Some service companies are demons about keeping costs down. While there’s a lot to be said for running lean, efficient operations, there are times when added cost is justified. The type of service vehicle may be one of those times.

Most service companies buy full size cargo vans. A growing number are purchasing mini-vans. Others use pick-ups in one configuration or another. These may be the most practical vehicle configurations, but they may not be the best.

Before buying a new vehicle, compare the cost of a cube van. Cubes can be expensive, since many are custom made. However, their greater cargo area also means the sides are larger mobile billboards. They stick out more in traffic. The more a vehicle sticks out, the more likely it is to get noticed. The more likely it is that the billboard will get read and an impression will be formed. The more impressions that are formed, the greater the likelihood is that the consumer will recognize your name and call you for your products and/or services.

Even if there’s no operational reason for anything larger than a cargo van, a cube makes sense from a marketing perspective. Compare the cost of a regular cargo van with the cost of the cube. Break it down to the monthly cost difference. This is the cost of the added exposure the cube will bring. You might be surprised how minor the difference, especially when you compare it with many of the alternative forms of advertising.

Matt Michel is president of the Service Roundtable (www.ServiceRoundtable.com), an organization dedicated to helping contractors prosper. Matt is also the publisher of Comanche Marketing, a free marketing e-zine. Subscriptions are available at www.ComancheMarketing.com. You can contact him directly at matt.michel@serviceroundtable.com. Or send your comments to Contracting Business at letters@contractingbusiness.com.