Review your current strategy – what is it and is it working?
Consider what options you’ve been using to market your business to retain current customers and gain new ones. Check what marketing is working by reviewing how your last 10 customers heard about you. Keep doing what works, adjust what isn’t.
Consider attending industry events as a guest speaker. That way you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your field, and you’ll also meet new people and potential customers. Everyone has a story to tell, and most trade conventions or shows have guest speakers.
Know your competition
Review your competitors by looking at their advertising, their website, registering for their e-newsletters and asking suppliers. There may be things they do better than you. But you’re looking for things that could impact your business. For example, let’s say you’ve discovered that your competition is using a brand of paint that’s superior to the product you’ve got. It’s now time to look at whether you should change suppliers.
Target your customer
Advertising works best if it’s designed specifically for the customers you’re targeting, so determine who your ideal customer is, and what their needs are. Then adjust how you market to them, for example, through digital marketing, social media or direct mail. If the customer is a large corporate you may have to register for an RFP (Request For Proposals) and pitch for a contract. If it’s a home owner, it’s more likely to be word of mouth, local advertising or digital marketing. Develop specific tactics for each customer type so you’re prepared.
Develop a digital presence
It’s important to have a great digital presence, such as a responsive website to inform and educate customers about what you do. It will help raise the awareness of your business. Consider Google Adwords marketing, keeping an up to date Facebook page for your business or using Facebook call back request forms to generate leads.
Have multiple ways for customers to contact you
Try and set up different ways for customers to contact you. Email, voicemail, mobile phone, and business cards are standard. But also consider a quote form on your website, apps where customers can provide job specifications. You might even consider a login area on your site for customers wishing to download guides or checklists you’ve created.
Austrade is the Australian Government agency that supports and assists businesses to export. As a first step download their Export Guide.
Always keep an eye out for new markets
If you spot opportunities opening up in another area, be flexible enough to move there for the duration of a project. If a project’s large enough you could consider moving your business to that location. Or opening a new office, or joint venture with a business that’s based locally. The data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics can also provide insight into growth areas and opportunities.
Successful businesses always review and update their marketing strategy. Staying in touch with your customers and keeping an eye on your competition are critical. This is where market research is essential – check out IBISWorld’s Market Research Report into Construction in Australia.
Make sure you’re listed in the White Pages
One of the first places people look when searching for a tradie is the Yellow or White Pages, both the hard copy and online. So it’s important that they can find you there.