Contracting can be a very profitable business. A good contractor can make a lot of money once they have established a solid customer base. However, establishing yourself takes lot of time and effort. You have to gain the trust of your customers and maintain high standards to be able to generate repeat customers and get new ones through word-of-mouth. Taking care of these basic steps is necessary, but not sufficient to succeed in the contracting business. Here are additional tips you can use to grow customer base and expand your business.
Market YourselfIn the age of the internet, you might think that business cards and flyers are a bit redundant. You won’t get a new customer from every single one you hand out so you do need to invest time in handing out large numbers, but you will see a healthy return. It is also a very cost effective solution as there are a lot of low-cost options online. It is best to hand out flyers during periods when people are most likely to be considering having work done. In the months leading up to Christmas, and at the beginning of Summer, are the best times. You could also try leaving business cards in DIY shops, or any other public place with a free noticeboard.
That doesn’t mean that more up to date marketing techniques aren’t applicable to contractors. It is imperative that you have a good website, as well as a social media presence. You need to update your online presence regularly and use social media as a way of contacting potential customers. It is a good place to find landlords who may be able to offer you regular work. There are also websites that will put you in touch with customers for a small fee. Once you are established, there is no need to use these services but it is a good way to get yourself out there when you are first starting out.
Watch Regulations and Insurance
Regulations and Insurance is another thing you might not have considered. When looking for people to hire, customers will often look at whether you have liability insurance. Liability insurances protects the premises and contents of whatever building you may be working on. If something is to go wrong, they will cover the costs. If you don’t have liability insurance then you may find yourself out of pocket due to a freak accident on site. Customers will be wary of hiring anybody that is uninsured.
They will be equally as apprehensive about contractors that do not maintain equipment and ensure it is safe. You may run into trouble if you are caught using any power tools that have not been certified. It is best to employ the services of portable appliance testers, who can give you official documentation that proves your working practices are safe. It is best to have your equipment tested every 3 months or so.
Provide Good Customer Service
Most importantly, have a good customer service. You will be entering people’s homes and so you must be polite, respectful, and clean. If you leave a customer’s house in a mess, or they feel uncomfortable having you in the house all day, they will not use you again. They also won’t recommend you to their friends. Word of mouth is still very important in this business, as most customers will hire somebody that has verification from a friend or colleague.
If you follow these steps, there is no reason why you cannot build a successful business as a contractor.