It's important to advertise your business effectively, to let potential customers know who you are, where you are and what you offer. It's often worth advertising certain high value items individually in classified ads or on your website.
A good website of your own is an excellent way to advertise your business and perhaps show off some of your stock. If it's an e-commerce website then you can sell online too.
eBay can be an excellent way to sell goods like architectural salvage items online. Other classified advertising websites like Gumtree can work well too. You could consider using online directories to promote your business and the range of services you offer. The industry website Salvo has a 'for sale' section, a trade directory, and banner advertising for salvage and related businesses.
Don't ignore mobile commerce - more and more people are browsing the web and buying goods online using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Think about other ways of advertising, marketing and promoting your business online - for example social media websites, forums and blogs.
A listing on Yell.com and other similar directories can be an effective way of advertising your business. Think about what you stock and place your entry under the most appropriate category or categories. For example, you'll probably put your main advertisement under the 'architectural antiques' section and/or 'salvage and reclamation'. But if you specialise in, say, leaded and stained glass then you might consider a second entry under 'leaded lights and windows'.
Other ways of advertising and marketing
Think about other ways of promoting your business. For example, you could:
- distribute a catalogue or flyer via a mail-shot or leaflet drop
- advertise in the local newspaper
- advertise in building, design, home and garden and architecture magazines
- place advertisements and flyers in local garden centres, nurseries and other home improvement outlets
- network with people like builders, designers, architects and landscapers. Some of these might use your services on a regular basis. Others might be prepared to pass on your contact details to potential clients
- exhibit at fairs and events
- contact the people responsible for buildings and estate management in organisations like the local authority, the Landmark Trust and the National Trust
Try to tell people as many of the good things about your business as possible in your advertisements, particularly things that distinguish your business from its competitors. If appropriate, let them know that you regularly get new stock in, and that you buy and sell salvage. Tell them what sort of things you specialise in too.
Remember that your vehicle can be a very effective means of advertising if you have it sign-written and keep it clean and presentable.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth recommendations are very valuable to your business. Salvage yard bargains can be a real talking-point and a satisfied customer will usually pass your details on to friends who are interested.
You'll have to earn your good reputation by offering high quality, helpful and friendly service, open and honest dealing and a good range of stock. Make sure that any staff you employ are good ambassadors for your business.