04 Jan Guest Blog: Tradies – Do you need customers?
First blog for 2019 and Kelly from My Sassy Business has written a great guest blog for us! Grab a cuppa – this is a great read…
Tradies – Do you need customers?
Silly question – I know.
So often in business, we think “If I build it they will come”, that just is not always the case. In Australia, tradies are the lifeblood of so many communities. There is currently a skills shortage and tradies are in demand.
Perhaps you are a tradie reading this, the partner of a tradie, the relative of a tradie or just love tradies – don’t we all. Now, most tradies are very good at being a tradie and they are not so great at wearing all the other hats required when you run a small business.
- Admin hat
- Marketing Hat
- Social Media Hat
- Cleaning Hat
- Sales Hat
- Phone Call Hat
- Receipt keeping Hat
- Quote writing Hat
- Invoicing Hat
- Bill Paying Hat
- Any other hat you can think of…plus often be a partner and a parent.
Dreams are made
Working for yourself is amazing but it is also hard work. You may spend all day on the tools to then have to meet people for quotes on the way home. Then at home, you have to write and price those quotes. Plus note down who you have to call back from the day and wear any of the hats mentioned above. Living the dream!!!!
What can you do
Make sure you utilise technology, yes tradies can use technology to improve their lives as tradies. Plus it doesn’t have to be difficult and it can be very suitable for all types of tradies. You can utilise cloud solutions like Google, Xero, and many others to work while you are out and about. Could you be working smarter rather than harder?
Something I see quite a lot is that people seem to have very little understanding of tradies and why they charge what they do. The reason for this is tradies do not market the value/benefits of what they offer. This is a problem right across many industries.
Tradies – Do you need customers – YES!!!
Having great financial management is just the start. You need to ensure that you are invoicing and getting paid as quickly as possible. Not having bad debts and staying on to of your bills is all essential.
Let’s talk about marketing – It is not always easy and it takes time. Did all your friends tell you they would use you and yet no one is?
Value Proposition – When you give someone a quote how do you convey the value/benefits of using your tradie business? Who can relate to seeing posts on Facebook about people complaining about the hourly rates of tradies?
For example, I recently saw a post on Facebook saying that a Gyprocker wanted to charge them $120 per hour, just to do a wall in their house. This person then went on to say that they should be a gyprocker if this is what you get paid! Now, this person obviously has no understanding of what it costs to run a business or the need to be paid for skills and so much more. Naturally, there are some people that will never understand and they will think that the $120 goes in the gyprockers pocket and that’s about it. However, you can help people to understand value/benefits so that when it comes to price people are then less focussed.
So how can this be overcome?
Tradies and all businesses alike must share their value and the benefits of doing business with them and the cost is the last point explored. This value must be shared on your website, social media, vehicle signage, conversations, quotes and any other time your business is visible.
As part of sharing that value, you are marketing your business to potential customers.
Professional Signage – This is the simplest way to get seen when your car is out of the garage. If you have a trailer – get signage. If you have a job site – get signage. All this signage will pay for itself in no time at all as people see your local presence. Don’t use too many words though, keep it simple and show your business name, website, phone number, license number.
Professional Website – YES you need a website. What is the first thing you do when you are curious about any business, you look up a website! All tradies need a website which is modern, clear, concise, with great images and information. This website can also use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to help you get found when your ideal clients are searching. Don’t forget to explain your value, here too and keep your information up to date.
Social Media – You must be on Facebook as a minimum with the aim to post every day of the week. YES, every day! Utilise Facebook advertising and depending on your trades business look at Instagram, Houzz, Pinterest etc. If this is still too difficult – Outsource!
Data Base Marketing – One of the most underutilised marketing is the customers who have used you. Ensure you have their email address and send them a newsletter or blog monthly or quarterly to stay in touch. This helps to keep you top of mind if they need you again. Plus you can ask for recommendations via these emails.
Don’t forget about having business cards, and utilising professional quotes and invoices within technology like Xero. Plus make sure you are on Google My Business and any other relevant local free directories.
If you need help in any or all of these areas please speak to Kelly at My Sassy Business. Find her on our TradieWives Directory: