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."
#159260 - 11/18/0609:04 PMRe: Best Advertising Choices
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.
#159261 - 11/19/0602:12 PMRe: Best Advertising Choices
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.
#159262 - 11/19/0603:08 PMRe: Best Advertising Choices
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....
#159265 - 11/19/0611:04 PMRe: Best Advertising Choices
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.
#159267 - 11/20/0610:25 AMRe: Best Advertising Choices