Narrow Down Your Service Area

Posted by | January 19, 2012 | Marketing Advice, Small Biz Talk | 4 Comments

Most service companies would love to be well known all over their city, even a large metropolitan area. In order for that to really happen, one would need a substantial marketing budget. Instead of trying to market all over your city, it is best to target your market closer into your key area. Take a look at where you do most of your work. Ask questions like, “Where do most of my leads come from?” and “Where do my most profitable jobs take place?” Look into the sizes of those cities or towns and see if there is enough work for a company of your size to dominate the area.  Instead of writing down your top 10 cities, start with 2 to 3. How can my company be the #1 painter, roofer, plumber in this city? After you answer these questions, begin doing research on how you can begin to build your brand awareness. Your budget should include some branding items such as: community events, association newsletters, little league, Boy Scout troops, yearbooks, marathons, chambers and so on.

By narrowing down your service area, you will begin to build a stronger brand and grow your company. As you grow, you can have goals to expand into other towns, but not until you are #1 in your key service areas.

How do you build brand awareness in your area now? What is working for you? A penny for your thoughts?

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


  • nick dunse says:

    Unfortunately in my city south of Boston its a economically depressed area as are most of the smaller towns surrounding it . For us to find work we have to market in a few county’s which we try to do with our website. I do target areas we are working in already or in the past with, postcards, door hangers etc. Great article David

  • David says:

    @nick dunse

    Nick, you bring up a good point. I didn’t clarify that you don’t have to market where your office might be or where you live. You just don’t want to spread yourself too thin where you are spending a little money in marketing all over Boston. I’d look at 2-3 markets in Boston…take for example Beacon Hill & Brookline. A lot of money in those areas. Do some research to see what the population is there, the competition…see if there is room for you to dive in…and take over! Maybe you’ve already done this.

  • Scott Avery says:

    This is so true. We also found that narrowing the services that we offer has allowed us to become really efficient and consistent in our market. Essentially, we’re refinishing and repair specialists on the inner east side of Portland and it works. Everytime we go into a job we know exactly how long everything generally will take and how the materials and layouts work for coating finish. I notice that every single time that we get out into the areas on the westside of Portland that we rarely connect with the people and it’s tougher to get the job. There is a really interesting book called “The Big Sort” and although it’s political, it illustrates how people are living in areas with like minded people. The customers in our niche generally are very easy going, appreciate quality and value.

  • David says:

    @Scott Avery
    Well put, Scott. I think you are right about the like minded people living in the same areas. Makes really good sense.

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