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EXECUTION Started A Mobile Oil Change Business But Struggling To Get Customers

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slampii

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Aug 4, 2020
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I know I know, It's not the best business to be in due to the crazy amount of competition and the many other reasons but i said to myself, why not just try it out.

So i did.

(The competition in my city is not as fierce as other cities)

I have no experience with oil changes but i know i love the ease of having someone come to me to do my oil change so i thought it would be a great idea.

I made a simple website, I use an easy booking service where customers can book their appointments completely online (even pay with their credit cards online and have proper scheduled appointments). Made all social media pages etc.

I launched my Mobile oil change business almost a month ago.

I've tried marketing on Facebook and Google Ads based on a few things i picked up over time. That wasn't successful. (Wasted money there)

I've had around 5 customers since I started, none of which came from any of my paid ads. They came from FB Marketplace listings and my city's craigslist equivalent free listings.

Then i met someone on Reddit last week who referred me to this forum and I love it so far. Lots of things to learn and I've been going through many different threads and learning before posting here. I also read The Millionaire Fastlane and related to everything in it.

I loved @Andy Black Adwords Posts thread and used everything there to start a new Google Ads campaign.

I can't say that it has been successful but it has been a lot better than my previous Ad campaign.

In the last 4 days I got 47 Clicks from 886 Impressions with an Avg CPC of $1.96. My impression share is at 52% and My impressions are 2nd only to another who has an impression share of 80%. (I spent $94.15)

I have had 0 inquiries and 0 conversions.

I have spent quite a bit setting up the business and advertising but i'm not afraid of failure. If things don't work out here then i know the experience that i got in the past 2-3 months with everything i have done so far and learnt so far was definitely worth it.

I know it's still too early to tell but how long should i go on doing PPC with no results?

Are there other advertising methods that i may be missing out on? (I am now trying some door hangers next week but not sure how successful that can be)

What should be my next steps?
 

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OP
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slampii

New Contributor
Aug 4, 2020
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2
11
Canada
Facebook car groups, people that actually care about their cars.
Is just changing oil a thing on your side of the pond?
Usually it's an annual service or 12k in the UK.
If they're doing that kind of mileage to necessitate an oil change then other things need to be checked too.
Here's an example:


Or is it a summer/winter oil change?
It's different here in Canada/U.S.

European cars don't require oil changes as often as Japanese & American made cars.

Japanese & American made cars usually require oil changes every 4000-7000 km's. Some more often than others depending on the type of oil used.

Its not uncommon to get oil changes every 3-6 months for your car.
 
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slampii

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Aug 4, 2020
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Canada
Does anyone have recommendations on what type of offer I can use to get people to change their norm and book a mobile oil change with me?
 

Thoelt53

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Physical flyers and door to door sales. Go to businesses and perhaps offer a discount for multiple services booked at the same time.

This will be difficult because of all the COVID BS, however, I was approached today by the owner of a wholesale aluminum panel company. He lucked out that I was by the door at the time, and would have otherwise been turned away, but it’s a numbers game and I will be buying from him in the near future.
 

sparechange

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I'd suggest to have in your copy that you can undercut every single oil change place out there and emphasize the convenience of having employees come to the clients home (remove the hassle of driving to X location and waiting around) Also just a random idea, every 3rd, 10th or whatever oil change is free, or free if the customer refers you to another sale, word of mouth marketing is like wildfire.

If you can't beat the prices of local shops you don't have a chance. Like the flyer idea (I did the same with landscaping) Was nice to have my phone blowup with job requests. Printed a few thousand for like 40 bucks or something. All a numbers game, assume a high rejection rate, say you send out 1,000 flyers and get only 10% to convert it pays off in the long run.
 

Matt Sun

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Your landing page follows neuro marketing web design ?

Ej: In Cashvertising I read that perfume ads have beautiful, successful people in them because we identify our self with them and that triggers consumption. In order to be coherent with your self image, you buy. So I made an air conditioner repair landing page. With the image of a woman smiling in a nice sofa in her appartment, with the air conditioner working like a charm . I got many leads with this google ads campaign.

