About 70% of towing customers come through the form of online search results. It is more important than ever to strategically place your company information in places that it will get found. This includes your website ranking well in the search results and having a map listing that shows up as one of the top search results. As we talked about in this article, paying a company to do this for you can save a lot of time and headache for you while you’re worrying about your tow truck business. Paying a company can prove to be an expensive investment up front so if you’d rather put the time in yourself, we’ll share some secrets with you that you can start implementing today that will results in more business.
We’ve already discussed how to show up in the maps more consistently so now we will share with you how to get your website to move up the rankings. The search engines have a job, and that job is to give people looking for information the most relevant search results. If you’re searching for towing in your area, the search engines look for websites that are trustworthy, have authoritative content regarding the topic, pictures, look like an actual business, and have “votes” from other websites. Think about it for a second… if you’re a search engine, and somebody is searching for towing in your city, who are you going to show as the top result? Are you going to choose the website that has 3 sentences, 1 picture, and no other websites talking about it? Or, are you going to show the website that has 1,500 words of authoritative content on the subject of tow trucks, 20 pictures, and 20 other websites that have links to it? You’re probably going to pick the second option, and so are the search engines. So how do you set yourself up to look more like the second option?
As we said, having authoritative content on your website about the subject at hand is crucial. You can make your website look like an authority on towing by having a homepage that has at least 1,500 words written on it about useful information on the subject of towing. You can cover towing rates, tips for picking towing companies, different types of tow trucks, etc… Having a lengthy homepage like this will also help you get found for more keywords that people are searching for. The next best thing you can do is to put pictures on your homepage that have title tags with keywords you’re looking to rank for. This will also help you look more legit and more optimized to be found in the search engines. The last, and probably most important thing you can do is get links pointing towards you website from other websites. There are a few ways to do this including guest blogging, forum commenting, and paid sponsorship posts. There are other ways you can do this such as building a blog so it gets traffic than pointing a link to your site from that blog, but who has time for that? The good news is that you can hire a company to do this for you and if you pick the right company, you’ll see results that will keep paying you back for years to come.
As a tow truck business owner, you have some decisions to make regarding what types of services you’re going to offer. We feel that before you make this decision you should check around town and see what your competition is doing. If there are 10 companies offering heavy duty towing services, and only 1 company offering medium duty heaving towing services, you should probably start offering the service that your competitors are not. However, there very well could be a reason that those other companies aren’t offering it because the demand isn’t there. This is why research is so important! Most likely you’ll see a lot of competitors offering regular car and small truck towing services but they probably aren’t offering the medium and heavy duty towing options. Before investing in any type of tow truck it’s EXTREMELY important to research your competition and what the market in your area is demanding.
Most tow truck companies offer roadside assistance services, but these aren’t necessarily the most profitably types of services to offer. It’s important when you’re starting out to understand how much time each type of service typically takes and how much you can charge for those services at a competitive rate. The great thing about towing vehicles is that the farther you tow, the more money you can typically charge. When it comes to roadside assistance, you’re probably going to have to charge a flat rate of about $50-$75 depending on the service, and you might find yourself taking the same amount of time to perform the job as it would have if you made $150 for that same amount of time towing a vehicle. These are important factors of your business and must be taken into careful consideration. Most towing companies offer all roadside assistance and towing services because each type of service is profitable. As we discussed, some services are more lucrative than others, but that’s just the way business works.
After you determine your services, what tow trucks you’re going to buy, and what equipment you’ll need to perform these jobs, you have to get insurance to cover your tow trucks and also the vehicles that you’re towing. The last thing you want is to be cruising down the road when all of a sudden the car on the back of your tow truck unlatches, falls off the truck, and causes a huge pile up resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars! If you find yourself in this situation and you don’t have insurance, you’re going to be liable and can potentially lose your house or any other assets you have under your name because of it. In order to get licensed, bonded, and insured in your state, you have to tell them exactly what kinds of services you’ll be offering what what types of tow trucks you’ll be insuring.
These are some pretty basic and obvious points we talked about in this article, but you’d be surprised at the horror stores we’ve heard because of tow truck companies failing to do these simple tasks. We want our readers to be well prepared for everything that will happen throughout the course of their towing business so we don’t want to leave any details out that could be important to your business. We want to give a shout out to Poly’s Towing Phoenix that took our advice on the article we published last week about getting found in the map listings. Poly took our advice and has been doing more business this month than ever before! Please let us know if you have any success stories using the information we share in this blog.
Business comes down to two things: leads & sales. You can have the nicest looking tow tucks in your state, but if you’re not getting leads and closing sales, none of that matters. The tow truck companies that are succeeding in their business are taking advantage of getting as many leads as they can, and closing as many of those leads as possible.
The first, and most important thing, is to get people calling you for your services. It’s a fact that was recently state by Yelp that 85% of small business owners rely on referrals as their main source of business. Can you imagine just hoping and preying that someone put a good word into someone else about your company? While we’ve heard some success stories like this about small businesses providing exceptional service that their business grew into the millions by referrals alone, 99% of you will not have this happen in your business. The facts are the facts, and most people searching for towing services aren’t going to call their friends or family to see who they should call. That person is going to get on the internet via their phone or computer, and search for a local business that can help them out. When they’re searching for towing services in their area, the search engines they’re using are going to spit out the most relevant results. It’s extremely important that your tow truck business is one of the top search results when your customers are searching for you because… how else are they going to find you?
