• Dave Strang

Contractor Marketing 101: How to Grow Your Business

While skills and construction knowledge are a vital part of being a successful contractor, your ability to market yourself and your business is just as important. Marketing is the gateway to communicating your value and grow your business. However, there’s more to marketing than advertising. Here’s how to market yourself, so you stand out from your competitors.

Begin with the marketing basics

Marketing sounds complicated, but like any trade, with the right tools and knowledge of the basics, you can build a solid platform to grow your business.

1. Register your business name

If you haven’t already done so, register your business. This is important if you have to register with the government of Canada before you can start operating. You can register your business with Ownr in just a few easy steps (and for a fraction of what you’d pay a lawyer). Ownr simplifies the process of starting up, so you have more time to focus on building your business while saving some money along the way.

2. Create a business website

Your website is a powerful digital marketing tool. It’s a place where prospective clients can learn more about you and see examples of your work. You can hire a marketing agency or freelance designer to create a site for you. But nowadays, it’s becoming easier to build a DIY website. Here are 7 tips for creating a great small business website:

  • Begin with choosing a domain name. Ideally, you want your domain name to match your business name. Sites like GoDaddy make it easy to see if the domain name is available and to register it.

  • Start with a simple website. Website builders such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace have free themes available for a professional-looking website that is user friendly.

  • Consider how many pages you want on your site. As well as a home page, you may wish to add an About Us page, a Services, and Contact Us page. Start small and add additional pages over time.

  • Harness SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Make it easy for Google to find you by using keywords that describe your trade, your target services, your city or town, and the areas you serve. Check out this SEO checklist for small businesses for more tips.

  • Post photos showcasing your previous projects, including before and after shots if you have them. Demonstrating how you can transform a living space will help win future business.

  • Ask previous clients if they can provide a testimonial. Most happy customers will be willing to oblige.

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and secure; a secure website will help improve your ranking on Google.

3. Set up social media accounts

Many of us are on at least one social media platform, and it’s a great tool to build brand awareness. Social media for business is all about engaging with customers and others in the industry. Choose one or two platforms you are already comfortable using, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. Remember to include a link to your social media accounts on your website and in your email signature.

Let your customers find you

Using Google My Business account helps customers find you and gives them a reason to choose your service. Your business profile means you can post photos of that latest kitchen reno, respond to customer reviews, and track how clients connect with you – important information when it comes to making decisions about your digital marketing dollars. The service is free, and you can register online. Read more about local SEO tips to optimize your business listings.

Advertise your contracting services

Whether you’re a landscaper or specialize in bathroom remodeling, advertising is an important part of marketing your business. It can take various forms, and no single channel is a silver bullet, so you’ll need a mix.

Invest in on-site signage

Professional signage on-site lets people know you are in the neighbourhood and is a cheaper alternative to advertising on a billboard.

Enlist your employees

Your employees are an extension of your brand. Consider providing them with branded gear to wear on-site, such as t-shirts, or invest in customized truck decals for your transport vehicles.

Advertise in your local media

Stay top-of-mind with clients and advertise locally. Depending on your budget and your brand, this could take the form of a traditional ad in a glossy magazine or digital advertising on online community newspapers.

Harness lead generation

While advertising can be helpful to increase your company’s footprint, new clients are often found through word of mouth or through generating new leads.

Follow-up with past customers

Previous clients can be a rich source of leads for your business. Once you have completed a job, follow up with a handwritten card thanking them for putting their trust in your business. Send periodic email newsletters focusing on topics your clients are interested in.

Properly manage client information

Do you keep track of prospective customers in a notebook, or have you set up a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system? While a CRM system sounds complicated, it’s a software program specially designed to help you properly track and manage your client’s information. It helps improve lead conversion and, therefore, your bottom line. Look for one specifically designed for the industry, such as UDA ConstructionOnline or BuilderTREND.

Smart Reno

Have clients come to you, not the other way around. Smart Reno pairs homeowners with their network of 7,500+ renovation experts across Canada. This service helps approved contractors, from electricians to painters to general contractors, find new clients. Smart Reno notifies you by phone or email of a new project, and you can accept or reject the job. If you’re interested, they’ll put you in touch with a customer directly. Learn more about becoming a contractor on Smart Reno.

Marketing your business gives you a professional edge over the competition. Give potential clients even more confidence by letting them pay the modern way with Renoshield. Get added to the waitlist by signing up for Renoshield and be the first to find out when we officially launch.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.