Talking to shops all day every day, year after year, I start to notice patterns. One pattern pertains to shop folks debating whether or not they need a website for their business.
If you are one of those people, this post is for you. This blog post is for auto repair shop owners out there who do not have a website, and are convinced or at least half-convinced they don’t need and never will have use for one—not even a basic, cover-the-bases type website.
A few people reading this might think that is crazy talk, but there are some legitimate reasons why you might not need one. Below are the top 5 reasons that I have discovered over the course of thousands of conversations with shop owners:
1. You Have No Plans to Stay In Business Long
If you are done working on cars, and your back is shot from decades doing this, and you just want to go fishing, then you don’t need a website for your auto repair business. If you have no intent of selling the business, and therefore have no need in making it look up-to-date and appealing to prospective buyers, then you don’t need a website. As long as you have enough customers to keep the lights on until you ride off into the sunset, you are good to go.
2. You Have Too Much Money Already
If your shop overflows with customers, and there is no chance any of them will ever die, move away, or try another shop across town, then you are solid and don’t need a website for your automotive repair shop. Heck, even if you don’t have much business, as long as you get a customer here and there, drink cheap enough beer, and aren’t paying child support for much longer, then, well, you don’t need a website.
3. You Never Need Good New Employees
If all your employees are top notch, show up on time, follow all your instructions, and will never, ever leave you, then you probably don’t need a website for your shop. Your reputation will precede you. So as long as you are confident that you won’t ever have to attract, new, young talent to your business—you know, the ambitious kind of kids who not only have driver’s licenses and no criminal record, but who also spend money on their education, love cars, and think about their future (as well as paying their tool truck bills)—then you don’t need a website.
4. You Figure the Internet Is Hard
If you think the internet is too hard to learn, and you’d rather kids stay off your lawn, then you don’t need a website. Learning new stuff is a pain, plus, I mean, so what if people (customers and potential employees) relate your online presence to your ability to keep up with technology? Just because modern vehicles are stuffed to the rooftops with new technology, including internet technology like navigation and cellular hotspots and that kind of stuff, it doesn’t necessarily mean that customers or potential employees will expect you to look like you are keeping up. I mean, they might expect that, but I can’t speak for everyone, so, if you think they won’t care, then you don’t need a website.
5. You Figure It’s Too Late and Everyone Else Already Has One
If you figure that because so many other shops already have websites, there is no point for you to bother, then you might not need website. If you figure it’s too late to compete because you are late to the party, and you figure those other shops are probably way more tech savvy than you are, then, as long as you are willing to just roll over and let them have the lion’s share of new customers (and talented young techs), then you don’t need a website.
I mean, so what if, in reality, a lot of those other shops are not getting any traffic to their site? So what if they have bad reviews (or no reviews) on Google or Yelp? And so what if a lot of their websites are tragically out of date, never updated, and contain broken pages and incorrect information? As long as you are happy to assume they probably have it all locked down and there’s no point in competing, then don’t bother. You don’t need a website.
So you might be thinking at this point, “Fine, Mr. Sarcastic, maybe my shop could use a website.” Or perhaps, the more cynical amongst you might be saying, “Let me guess: this is where he is going to try to sell me a MechanicNet website, right?”
You can get a website for free. You can get slightly better ones than the free ones for next to nothing. You can go onto WordPress, 1and1, Blogger, Wix (not the filters), or any number of others that provide free basic websites. Just a basic landing page with shop information is better than being invisible. They are so easy to make you won’t believe it. If you don’t know how to do stuff like drag and drop or upload files, then get your kid or your grandkid to do it. It will take them no time, and they’ll probably enjoy doing you the favor.
Add it to your shop’s Google listing. (Instructions HERE.)
That said, those types of websites are pretty basic. And yes, there is a huge, sliding scale of how complex you want a site to be, how complex you need it to be, and how much money you want to pour into SEO (the squishy semi-science of getting a page to show up for various search words—aka “keywords”—people might type when looking for something). In short, what you spend depends on how much competition you have around you, how dense your market is with competition, and a lot of other factors (including whether or not you are getting good advice from your “marketing expert”).
If you want something a little fancier without breaking the bank, and you want something that integrates into a broader marketing strategy like a customer retention plan and maybe a little help getting more Google reviews or Yelp reviews, then yes, we will be perfectly happy to talk to you about MechanicNet website options for your auto repair shop.
Just DO something. Don’t be invisible online. Unless you don’t care. In which case, it’s fine.