For the average tradesperson, paperwork is seen as a chore — a necessary evil to keep the business running. The trades industry has been thriving for some years now, and a genuine market has emerged for financial experts who can guide tradespeople in the right direction and help keep their finances in check. But how can you win tradespeople as clients, especially when they’re always so busy?
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- Demonstrate the value of solid financial planning
- Explain how you can make your life easier
- Get targeted with your marketing
- Understand their business and grow yours
Here's our advice:
1. Demonstrate the value of solid financial planning
Many tradespeople, understandably, can feel a bit lost or disorganised when it comes to the admin side of their businesses. Often, they’ve built the business from the ground up, and by the time they notice that their finances are getting out of their control, it’s too late for them to try and right-ship. This is the stage where you can help.
A solid financial plan is one of the most important things that a business should have in place. Encourage trade business owners to start with a business plan to set their overall goals and from there you can assist them with financial goals to measure their success.
2. Explain how you can make life easier
Tradespeople are generally a time-poor bunch, so anything you can do to help them spend less time on their finances and more time on the tools is a win. Aside from crunching their numbers, give them advice on other ways they can boost their efficiency:
Preach the cloud
Trade businesses often struggle to get their accounts done, usually resorting to working through them late at night or during weekends.
In our latest Tradify Pulse Report, a survey of more than 600 trade business owners across Australia, New Zealand and the UK, 34% of tradespeople are still using pen and paper to get their admin done. This is a fact that needs to change. Swapping out their ‘receipts in a shoebox’ admin systems for cloud accounting software will help them streamline their businesses and save hours on the books.
Use the right tools that work together
Designed exclusively for the trade industry, Tradify is a smart job management solution with many time-saving features like on-the-go invoicing. It also has the scope to integrate with accounting software like Xero, Sage, and Quickbooks.
Tradify seamlessly integrates with accounting software in the UK, US, AU and NZ.
Tick all their boxes
Accounts and bookkeeping are your forté, but if you want to appeal to tradespeople, try branching out. Tradespeople like to keep things simple, and the more proverbial birds they can kill with one stone, the better. If you can, expand your services to include insurance advice, vehicle financing, and equipment budgeting. If you can’t take on the extra responsibility, try putting together a network of trusted contacts so you can point your clients in the right direction.
3. Get targeted with your marketing
While you might not be down with much trade-specific lingo, that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with an audience of tradespeople. Here are some tips to help you reach out and appeal to trade business owners:
Create a trades-focussed landing page
Create a landing page on your firm’s website that’s tailored to tradespeople. This should showcase your services, skills, expertise, and be the virtual touch-stone for all the marketing and advertising you do in this sector.
Create a bespoke trades package
Tradespeople want simplicity and transparency. By creating a bespoke package that meets the accounting needs of tradespeople, you’ll make their decisions easy. Make sure this features on your landing page.
Ditch the jargon
Keep your communication simple, casual, and friendly. Leave the accounting terminology at the office. Learn about the industry that your clients are in and consider how this affects the way that they are used to digesting information. Once you understand this, then you can translate what you’re trying to convey into terms that your clients can absorb easily and without risk of misunderstanding.
Communicate on their platforms of choice
While email may be your preference, tradespeople might prefer picking up the phone for a quick chat, a face-to-face meeting, or even a simple text message. So, find out how your clients like to communicate and adjust accordingly!
When it comes to finances, tradespeople aren’t just looking for accountants — they’re looking for lawyers and business advisors too. To expand your reach, consider creating a joint marketing campaign or partnership with other local firms in the business/finance world.
Visit them on-site
Schedule a site visit to see what goes on during a typical tradesperson’s day. You’ll see first-hand how much juggling goes on, and it’ll help you to understand the quirks and everyday struggles of the industry. The more you know about the industry, the better you’ll be able to tailor your marketing to suit.
The social effect
Use your firm's social media platforms to post relevant information that is trade-specific. Talk about compliance changes, industry trends, and other news that may interest prospective clients. This helps tradespeople view you as a source of helpful information and raises your profile as a trusted industry expert.
Head along to trade shows
Trade shows are full of prospective trade clients. Your presence at these events will enable you to reach tradespeople as they’re looking at making business changes. Even if you don’t leave with new clients signed up, it’ll help build your industry knowledge and grow your network.
Be a cheerleader for the trades
Similarly to accountants, tradespeople are often stereotyped as being tough to get through to. The more tradespeople you meet and work with, the more you’ll come to realise these assumptions are not true. Support the industry by sponsoring awards for your local trade associations, lending your voice to trade business issues and keeping your clients informed about changes that affect them.
4. Understand their business and grow yours
Working with tradespeople is a lucrative and rewarding niche for accountants, but it needs to be done right — your success will rely on truly understanding their business. By empowering them with the knowledge and tools to run a successful business, you’ll quickly become a hammer to their nail.