Regardless of whether you’re in construction, engineering, automotive, or any number of trade businesses you are also the owner of a small business and to be successful you need to stand out from the crowd.
Promoting and selling your point of difference is what sets you apart from your competitors. And whatever that is, you need to emphasise it across all the ways your customers can find you.
However a lot of tradies simply don’t have the time or resources to spend on marketing themselves, because they are too busy with the day-to-day of running their business. But it’s essential because as a recent study by global information services group Wolters Kluwer found, poor or not enough marketing is a key reason for small business failure.
So how can you develop a resilient, successful trade business without too much time and spend? Here are five quick and cheap marketing wins for tradies.
1. Brand yourself
Does your business name and logo stand out in a crowded marketplace? Your unique brand and logo is your identity and plays an important role in the success of your business. Make sure it’s on everything connected with your business, including your business cards, your premises, and your vehicle.
There are lots of online companies that offer a brand and logo design package, some for less than $100. Shop around for what you want.
2. Get a website
Pretty much everyone uses the internet to search for local businesses, which means you must have a website for customers to find you. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to highlight your services, client testimonials, and contact details.
3. Leverage social media
Social media is free to set up and can create leads for your business. A Facebook business page, Linkedin, or a Twitter profile are great places to start and you can use them while you get your website up. Blogging is also a great way to share information about business subjects you’re passionate about. It’s easy to set up a blog on your website, or you can contribute to other blogs.
4. Pay for a phone service
Depending on the work you do it may not always be convenient to answer phone calls. Paying for a professional answering service means you will never miss a business call. And the extra trade will mean the service will pay for itself.
5. Sort your licensing and insurance
All Australian states and Territories require tradespeople to be licensed and appropriately insured. Check with Fair Trading, to make sure you’re compliant, and that you and your clients are covered in the event of disagreement, injury or claim. Then remember to promote on your website and advertising that you are qualified and insured.
NRMA Insurance offers business insurance for tradespeople.
6. Use technology
There are easy ways to help clients pay you and also help your cash flow. Most banks can set you up as an EFTPOS Merchant and supply you with a mobile EFTPOS terminal making payment of deposits and job completion simple and immediate. There are a number of free mobile apps like Invoice2go and Wave that can help you keep track of your invoicing anywhere, anytime.
7. Get your contracts and terms and conditions formalised
Make your customer’s experience a good one. Clear and formal terms and conditions are important for you and your clients. Make sure all your paperwork is in place before you commence work. A solicitor can help you establish appropriate contracts and terms and conditions.
You’re not alone out there and peer networks and support initiatives like Tradie Exchange and Club Tradies can help with job leads, preferred trade insurers, deals, discounts, and ongoing professional seminars and events.
Develop good business practices, and get out there and promote your successful trade business!
- Read the Wolters Kluwer study that looks at reason's for small business failure
- Visit Wix.com to learn how to create your own website
- Visit MYOB to learn more about their website builder
- Learn more about NRMA Business Insurance for Tradespeople
- Download Invoice2go, an iPhone app to help keep track of invoicing
- Visit the Tradie Exchange website to connect with tradies and trades professionals
- Visit the Club Tradies website - the ultimate support initiative for tradies.
This is not financial or professional advice. We recommend you obtain independent advice before making any financial decisions. To see if NRMA Business Insurance is right for you, always read the Product Disclosure Statement from the product issuer, Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 trading as NRMA Insurance.