It’s often difficult for small businesses to build credibility, instilling the perception of reliability in consumer’s minds. Owner-operators, particularly contractors and those in service industries publish their mobile phone numbers in newspaper ads, on their websites and on their vehicles. That’s what you are supposed to do and the phone number should be prominent!
However, the fact that just about anyone can have a mobile phone these days may vaguely reduce the value of a small business as far as consumers are concerned. Using a 1300 that redirects to your mobile phone or an answering service (monitored by humans) can actually increase business for you. The small cost associated with having a 1300 number is marginal when compared to the amount of business it can attract.
From a consumer’s point of view, they will subconsciously or knowingly think about the number they are calling. I know I do, when I need to call a 1300 number I expect to get good service … I don’t know why but I do expect that. Furthermore, I expect that my call will be connected to a bricks and mortar organisation.
Mobile phones used to be so expensive that they were only accessible to business people. My first mobile phone cost me $1800.00 with the car kit, it was a Motorola x8000 (brick phone). Now-a-days mobile phones are cheap and numbers are just as disposable as the plans on offer. Consumers are also aware of this and might reflect on their own experiences or stories about fly-by-night operators using pre-paid mobile phone accounts that cannot be traced to an individual.
A 1300 number can help you to look professional, more credible and build a picture of stability in your prospects minds. Oh, and before I go, no, you don’t really need to have name type number like ’1300 drain kings’. A lot of people that I talk to find it just as easy to remember the last six digits of a 1300. They already have the 1300 part tucked away in memory. Gimmicks vs ease of use!
One last tip. If you don’t have a 1300 number at least publish your preferred contact number. A lost opportunity is … well a lost opportunity. ACES (above), could be losing sales because their billboard, the back of the utility, is devoid of any contact information. If you think people will go out of their way to find your number you are kidding yourself. I’ve used Photoshop to add the phone number for ACES below. A $50 sign could lead to a $50,000 job!
You can get cheap 1300 numbers (in Australia) at: www.cheap1300number.com.au – no contracts and prices start at about $14 per month!
According to Google Insights For Search the world is looking for “Cheap Shoes”. The most popular search terms are “cheap shoes”, “cheap shoes online” and “buy cheap shoes”. I guess people are becoming more familiar with their international shoe sizes and are confident in the return policies that online shoe retailers are offering.
If it’s easier and cheaper to buy shoes over the Internet that’s how people will buy their shoes! Check out the Google Insights live chart below.
Advertising can serve multiple objectives. However, most small businesses only have one goal in mind when they run an ad somewhere. Usually that goal is simply to attract more business as quickly as possible without thinking too much about the long term effect. If you want to gain more mileage from your ads you need to be creative and do something that will get people talking.