It’s more important now than it ever has been to be visible on the internet to get new customers. You can look in any city and can easily tell what company is making the most money based on searching for their services + the city into the search engine. So, now you’re probably wondering… how do I get found?! Here’s a few tips that will help you with that.
- Get a website! People searching for your services need to be able to go to your website to get your information to call you. The next best alternative is the yellow pages. It’s 2016! No one uses phone books anymore!
- Get your business registered with Google My Business. This way your business listing will show up in the map section of the search results which will mean you getting more leads.
- Run Google Adwords advertisements.
We will cover how to get your website and map listing found more often in future posts, for now we will discuss how you can really ramp up on sales very quickly through Google advertising. If you type in “towing” on your mobile phone you will see the first results that come up are advertisements. Every search engine makes money off people advertising their services so to get business going quickly you can pay for your ad to show up there. To use this strategy you just need a quick one page website on the internet with a phone number to call you at. People will click on your ad which will take them to you website, then from there they will call you (if done correctly). The ads are relatively cheap and gives you a good chance to land a lot of business early on while your other marketing strategies are gaining momentum. Running ads on the internet is easy, but if you put in words like “cheap towing”, or “cheapest towing in your city”, etc… you should get more clicks on your ad.
Sales are an extremely important part of any business, in fact, it’s probably the most important thing that determines a business success or failure. When it comes to towing sales, you need a game plan in tact to close deals on the spot when you’re getting phone calls. Writing a sales script is something that not a lot of people bother doing but can mean the difference between you making lots of money and closing up shop. We’re going to share with you some selling basics that will help your company close more sales and make more money.
First things first, write a script. If you’ve never written a sales script before, don’t worry, it’s not that hard. Imagine yourself answering your business phone line. One the other end of the phone is a customer that’s broken down on the side of the road and needs you to tow their vehicle from point A to point B. First of all, how did you answer the phone? Was your attitude friendly? Did you answer in a professional manner using correct verbiage? A good example of how to answer the phone is this: “Hello, thank you for calling Joe’s Towing, this is Joe speaking, how may I help you today?” Consider that compared to: “Hello this is Joe, what’s up?” You may think to yourself that this is ridiculous and no one would answer their business phone like this but we’re here to tell you there are plenty of companies out there acting in this unprofessional manner. Next you need to make sure you’re equipped to answer any questions the potential customer calling you might have. Go over every scenario you might encounter and question you might receive. Write down answers to each and every customers potential concerns so you’re prepared for anything and everything. The most important part of writing a sales script is that you’re writing it with the goal of closing every single customer that calls you. If you say it’s going to be 45 minutes before you can get to their car and the customer says, wow, that’s a long time! You’ll have an answer ready to go that might go something like this, “Well, sir, it’s going to take any other tow truck company at least 60 minutes to get to you. I have a CB radio and can hear the calls coming into them. I’ll be able to get to you faster than them and I’ll charge you 10% less than they will.” This response compared to saying, “ya, sorry, I know it’s a long time to wait…” is 100% better and will close you a lot more sales. We don’t have time to go over every scenario in this post, but hopefully you get the idea. If you always position yourself as better, faster, cheaper, and more knowledgeable than the competition, you’re going to be closing deals left and right. If you are unprepared and sound like an idiot on the phone you’re going to lose a lot of business and never get any referrals. It pays to be prepared so we hope you take our advice and write a sales script for your towing business. Once you start growing your business you can pass that script along to the person that you hire to answer your phones so you’ll never have to worry about losing business because of a new hire!
Before you invest in purchasing a tow truck or a plot of land to hold repossessed vehicles, it’s important to understand the costs associated with running the business. The monthly costs associated with running a tow truck business include: the cost of the tow truck(s), insurance, fuel, & business phone number. The optional costs for your tow truck business include advertising, having a website designed (strongly recommended), citations for your tow truck business map listing, and SEO work on your website if you want to get found by more people in the search engines. Lets take a look at the costs of doing business a little further.
The first, and most important cost of staring your tow truck business, is buying a tow truck. It’s important to shop around because tow truck businesses are constantly going out of business, so it’s not uncommon to find some great deals out there if you really apply yourself and look. You need to have a good understanding of the different types of trucks on the market and what job each truck is capable of doing. There are light duty, medium duty, and heavy duty tow trucks available that are all capable of performing different tasks. Most tow truck companies will have at least one of each different type of truck so they can handle any call that comes there way. If you’re just starting out, a light duty tow truck is usually the best option so you can perform basic towing services for small cars and trucks in your city. The other start up costs are pretty self explanatory and are just basic necessities for running your business. We will recommend that you shop around for insurance and try to get the best price, but most of the big insurance companies will have pretty competitive rates.
The optional investments that we mentioned earlier are extremely important to take into consideration. When you think about it, people needing tow trucks are usually busting out their cell phones when they are broke down and calling the first result that pops up from their phones search engine. Having your website and contact information in the map listings show up as one of the top results is very important when it comes to generating consistent business. You should at least have a website with a phone number and e-mail so if you do get found, people don’t have to search around for a way to contact you. We also highly recommend having a “instant quote” form on your web page so that people have a way to contact you if they don’t feel like talking on the phone.
There are some other extremely important factors when it comes to getting your company found on the internet such as map listing citations & SEO work, which we will cover more in depth in future articles. Before investing any money into your business, everything we’ve mentioned here is very important to take into consideration. You need to know how you will get customers, how you’re going to close those customers and sell them on your services, and you need to know how much your services will cost to make your business profitable each month. We hope this basic starters guide provided some useful information for all of you out there considering starting your own tow truck company.