We recently looked at how to start your own repo business. This can be an extremely profitable line of work. Unlike most other businesses, repo businesses can benefit rather than suffer from tough economic times. Even when the economy is doing relatively well, there will always be people who fail to make payments on their vehicle. The economy has been improving in recent years, and yet still, at the end of 2017, more than four percent of auto loans were 90 days late or more — the highest rate in five years.
Whether people are facing difficult circumstances like unemployment or simply overestimated what they thought they could pay each month for a vehicle, there are times when repossession becomes necessary. Repo businesses don’t delight in making someone’s life more difficult. They’re simply carrying out a job that needs to be done.
If you have a small repo towing business, you may be looking for ways to expand your towing business or make more money with your tow trucks. In this article, we offer eight effective tips for how to grow your repo towing business. Following these tips can help you expand and strengthen your business so you can continue to get the job done, but now on a larger scale.
1. Extend Your Reach
The first way to grow a repo towing business is to grow in a literal sense. If you want to expand your business, consider reaching into new communities that were previously outside of your area of operation. Expanding into new territories will open up new opportunities for your business.
First, determine how much area you could realistically cover with the number of workers you currently employ. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and then fail to deliver quality service to all of your clients. To extend your reach, you may need to hire some new people. We’ll talk more about hiring in a bit.
Once you know what ground you’d like to cover, talk to car dealerships, banks, auto loan companies and auto rental agencies in your new areas. You can reach out to these companies through email or snail mail, and encourage them to call if they’re interested in your business. Speaking in person or over the phone is a great way to find out about a company’s current contracts with repossession towing businesses and whether they would be willing to consider partnering with your business.
2. Build Your Brand
Branding doesn’t just come down to your company’s name and logo. Of course, these are critical aspects of your brand, as they help to identify your business, but branding includes far more. Your brand encompasses what you stand for — your business’s vision and values. Think of it as what sets your business apart from other repo towing businesses. A strong brand is memorable and communicates all the right things about your business. Sometimes, when companies start out, they skip over the critical step of laying out what they want their brand to be.
Make sure you establish a clear vision for your business before you worry about trying to acquire new contracts. When you’re confident in your business, potential customers are more likely to place their confidence in you. Clearly communicate your company’s values on your website and be prepared to describe them in conversation, as well.
When it comes to the more tangible aspects of your brand, such as your logo and slogan, you can use your website and social media pages as well as traditional promotional mediums like flyers or business cards to help promote your brand. Make your company name, logo and colors consistent across all materials. If your logo doesn’t look as professional as you’d like, hire a graphic designer to help you get it up to snuff before printing new materials. Your logo is a critical part of your brand that people see, so you want it to leave a positive and memorable impression.
3. Work on Your Website
We just mentioned that one place where your branding should shine is your website. If you don’t already have a website, you should prioritize getting one right away. Even if technology isn’t your thing, if you want to get more towing business, don’t overlook the importance of your website. It’s your digital shopfront. It’s where people should be able to find basic information about your business quickly, including your company’s history, what services you offer and how to contact you.
Your website is also a powerful marketing tool — it should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. To market yourself well on your website, make sure your branding comes through in the fonts and colors on every page. Use high-quality graphics and photos. You also want to ensure your web pages load quickly.
If you can afford it, consider hiring a web marketing agency to help you with your website. In particular, a professional web marketer can help you include content on your website that causes it to rank well when someone does a Google search such as “repo towing business near me.” This practice is called search engine optimization (SEO).
4. Focus on Sales
Your potential clients, such as banks or car dealers, likely already understand their need for repo towing services. This places you one step ahead of many other types of businesses which must convince their potential clients that they need their services. However, you still have to sell your particular business.
Sales are best done in person or over the phone. Having a real conversation with clients is a great way to learn more about what each particular client needs to know about your business to convert. Though some sales opportunities will be scheduled meetings, you never know when these conversations might come up, so train all your employees to be salespeople when they need to be.
The old-fashioned approach to sales of aggressively pushing your services on the client is not the most effective approach to take with business-to-business (B2B) search for. Instead, focus on making plenty of information about your business available online so potential clients will contact you, and then take a consultative approach when you meet in-person or on the phone, asking the client about their budget and needs.
5. Only Hire and Keep the Best of the Best
As you expand your business, you won’t be able to be there for everything. Your employees will interact with people and carry out their jobs without constant oversight. This makes it crucial that you hire the best people you can find. Don’t focus only on their qualifications. Whether they’re qualified should be a baseline to start with, but a person’s attitude is also paramount.
