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How Can Your Customers Find You?

by Dana Huval, Huval's Boot and Shoe Repair,

Crowley, LA

Where is your shop located? If your shop is located on a main street, you’re ahead of the rest.

What about choosing a corner shop of a strip mall for a location? Signage is a 24 hour advertisement, depending on your city codes.

Would an awning with shoe repair printed on it be an advantage for your location? If you do not have one yet, I would suggest choosing a bright color that will get your business noticed.

What about a marquee sign that could be changed as often as you like? This can give you the option to change your sign weekly to remind the public of the service you offer. “Back to School,” “Winterize Your Hiking Boots” and even “Christmas Specials” can be easy headlines you can put on the sign.

Nice posters in your windows can also advertise products and services you have. Do you have plenty of business cards on your counter in easy reach of your customers' hands? It’s amazing how many times someone will pick up a few cards saying, “I have a friend who will want this."

Just keep in mind the easier you make it for your customers, the better chance you have to get their business.

What kind of hours do you have? Are those hours consistent? If you  will be running late, do you put a sign the day before just in case?

You can even do things that will make your current location more noticeable. Add some potted plants; have a mural painted with a cobbler in the picture if you have an exposed wall. You can even hang an America, flag in front of your shop.

Does your city have an old-fashioned shoe store? Have you checked in from time to time, re-introducing yourself and reminding the owners/managers of the services you offer?

Unfortunately, our local shoe store closed a few years ago, but I would buy dress shoes from them and they would bring in items that needed stitching or heels to satisfy customers who had problems with shoes purchased from them.

They would also recommend my shop to their customers when the warranty time expired. These customers would bring their shoes for us to fix. We returned the favor by recommending their store to customers looking for new shoes.

I still have that kind of relationship with the Western store in a nearby city. I have known the family owners since I was a teenager. We competed in high school rodeo together. I recommend that customers purchase western items from them and they bring me their boots, shoes and purses to fix. They also recommend my shop to their customers for repairs. There are great opportunities for you to get new customers. It is up to you to get them in your shop.

One of the newspapers I advertise in had a “Big Boys Toys” convention with thousands people attending. This show displayed and sold motorbikes, campers, stereos, four wheelers and lots of other “guy things.” This year they offered a t-shirt with ads on the back. I made a small investment and got to top ad position. These shirts were given to the first 1,000 people who entered the convention center. My ad will be seen in areas where I would never otherwise advertise.

If the shoe fits, repair it.

  © 2005 Shoe Service Institute of

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