The decision to go it on your own requires learning some skills that you might not have been exposed to in the past. Customers won’t just find you. You need to develop a marketing plan to create a loyal client following. But don’t fret. There are some very simple techniques you can use to get noticed while you attend to the demanding hands-on duties of a contractor. While most of your time will be spent in the field, try to devote a few hours each week to promote your business. Email marketing and social media platforms offer inexpensive methods of reaching prospects while you stay on the job.
Finding the Time
Contractors involved in the trades need to make hay while the sun shines. To keep the cash flowing in, painters and electricians often spend 60 to 70 hours per week swinging the brush and wiring homes. At the end of the day, marketing might be the last thing you probably want to do, but you should allocate about 10% of your work week, or an hour per day, to reach potential customers. For carpenters, Instagram presents a great opportunity to showcase your work. Consider posting before and after pictures. This application is free, and 500 million users share 95 million photos per day. Your business gains exposure while you focus on bidding jobs and landing them.
Creating a Network
Every single person you know or small business that you patronize has a need for your service. Established accountants and attorneys need dependable contractors, and their inner circles may be sizable. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Building a network costs nothing outside of a lunch or dinner now and then. You can also return the favour. As you strengthen relationships with trusted business associates, send some business the other way. Nothing builds goodwill faster than having prospects mention your name when they initially shop for goods and services. Like social media, referral marketing works behind the scenes while you focus on the needs of existing customers.
Consider doing some work for free. Churches, neighborhood associations, and charities often lack funding. Helping these organizations helps you. Offering your services at no charge helps your image while giving back to the community. The Rotary Foundation Canada joins small business owners with worthy causes. Time commitment is not usually a concern. Weekly meetings last about an hour, and fundraising activities span a couple months. Not only do you help people and organizations in need, membership in organizations such as these places you among like-minded individuals with whom further referral business can be created. Marketing your small business does need to cost a bundle or consume a lot of your time. Using social media and building referral networks allow you to work smarter and not harder. If you are an established company, it’s never too late to adopt some new strategies to bring some quality customers into the fold, and if you are new to the market, start things out on the right foot.