Also a good copywriting:
-"We go fast to your house"
-"We are experts, in this business for x years"
-"not changing oil might result in complete rust of your car followed by atomic explosion" ( a little "loss aversion" there, it also incites consumption).

Hope it helps.
 

minivanman

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I think you are barking up the wrong tree. 1 by 1 will take forever to make any money. If you wish to do this, you should contact businesses. I know a guy that owns a business with 5 vehicles and he has someone come change the oil and check the fluids. Another guy owns several small trucks that haul food and he has someone come change the oil and check the fluids.

On your site, have a picture of you and maybe your vehicle that you use. I had a mobile mechanic come to the house other day to work on my grandson's Nissan..... this guy was referred to me and this lady said he was GREAT! Well, he showed up in an old junk pickup... had to move all the crap in the back to get to his tools (which were scattered all about and none looked 'professional'). He did fix the problem but I think it was only by the hair of his chinny chin chin. I will not be calling him back.

On your business card, put a picture of you standing by your work vehicle. Use that picture on all your advertisements.

But if you want to make money, change your plan. Go to small engine mobile tune-ups. Offer a mobile tune-up for $69 (or more) + parts. But wait..... most also need a new carburetor. Once you do it a few times you will know what all carbs to carry. Order from Amazon so you can get them cheaper and charge an extra amount to put the carb on. I think it would be easy to find people to work this as well. Not much training and they could be on their way. Offer blade sharpening and while you are there, make a special to sharpen their knives. Also carry new blades and offer those for a nice mark-up. My friend did this in Kansas City and could have done very well. He had medical problems and passed away but he used to get calls all year long and he had no clue how to make a website. You could also target mowing services. It's a pain in the @ss to find time to do this when you are a 1 man band.... or even a 3 man band but if their spark plug stops sparking they could be in deep trouble. His 1 tip to anyone wanting to do this would be... stay away from riding mowers. There are plenty of push mowers to keep you busy.
 
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slampii

New Contributor
Aug 4, 2020
6
2
11
Canada
I'd suggest to have in your copy that you can undercut every single oil change place out there and emphasize the convenience of having employees come to the clients home (remove the hassle of driving to X location and waiting around) Also just a random idea, every 3rd, 10th or whatever oil change is free, or free if the customer refers you to another sale, word of mouth marketing is like wildfire.

If you can't beat the prices of local shops you don't have a chance. Like the flyer idea (I did the same with landscaping) Was nice to have my phone blowup with job requests. Printed a few thousand for like 40 bucks or something. All a numbers game, assume a high rejection rate, say you send out 1,000 flyers and get only 10% to convert it pays off in the long run.
I'm not able to undercut oil change shops. They offer crazy low prices because they "aggressively" up-sell other services to their customers. Just read some of the horror stories regarding lube shops and you'll know what i mean.

My service is a premium service where we save the customer time and effort by going to them and we have a no up-selling policy.


Thanks for the idea on flyers. That's what i'm expecting when i send out door hangers this week.
 
OP
OP
S

slampii

New Contributor
Aug 4, 2020
6
2
11
Canada
I think you are barking up the wrong tree. 1 by 1 will take forever to make any money. If you wish to do this, you should contact businesses. I know a guy that owns a business with 5 vehicles and he has someone come change the oil and check the fluids. Another guy owns several small trucks that haul food and he has someone come change the oil and check the fluids.

On your site, have a picture of you and maybe your vehicle that you use. I had a mobile mechanic come to the house other day to work on my grandson's Nissan..... this guy was referred to me and this lady said he was GREAT! Well, he showed up in an old junk pickup... had to move all the crap in the back to get to his tools (which were scattered all about and none looked 'professional'). He did fix the problem but I think it was only by the hair of his chinny chin chin. I will not be calling him back.

