The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
Earthquake in New Zeeland
by RODALCO
11/27/16 11:25 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by Tjia1981
11/27/16 06:33 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 13
HotLine1 9
Texas_Ranger 8
sparkyinak 7
Trumpy 6
Who's Online
0 registered (), 137 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#159258 - 11/18/06 03:49 PM Best Advertising Choices
bot540 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Vernon Hills, IL
I am a fairly new contractor and looking into advertising. I was wondering what is a sucessful way to start advertising. I was thinking first I will have my truck lettered and then the yellow pages.
_________________________
Jesus may have been a capenter,but God was an electrician.Genesis1:3

Top
Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#159259 - 11/18/06 04:52 PM Re: Best Advertising Choices
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Having a neat truck, properly labled, is almost an "essential." Not only does it attract business, it suddenly makes you "legitimate" in everyone's eyes.

Yellow pages are of value in direct proportion to how much of your business is based upon dealing with the general public. You might be surprised to learn that there are many contractors -licensed, bonded, legit, with fabulous bond limits- who aren't even in the white pages!

Advertising is effective only as far as it reaches the folks you want as customers. The means therefore depend upon on just who that market is. For example, a simple post-card campaign can be quite successful. "Know your customer."

Top
#159260 - 11/18/06 05:04 PM Re: Best Advertising Choices
Sparks30 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/02
Posts: 125
Loc: Connecticut.usa
I’ve only been on my own for a couple of months now. Best I've done is put up card on any store that has a pegboard, talk to local lighting specialty stores, and the signs on the van. So for doing all right.

Top
#159261 - 11/19/06 10:12 AM Re: Best Advertising Choices
REW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Sykesville, Maryland
Who is your target customer? Are you doing commercial new construction, commercial service, residential new construction or residential service? Your advertising will depend on who you are trying to reach.
_________________________
Rich

Top
#159262 - 11/19/06 11:08 AM Re: Best Advertising Choices
bot540 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Vernon Hills, IL
I am a fairly new contractor so I will take any work I can find. However I do favor commercial work.
_________________________
Jesus may have been a capenter,but God was an electrician.Genesis1:3

Top
#159263 - 11/19/06 11:44 AM Re: Best Advertising Choices
Tiger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 714
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
Save yourself, save your family. Get out quick and get a real job. You'll thank me later.

Dave

Top
#159264 - 11/19/06 02:27 PM Re: Best Advertising Choices
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
It's time to remind us all of the "80/20 rule" In this case, 80% of your work will come from 20% of your customers.

This means it is critical to identify the customers before you do anything else. You can't hit a target you can't see. That handful of regular, repeat customers will make or break a business. Period.

The second thing you need to do is make sure the customers know what sets you apart from everyone else. You should never let anyone consider you a 'commodity', interchangeable with a host of other contractors.

This is what a "business plan" is all about. Just for the sake of discussion, let me invent one:

A town has lots of old homes, the type with fuse boxes. To make thing worse, the ground tends to be very rocky, and it is a real chore to drive a ground rod.
Along comes "Drivin' Dan." He's a clever sort, and has cobbled together a rig that lets him drive a rod anywhere, in less than an hour.
Dan lables his truck "Drivin' Dan, the Ground Rod Man." Besides doing service changes himself, he subs out to other contractors, agreeing to drive rods for them for, say, $200. He's got a ready made base of both customers, and referrals.

Now, time goes by, the town grows, and Dan sees that sooner or later, every house will have one of his ground rods. So, he looks around for another "niche" to fill. Maybe his rig can be modified to hang transformers....

Top
#159265 - 11/19/06 07:04 PM Re: Best Advertising Choices
Dnkldorf Offline
Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
You nailed it John, niche.

Baz, Rich has a good point, define your market. What do you want to do, and how is everyone else doing it?

You can have a very lucrative business, with very little advertising. Advertising can be a huge re-occuring overhead expense.

IMO, Best advertising is trucks, a name that is catchy, and word of mouth.

Top
#159266 - 11/20/06 05:12 AM Re: Best Advertising Choices
REW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Sykesville, Maryland
Bot,

If you want to do commercial work, the fastest easiest way to get contractors to notice you is to call them. Ask to be put on their bid list. You will be soon flooded with Invitations to Bid. Choose the jobs that you wish to bid wisely. Do not be afraid to decline to bid, or even decline to accept a job if the terms, timing, or manpower situation is not right for you. Don't let the GC run your business for you. They are not doing you any favors by awarding the job to you, if fact, since you are just getting started, they may be trying to take advantage of you. Trust your gut instict about jobs and contractors, it is usually right.

Good luck
_________________________
Rich

Top
#159267 - 11/20/06 06:25 AM Re: Best Advertising Choices
mahlere Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 514
Loc: New Jersey
it also depends on if you want to grow and how fast. want to do residential service and have 5 trucks on the road asap - big time yp advertising.

want to stay a one man shop (maybe with a helper) and pick and choose projects. don't advertise in the yp. don't need it.

there are so many variables, you really need to determine your goals...

Top



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals