For many contractors, the work doesn’t stop when the tools are put away. They are, after all not just building a deck or installing cabinets, they are also running a business. The truth is, there are some things that must be handled effectively in order to provide a successful future for the business and its employees. With that in mind, here are some tips to consider if you are managing your own contractor business:
- Provide great customer service. By doing so you will build customer loyalty and earn more referrals by distinguishing yourself above other contractors. Smart business practices such as keeping appointments, being on time, and returning phone calls are all part of quality customer service.
- Get the word out about the services that you offer. Online advertising may be popular in today’s market, but for local contractors, using more traditional methods of advertising such as local newspapers, radio stations and phone directory listings are still vital.
- Provide the best results possible. Since word-of-mouth is so important in generating new business for contractors, it makes sense that providing great results will net positive word-of-mouth. Make the effort to ask satisfied customers to let others know about the work that had been done. This can be achieved with testimonials on websites or social media, or even offering discounts to clients who refer others for business.
- You can increase your cash flow by being aware of, or making your sales staff aware, that not all sales are good sales. Extra time should be taken to thoroughly analyze jobs before taking them, thus avoiding the loss of much needed time and money.
- You can control your overhead by going over every expense. Things such as gas cards, vehicles, travel expenses, cell phones and other unnecessary costs can hurt your bottom line in the long run.
- Maintain an updated and centralized contact database. Keeping an easily accessible list of contacts is essential to maintaining quality customer service and cultivating new sales. Try to make the task of keeping contact information updated and thorough an ongoing activity going forward.
- Trust is paramount in the contracting business. First and foremost, make every effort to be an honest contractor. For every successfully completed job, you have a potential repeat customer. Repeat customers not only let you know that you’re doing your job right; they are an excellent source for word-of-mouth advertising.
- Always demand high-quality from yourself and your employees.
- When it comes to book keeping don’t leave any room for guesswork. If you are more comfortable working with customers and tools, it’s perfectly acceptable to outsource your bookkeeping.
Though much of this advice is universal, specifically for contractors, establishing trust with the customer is of the utmost importance.