Whether you are a self-employed contractor or run a small building company, the chances are that you rely on a lot of word of mouth advertising to get work. And if you aren’t getting those all-important clients, the reality is that you’ll be looking for them – which is going to prevent you from doing the real job of making some money. Advertising and working is a difficult challenge when you have to do both – but there are some ways of making it work. Let’s take a closer look.
Encourage your customers to talk!
First of all, your customers are a great source of new business. Ultimately, your work should speak for itself, and any friend, family member or neighbor that visits your client’s house will – almost definitely – inquire about who did the work. So, why not leave your business cards and some marketing literature for your customers to pass on?
Choose your timings carefully!
Are you scheduling your quote appointments during the daytime? If so, you need to stop it as soon as possible. Any quotes or proposals simply have to take place after hours – when it’s dark – as no one can see your work being done. Make sure that your daytime hours are used up building things so everyone can see what you do and how you work. Passing trade is possible in construction, as long as you are around to snap it up!
Dress up your vehicles!
Any of your own construction vehicles and equipment can be used to advertise your business – and it can be remarkably effective, too. Let’s say you have a boom lift in action for a particular job – if you view High Reach images, for example, you can see the sort of heights these crane-like vehicles can achieve. All it takes is some simple and effective advertising work to get your message out there, at an enormous height, and it can have the same impact as a public billboard – and the cost of advertising on those can run into six- or seven-figures.
Whatever kind of trade you are in, it’s worth teaming up with other small businesses that offer complementary services to yours. Networking gives you a lot more advertising power, as there will be more of you in jobs recommending your partner companies. So, get out there and find other businesses whose reputation you trust. Team up together and offer your services as a whole, and you’ll find your spread of clients grows by a significant amount.
Bin your answer machine!
The telephone is still an important part of your advertising armory, but don’t expect potential customers to leave a message. You are pretty much always better off by either rerouting the office phone to your cell phone or, even better, hiring someone to man the phones. The reality is that most people won’t leave a message, and you will miss out on leads. Using either an office-based assistant or even a small business call center will make sure you never miss out on a prospect.
Hope these ideas help you grow your construction firm – good luck!