Most people have just 7 seconds to make a strong first impression. And according to Business Insider, there’s a great deal you can do within those 7 seconds to influence how a new customer perceives you. You know the basics, now follow our tradesmen guide on how to make your presence last that little bit longer.

Transparency

It is important to be transparent while working in the trades; whether you are a labourer, electrician or plasterer. Not all tradesmen make their money from an honest day’s work like you do!

1. Focus on your main skills and strengths rather than attempting to be a `Jack of all trades`.
2. Provide them with a breakdown of the costs they will accrue before starting the job, giving them the opportunity to ask questions.
3. If they are a returning client, why not offer them reduced rates for a limited time only? Explore the market first, though- you are making a living out of your passion, and shouldn’t undercut yourself.

Create an Online Portfolio

With many of your customers born into the digital age, you want them to find a plethora of supporting material online as to why they should chose you. Gone are the days of the Yellow Pages being their most trusted source, and word of mouth being your only recommendation.

1. Do your homework on various platforms that your customers may expect to find you on and invest time into building a presence, such as an accreditation packed LinkedIn or a glowing profile on Checkatrade.
2. Self-marketing doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg; it’s about putting yourself at the forefront. Opt for a Facebook business page instead of multi-tasking a personal one, and encourage your returning customers to leave reviews with photographs.

 

A CUT ABOVE THE REST: Create a glowing portfolio online

Stay on Brand

Not only is branding great for effortless advertising, but it will make your business ooze with professionalism.
1. Spread brand awareness wherever you go- a logo on a polo shirt or a simple business card will not cost you much.
2. Branded receipts and estimates can be a nice touch, and can be mocked up in programs such as Microsoft Word with little effort. Why not seek support from your children or friends who might have the skills to do this for you?
3. Don’t worry too much about establishing your brand straight away; this will come with experience and valuable feedback from your customers. Consider what your company’s values are- efficiency, building on a budget, approachability- and reflect them in your branding.

Hire an Apprentice

Hiring an apprentice will do wonders for your reputation. In today’s competitive climate, giving young people the opportunity to hone their skills is a respectable thing to do.

1. Train them up to your company standards, and ensure they feel comfortable among your senior workers.
2. Having an apprentice will give you a fresh pair of eyes, and they’ll even make sure your tools are nicely stored and in good working order!

 

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GETTING STUCK IN: Hiring an apprentice is great for business

 

Communicate Well

Keep your customers updated while you are getting the job done, they will appreciate knowing their property is in good hands.

1. Chat to them while they’re pouring you a cup of tea, and let them know what you vision as the finished product.
2. The customer doesn’t need a play by play, but checking they are happy with how things are progressing will minimise any anxieties they feel. Be clear about what you are capable of as a tradesman, too.
3. Honesty really is the best policy, and if your customer is asking too much, it’s better to regulate their expectations early on.

Brush up on Business Insurance Cover

Ensuring you have the correct business cover is vital; it will protect you and your customers before, during and after the job. Keep your policy documents in a safe place, so they can be presented upon request. Your insurance package will need updating as your business grows, too- particularly if you are adding apprentices (paid or unpaid) onto the policy.

Commercial Cover from The Insurance Octopus

From builders to plumbers and gardeners to carpenters, we can provide insurance for over 900 different trades giving you the protection you need for your business.
Fundamental elements of insurance are required as a tradesman to protect you and your business, for example liability cover, cover for your tools and property damage, The Insurance Octopus can provide this for you.