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Old 05-30-2023, 06:50 AM   #1
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Hillpoint , Wisconsin
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Rebranding our Airstream restoration / repair shop and getting the word out ?

I own an Airstream restoration shop / repair shop in Wi. ( Vintage Camper Restoration LLC) I started out in 2013 working on my own Airstream but quickly settled into specializing in Airstream repairs and high end restorations. We recently started taking on late model Airstreams as we were approached several times by customers with newer Airstreams. I am looking to grow our business and think adding the late model service and repair as a strong path forward. The name of our business is Vintage Camper Restoration LLC which served us well in the beginning but now its not really representative of what we offer. The biggest hurdle we have right now in building the late model business is no one knows about us. We are located in great little town (pop 385) so we do now get much exposure. We do have a social media footprint but not a large following.
I am thinking about renaming the business to reflect our current mission better and advertising.
Where do most Airstream owners look to find a repair shop? I feel like there are not too many out there doing what do.
Thanks in advance for any constructive comments
Steve
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Old 05-30-2023, 07:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prouty View Post
I own an Airstream restoration shop / repair shop in Wi. ( Vintage Camper Restoration LLC) I started out in 2013 working on my own Airstream but quickly settled into specializing in Airstream repairs and high end restorations. We recently started taking on late model Airstreams as we were approached several times by customers with newer Airstreams. I am looking to grow our business and think adding the late model service and repair as a strong path forward. The name of our business is Vintage Camper Restoration LLC which served us well in the beginning but now its not really representative of what we offer. The biggest hurdle we have right now in building the late model business is no one knows about us. We are located in great little town (pop 385) so we do now get much exposure. We do have a social media footprint but not a large following.
I am thinking about renaming the business to reflect our current mission better and advertising.
Where do most Airstream owners look to find a repair shop? I feel like there are not too many out there doing what do.
Thanks in advance for any constructive comments
Steve
Rebranding a business can be challenging. I would suggest a name that is simple, specific enough to indicate what you do but at the same time generic enough to allow for future flexibility and growth. Put your faces on your website. People like to see and get to know the people they are working with. Some video, perhaps YouTube might help to introduce you, your staff and the business and describe your business. Video of your projects as they unfold can be helpful. If possible, get some customers who are YouTubers to promote your business on their channels. Work on some SEO for your website. Google can be both a friend and an enemy. Have you heard of Reparadise? They are in Salt Lake City, UT I believe. They do a fantastic job on YouTube and their presentations of finished products are very polished and professional.

I like to check out a business prior to trusting them with a high dollar item such as an Airstream. I recently purchased a new Airstream and my state requires a state safety inspection. Thereís an RV shop just a few miles from me. I took the AS in for a state inspection which allowed me to get to know the people and have a look at the shop and working conditions. Obviously, itís not always possible to check a place out in advance so reputation and what others have to say about the business becomes important. Thereís also Google reviews which is a slippery slope. I usually throw out the best and worst reviews and look in the middle. One has to be cautious with Internet reviews.

Just my thoughts. I wish you all the best and thereís definitely a need for quality AS service.
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Old 05-30-2023, 07:31 AM   #3
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BTW, your Instagram looks great!!! IG is a valuable tool.
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Old 05-30-2023, 07:31 AM   #4
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The WBCCI Club Individual Units are commonly the Best source of info for Airstreamers looking for service in local areas. If you are not a Member…then JOIN the WBCCI as well as your Local Unit. This will not only gain you better notoriety, it will also prove you are Dedicated and Focus’ed to the Airstream Brand.

I’m a fairly good handyman and mechanic so rarely need outside help…but When our Airstream required more serious repair…that’s how we found A&P Vintage Trailer Works. ( https://www.apvintagetrailerworks.com/ ) which is owned/operated by a WBCCI local unit president … and the numerous fellow-Members of WBCCI who vouched for them is THE reason they were chosen.

Once you join a Local Unit…then PARTICIPATE in their activities and those fellow-Members will quickly realize your situation. Your reputation will fast become well known.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.
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Old 05-30-2023, 09:02 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the input. We rejoined the WBCCI recently and have been attending events. I see it is helping and it a blast.
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Old 05-30-2023, 09:33 AM   #6
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You are free to use one of my 'tag lines' when ending a post...

'Sweet Streams' Restoration, SSR.

Good LUCK and Sweet Streams.

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Old 05-30-2023, 11:04 AM   #7
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Bob, how about Street Streams Restoration, SSR
Itís harder to say.
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Old 05-30-2023, 01:43 PM   #8
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Steve,

I agree with the already posted suggestions. (I do not own a business)

Your business name seems to fit the bill of what you are doing. There is no need to be associated with just Airstreams when you work on so many other trailers.

Your instagram does look good. Shows a nice variety of jobs.

Couple more ideas in case you are not doing them yet.

Make sure your website is optimized to respond to various search word so you come up on a hit when we all do online searches.

Open a commercial business account thread here (not sure of all the rules for commercial) and post photos in that thread.

Advertise in the Blue Beret.

Contact Vintage Trailer Supply and speak with Steve about being listed on his resource page as a reno business. Speak to him about regional rallies where they teach classes on trailer repair. There used to be an annual Vintage Trailer Academy that is no longer being put on, but there are a few others.

Contact or join the VAC (a sub group) of ACI ( WBCCI) that focuses on the enjoyment, repair, and upkeep of vintage Airstreams. They also have a resource page on their website.

Seek out and participate in rallies where they hold classes and breakout sessions on repairs. Sign on as a presenter.

