If you are a tradesman yourself, perhaps a sole trader or a small business owner, you will be well aware of the saturated market in which your business sits and how reputation and differentiation is everything to get that phone ringing off the hook. Perhaps you are part of an accreditation scheme, such as TrustMark, whereby you can display the ‘Government-endorsed standards’ logo across your paperwork and vehicle livery – but how else can you really make the most of your business assets and unique selling points?
The virtual realms of social media and Google search results open up a whole new world of customers, ready to buy having mounds of research at the click of a few buttons. Getting information online is fast-paced, results-driven and is undoubtedly growing. Changing the habits which have allowed your business to flourish so far cannot be relied upon forever, as consumers become more review-focused, online driven and move away from firms that they can’t vet online.
So in order to capitalise on the online network of consumers and ensure your business is a foot above the rest, you can use some simple techniques which take up little of your time but have an enormous effect on your visibility. The two most important recommendations we would make are to gain a presence on social media, and have your own website.
Having your own website needn’t take months of preparation, nor be costly. Just a few web pages of key information will get the message across and give customers greater trust in your business, particularly if they can see pictures of previous jobs and read testimonials from other customers. Some companies offer small monthly costs as a means to get an online presence so it’s worth hunting for flexible, low-cost solutions.
In addition, you can supplement your website by using social media channels. For trade, the most used are Twitter and Facebook. Both are free to use and you can create an account separate to your own, provided you have another email address. You can tweet or create Facebook posts about the work you do and how people can get in touch, and it’s just another way in which you can be found. Sharing photos of your work could entice new customers.
TrustMark is the only Government-endorsed ‘find a tradesperson’ scheme in the UK. If you would like to become a TrustMark registered firm, visit www.trustmark.org.uk/tradespeople/how-to-join.
If you are a customer and would like to find a TrustMark Registered Firm in your area, visit www.trustmark.org.uk