Service Station Equipment
Entrepreneur Martin McKinney started building his business 30 years ago with only $1,000 and one truck. Today, Service Station Equipment is an industry leader in servicing and testing petroleum equipment, with 31 employees and 45-50 vehicles on the road. Service Station Equipment fulfills a wide range of needs in the petroleum industry, from testing and repairing gasoline pumps, to planning and constructing truck stops, to installing or removing residential fuel tanks.
After successfully building Service Station Equipment, Martin expanded into two additional businesses: Irish Springs Pool Water and McKinney Mobile Mix. He was inspired to launch these services after identifying unfulfilled consumer needs. During the summer, there is an increased demand for pool water, so Irish Springs Pool Water delivers water to residences as well as businesses. Then when Martin experienced issues with getting cement for construction projects, he created his own cement delivery business, McKinney Mobile Mix, to solve that problem.
When asked about the "X-Factor" for his success, Martin revealed that there is no secret -- just hard work and effort marketing to potential customers. Thirty years ago, businesses like Service Station Equipment could rely primarily on word-of-mouth marketing. As Service Station Equipment began expanding its services, Martin leveraged print ads in The Real Yellow Pages® to target local residents and businesses.
As technology evolved, Martin realized the value of radio ads to target older adults during their daily commute, as well as online marketing to target the younger demographic. Having to manage three businesses featuring distinct markets, Martin sought help from YP℠ marketing solutions for impactful and cost-effective marketing for all three businesses.
"YP does a very good job of getting us a lot of traffic generated to our website--and calls." - Martin McKinney
YP marketing consultant Robert Dow helped Martin set up digital business profiles for all three of his companies on yp.com in order to gain more business in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Through YP’s online search solutions, Martin can target specific audiences with customized messaging on search engines. The trick? Focusing on what potential customers are searching for, as well as seasonal swings in consumer demands and interests.
“Our [marketing consultant] Rob set up our budget plan, and it allows us to handle our seasonal business on a busier pace in the summertime. While slowing down in the winter time and maintaining the price throughout the whole year cycle,” Martin said. “I think the key is: You have to trust your rep.”
Through one-on-one consultations with Rob, Service Station Equipment can capture 15 leads per month, seamlessly adjust to seasonal demands, and maintain strong brand awareness.
“You don’t have to advertise a lot,” Martin said. “You just have to have your name popping up once a day, or once in a while. So when customers do decide to make a decision, they’ll remember your name out there.”
Martin appreciates that YP℠ marketing solutions offer his businesses a steady flow of leads without demanding much time or effort from him. That allows him to dedicate more of his time to the services that generate his passion.
"YP generates enough leads for me that it's obviously worthwhile for me to stay there and keep continuing going on." - Martin McKinney
Martin does not have to worry about where his next leads will come. Instead, he has more time to focus on his passion and nurturing relationships with contractors, as well as customers.
“We love the sense of accomplishment,” Martin says of himself and his staff, “We start a job, we rip the station down completely, we rebuild it, put it back together. We test it. We maintain the equipment. And it’s just a good group of people who love what they do.”
Outside of Service Station Equipment, Martin takes pride in giving back to his community through charity and volunteer work. He is well-known for wearing many hats in his local community, including acting as district administrator for his local little league baseball, acting chairman of the zoning board, to being a member of the French Club board of directors.
“I’ve been very, very lucky,” Martin said. “And at the end of the day, if you can help somebody, and it’s the right thing to do, just keep paying it forward. And then it comes back tenfold.”
Service Station Equipment, Irish Springs Pool Water, and McKinney Mobile Mix would not have been as successful as they are today without Martin’s entrepreneurial drive. He has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
“I don’t work a day in my life,” Martin said. “I enjoy the art of the deal. I enjoy doing what I do.”