Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Car Wash Marketing: Do Good, Feel Good, Clean Up

Firestone Auto Care, on 66th Street in Edina, Minn., does something smart.

Almost every summer weekend, they let high school kids use their parking lot to raise money by washing cars. This is smart because it:

  • attracts attention (kids on street corners holding signs, screaming "CAR WASH!!" and pointing at your store are like skywriting on the ground);
  • helps raise money for worthy causes; and
  • builds goodwill in the community ... not to mention future customers among the students and their parents.
Whatever costs the Firestone owner incurs by letting kids run hoses in a corner of his parking lot are repaid many times over.

Now, two questions:

1) What is your "parking lot" -- an asset in your business that you don't use all the time?

2) How could you lend or donate that asset to a charity, non-profit, or other organization in ways that help you both?

Physical assets you can lend:
  • your parking lot (for a rummage sale or car wash),
  • a storage room (for a class or meeting),
  • your showroom (for a wine tasting or party),
  • your equipment (if it won't lead to a lawsuit), etc.

Intellectual assets you can donate:
  • your time as a volunteer for a high-profile local charity (where you may meet a new client);
  • your products or books to a non-profit association or library (where it can produce leads);
  • your expertise to lead a seminar or event to raise funds for the charity (I got on KARE-11 News and WCCO Radio on the same day, by leading a fundraising seminar for the Salvation Army).

What assets in your business can you lend or donate to help your community -- and build your business?

You'll find more ideas like these in my Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing.

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