The Australian trades services industry is saturated with thousands of companies all claiming they’re the best in the business. Tradies in construction, plumbing, or electrical may find themselves missing out on local business because competitors have bigger marketing budgets. It also doesn’t help that the demand for trades services decreased due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
When the competition is steep, you don’t want to be regarded by potential clients as just a run-of-the-mill tradie. You need to differentiate your company from the rest, and this involves taking a unique approach to your branding strategy. Here’s what you need to do:
Define your unique selling proposition
While there’s nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades, it’s not the most effective way of promoting your expertise to potential customers. Instead, think about the services that perform well with customers and identify your company’s specialties. For example, your construction company may have extensive experience in roofing, masonry, tile setting, commercial building, or kitchen renovations.
Once you’ve narrowed down your specialties, promote it in your brand name, websites, social media profile, and other marketing materials. When clients need a professional for a specific project, perceived experts are typically the first people they call. Plus, by adding these unique service keywords to your marketing materials, your company is more likely to stand out from the average general contractor.
Understand your key demographic
Conducting market research will enable you to pinpoint who to advertise your services to and increase your chances of winning jobs. This process starts with determining the needs that your service fulfils and studying who is most likely to approach your company. Take a look at your previous clients and, if possible, gather survey data to identify target demographics.
People of certain age groups, monthly incomes, marital statuses, and locations will also be more receptive to your specific services. For instance, if you specialise in landscaping or large home alterations, your ideal target may well be local families with combined annual incomes of $80,000. On the other hand, if your expertise lies in cabinet installation or plumbing repairs, your target demographic can be vastly different.
Taking the time to profile the people you want to reach will help you create focused marketing campaigns and promotions.
Be honest with what you offer
Many trades businesses fall into the trap of overpromising their skills to win jobs, but they’re often unable to deliver. When this happens, clients lose faith in the business and leave a negative review.
Negative feedback can spell disaster for your business because they spread like wildfire through social media and word of mouth. That means clients who may have initially considered your services will write you off as a shoddy tradie who can’t meet their customers’ needs.
To prevent these risks and build a lasting relationship with clients, you need to be honest about your services. If you can’t complete a renovation project within the budget they’re proposing, tell them it’s not possible and recommend a more cost-effective alternative. Also, if you can’t deliver by a certain due date, tell them right away so you can manage expectations early. Furthermore, if problems occur during the project, own up to your mistakes and correct them proactively. It’s better to have a tough conversation with clients about an issue, rather than waiting for them to figure it out themselves. Doing this may be difficult in the moment, but people are more likely to respect you for being straightforward.
Offer service guarantees
Having guarantees signals to prospective clients that they can expect a certain standard from your services. Financially backed performance guarantees, in particular, provide clients with security should your workers fail to meet obligations or complete work as outlined in the contract. Other types of guarantees include offering discounts on additional services. Whatever you choose, offering guarantees makes clients see your business as more professional and more trustworthy than others.
Engage with the community
If you don’t want to be overlooked, then you need to establish some online credibility and involve yourself with the local community. For starters, writing industry-related articles and contributing to trade publications goes a long way in promoting and demonstrating your professional expertise. Social media websites like LinkedIn are great places to publish your articles and make connections with prospective clients.
When social distancing regulations ease up, you should also consider attending trade shows, workshops, and events. These help you become known in the local community and spur people into hiring you for a future job.
Deliver high-quality service
The best and most proven method to set your business apart from the competition is to provide exceptional service. Arriving to job sites on time with the right equipment, conducting work safely, finishing jobs within the deadline, and staying on budget produces loyal customers. Even small gestures like gifting fruit baskets or checking up with clients after a project can leave a lasting impression.
With a substantial portfolio of happy clients and successful jobs, the smallest trades businesses can outshine much larger enterprises. It’s easier for your business to ask for testimonials and referrals from satisfied customers. More importantly, word about your company’s exceptional service will spread, attracting new clients and snowballing your success.
However, to deliver such high-quality services for your clients, you need powerful tools to boost your company’s efficiency. WorkBuddy is a job management platform that enables you to do just that. It comes with centralised task management dashboards, streamlined job scheduling and invoicing, and work safety compliance features. Request a free demo today to see how WorkBuddy helps you outperform the competition.