How New Contractors Should Market A Business
We see a common trend when it comes to contractors who start new businesses. Many of these entrepreneurs have developed a great skill for their craft after years of working for someone else - and they see themselves as a boss as the next step in their career development.
Making the transition from employee to business owner can be extremely rewarding in many ways, but it comes with its own challenges.
Let’s talk about ways to overcome those difficulties and make being your own boss more like fulfilling your dreams and less like a nightmare.
The Entrepreneurial Dream - Why Contractors Start Their Own New Businesses
Some people get sick of their boss. Others see the potential for big money for themselves and future generations of family when they run their own business. Others start as a side gig and find themselves liking that work more than their previous day job.
No matter what the reason, there is a lot of excitement and potential for freedom when you become your own boss. That energy can help motivate you to build your business and help you through the hardships of starting and running your own business.
The Reality of Running a Business
Once the honeymoon is over and the reality of running a business sets in, the grind begins and you’ll start to see the challenges and responsibilities that come with being the boss.
Aside from all of the legal and financial responsibilities that come with business incorporation, insurance, licensing requirements, and tax management - you still have to manage staff and customers and find a way to get more customers.
This can be exceedingly overwhelming, especially for new business owners with tons of training in their trade but not much experience or education in business management and development.
The Dilemma of Time Management
Time management is probably one of the most important skills a new business owner can hone. When you are a sole proprietor and the only one working on your business, it can feel like you have no choice but to do everything yourself. Every administrative task and customer concern is your problem, and your problem only.
Over time, you’ll spread yourself thin trying to DIY everything. Providing quality services and products can be difficult when you’re burning the candle at both ends.
The struggle can end when you realize that - even if you are a sole owner/operator or only have a very limited staff - you do have options when it comes to delegating work.
Do Bosses Do Their Own Marketing? The Big Question
The only options when you’re investing in your own business are whether you spend your time or your money.
Both are valuable resources, so it makes sense to allocate them in a way that makes sense for your business.
Where Would You Spend Your Time Or Money In Your Business?
Unless you were a CPA in a past life, it is a no-brainer that you should trust a financial expert to deal with your business’s financial matters. It would not be a great use of your time to learn the ins and outs of the tax code so you can do your small business taxes as efficiently as possible.
Marketing and advertising - how your home services business gets money in the first place - should be treated the same.
Just like how you could use tax software online to file business taxes to technical completion, you certainly could use a DIY marketing approach.
But you won’t get the same return on your investment of time and money when compared to using a professional.
Thinking Like A Boss, Not Like An Employee
When you’re an employee, you have to do all the work on your plate because there is no one else there to do it.
That’s not how a business owner operates. Business owners understand that they can’t be everywhere all at once and that they really shouldn’t be.
Business owners understand how to invest in their business, delegate tasks when appropriate, and hire experts with better skill sets than the business owners themselves when they have a problem that needs to be addressed properly.
Being the only person working on your business doesn’t make you a boss. Too many businesses fail because the individual thinks they have to do everything to make their business work - and they can’t escape that employee mindset to get to the next level of running a business instead of just doing a job.
Invest Your Time To Care For Your Customers, Invest Your Money To Find Your Customers
When managing your budget of time and money, your time is best spent making your business great from the inside out.
Invest Your Time To Care For Your Customers
Working with your customers and making them happy with the quality of your service and product is key to growing your business.
Happy customers are more likely to leave online reviews, refer new business to you, or complete repeat services.
With the right guidance, a core of happy customers can help create a cycle of positive growth.
Invest Your Money To Find Your Customers
Marketing and advertising are their own disciplines.
You took the time to learn your own trade and hone your professional skills to be able to offer expert services to your customers.
So if expert assistance benefits your customers, it tracks that a marketing expert is the better way to get marketing done.
Using Managed Marketing Services: How Home Service Businesses Can Grow Efficiently
New contractors should heavily consider using a 3rd party expert and managed marketing services to establish their core marketing efforts and expand their marketing reach.
