicates safety and reliability, which people look for in cars. Yellow is attention-grabbing and mimics the color of headlights. Green is adventurous and is on modern VW Beetle ads. Most customers will make snap-second decisions based on fleeting impressions, so manage these well.
Print brochures and create a website explaining what you offer. Be succinct. No one likes to read a lot of text. Include lots of photos. Hire a professional photographer, or a talented photography student looking for spare cash, to take before and after shots that you will use in your material.
Identify your target market. Look at your current customer base, if applicable, to see what similarities they share. Look at your competitor's customer base and ask yourself what defines that target audience. Analyse the benefits of headlight restoration and ask yourself who might need those benefits: antique car collectors, perhaps, or people with older cars whose headlight covers have become cloudy or foggy over the years.
Decide whether you want to become a service provider who restores headlights, or a supplier of headlight-restoration products, or both.
If you become a supplier of headlight restoration products, meet with buyers for major retailers such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, and supermarket chains, as well as major auto industry retailers like Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts and Checkers. Negotiate with these buyers to get your products on their shelves.
If you are a service provider but do not offer your own brand of products, negotiate with your supplier of headlight restoration products, like 3M, Meguiar or Permatex, to see if they will promote your services within all the advertising they do in your local area, in exchange for your signing an exclusive supplier agreement.
Start a website on which you sell headlight restoration products, advertise your service, or both. Pick a domain name that includes relevant, searchable words (such as "headlight" "improvement" or "restoration"), and include relevant, searchable words high within your text.
Send samples of your headlight restoration products to reviewers such as the writers of headlightrestoration.org, a website dedicated to reviewing various headlight restoration products.
Alternatively, if you operate a headlight restoration service in which people bring you their cars and you perform the work, write an article for the website or for other automotive websites and magazines touting the benefits of having professional restoration performed. Since most of your customers will come from your local area, write for as many local car blogs, websites and magazines as you can find.
Post flyers in auto-service businesses like Meineke or Jiffy Lube if you offer services that do not compete with the auto business (like Jiffy Lube) at which you're advertising. Talk to the employees there to make them aware of your professional restoration service so that they can refer customers to you. If you sell a product but do not sell services, consider advertising through those auto-service companies or negotiating with the companies to stock your product at their locations.
Promote your services on Craigslist if you offer professional restoration services. Investigate whether or not your city allows you to advertise through weatherproof signs attached to telephone poles, and if your city allows you to do so, do it.
Visit conferences and associations of people and groups who are in your target audience, such as an antique car collector conference.
Create a Facebook page, Twitter account and other social media outlets, and ask existing customers to "friend" your company in order to engage in social media marketing.
Collect names and e-mail addresses of all customers so that you can have a solid database. Email these customers occasionally but not too often, especially if you can offer a sale or deal. In the email, tout the advantages of regularly engaging in headlight restoration. Encourage customers to proactively ensure their headlights do not slowly become cloudy or foggy over time by using headlight restoration products once a year.
Offer "no-brainer" upsells, upsells that are such a good deal that the customer cannot refuse. For example, if you run a professional restoration service, offer a highly desirable brand of headlight product only marginally more expensive than a much lower-grade brand of headlight product.
Offer your customers complimentary services or products, like a discounted bumper repair or windshield scratch repair for every headlight restoration, if you have the capacity to do so.
- marketing image by dead_account from Fotolia.com