Manage episode 281353424 series 1082451
Markets are dynamic and continually evolving, so no business can afford to stand still. Many construction business owners have learned that in the last few months as COVID-19 spread around the world. No matter how excellent your products or services, they have a finite lifespan, so they must be developed, improved, or replaced if you're continuing to grow your business.
New products, services, and ways of providing more value to your clients and prospects are the hallmarks of a go-ahead business.Improvements and extensions
You can lengthen your services' market life through a process of continuous improvement in response to customer feedback. You can also work on extending your range through complementary products or services.
However, there's a limit to the extent you can keep on refining, and in many cases – in the end, you'll need something new. Besides, if you are a trade contractor specializing in a specific skill and service, how can you translate your expertise to show that you have your prospective clients' best interest year-round?Steps to take
Don't make the mistake of sitting around, waiting for events to overtake you. It's essential to take a proactive approach to identify possible market threats as well as opportunities by:
- Ensuring you're getting regular market feedback from your customers and others – customers are often the first to tell you that your products are no longer meeting their requirements.
- Setting up a new service committee of key staff members – meet regularly to review market feedback and gather ideas on improving existing services and potential new services.
- Attending trade shows (or online events) – can be a great way to open your mind to what's happening in your industry. Seeing what similar businesses are doing overseas, spotting new trends and products, and making new business contacts are great ways of coming up with new products or services.
- Keeping up with networking – attending conferences, seminars, and industry events (hopefully in-person this year). They're your best sources for finding out if any government grants or initiatives are coming up.
Online research is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to keep your ear to the ground about what's happening in your industry, and it's a great source of inspiration when it comes to new ideas.
If you don't have the time yourself, appoint an employee to monitor things like:
- Social media platforms and channels – signing up to relevant Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and LinkedIn are all excellent ways to stay up-to-date with what's happening in your industry.
- Subscribe to RSS feeds – again, it's a useful tool that helps you keep your ear to the ground about what's happening.
- University and other academic research – papers are often published on the outcomes of the latest research and development, and in many cases, they're free to read.
While you learn and grow, you can now share new information and develop different strategies to serve your clients and prospects. Here are some content ideas you can share - online (website, blog post, podcast, and email) or offline (marketing materials like brochures, flyers, and newsletter):
Testimonials are one-sided and usually a short text of how you performed. Take it up a notch and make it a Q and A post: Why did they hire you? What processes have you been through together to come up with a successful plan? This would deliver an impactful message to your audience.
Imagine a mother's anxiety before a significant renovation; add her full-time job and her family's needs to that. If you can address most of her concerns before wreaking havoc inside their home, that's value right there.
Example: How to Prepare for a Kitchen Remodeling Project
Write about safety and procedures, your daily inspection, or task reminders on what to do.
By creating a handbook post, you tell prospective clients the qualifications of an expert (insert your particular trade) contractor. This is a subtle way of showing your mastery and skills without being "salesy."
Example: What to Look Out for Before Hiring a Capet Installer
Nobody wants to talk about their failures, but your takeaways from these failures lead you to step up your game plan.
Example: My Painting Job That Went Horribly Wrong
Tips and Tricks
Helpful and bite-sized information. Whether you're talking about using a manual tool, choosing the right paint color, etc.
Tutorial with Video Demonstration
They can probably search this on YouTube, but it doesn't mean you cannot make one. This is part of positioning yourself as their "Go-to person." Telling your clients you know how to use your tools is one thing; showing them how is another.
What are the most common questions you've been asked? Is it about how you deliver your services? What time of day can they expect you to show up? Start taking notes of what your clients are asking or telling you. These little details can make up for an informative blog post.
Share a list of online resources related to your services
Example: 10 Inspiring Minimalist Bedrooms
Have you participated in a trade show? Attended an industry conference or a marketing event? It shows your keeping up with the industry standards and best practices.
Always remember - for every marketing material that you produce, think about your purpose and how it will benefit your target audience regardless if they hire your services or not.
Final thoughtsProviding value to your clients tells that you are serious about your construction business; providing it year-round builds your relationship with them, establishes your credibility in your local neighborhood, and makes you the "go-to" person in your particular industry. As we welcome the new year, I'll leave you with a simple Randalism that you can put into practice every day: Be. Do. Have. Be the person. Do the work. Have the results (or peace of mind). We believe contractors deserve to be wealthy as you add value to people's lives. If you believe it too, it will happen regardless of whose services you engage, including ours. Celebrate Life for every day is a good day no matter what happens; tomorrow is a new day. Happy New Year!