There are certainly moments when it is important for a contractor or home service provider to be actively involved in the marketing process - like taking pictures of your work and providing personalized content from time to time. But that doesn’t mean a contractor should be involved in 100% of the marketing process.
A website is obviously important, but do you really need to be the lead when it comes to coding your website or configuring hosting services?
By using a managed marketing service, you can be involved where appropriate - like providing your insight as to your preferences for branding and style - but you can turn to marketing pros with niche experience to complete most of the core work.
Managed Marketing Helps A New Contractor Business Cover A Lot Of Ground
Having managed marketing services and a contractor marketing agency on your side allows you to benefit from their years of niche experience and understanding of your needs - which likely includes marketing and advertising elements you may not have even known.
Footbridge Media - our contractor marketing agency - offers assistance in a wide range of services that are vital for contractors like you to grow their businesses.
Web Site Design & Development
- Having a team of web designers, writers, and developers available instead of DIY web builder software and having to write all of your own content
- Managed hosting so your website always works like it should without having to learn any code or tech speak
Search Engine Optimization
- On-page SEO to ensure your website can actually be found on search engines when good potential customers search for your type of work online
Local SEO Management
- Google Business Profile and off-site optimization management to ensure solid “Maps” visibility
Online Review Management
- Software, automations, and guidance to help you get more online reviews without manually chasing down customers
Website Updates & Improvements
- You need to regularly update your website to look fresh and have great content, and when you have a support team here to help you - you don’t have to do it yourself at the end of a busy workday.
Marketing Planning & Strategy Sessions
- Brainstorming sessions with marketing specialists who understand your business goals and budget
Print And Direct Mail Marketing
- Design and implementation for print marketing materials, including direct mail postcards
Email Newsletters For Customers
- Top-of-mind awareness and referral program activity generation via your curated email list
Facebook Posting And Advertising
- Your customers are on Facebook, so you should be on Facebook, too! Organic posting and paid advertising by skilled pros can help ensure maximum reach to the right audience
Google Ads Management
- Gaining instant access to users who are looking for your services on Google right now
Automated Online Chat For Your Website
- Like having a 24/7/365 sales person to interact with customers on your website for the purpose of gathering contact information
If you tried to do all of this yourself, even if you were already well-researched and knew what you were doing in all of those areas, would take a lot of time and effort - taking away from your ability to work with your actual customers.
If you tried to hire in-house, on-site staff to do it instead, you would spend way more on payroll and likely get much less niche industry expertise compared to a contractor marketing agency - taking away any positive cash flow and putting you in the red while still not being as effective as a managed service.
The Importance Of Marketing For New Contractors
Finding new customers is a challenge even for established businesses. New contractors start with the disadvantage of not having the past time to gather reviews or have photos of their work to demonstrate that necessary social proof to sway a potential customer and turn them into a new client.
Once you get an effective online marketing presence started and you can grind your way to establishing yourself as a new option for home or business owners, you are well on your way to generating a steady stream of clients and business growth.
By using a managed marketing service as your main new contractor marketing strategy, you can improve your marketing visibility and client acquisition while freeing up time for you to focus on helping your customers in your own area of expertise.
Managed Marketing Tactics Instead Of DIY Can Make Your New Contractor Business Run Like A Dream Instead Of A Nightmare
You opted to start your own business because you wanted to help yourself, your family, and your community. Not because you wanted to learn about liability insurance, tax code, and online marketing processes.
By properly allocating your time and money where they are best spent, you can think like a boss instead of working your business like it's a job.
Managed marketing services - hiring a 3rd party contractor marketing agency - is the ideal way to balance your time and money investment to maximize the benefit to your business visibility and new customer acquisition.
About Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan has over a decade of contractor marketing experience with Footbridge Media. With a background in web design, print design, content creation, and online marketing, Chris is focused on providing quality marketing and business solutions in the construction and service industries - helping small business owners to more efficiently manage their company and grow their operations.