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Etiquette For Supporting A Business


I understand my insights are somewhat limited to being a representative in the higher end automotive detailing industry.  Though it is also my belief many small business owners, from a variety of industries, will resonate with this message.

thank you cards

You may have had a great experience with a detailing business or any business.  You may have a friend who is a small business owner.  You are looking for a meaningful way to be supportive to these businesses.  I believe there are ways to and ways not to offer support.

A Pet Peeve

You see a car that is not looking its best.  You have a good friend that details cars.  You REALLY want to support your friend’s detailing business.  Your intentions are good.  Placing a business car or flyer is not a good way to encourage this car owner to do business with your friend.  More likely it will discourage a potential professional relationship.

Many people that know me also are aware that I likely will never develop an interest in a company’s goods or services as a result of any promotional flyers and or business cards left on my windshield.  It may be helpful and effective for some operations.  But this will turn off anyone who is uncomfortable about someone being around his or her’s car.  That obviously includes me!

I know my many non-car enthusiast friends, that I have lectured and learned to not to give business cards to, really meant well.  But those positive intentions ultimately turn into a negative perception of the businesses we run.

Critically think about this!  You are a car enthusiast.  You are the kind of person that may spend 5 minutes finding a parking spot away from someone who may dent your car.  Now imagine a stranger leaning around your car, being one of the thousand stops that person has frequented.  How uncomfortable would that make someone who WOULD appreciate a high-level detail?

Imagine having a reluctance to having someone detail your car not based upon cost.  You are trying to find someone who cares and legitimately sees micro defects in paint.  You are looking for a detailing business that is different than the quick buff place or local car wash.  Can you imagine a business that fits that description, with an owner who is not sensitive to your discomfort of a stranger hovering over your car?  Neither would a potential customer!

Speaking and Articulating Your Experience With Depth

I often do not ask for reviews, as important as they are, because I want my clients to genuinely tell a story from their heart.  Many people who look for a high-quality service, are evaluating a business based on the quality of a review over the quantity of reviews.  A nice description of your experience, describing what separates this business from others, and stating what inspired loyalty to a business, will carry much more weight than typing “they’re the best!”

This principle even applies to when you are recommending your favorite business to friends and acquaintances.  Everyone has a market and your values are unique, with respect to what attracts you.

Ask the business owner!

Running a niche business means calling upon creative marketing and ‘word of mouth’ advertising.  I am certain any business owner would be incredibly (and should be) appreciative of your interest in contributing.  That person might have a unique plan and reward you for being such a loyal customer!

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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