As we discussed in our last issue, 2021 is going to be a competitive year. If you want to succeed, you need to manage your business well (professional job bidding, accurate costing, etc.) AND you need a marketing plan to create new business!
So let’s talk about the basic components of a solid marketing plan:
- Your jobsite image. We’ve talked about this before but we want to emphasize it here because it may be the number one item on this list. Next year, every little thing you do to promote your business is important, including your image on the jobsite. Your equipment should be as clean as possible and well-maintained. Your part of the jobsite should be clean. At the end of the job day, take a few minutes to pick up trash and make the jobsite orderly. It is very possible that a future employer, or the GC you are currently working for, will notice how you manage your jobsite.
- Your website. This is one more touchpoint that gives you an opportunity to make a positive impression and present a professional image to prospective employers and customers. The key considerations are a clean, easy-to-read and navigate design; quick load time; and mobile friendliness. It is a great idea to include high quality photos that showcase your work. We also suggest that you do some basic on-page optimization, such as placing core keywords in your page titles and placing your address and phone number in the site footer.
- Google My Business. This is Google’s platform that allows you to inject much more information into Google search results about your business than by just letting Google figure it out on its own. You have likely seen business information that appears on the right side of a Google search results page that includes things like the business address, photos, reviews, etc. This information comes from Google My Business accounts.
- Networking. Potential employers need to know who you are. It would be a great idea to make in-person visits to the offices of General Contractors or other potential employers. If you are able to talk to someone, that’s great. Otherwise, just drop off a business card, or even better, a professional-looking marketing package.
- Marketing package. You can always just drop off a business card. BUT if you have a chance to make a more lasting impression, you should do so. We recommend you create a marketing package that includes a brochure with high quality photos of samples of your work, a nice looking business card, a letter, and whatever else you want to include (maybe some pens or a mug or something like that with your company logo)..
- Paid search. If someone in your market area goes to Google and searches for the type of work you do, wouldn’t it be great if your website came up first in the list? With paid search, that is very easy to do. Paid search allows you to push your website to the top of the stack by paying a fee for each click. It can be expensive, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you may not get results or end up spending way too much for too little results. But if done correctly, it can be very effective.
You may be FANTASTIC at performing your work, but in life and business, the ones who are the best are not always the ones who are most successful. You need to take off your hardhat and put on your businessman hat (if there were such a thing). If you have all the business you can handle and are not looking to grow, then maybe you don’t need to worry about these strategies. But even in that case, our warning would be that if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind.
Assuming you are looking to grow, then a marketing campaign that includes all of the above elements will give you a decisive advantage. Most of your competitors are probably not doing these things – certainly not all of them together.
One thing we did not mention above is print advertising. The reason is that print advertising can be VERY expensive. It can be effective, but the problem is that it is hard to track and measure. Our plan outlined above does not require a lot of money, outside of whatever professionals you hire to do certain things like website design or graphic design.
2021 is going to be a tough, competitive year. You need to be proactive in creating new business. Do the things that competing firms aren’t. Promote your business in a professional manner that improves your chance of success. Good luck!