When you're looking for your next work project, put yourself in your clients' shoes. Think about what they want from a tradesperson, then show them exactly how you tick all the boxes.
Here are five of the top things anyone wants from a tradie, and how you can go about proving that you fit the bill.
1. Positive reviews
Word of mouth is one of the most trusted kinds of marketing out there, so if you can generate positive reviews from past clients, this can greatly help with bringing in new ones.
If you haven't already got one, set up a section on your company or personal website for reviews. Whenever a client is happy with your work, ask them to head online and write up a quick review of their experience. This could cover anything from your professionalism to the excellent workmanship of the project, and can help future clients to see an unbiased opinion of your work.
2. Work examples
As with many professions, examples of successful past projects are always a good way to prove your worth to a new client.
Whenever you finish a project, be sure to bring in a quality camera and snap a few photos with the client's permission. You can post the ones you are most proud of on your website, or use one or two in any promotional materials. Even better, take a photo before you start work so you have an example of 'before-after' photos. This way, potential customers can physically see your workmanship.
It might not seem like much of a selling point, but having insurance can certainly help attract new customers.
Of course, you should have income protection to ensure that you still have an income should you be injured on the job. You should have liability insurance, which means that should the client's possessions or property become damaged during your work, your insurance plan will cover the costs of replacements or fixes.
This can help give customers peace of mind, and prove that you have all your bases covered just in case.
3. Written quotes and contracts
It's not uncommon for a tradesperson to say that a job will cost a certain amount or take a certain period of time, then for them to renege on that promise.
If you can put those promises on paper, a client may be more likely to hire you for the job as this is more of a binding document than an off-the-cuff remark. Of course, complications can and do often arise during a project, which should be outlined in the contract, but at least the client can feel more at ease knowing you have a signed form to start with.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of hiring any contractor is professionalism, and this is something you can show in a number of ways.
The 2012 Digital Influence Index shows that as much as 89 per cent of customers use the internet to make purchasing decisions, so this is where you should start. Your website is often one of the first things a client sees of your business, so it should offer them an idea of what to expect from you and your company. Ensure that it offers plenty of information (such as reviews, examples, contact information), and is easy to navigate and attractive to look at.
When it comes to meeting them in person, you will generally get a pass for scruffy clothing, but a professional attitude and demeanour is still important.
5. Quality tools and materials
Every painter knows the frustration of using a brush that leaves bristles behind on the wall, and anyone who has had a painter leave these behind in their home knows to look for better quality next time.
Choose high quality Resene paints and colours and quality painting tools as a selling point for your business to show your dedication to a job done well.