Being your own boss is awesome. You’ve built up a strong relationship with your own pool of customers, and you don’t have to answer to someone else.
But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. When you work for yourself, you have to learn how to budget and bring in new jobs. And if you have tradies or an apprentice on your team, they’re counting on you for new work so they can pay the bills.
Unlike big companies, you don’t have thousands to invest in fancy advertising campaigns. However, finding more work doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are five budgeting tips to help you bring in more work for less.
1. Create a Google My Business listing
Google is the most common place people look, whether they want to find a local mechanic or a sparky. Having a Google My Business listing means that when someone in the area searches for your trade, you’ll have a better chance of showing up. Plus, it’s free.
Let’s say you’re a plumber in Wollongong, Australia. If a customer is looking for someone to unclog a drain, they might Google ‘plumber Wollongong’. If you have a Google My Business listing and you’ve listed ‘plumbing’ as your industry, your business will show up in the search like the one below. This means you’re making it as easy as possible for potential customers to find out about your company. The more people that see your business, the more calls you’ll get for jobs.
2. Use reviews
You work hard to build up your reputation. Now it’s time to make your hard work work for you.
Customers trust business recommendations from other customers, and reviews are an important way for your business to stand out from the competition.
It’s easier than you think to get more online reviews for your business. In most cases, all you need to do is ask! When you finish up a job, ask your customers to leave a review on Google or on your Facebook page if they’re happy with your work. With glowing reviews, future customers will trust that you’ll do the job well.
3. Work on your pipeline
It’s tough and stressful to just take jobs on the fly, because you’re never guaranteed a certain amount of income from one week to the next. That’s where having a solid business pipeline makes a huge difference.
Your business pipeline is the process that you go through when you get a call from a potential customer. For example, when you get asked to quote for a job, you might go through a list of things to do like “Get a quote request from a customer > Contact customer > Send quote to customer > Follow up”. That’s your pipeline.
Having a clear pipeline process is important because it helps you get organised, and ensures nothing slips through the cracks. For example, you might have some customers who contact you for a quote for an upcoming home reno, but they aren’t ready to commit until six months from now. They would be at the ‘follow up’ stage. If you don’t track this and forget, you might lose out on the job.
Although you can manually keep track of your sales pipeline, this takes up time and things get messy if you have a lot of jobs to juggle. Job management software helps ease the load because you can keep track of your pipeline in one place from your phone.
4. Deliver accurate quotes
While you’re swamped with things to do, it’s easy to give a loose quote for a job rather than sitting down and working out the numbers. However, this might mean you overquote for a job, and a potential customer looking at their budget planner might decide to go with a competitor who quoted a lower rate than you.
A job quote app is a life-saver for time-poor tradies. You save time and can be more accurate by auto-generating quotes based on fixed rates, or rates from previous jobs. This beats manually going back and looking for prices, or spending time making a new quote in Excel. Plus, it’s accessible from your smartphone, so you can quickly send off quotes on the go.
5. Check in with existing customers
Your existing customers are one of the best places to look for new jobs. They already have a relationship with you and trust you, so they’re more likely to come back to you for future work.
Hop on a call or shoot an email across to check in with your past customers. Ask them if everything was okay with the last job, and see if they need help with something else. You’ll be surprised how many jobs are out there if you just ask.
With these tips on advertising budgeting for small business, you can bring in more work without breaking the bank.
Looking to grow your business on a low budget? Geo is just what you’re looking for. Using our job management software, generate quotes, keep track of previous jobs and work on your pipeline — all in one place. Try it for free now.
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