On your business card, put a picture of you standing by your work vehicle. Use that picture on all your advertisements.

But if you want to make money, change your plan. Go to small engine mobile tune-ups. Offer a mobile tune-up for $69 (or more) + parts. But wait..... most also need a new carburetor. Once you do it a few times you will know what all carbs to carry. Order from Amazon so you can get them cheaper and charge an extra amount to put the carb on. I think it would be easy to find people to work this as well. Not much training and they could be on their way. Offer blade sharpening and while you are there, make a special to sharpen their knives. Also carry new blades and offer those for a nice mark-up. My friend did this in Kansas City and could have done very well. He had medical problems and passed away but he used to get calls all year long and he had no clue how to make a website. You could also target mowing services. It's a pain in the @ss to find time to do this when you are a 1 man band.... or even a 3 man band but if their spark plug stops sparking they could be in deep trouble. His 1 tip to anyone wanting to do this would be... stay away from riding mowers. There are plenty of push mowers to keep you busy.
I plan to do fleet oil changes but not as yet. Just want to get some hands on experience in the business before i do that.

People require oil changes quite often. There are hundreds of thousands of cars in my city. It's a recurring service. Why wouldn't 1 by 1 work? I just need a way to get people aware of my service.

I don't plan to do any service other than something automotive related that doesn't require a special license or certification. I do plan to do mobile detailing and other things vehicle related if this oil change thing is successful.
 

sparechange

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I'm not able to undercut oil change shops. They offer crazy low prices because they "aggressively" up-sell other services to their customers. Just read some of the horror stories regarding lube shops and you'll know what i mean.

My service is a premium service where we save the customer time and effort by going to them and we have a no up-selling policy.


Thanks for the idea on flyers. That's what i'm expecting when i send out door hangers this week.
Horror stories are actually quite irrelevant, even though X customer won't return I used to be in the car wash business as an employee, we constantly damaged cars, people stole stuff and one dude would literally shit himself and drive the cars around leaving a pleasant smell for the customers. I believe they are still raking in millions as I write this... we did have a few return customers but most of the people coming in were unique, (funny side story) we had a brand new Porsche stolen from the parking lot :hilarious:

But yeh, unless you can undercut other people I think it will be quite tough to get a customer regardless of how good a job you do, that's just my opinion. This kind of business should be focused around the convenience and price for the customer. When old Fred that's 97 years old wants to get his oil changed, I'm sure he would love it if someone came to his home and did it for him *at a cheaper price* then all the other shops so he doesn't have to embark on the hassle of dropping it off, and waiting around. If you can't undercut it will be quite tough (people are cheap as hell) and will prefer to go for the cheaper option, even if it does require them to sit around in a smelly waiting room. Ever seen those monkeys that get a tent and camp outside bestbuy for those amazing deals!?!? I've had people haggle me for $5 in Vancouver when doing jobs for multi million dollar properties! :rofl::rofl:

For the flyer route, if you advertise a higher price than their own local shop you are going to have a tough time converting cheap charles or picky patty, but if you do stick with the high pricing maybe throw in a free car wash or something to add extra value, that's one way you could possibly justify a higher price. People don't really care about higher quality work, it's more about pricing in your type of business.

The car wash company I worked for capitalized on having the cheapest car wash in town, and we had the most business out of every place in the entire GVA, all while telling customers to **** off when they complained. There's about 2.4 million people in Vancouver, and we were doing hundreds of cars a day, do the math :eek:
 
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slampii

New Contributor
Aug 4, 2020
6
2
11
Canada
Your landing page follows neuro marketing web design ?

Ej: In Cashvertising I read that perfume ads have beautiful, successful people in them because we identify our self with them and that triggers consumption. In order to be coherent with your self image, you buy. So I made an air conditioner repair landing page. With the image of a woman smiling in a nice sofa in her appartment, with the air conditioner working like a charm . I got many leads with this google ads campaign.

