Ten or twenty years ago there was no question that your business required a Yellow Page presence. Jobs are derived from two sources, return customers and new customers. In a non-emergency situation, a former customer who requires your services again has several options. They may have your phone number recorded somewhere, they may use their phone or Google your company name on the internet, or they may have a Yellow Page book handy.
Customers requiring emergency work have fewer choices. Pay phones, together with accompanying Yellow Page books, are virtually extinct. How many times have you seen stranded motorists standing along the side of the road while holding a cell phone to their ear? For most people in an emergency situation today, their cell phone is the one and only answer which can solve any problem. It is simple to use, always at hand, and can quickly and freely provide a variety of choices. San Fracnisco has actually banned the distribution of Yellow Page books unless the resident specifically requests a copy.
A locksmith friend once told me that when he unlocked his store on the first day of each month, the first $1000 he made went immediately towards paying his Yellow Page expenses. Only after that could he think about making a profit. At that time Yellow Page advertising was so important that it was to one bill that he had to pay come what may.
Yellow Page advertising should not be abolished today, but it should probably occupy a lesser amount of your advertising dollar. Other avenues should be tried such as mailings to specific businesses such as real estate companies and, most importantly, the development of a business website. Yellow page usage is declining. If for no other reason, it is because Yellow Page books are nowhere to be found in public places. A fair percentage of our customers call us during a time when they have an emergency and are not in the comfort of their own home where a Yellow Page book may be handy.
Now is the time for advertising experimentation. Advertising is important and necessary for the success of any business. However, it will take time and testing to determine which types of advertising will produce the best return for the least amount of expense.