Marketing Your Service Business

By: Gail Metcalf

Marketing any business is a science professional marketers follow to get results. There are three principles that are most important to the small business owner and should be adopted and used:

1. Benefits - Most people make the mistake of telling everyone the features of their business. This is not what your customers are looking for. They want to know why they should give you the job and not your competition.

2. Business Purpose - Are you sure you understand what your business purpose is? Most people start a business to make money. But your real job is to satisfy your customer needs.

3. Market Testing - Most small business owners run advertising because they've heard that is what you do to get customers. But they fail to track their ads to learn what is working and what is not. The natural response to a failed ad is to decide the ad did not work due to the publication or timing. This may be part of it, but only by tracking and measuring the results of each ad will you discover if it is even worth spending the money.


After defining your new business, it's only natural to want to tell everyone what your business does and how the service is performed. Not everyone is interested in that, especially in your advertising. Those are the features of your service but real people that need your service want to know how they will benefit. A Pest Control service is just like any other, right? They come to the property and spray the inside on the initial appointment and spray the outside on every appointment. Not much to tell anyone except maybe you get behind, up high and in the corners.

But that still does not tell me anything. By getting behind, up high and in the corners, what is the benefit to me, your customer?

- We sweep down cobwebs so you don't have spiders multiplying in your living area.

- Your attic is thoroughly inspected for crevices and holes which allow squirrels and mice to live. We will seal these up to prevent these critters from multiplying and storing food supplies and scaring you in the middle of the night, running down the outside wall.

- We clear all vaulted roof and ceiling areas of bees and wasps so you are not caught in a swarm while enjoying your nice evening on the patio.

These are all benefits that cause the reader to start thinking they really do need your service. These are people that would have never called you because they were not aware of these problems. Now they are worried because have never looked for these problems and how many do they have? They cannot get to their phone fast enough.

You have managed to convey some of the problems people could have on their property and you have stirred them to action with a little fear. Understand how important this is as compared to some of the features you may be inclined to advertise.


Are you in business to make a profit or to add value for your customers? This is the most effective sales tool you have. How many times have you called a company and have been dissatisfied just with the person answering the phone? They seem indifferent to your needs, shallow, uncaring. People sense this right away and will assume the service you offer is run with the same indifference. People want to know you care about them. And it is really not hard to do. If you are running your business with the joy of providing a service your customers need, people will be attracted to your business and will refer you to their friends and family.

Get clear about why you are running your business. If it is only to make a profit, then you need to do something else because you will never succeed at a pace that allows you to have a lifestyle and a business.


Even if you knew to test the results of your ad campaign, would you find the time to do it? Probably not, because you are busy running the details of the business. But what if I told you this could save you a lot of money in useless ads? Most advertising is useless because small business owners do not understand the basic concepts to make it successful. Good ads do not just happen. Even professional marketers make sure they test every aspect of every ad. A minor change to the headline, the body or the call to action could make a major difference in the campaign results; as high as 100-300%.

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