Marketing your business, Part 1
Fifty-year-old Dale Harshbarger of Petersburg, Ky., started Burlington, Ky.-based Edge Auto Transportation in 2003 with one truck. A former municipal fire chief, Harshbarger “talked to people and made good friends at the large auctions” to develop a client base.
He promotes dependable service with a website, a tri-fold flier and business cards. He also makes image part of his marketing, using new Peterbilts, washed weekly, and having his drivers wear uniforms.
“You have to market your organization well,” Harshbarger says. “If you do, it’s easier at the bank when you need a new truck and a new building.” His website, edgeautotransport.com, which also hosts a logistics company Harshbarger runs, displays gleaming rigs at the top and helps him schedule jobs.
In August, Harshbarger bought his sixth truck, a 2012 Peterbilt, and a new trailer. He now moves 400 cars weekly, primarily in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Wisconsin. The regional service makes it possible to deliver cars on schedule in this time-sensitive niche, Harshbarger says. The company’s slogan reflects his customer service goal: “Exceeding your automotive transportation needs.”
“Any time you can make a positive impact in this industry and your drivers are clean-cut and professional, it’s good,” he says. “Our drivers are proud of what they do in a very labor-intensive and dangerous job.”