The tension spring on my garage door broke this week while I was out of town. One look when I got back home and I knew I probably didn’t want to mess around trying to replace it myself. What to do what to do? Naturally I Googled “garage door repair Racine Wisconsin.” A few listings popped up – but only one listing had a website. Jim’s Garage Door has a very weak website. The text is poorly written. The layout is cumbersome. But it’s better than nothing, which is what his competition has.
I didn’t feel like calling three or four places shopping price. I was hoping to see prices posted - no luck. So I typed in “repairing broken garage door springs” and came across truetex.com, which provided two essential pieces of information. First, even if I wanted to replace the spring myself it was going to take too long to track down everything I’d need. Second, the article gave me an idea of what it might cost to have the repair done.
I have no idea if the author, Richard Kinch, knows what he’s talking about. But he looks friendly, his information seems reliable and he provides a price range based on his experience. Unconditional trust – hmmm. According to Richard, replacement ran about $150 - $180 back in 2000. I figured that with inflation and the price of gas I was looking at about $200 - $225 in 2006.
Armed with this knowledge I went back to Jim’s Garage Door website, found the number and dialed. I wasn’t interested in the Yellow Pages. Yellow Pages don’t have the information I need – prices and justification for not doing-it-yourself. The lady at Jim’s asked about the door and said it would be $180 plus tax to replace both springs (according to Richard, when one fails the other is sure to follow).
“When can you come out?”
“Between noon and two.”
“Can I give you my credit card number?”
Did I waste money by not calling around? Do I care? The price was consistent with what I read online ($190.23 including tax) and the fact that Jim’s has a website gave me just enough confidence that they know what they’re doing.
I don’t usually name names, but the repair guy from Jim’s came early, completed the repair in about a half hour with springs that should give me 1000 more turns than the springs he replaced. If Jim and I are both around in 8 years when the new springs wear out he'll likely to get another call unless someone gives me better information on their website.
You only have to be slightly better than your competition to have a competitive edge. If your competition doesn’t have a website – you can get away with putting up a single page (contact me for affordable help with the text). However, if your competition has a site you’ll want to contact someone who can make yours better. Wizard Partners Dave Young and Thomas D. Tucker are both experts in effective website design.