This type of business may always be feast or famine, but once you get known, you'll wish you weren't advertising. Many of the well known long established renovators are slowing down and hanging up their rivets.
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Old 06-01-2023, 06:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prouty View Post
I own an Airstream restoration shop / repair shop in Wi. ( Vintage Camper Restoration LLC) I started out in 2013 working on my own Airstream but quickly settled into specializing in Airstream repairs and high end restorations. We recently started taking on late model Airstreams as we were approached several times by customers with newer Airstreams. I am looking to grow our business and think adding the late model service and repair as a strong path forward. The name of our business is Vintage Camper Restoration LLC which served us well in the beginning but now its not really representative of what we offer. The biggest hurdle we have right now in building the late model business is no one knows about us. We are located in great little town (pop 385) so we do now get much exposure. We do have a social media footprint but not a large following.

I am thinking about renaming the business to reflect our current mission better and advertising.

Where do most Airstream owners look to find a repair shop? I feel like there are not too many out there doing what do.

Thanks in advance for any constructive comments

Steve
Mention your city and state in every post, and/or refer to your website and picture gallery.

Customers have to bring their trailers to you to get work done and if you are 50 miles.from me, wow, I want (and will PAY) to have a queen to twin conversion.... but I can't drive 900 miles to get it done.

Paula
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Old 06-01-2023, 07:25 PM   #10
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Rebranding our Airstream restoration / repair shop and getting the word out ?

Greetings Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prouty View Post
I am thinking about renaming the business to reflect our current mission better and advertising.
Where do most Airstream owners look to find a repair shop? I feel like there are not too many out there doing what do.
Thanks in advance for any constructive comments
Steve
While it is probably too late for this year, one effective way to reach a large number of dedicated Airstream owners is at the ACI/WBCCI International Rally. Next year, the International Rally is going to be relatively close to you with its location in Missouri. As a business, you might consider a Vendor's space in the exhibit hall or if you might find that you have a particular skill or knowledge that you could incorporate into an educational/informational presentation (these seminars are usually two hours or slightly less). As and example of how effective this can be, it was through their Vendor space and presentation that I learned about Fowler RV Interiors years ago. I had them restore the interiors in both my 1964 Overlander and 1978 Argosy. Over the years, the Fowlers attended a number of the International Rallies.

I know that I would have welcomed a second good source for repairs/restoration work on my Airstream back when I lived in Grant County Wisconsin (near Platteville) as I towed my trailer all of the way to Cedar Falls, Iowa for reliable service work (1995-2000). Even though I have moved to far Southern Illinois, I am still a member of the Wisconsin Unit.
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Old 06-01-2023, 07:52 PM   #11
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Streams and Dreams of Wisconsin.
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Old 06-01-2023, 10:08 PM   #12
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Tater, what's this in reference to please. I googled it but..?
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Old 06-02-2023, 03:51 AM   #13
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Great ideas

We plan to go to the International Rally in 2024. My wife and I put it on our calendars but signing up as a vender is a great idea!

We will be getting some national press soon as one of our projects will be featured in a magazine with our name mentioned in the article

This week we met with a great marketing company that does radio and digital marketing so we will see if their recommendations makes sense for us.
One of the things we talked about instead re-branding, was forming a new division, with a more specific name, such as Midwest Airstream Service that would help with name recognition and location in internet searches.

Thanks again for all the great comments!
Steve Prouty
Owner Vintage Camper Restoration LLC
Cazenovia, Wi
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:32 AM   #14
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Given the poor quality level of new and recent Airstream built trailers your new Airstream repair business should be very busy with customers of 10 year old and newer Airstreams looking to have Quality Repairs Completed In A Timely Fashion without the trip to Jackson Center. Take note of those 7 capitalized words! Notice that I did not say anything about price.

Be careful.

You might find it very difficult to serve 2 masters. Those 2 masters being your Airstream restoration clients and your new late model Airstream repair clients. Each of those clients will have different wants, needs and expectations. Whatever you do you will probably piss one or the other off!

Separating the 2 business's into 2 different divisions is easy and sounds like a great solution to your marketing problem. The BIG question is how will you solve the work problem? How will you staff those 2 different divisions. The same employees doing the work in both divisions is a recipes for failure. You will never get anything done in a timely fashion that is demanded by your customers in the repair business and tolerated by your customers in the long-term restoration business.

The best single word you can learn will be NO particularly in the repair business. It's far to easy to over promise and under deliver. You only have so many billable hours in a week whether it's restoration work or repair work. Give it serious consideration otherwise your Airstream repair business might turn into an Airstream Trailer Storage Business when you never get anything finished on time!

Screw this up and you will ruin both sides of your Airstream business and your reputation in the Airstream hobby!
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Old 06-07-2023, 05:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
The WBCCI Club Individual Units are commonly the Best source of info for Airstreamers looking for service in local areas. If you are not a MemberÖthen JOIN the WBCCI as well as your Local Unit. This will not only gain you better notoriety, it will also prove you are Dedicated and Focusíed to the Airstream Brand.
...
Hello Boxite,
How do you search Airstreamclub.org for Individual Units to find a service provider? I couldnít find a way to do it. Maybe Iím misunderstanding what an Individual Units is.
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Old 06-07-2023, 06:23 PM   #16
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Tater, what's this in reference to please. I googled it but..?
The OPs request.
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Old 06-07-2023, 07:05 PM   #17
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Hello Boxite,
How do you search Airstreamclub.org for Individual Units to find a service provider? I couldnít find a way to do it. Maybe Iím misunderstanding what an Individual Units is.

Youíll likely have to figure out who your local is and call or email them. Ours doesnít have a website.
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