Mar 3, 2023
When you go into business as
a tradesperson, you often focus on performing your trade to the
best of your ability – as it should be. With time, the quality of
your work will speak for itself, which is the most valuable
testimonial of all.
Before the internet was commercially available, just as many experts advised contractors about the layout and design of yellow page ads and which books to spend money on, I say you spend money because that is what it was - Marketing.
Many of us who owned and operated construction companies spent thousands of dollars on these experts. Based on their recommendations, we spent tens of thousands of dollars annually in full-page yellow page ads as close to the first position.
Spending Money Is Easy, Investing Money Takes Work
However, any trades accountant or bookkeeper will tell you
there's more to it now. While your good reputation preceding you is
undoubtedly essential, there are a few other ways that you'll want
to market your services to ensure that you have a steady stream of
work. Read on to learn seven paths you can market your construction
1. Appear in directories
Since setting up a new business is usually a digital experience, it's easy to overlook the step of making sure you appear on a physical list where people can find you. Ensure your trade business is on relevant trade directories in your area.
Additionally, make sure you appear in the online equivalent. Yelp, Google, and Facebook each have business directories. And let's not forget the old standby: the phone book. Yes, they still exist! They are valuable resources for some people looking to hire a tradesperson.
2. Have a website
Some website-building platforms are very user-friendly, but hire someone if you feel that's beyond you. Almost everyone does an online search before they hire a business, and not having a website is like waving a giant flag that says you're out of touch, old-fashioned, or possibly not legitimate. Meanwhile, having a website reassures people that you are who you say you are and can provide the services they need.
Nothing is more substantial than a good referral, and people naturally turn to social media to find out what your customers are saying if they don't know someone who's used your services personally.
Keep your social media presence strong and engaged. If you're uncomfortable doing this, hire someone to do it for you. It's critical when doing business today.
4. Offer referral promotions
When you wind up with a happy client, give them an easy way to speak positively about you and suggest you to their friends. A card or a thank-you email with a discount code will do the trick.
5. Run ads
Construction marketing can be tricky because, typically, your services aren't always needed. But when you are required, it's usually urgent.
If your trade business doesn't appear on the first page of Google, it might be worth your while to take out an online ad. That way, when someone searches for a tradesperson in your area, your business will appear next to their search. The only way someone can click on your information is if they see it – so make sure they have that chance, whether through an organic search or a paid ad.
6. Make yourself visible in the real world
Make sure your construction business's name and logo appear on any equipment you use, and make clothes for your team to wear when they're out and about.
It may be smaller than a billboard, but driving and walking around letting people know who you are, what you do, and how to contact you will go a long way to marketing your company. If people become familiar with your business name, they'll likely turn to you when needed.
7. Good old-fashioned snail mail
Believe it or not, print campaigns are alive and well! If you operate a construction business whose services are sorely needed in a specific area, consider making a print ad to pop into mailboxes. A word of warning, though – make sure your print ad is relevant, valuable, and eye-catching. You don't want to spend money producing something that will immediately go to the recycling bin.
Marketing for trade businesses is a lot like any other type of business in that you have to understand your audience and their needs and show up when they're looking for you. With some research and proactive planning, you can be sure your business will appear in the right place and time.
Continually examine your approach. Instead of yellow pages people, I see many well-intentioned people with their minds and hearts in the right place that have great ideas on what works and fails in social media. I certainly don't know what works for every contractor; however, I do know that every construction company is unique, and what works for your competitor may not work for you.
I encourage you to develop your market tracking system along with these methods. Perhaps you will discover what works best for your construction company and increase your sales bottom line profits. If I can be of service, don't hesitate to contact me.
About The Author:
Sharie DeHart, QPA, is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on managing the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or email@example.com