Whether it be a collapsing roof deck or dangerous gas leak, Jim Brock, founder and small business owner of Boston Home Inspectors (BHI), has seen it all during his 25 years as a home inspector throughout the Boston area. And he’s managed to keep his business relevant over the years by keeping up with the newest innovations in marketing and business strategy, especially with QR codes.
“Technology-wise,” Brock told me, “I’m always trying to keep ahead. I’m constantly asking myself what the next best thing is.” This mindset has led him to online fame through his company Instagram account where he posts all of the funny, dangerous, and downright unbelievable things that he comes across during his various home inspections. But don’t take my word for it, just check in with one of his almost 19,000 followers.
While searching for ways to make his business more interactive and exciting, he came across Flowcode. Brock has been disappointed with QR codes in the past because of their post-print stagnancy and general limitations. “A traditional QR code just takes you to one stagnant place and if down the line you wanted to change where that goes, you really can’t do that,” he explains. “But with Flowcode, I can send different codes to different points: I can send one to a website, I can send one to Instagram, I can send it to a Twitter account or whatever source of media that I choose to send it to.” It was the long-term flexibility that Flowcode offers that first attracted him to this platform.
“And I think it looks cool,” he adds. “That's the other thing: I didn’t want the square, it just looked plain and boring. It's what everybody had.”
Right off the bat, BHI began to benefit from the way that Flowcodes are able to generate QR code data, collect information, and, thus, influence marketing strategy. BHI advertises on placemats at restaurants across the city, however, Brock never knew how successful this type of advertising really was with old-school, square QR-codes. He was regularly spending hundreds of dollars placing standard QR-codes and business logos throughout restaurants, however, he said he felt he “had no way of knowing, well, does it work? Does it not work? Am I getting hits off of it? Am I not getting hits?” With Flowcode, however, those days of wondering are far behind him. Wanting to use QR-codes to get leads, Brock is now able to simply check his Flowpage to see an analytical breakdown of which codes, placed across various locations, are getting the most traffic. “I can finally see,” Brock says, “if it’s worth my while spending that money. I’m getting real, analytical data from each code that I put somewhere.” Additionally, he has generated different codes to be placed on each of his son’s business cards, so he can see who is generating new leads for the company through their work.
Knowing all about the long-term shelf life of a Flowcode, Brock decided to push the limits on what’s possible by attempting to put his new QR-code on a Yeti. “So about that cup up in my cabinet,” he explains referring to his Flowcode-embossed tumbler, “if I decide to change where I want my QR-code to go, before, it could only go in one direction. So if I wanted a second one, or if for some reason I abandoned where it [the QR-code] went, that cup, which was a $30 to $40 investment, is now useless. It has no value because they [potential clients] click on it and it doesn't go anywhere. But with the Flowcode, I can now direct it to different sources.” This has allowed BHI to up their marketing game by offering clients products with longer shelf-life, like a Yeti tumbler, with the knowledge that they’ll be able to make alterations to where this innovative QR-code lands in the future as need be.
Brock says that he regularly recommends Flowcode to his friends that own small businesses because of the one-on-one experience he has with the staff. “These guys are very personal” he explains, “they want to hear from you, understand where you’re going, and understand your ideas.” This openness and flexibility is invaluable for a small business and, with Flowcode, Brock was able to completely customize his setup to make sure it aligned with BHI’s marketing strategy and growth plan.