By Tammy Elizabeth Southin
If you run a contracting business, think twice before dismissing the idea of being on the Internet. You might ask “What could a Web site possibly do for my business when I get most of my work through referrals, and besides, I have more than enough work?” You should really ask “Can I afford not to have a Web site as a contractor?”
Even if you currently have a full workload, it will not be long before you need to attract additional clients to sustain a profitable business. True, many of those new clients are word-of-mouth recommendations. But instead of thinking in terms of simply reaching more customers, think of a Web site as the ability to reach those customers more effectively.
Contracting has always been a face-to-face industry from the first point of contact to the last nail hammered. Nothing can take the place of the personal interaction between you and your clients. But having a Web site will provide some very powerful benefits that add extra value to your marketing plan and endorse your reputation. Your Web site is your ever-available business card and educational public relations tool.
The contracting industry's somewhat shaky reputation demands any new client thoroughly conduct some research before hiring a contractor. With a Web site, you can effectively tell potential clients that they are making the right decision. Web sites give the added convenience of making you "available" 24/7. Your Web site works for you while you are busy working at your job or when you have hung up the tool belt for the night.
You do not need to spend a lot or learn a complicated computer program for an effective Web site. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional Web designer, make sure that you offer the following items to convert researchers into clients.
- Full contact information is essential as well as a contact form to make it easy to get in touch with you when requesting your free estimate offer.
- A picture is really worth one thousand words when it comes to your work. Include photos of your recent projects to proudly display your talents.
- Professional association memberships reassure your clients that you stand behind your work and your reputation.
- Demonstrate your qualifications even further by listing all of your trade licenses and certifications.
- Web sites are the new way to spread word-of-mouth referrals and promote your small business. Provide testimonials from satisfied clients, especially those who may consent to be contacted.
- A Frequently Asked Questions page can address common concerns such as your geographical territory, a list of services, and any guarantees for your work.
With an effective Web site, you help your small business hit the nail on the head when it comes to marketing your contracting services and promoting your building expertise.
About the Author
Tammy Elizabeth Southin is the President and Creative Director of Insurepronews Creative Solutions Inc., a small business offering customized newsletters and communication solutions to insurance brokers.