Also a good copywriting:
-"We go fast to your house"
-"We are experts, in this business for x years"
-"not changing oil might result in complete rust of your car followed by atomic explosion" ( a little "loss aversion" there, it also incites consumption).

Hope it helps.
Not exactly sure how this could work for a service like oil changes.
 

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minivanman

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Never under cut anyone on price for anything at any time. If you can't make it at a high price then do not do it. You can get work, 1 by 1, but it usually takes for ever to build up a customer base...... but give it a try. I'm known for doing things like this myself. People say it will take for ever to build up a customer base but then I build one up in a year so don't let me discourage you. Kick some @ss and build it up! It can be done, it's just that most usually won't put in the 24 hour days to do it.
 

sparechange

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Never under cut anyone on price for anything at any time. If you can't make it at a high price then do not do it. You can get work, 1 by 1, but it usually takes for ever to build up a customer base...... but give it a try. I'm known for doing things like this myself. People say it will take for ever to build up a customer base but then I build one up in a year so don't let me discourage you. Kick some @ss and build it up! It can be done, it's just that most usually won't put in the 24 hour days to do it.
I think the OP will have a difficult time convincing people to give him money when X customer can simply goto an already established business at a lower cost or someone they are already doing business with and are happy with. Alot of people are insanely cheap and are willing to goto the cheaper guy regardless of quality, look at Walmart! Do they have the best stuff out there in the market or cheap garbage?

Some problems he will encounter....

Why should I let some random person I don't know work on my car?
Why should I pay this person at a higher price for these services?
What if he damages my car?

Just throwing it out there, I think this business model can be quite successful with the right approach but it will require alot of work upfront.

I had a discussion with one of the richest people here in Vancouver, a multi billionaire a few times over and his thinking in business when entering a new space is undercutting to kill out competition, a strategy used by some of the biggest players out there, Coca Cola, Walmart, Amazon etc.
 

minivanman

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I think the OP will have a difficult time convincing people to give him money when X customer can simply goto an already established business at a lower cost or someone they are already doing business with and are happy with. Alot of people are insanely cheap and are willing to goto the cheaper guy regardless of quality, look at Walmart! Do they have the best stuff out there in the market or cheap garbage?

Some problems he will encounter....

Why should I let some random person I don't know work on my car?
Why should I pay this person at a higher price for these services?
What if he damages my car?

Just throwing it out there, I think this business model can be quite successful with the right approach but it will require alot of work upfront.

I had a discussion with one of the richest people here in Vancouver, a multi billionaire a few times over and his thinking in business when entering a new space is undercutting to kill out competition, a strategy used by some of the biggest players out there, Coca Cola, Walmart, Amazon etc.
I'm not saying he won't have a hard time, I'm saying that any business that is ran by under-cutting price is a business that needs to be left behind and forgot about. When I started my carpet cleaning business 20 years ago, I set my price at .50c sf while all others in town were charging at MOST, .27c sf. Those were veterans of several decades in the business that I was setting my prices higher than them. While I've done several other successful businesses the same way, my current washer and dryer business works the same way. There are guys all over the internet and off line that are selling sets for $280-$320-$360 while I sell those same exact sets all day long for $450-$499. But, if I had to go below $425, I would not do it. I'd close the business down. My high priced sets that I sell for $599-$699, the other guys sell them for $400-$450. Now if I owned Coke and wanted to take over something, I would lose money in order to take over that category but for a guy like the OP, it just isn't feasible for him to do that and last in that business. Changing oil isn't like Coke or WalMart or Amazon taking over a category. WalMart has the facility to give away FREE oil changes if they wanted to but they still wouldn't run Quick Lube out of business. Heck, they wouldn't even run the OP out of business by giving away free oil changes. Sometimes, billionaires of yesteryear don't mind losing a lot of money but you can bet your @ss that when he first started out, he didn't under cut and lose money. He was trying to make every penny he could so he could eventually become a billionaire.
 

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