5 Tips For New Contractors And Home Service Companies

marketing tactics to help new contractors and home service companies
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan June 5, 2024

Whether you’re a brand new company starting up or you’re a handy person who has been working on a side gig for a while but you haven’t yet taken the leap to develop and grow your business - we’ve got five tips to help you take your construction or home services business to the next level, to get you the financial and business independence you are looking for.

If you can follow these contractor marketing tips, you can build a more successful company than other small business owners around you, including your direct competitors.

Tip #1 - Carry Your Passion Through The Honeymoon Phase

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with contractors and home service pros in a variety of business stages.

I’ve found that there are some so-called business operators who try to get started with Footbridge Media, push for things to get done fast, and then when their website is built or their Google Ads campaign just started – they stop working. They sit back and wait. They figure, they’ve hired someone for marketing, so they don’t need to do any more work and just wait for the leads and money to roll in.

Those contractors don’t make it very long.

The people who make it are the ones who remain passionate about their work.

Plainly put, you have to care.

You have to want your business to do well. Then you have to do something about it. Sitting back and waiting for your business to grow without taking steps and contributing to your forward momentum means you need a job, not to own a business.

Tip #2 - Own Your Backyard

For some reason, a lot of contractors have it in their heads that they need to cast this very wide net to be a successful business. They’re happy to drive an hour away to get a driveway washing job, drain cleaning, or ceiling fan installation, then turn back around to make the hour drive back home - and call it a successful day.

Think less shotgun, think more sniper rifle.

Being open to the right jobs in the greater area around you is fine, but if you have limited marketing efforts and resources, focus on your own backyard first.

Smaller businesses can focus more on their local community, becoming the hyperlocal expert for your craft. As you dominate the area around you, you can then grow and expand your radius of service.

By having a niche, targetted service offering in a niche, targetted area - you can dedicate your resources to winning all the jobs in your town - which means spending more time on job sites and less time driving. That ultimately means better profitability.

Tip #3 - Finding Your Selling Groove

If you started your business because you love doing your craft and helping people with your technical skills, I hate to break it to you, but there’s a big part of your job that isn’t that.

If you’re running a business, you’re a salesperson - first and foremost. If you’re not pushing, finding leads, and converting them into sales, then you won’t have the opportunity to demonstrate your craft.

You can’t run a business without money, so it’s time to get over your selling fears and settle into the truth. You’re a salesperson now.

Tip #4 - Be a Problem Solver

Tied to being a salesperson now, you’ve got to figure out how to talk to customers, identify their needs, and sell to them in the way that they’ll be most receptive to.

Let’s talk about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow was a psychologist who suggested that certain things make people tick, and those needs must be handled in a certain order.

On a most basic level, people want problems to be solved. Problems with shelter and food come first. After that comes safety and security for themselves, their families, and their properties. And so on and so forth.

Almost all contractors operate on a level that helps people solve those problems - those core needs like shelter, security, and safety.

Long story short, there are basic needs and emotions that drive people. Consider how you sell people and update your tactics to address pain points.

A few suggestions of this type of conversation with customers...

Roof Replacement And Appealing To Basic Needs

Why does a family need a new roof? Sure a repair may be cheaper now, but that means putting your family at risk. What starts as a small roof leak over Timmy’s bedroom right now, compounded with time, may lead to a potentially unsafe situation.

Selling Peace Of Mind For Electrical Clients

Sure, an electrical safety inspection is optional - but you can keep yourself safe from accidental fire damage in your older home and have peace of mind knowing your property can withstand your increased electrical demands.

A Bottle Of Drain Chemicals Versus Protecting Your Property From Catastrophe

Of course, you can try to fix that clogged drain yourself with a little bottle of chemicals. But a plumber, with the right tools and expertise, can remedy your drain problems before you have an overflow that could lead to water damage and restoration needs for your 2nd floor bathroom and everything below it.

No matter your industry, assess your customers’ needs and craft a pitch that can hit the logical and emotional needs of a potential client. Be the solution to their problems.

Tip #5 - Invest In Long-Term And Short-Term Marketing

People today take many different paths to finding contractors. Your job as a business owner is to find the resources and methods that help you achieve both short-term and long-term lead generation.

On the long-term side of things, we’re talking about core marketing components that need time to mature and become effective. That includes…

  • Your Website - Organic optimization (how well your website shows up for the queries your prospective customers are entering into search engines) takes time to be effective. I usually say six months to a year is a realistic timeline for organic SEO growth to start.
  • Google Business Profile - Between the local optimization and citations component to getting more reviews than your competitors, improving your Google Maps presence is a grind and will take considerable effort to outperform your competitors, especially if they’re also working on their marketing at the same time.
  • Organic Social Media - If we’re just talking about posting worthwhile and engaging content and naturally growing your likes and followers based on the merits of what you post, social media growth will also take time to be successful. Having social media history, in and of itself, is important to demonstrating the longevity of your brand. A pressure washer with a history of posts that go back years will look more legit than a pressure washer with only three posts ever.

On the short-term side of marketing and advertising, there are things that you can do right now to immediately gain exposure for your company. That usually means paying for premier placement with cash instead of time, like you do for…

  • Google Ads - Instead of earning a spot at the top via organic SEO, you can pay for a spot at the top. Google Ads is basically a supply-and-demand pricing system, so you’ll need to make the call as to whether or not the cost for appropriate placement jives with your business model and available capital. For some industries and locations, it can be a game-changer. For others, the cost may not make things worthwhile in the end for you.
  • Facebook Ads - Where Google Ads get you in front of search traffic for specific search terms, Facebook Ads get you in front of specific people who are right for your business, as based on their demographics and Facebook activity history. This can be key in helping you identify local customers who have shown their hand and may be interested in how your business helps homeowners. Facebook ads get you immediate placement with a larger audience outside of your organic reach, which means you can get in front of more people faster.

You need to find the marketing recipe that will work best for your business and your financial situation. While it should be a recipe that grows and evolves over time, it shouldn’t ever move to the back burner.

Even if you’re busy, you need marketing to keep your lead flow going strong. That gives you the opportunity to select the most ideal leads for you and your business needs.

Put those five tips into action and your up-and-coming business will push through that honeymoon phase and you’ll stay excited about being your own boss, about running your own business, and being the answer to your customer’s questions and and problems.

If your business needs help taking care of those short-term and long-term marketing endeavors, Footbridge Media is here to help.

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