There’s a lot of competition out there, so making yourself stand out from the crowd is an important part of growing your business.
Building your reputation as a trusted tradesperson takes a bit of time but it can all be worthwhile if customers keep coming back to you or recommend you to their friends and family.
There are a number of ways to build trust, including the way you work, the way you communicate with your customers, and increasing your presence online.
Nobody likes being let down, especially by someone they’re relying on to do important work for them.
Make sure you turn up on time and let your customers know if you’re going to be late. They might have somewhere they need to be and it’s good practice to keep them informed if you aren’t going to make it on time.
If you need to delay the job, explain the reasons why and give a clear time frame for when you can get started. Most customers will understand and won’t mind waiting if they know you’re someone they can rely on.
- Clean up after yourself – this may sound like an obvious one but leaving your customer’s property clean and tidy at the end of the day leaves a good impression and shows that you care.
- Don’t cut corners – your professional pride should hopefully stop you taking short cuts. Doing the job properly, even if it takes a bit longer than you thought, will always be appreciated by your customers.
- Look the part – how you present yourself and your business is important. If your van and business cards are on point, customers are more likely to think your work will be up to the same standard.
- Join the club – It creates a good impression if you’re a member of a professional trade organisation. It adds to your credibility and shows that you’re following the correct regulations set out by your trade body.
If you’re a sole trader, it’s unlikely, you’ll have time to maintain a website, but online reviews and social media are a simple and speedy way to get yourself out there.
Research from Checkatrade found that almost half of customers check online reviews before they purchase anything.
You can build up a nice portfolio of reviews by setting up a business profile on Google reviews. You can then give your customers a link on email, WhatsApp or text message when you’ve finished the job and ask them to leave a review.
It’s quick and easy to set up and gives you a presence online where potential customers can find you.
Setting up a Facebook page for your business is also a good place for customers to leave reviews and if you’re feeling adventurous, you could share some of your work on TikTok.
Follow up with your customers when you’ve finished the job to make sure they’re happy with everything.
Ask them if they have any questions or if they have any issues. This shows that you care about your work and build trust that will make them think of you next time they’ve got something that needs doing.
It’s a good idea to do this by email, so you get the chance to include that all important review link!