A common problem that small businesses encounter is a lack of growth early on. When you have a specialized skillset it can be trivial to do the work itself, but finding customers for that work can prove challenging. Remember that it is important to have a competent team so check out this post about contracting and farming jobs before you start. Below are a series of inexpensive but powerful ways in which you can promote your business to customers and gain an edge over your competitors.
The first step is to create a professional-looking website. For the majority of your customers, this will be their first impression of your business, so the more presentable and user friendly the site is, the better. Although this may seem like a potentially expensive undertaking, you may be surprised to learn that there is no need to hire a professional web developer. Nowadays, with the help of a YouTube tutorial and an application such as WordPress or SquareSpace, the work can be done in just a few hours. Furthermore, in recent years the cost of webhosting has fallen dramatically, meaning that you could rent a server to host your new site for as little as under $5.
Another great tactic is not only to ask for referrals from customers, but to leave behind some business cards (or even a nice sticker on the appliance you just repaired). People are always on the lookout for good quality work, and if their friends can personally vouch for someone, they will be much more comfortable hiring them.
Next, you should actively seek out work from a variety of businesses. Smaller firms and site managers for larger companies will always want to have a go-to guy that they can depend on to do quality work, and once they have found a provider they like, they will stick with that contractor for years to come. Put time aside to develop a networking strategy, whether it be via online forums or by attending trade shows for your area.
Also, put an ad in your free district advertiser magazine. Although it is easy to dismiss a free publication as being of limited value, you should bear in mind that it does have some merit. Not only is this a low-cost option, but it has a huge distribution list and a lot of households will keep a copy around in case they should need a tradesman.
Following on from this, you should consider advertising on social media such as Facebook. The budget can be set as high or as low as you like and dependent on your chosen settings, you will only pay out when someone actually clicks on the ad. Furthermore, the ad campaign can be tailored to only target people in your area and within a certain age group, meaning that you can home in on your preferred or most reliable customer base. If the task of setting up and refining social media adverts is too daunting or time consuming for you, bear in mind that there are a plethora of firms that can be hired for a relatively small fee to handle this side of your business. In the right hands, social media can be a very powerful tool to attract customers.