One of the most effective ways to market your business is to do something positive for the community. What this does is get your name out there, to potential customers, in a positive light. Advertising is effective, of course, but consumers don't always have the fondest views of an ad found online, on a TV or in the newspaper.
That's why you're better off thinking of more beneficial ways to get your name seen and heard by your community. And that's exactly where the Boy Scouts come into play.
Part of being a Boy Scout is having to earn badges in various areas, such as swimming, knot-tying, fire starting and more. The Boy Scouts of America nurtures the interests and talents of young boys, to help them shape who they want to become as adults. Your auto shop can play a pivotal role in helping Boy Scouts earn their merit badges and choosing a lucrative career. Here's how:
The Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge
One of the merit badges available for Boy Scouts to earn is the Automotive Maintenance badge. The requirements for earning the badge are pretty specific, including:
- Diagram and explain the parts of the car's electrical system
- Explain the brake system and the differences between a disc and drum system
- Explain how an onboard computer works with the fuel injection system
- Explain the purpose of the lateral-wear bar indicator
Those are just a handful of the 12 detailed areas a Boy Scout must show proficiency in to earn this badge. As you can see, it's not a superficial award – Scouts really need to know the inner workings of a car to get this badge. That's where you come in.
Volunteer your time and hold a clinic
Nearly every community has a Boy Scouts of America group. And seeing that no other mechanic will have thought to do this, it's worth your while to reach out to BSA groups from neighboring communities as well.
Let these groups know you'd like to volunteer your time and hold a clinic to help these scouts earn their Automotive Maintenance merit badge. Unlike many other badges, this one in particular isn't easy to come by, because of the type of exposure a scout needs to have to a car and garage.
In one fell swoop, you can make these hard-to-come-by commodities accessible.
In order to maximize your return on investment, don't hold one-on-one clinics. Try to get as many scouts into your garage on any given day as possible.
But wait, how does this help my business?
You may be wondering why volunteering your time would help your business, aside from doing your part to help the community.
The way to a family's heart is through their children. Children don't drive cars, but their parents do. If you volunteer your time for children, you're marketing to their parents and likely winning over clients for life.
But you don't have to stop there. You can use this gesture to your advantage on a larger scale as well. Once you commit to a time and place for a clinic (or perhaps you've decided to hold these clinics monthly or quarterly), spread the word throughout the community by:
- Writing a press release. Send it to local papers (they LOVE this kind of story) and to online sites like PR Web.
- Creating an Facebook event. Be sure the parents of the scouts join the group. Then watch as social media does its thing (friends of those parents will discover your group, and join as well).
- Use Facebook advertising. Target scouting interests so that you can reach other Boy Scout parents out there who otherwise wouldn't have heard about you or your clinics.
Do something good. Get something out of it.
Marketing and business growth are normal parts of running a business. Doesn't it make sense to try and do some good for the community as you try to expand your market reach? Connecting with the Boy Scouts of America is just the tip of the iceberg, but the perfect way for you to start connecting to families in a positive, altruistic manner, so that they realize that you're the type of auto shop they'd like to do business with.