U.S. Windshield Repair is a family owned and operated business located in Central Utah. Started in Southern California in 1990 as a full-time windshield repair service, they began designing and manufacturing products soon after as they realized there was a shortage of quality tools and products. Bill Penrod’s previous history is 12 years in the retail grocery industry, 8 years in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff and marshal and 6 months as a property manager in a ski resort.
Mike: With a domain name like WindshieldRepair.com, there is no denying that you have the market cornered. Tell me a little about your business.
Bill: Well that’s not true. The name has been a boost but today larger companies with their SEO efforts and budgets have more than leveled the playing field. In fact, it is I that have to work harder and harder to stay relevant.
Mike: The name is a perfect fit. Were you the first to register the name, or did you purchase it from someone. If the latter, walk us through the process you followed to obtain it.
Bill: I was the first to register it. A friend had told me the internet would be big some day and I should grab a good URL. I wish I could say I was smart and saw the potential, the truth is I had good guidance and a fair amount of luck.
Mike: Do you own any other domains?
Bill: Yes, www.uswindshieldrepair.com ( my actual business name) and a few others. I had hopes to grow several online businesses but find as time goes on I only have time for the one.
Mike: I imagine you get a large amount of type-in traffic, or people that just type in your domain name needing. Do you have any idea how much of your traffic comes from this source?
Bill: Roughly 30%.
Mike: Are you willing to share your overall monthly traffic numbers?
Bill: Hmmm, due to the extremely competitive environment I would rather not.
Mike: What’s been the most challenging part of running an online business?
Bill: Salesmanship. I get a large number of potential customers that visit my site, call me, ask questions and advice, then buy from my competitor. In almost every case they call back after making a purchase from that competitor and tell me two things:
1) I made a mistake I should have bought from your company in the first place and
2) Now that I’ve spent all my money elsewhere I have limited resources can you give me a break? I have agonized over the years as to what I am doing wrong, what the other guy is doing right and how to turn things around. Sadly I have not yet figured it out. I have gone through several incarnations and surveyed these customers but not found the answer.
Mike: Do you think there are still any good names out there for business owners to launch a site on?
Bill: Absolutely! With so many names already taken it is more challenging but certainly it can be done.