Winning new work is the lifeblood of any small to medium business, as a constant stream of work coming in the door, allows the rest of the company to flow smoothly. However, you don’t need to spend large amounts of money to see a return on your investment. Here are five ways to win more work for your business with little to no upfront spend.
Always be building trust
Perception of your business in the marketplace has a significant impact on how much work you'll win. Your outward-facing channels such as your website, emails, promotional material and social media all need to align. Trust is a big factor when a customer is deciding on whether to hire you or not. Adding things like licenses, certifications, insurances and reviews to your website or perhaps a letterhead will help your business stand out from its competitors.
Marketing need not cost you a fortune or be extravagant in nature. Well thought out and well-placed communications can often bring you far higher returns, when in alignment with the rest of the business.
Be sure to highlight the services you provide in a simple and easy to understand way and use imagery (avoid stock photos if at all possible!) to add interest to your communications.
So where do you start?
Tell A Story
Whether you're doing small odd jobs or big project work, you need to walk your customers through the buying journey, all the while helping them understand who your business is and what you stands for. Consider these few elements.
- Talk about your experience and give a few examples of your work. This will help the customer to understand what they can expect from you.
- Show your love for what you do by sharing stories of how you started and what keeps you going. Your passion and enthusiasm for your profession will shine through and significantly improve your chances of winning work.
- Always be professional. This is across all facets of the business - whether it be networking at a local business event, on the phones managing customers or orders or while out on a job in uniform. Every interaction you have, especially when 'in uniform' with a potential customer will impact your brand reputation. Things like spelling and grammar on your website or in emails also reflect on the professionalism of your business. So be careful and spellcheck!
A quote is basically your very first contact with a customer. Make an impression by providing a customised price and message, then following up with a personalised call or email. Taking care and time when quoting will not go unnoticed, and will greatly increase your chance of winning the work. Keep it simple and thorough, being sure to paint a complete picture for the customer.
Ask for a review or testimonial
Reviews are the perfect way to show off your unique selling points and build trust with more potential customers. Following up after a job and asking for a review can be done through email after sending an invoice, or over the phone.
There are many review websites, which can be a great platform including Google reviews, Facebook Reviews or Word of Mouth.
Now and then businesses come across a negative review. It’s important not to get discouraged; take this as an excellent opportunity and a challenge to improve. Responding to the feedback is normally worth doing, and seeing what you can to rectify the issue. Here are some useful tips to help you with your response:
- Follow up with a thoughtful and positive response. Customers will see that you are responsive and solution-oriented.
- Apologise as appropriate. Sometimes an unhappy customer will make a great point, which can offer a great learning point. Show that your business cares and that you are taking steps towards improvement.
Add to your pipeline
Increasing the channels through which customers can find you and request quotes will increase your online footprint, and in turn, the potential to win work. Social media is a good start, as are ads in local newspapers. But what is really starting to gain momentum are online marketplaces such as Oneflare, who exist to connect ready-to-buy customers to businesses who can help them.
Receiving the right leads in the areas you service is key to saving you time and improving your chances of winning work without the hefty upfront costs. Here’s how it works:
- Customers come to Oneflare looking for qualified businesses to carry out a service. Whether it is a home renovation, garden landscaping project, or plumbing job, over 60,000 customers are looking to get their jobs done across 150+ business categories. And your business could be part of this.
- We send you customers’ job notifications that match your preferences. When you sign up for free, you will be able to share your business details, such as service type and area of expertise. Oneflare then matches you with all job notifications that fit your requirements and sends you all the details of the job, instantly, on-the-go.
- Use credits to win work. If you are interested in the job request we have sent, you can purchase credits to send the customer your price estimate (we call this a quote). The amount of credits it is to send a quote is displayed on the job request. Credits will be refunded back to your account on any quotes that have gone unseen by the customer for 48 hours, or if the customer informs us they no longer need the job done.
- By signing up for free and quoting on jobs, you’re automatically exposed to customers who are specifically looking for services you offer.
Introducing yourself and your business to new customers needn’t be a stressful or difficult task. Be smart about your marketing and build trust with your customers and you’re well on your way to winning more work.
Becchara Palmer is the Content Specialist at Oneflare, an online marketplace helping trade businesses pick up more work.