Are you planning to start your own trades business? Or are you looking for advice on how to grow your existing business and attract new customers? Keep reading for some of our top tips for tradespeople building a business in the construction industry…
Create a strong online presence
If you want to get more clients, it’s important to make sure it’s easy for potential customers to find you. Research from the Homeowner’s Alliance showed that 63% of people use online searches when looking for a tradesperson so having an online presence can be crucial.
You can do this by signing up to online directories such as Checkatrade or Rated People which will match homeowners with a tradesperson in their area. If you’re already a PongoPay user, you’ll automatically be added to our database of tradespeople and contacted if we have a potential client near you.
Social media can also be a great space for promoting your business to the public, where you can show pictures of your work and share testimonials from former clients. Creating a website is another great form of promotion which will help your business seem more professional and add credibility. It also gives people an easy place to find all of your contact details and information on the work you do.
The importance of word-of-mouth
Did you know that a massive 78% of people rely on word-of-mouth when hiring a tradesperson (AXA, 2015)? This means that building and maintaining a good reputation can be crucial to your business’s success. You can help to build your reputation by asking previous clients to leave online reviews of your service which can then be shared on your website and social media channels.
Unfortunately sometimes things do go wrong with a client; if they’re unhappy with a situation, do your best to stay calm and resolve the issue without things getting heated. The way you handle negative situations is often just as important as all the positive feedback you receive.
You can also encourage happy clients to refer you to family and friends by handing out business cards or even offering a referral incentive, for example 10% off their next job if they refer you to a friend.
Making sure that you’re well-organised will not only help you be more efficient but also improve your relationship with customers.
Keeping on top of your invoicing, admin and schedules will ensure that you’re able to get jobs done and, importantly, get paid on time! Using software such as PongoPay means you can keep track of your progress, check the status of payments and communicate with clients all in one place.
It’s also important to be organised on the job: being punctual and easily reachable for clients will help show your professionalism and lead to more positive reviews and referrals.
Build trust with new clients
Many clients can be wary of working with a new tradesperson, whether due to negative experiences in the past or horror stories about ‘cowboy builders’. It’s important to ease these concerns by being transparent with them: make sure they understand the work that’s involved and have a clear breakdown of the project’s cost and timeline before you start.
Keeping clients updated with your progress as you go is also a great way to avoid miscommunication and keep customers happy. If you’re a PongoPay user, make use of our ‘Build Updates’ function to regularly send pictures and progress reports to your client.
Payments can also be a tricky subject to broach with new clients. More than 75% of clients are suspicious of tradespeople who ask for cash upfront (AXA, 2015) so if you’re looking to build trust and grow your client base, use a professional payment system like PongoPay which allows clients to pay for work in stages using our secure escrow payment system.
PongoPay protects tradespeople and their clients when conducting construction transactions, making it safer and easier to pay for building work.
All payments made through the PongoPay app are securely held in our virtual ‘Safe Deposit Box’ and only released once both sides agree the work has been completed as agreed. If any disputes arise, we even offer a free mediation service to help resolve any issues.