- Kitchen / Bathrooms — 183
- Garden / Landscaping — 164
- Appliance / Repair — 141
- Interior Design / Decor — 128
- Floors / Tile / Hardwood — 92
- Real Estate / Finance — 91
- Bedroom / Furnishings — 67
- HVAC / Air Conditioning — 66
- Cleaning / Maintenance — 59
- Safety / Security — 59
- Construction / Materials — 56
- Windows / Siding — 56
Improve Your Contractor Business
by Guest on Feb 3, 2011
In today’s economic climate it is harder than ever to run a successful contractor business. The recent economic downturn and declining real estate market have forced many contractors to close shop. With consumer spending down, there are just fewer contracts to bid. This is, without a doubt, the perfect time for contractors to tighten their belts and carefully consider their business practices. You can’t afford to sit back and wait for things to go back to the way they were in 2005…. because while the economy will eventually recover, consumer attitudes have changed for good. You need to figure out what works in this new contractor climate… what saves money, what attracts/retains clients, what is bleeding the company? Get these aspects of your business squared away today and you’ll be more efficient and profitable tomorrow... you’ll probably sleep a little better too.
Attracting customers has always been a tough job. Word of mouth is good, but you had better do some proactive prospecting as well. Traditional ads in the newspaper, fliers, and posters are dated approaches that won’t cut it anymore. Most clients will do their preliminary research online, so you should invest in having an easily-accessible, user-friendly website. Next, you will need to promote yourself online. You have the website; now get on Yelp, Craigslist, Angie’s List, and local contractor portals. Contact local associations and niche publications. Make sure your business is listed where the potential clients are looking. Have a mobile device that you can readily accept calls and check emails on so that you can respond to inquiries quickly. Be easy to find, easy to contact, and easy to do business with.
Consider what message and brand identity you want present in the market. What is your area of expertise? Highlight your strengths and what sets you apart. Reassure your prospective clients that you are a safe bet with testimonials and certifications. On a similar note, it is important to also evaluate what your company stands for. Are you high quality or value? The marketplace has been trending towards customer service, quality, convenience, and eco-friendly themes. Do these themes fit into your business model and marketing message?
Lastly, do an honest audit of your company’s spending. If you can, trim spending on things like office supplies and other meaningless overhead. Focus your capital on the integral pieces of your business, like materials, tools and contract labor. Always use industrial grade gear. Cheap tools do not deliver value because cheap tools break, costing you replacement overhead and time. Your tools are a long-term investment, so always invest in industrial-grade tools. Industrial cutting tools and electrical power tools will provide you superior quality work and long-term savings.
Times are tough for the contracting trade, but if you get the business model right today, you can ensure yourself long-term success and profitability.
About the Author: Maria Polidoro is the owner of Ace Tool, a leading dealer and service center for electrical power tools. Headquartered in Wantagh, New York, Ace Tool offers over 70 major brands including Champion Tools, Milwaukee, Amana and virtually all other major brands.
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