You don’t have to limit yourself to an in-house dispatch fleet if you can’t afford it. As an alternative, you can hire independent contractors who rent or lease their own hauling vehicles. If you hire contractors, ensure they have the necessary license classification and insurance to qualify for the job, and that they’re people you feel confident can represent your business well.
Even if you do your best to hire the right people, there will likely be times when you find you made a mistake. Some people can look like the perfect candidate but then fall short in their attitude or work ethic. If someone isn’t measuring up to your standards, don’t be afraid to fire them. Terminating someone’s employment is never a comfortable thing to do, but if you avoid it, hoping that things will get better, your business will likely suffer in the process. You want your team to be made of dedicated workers you’re proud to employ.
6. Develop Service Standards and Procedures
We mentioned standards in the last tip, but you may be wondering how to develop those standards for your company. Every business needs its service standards and routines clearly outlined. This helps create an objective set of directives for employees and makes it clear when someone is deviating from, or failing to measure up to, your company’s standards or procedures.
To establish your service standards and routines, start by identifying each service your business provides. Break it down as much as possible. Once you have identified those services, determine exactly how employees should approach each service. Put those procedures and any relevant policies in writing so employees can consult these standards and so you can cite them whenever necessary.
Try not to limit your standards and procedures to the bare minimum. Rather, let employees know what doing a great job looks like for your business in every specific service. Look at your competitors and see how you can establish your standards as higher than theirs. These standards will help you distinguish your business from the rest when you’re trying to win over possible clients.
7. Leverage Client Testimonials
Testimonials are a tried-and-true marketing tool. No matter how many ways you tell a client they won’t regret partnering with your business, you’ll never have the same effect as a previous or current client can. After all, you have a personal motivation to obtain their business. Your clients don’t share this motivation, so their comments about your business come across as completely genuine and unbiased.
A Google study found that 60 percent of B2B customers search for peer testimonials or reviews online. This is one of the more modest numbers you’ll encounter. Many statistics point to the fact that people want to know what sort of experience others have had with your business. In many cases, people put as much stock in these reviews and testimonials as they would the words of a personal friend.
The best way to leverage client testimonials is by featuring them on your website. Let your clients do the talking, and don’t edit their words. Simply ask them to explain why they chose and continue to stay with your repo towing business. You should also encourage your clients to write reviews on popular online reviewing platforms so potential clients will see these reviews when they conduct a search on your business.
8. Purchase High-Quality Equipment
Our final tip is an important one no matter the size of your towing business. Of course, your people make up your business, but so does your equipment. Your equipment is what helps you and your employees get the job done well, so don’t compromise on it. Everything from your trucks to their attachments should be high-quality. The good news is that you don’t need to spend inordinate amounts of money on new tow trucks to expand your business. Instead, you can convert ordinary pickup trucks into tow trucks.
There are many considerations to take into account when purchasing pickups for repo towing. First, as a baseline, make sure your trucks themselves have an adequate Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and towing capacity for the types of vehicles you plan to tow. The best types of pickups for repo towing businesses are typically gas engine trucks, rather than diesel, that can accommodate self-loading systems.
Self-loading systems allow you to operate your wheel lifts from the cab so you don’t have to physically strain yourself and so you can keep yourself distant from potentially hostile or difficult interactions. This is a big advantage for repo towers. Hidden lifting systems are a smart move for repo businesses, as well, since they obscure the fact that your pickup is functioning as a tow truck.
Lift and Tow offers three high-quality options for hidden towing systems:
- The Z Series: This option is self-loading. You just back up to the load, push the right buttons and let the six-function hydraulic system take care of it.
- The 3 Series: This two-function system uses hydraulic power for up and down movements.
- The 5 Series: This four-function tow lift uses hydraulic power for up, down, in and out motions.
Take Advantage of The Best Towing Systems From Lift and Tow
Lift and Tow has the equipment your repo towing business needs to add to your fleet and grow your business. With three excellent options to choose from, you can’t go wrong. Opt for the Z series for the easiest towing experience. No matter what model you pick or what optional springs or accessories to accompany it, you can expect to receive your new tow kit with all the hardware and instructions you need for installation. You can also choose to have an experienced professional install your towing system.
For two decades, our company has established a reputation as someone you can trust for the best quality products at affordable prices. You can also be confident that our live representatives will deliver excellent customer support, no matter your questions or needs. To get started, contact us online or give us a call at 717-496-0839. We can help you choose the best products for your repo business and stay within your budget. We can even place your order for a Lift and Tow hidden towing system today.