Marketing The Slight Edge

12 things to blog about if you own an outdoor power equipment store

Yep, a place that sells and services mowers, weed whackers (heee-ya! take that!), chain saws, snow blowers and the like.

1 – A very complete and detailed how-to video section.

For example, how to remove (if necessary) and sharpen the blade on a push mower, how to do the same on a rider, how to change the oil on a mower, blower, and so on (1 video for each), how to change the belts on a rider, a snowblower and anything else with a belt. How to change the line on a weed whacker (heeee-ya! take that!). Winterizing equipment, or “summerizing it” in the case of snowblowers etc.

Bonus points if you have video for every make you sell, and every model whose maintenance procedures are unique from the other videos you’ve created.

Bonus points if you offer some sort of Do-It-Yourself-er Club for clients who use the videos to service their own equipment and buy the parts from you. Royalty Rewards (a loyalty program that puts others to shame) would be a great way to make this happen with very little effort – and get a positive ROI from it.

Bonus points for you if you figured out that people are more likely to bring their equipment to you for servicing once they see what’s really involved in doing the work – and you help plant that thought make pointing out that the technician is factory trained and certified and has been doing this work for 13 years 🙂

2 – A “Smart Consumer” how to choose a dealer / how to choose equipment section

This area will provide a checklist for selecting the right outdoor power equipment dealer for your needs, how to choose the right mower, snowblower, and so on. Ideally, accompanied by video, showing specifics to look for. This is where you would address the “Why you should buy power equipment here and not at Wal-Mart” question.

3 – New trends in outdoor power equipment

There are always new things coming in this area, I suspect it wont be long before mowers have cup holders. Showing that you are on top of the trends – and stating your opinion about them – sends the right message to your clients.

4 – Common mistakes that will cost you money

This area would show common mistakes people make when caring for their power equipment and how to prevent them. Could include video or still images showing the aftermath of these mistakes and the costs involved. Goes back to the “How to” section, but narrows down a bit more on things that cost you money and keep your equipment out of the repair shop.

5 – Be Safe, Not Sorry.

Speaking as someone who whacked up a toe really bad on a mower with no blade when I was a kid, it seems to me that a series of safety videos and posts would prove helpful. I am not sure of the legal conundrum this might create. Let the lawyers argue about that.

6 – Professional Equipment

There are many topics open for discussion that will be relevant for the yard care professional, logger (remember, we carry chain saws), landscaper, tree surgeon, and so on. Again, this is a place to differentiate yourself from the competition, so don’t forget to make the necessary points about why the professional simply has to trust your shop vs all others. This is a good place to discuss industry trends that are of no interest to the consumer, but will be important to the professional who makes a living with the tools you sell and service.

7 – Professional Equipment Service and Maintenance

Like the how to section, this would be focused on similar topics but for professional grade equipment. Videos, still photos, checklists, how to for every piece of pro equipment you sell, and so on. This will showcase the techniques you use to take extra special care of the equipment they make a living from.

8 – Promotions

A place to find out what promotions you are running, grab a coupon, etc. Easy to find.

9 – Services

Describe everything you offer in detail that only Disney could appreciate. Why its different and BETTER than what the other guys do. What it costs (refer to a central pricing page so you aren’t constantly chasing all over your blog correcting prices).

10 – Upcoming Events

Surely you have events at your store that are thinly (or not) veiled marketing opportunities – but are still of value to your clientele.

11 – Manuals for everything

If you’ve ever tried to find the PDF manual for a 3 year old snowblower on the internet, you know what a nightmare it is. The manufacturer web sites change regularly and are geared primarily towards sales, not toward keeping clients happy. Include every PDF you can get your hands on, as soon as you can, ie: before it disappears from the manufacturer’s website. Include your own maintenance checklists for the homeowner and the professional.

12 – About the shop
Who owns it. How you got into the business. What your experience is. Trainings, certifications, etc. Profiles of the staff, their experience and so on. Could include video or still pictures of the staff. Awards from your industry (or anywhere), new training your staff received, any other news you can think of that fits this category.

That’ll keep you busy for a few days. Its just like a big watermelon. Gotta eat it one bite at a time.