We frequently hear the question:

“I’m trying to grow my business but don’t have a big budget for advertising. What can I do on a budget?”

We talk to computer repair business owners every day, and were previously in the business ourselves, so we decided to compile a list of effective and inexpensive strategies for repair shops looking to grow.

  1. Develop partnerships with local competition. Take a look at the other repair shops in the area. Oftentimes there are services that are unique to each of your businesses. Contact them and agree to send each other business for the services that you’re not competing on.
  2. Increase the average sale price per customer. If you can up-sell products to your customers, you can still grow your business without doing any additional marketing. Many shops sell online backup, antiviruses, hard drives, monitoring, etc. If you’re one of our customers you can get a great discount with Gillware to get started selling online backup and data recovery.
  3. Start selling pre-paid service packs. Ensure customer loyalty by selling them discounted pre-paid service packages. Customers will be happier because they’ll know what they’re paying ahead of time, and you’ll get more cash to further grow your business.
  4. Use the free advertising channels. Make sure you’ve got listings on Yelp, YP.com, Craigslist, Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, etc.
  5. Trade computer services for referrals. Go to your favorite high-traffic local businesses, and trade them an hour or two of your services for the ability to place your business cards and flyers in a visible area.
  6. Participate in local events. Go to local events where business owners will be present. Your city’s chamber of commerce will put on events like this often. Meet people and tell them what you offer. Make sure you listen to them when they tell you about the problems they have on a regular basis, and be open to the idea of expanding your services to accommodate their needs.
  7. Do highly targeted Google Adwords campaigns. You can get started with adwords campaigns with free coupons from your web host. Start with simple local search terms like “computer repair san jose”, and use exact matches. Make sure you can track which customers came from your adwords campaigns.
  8. Use Facebook advertising. You can do local facebook advertising in your zip code or city. Make sure you change the age demographics, and any other criteria you think will bring you your target customers. More filters are better, you want the “right” customers. We recommend using Kuhcoon for automating your facebook advertising efforts.
  9. Get a car magnet. Advertising your business while you drive. Car magnets can cost less than $20.
  10. Participate in computer repair shop communities. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. There are plenty of communities where ideas are plentiful, and you can steal them. Check out the ACRBO, Technibble, ASCII, and CompTIA for lively repair communities.

Got any other ideas? Send them to us and we’ll add them to the list!

Edit: Credit to /u/Vortieum for suggesting “listening” in point 6.