In our particular area of the UK (we are builders in Torquay, South Devon, Exeter, The South Hams, Plymouth and Newton Abbot) work can often be hard to come by. Our colleagues in other parts of the country tell us that is much the same for them. It is therefore a nationwide concern for builders and others who are involved in the construction industry, such as building materials suppliers, scaffolders and all the associated trades, to make sure that they have a sufficient amount of work on their books – not just now but for the future. But how do we manage to get this work in a very competitive economic situation?
There are several ways of doing this, some of which are likely to be more successful than others.
Advertising in the local press, the Yellow Pages and, more recently, on the internet are the staple way for builders to try to get in work. This can be effective on a local basis but it can also prove expensive. Especially in the case of Yellow Pages advertising, the competition can be fierce, with the larger concerns paying for the bigger, more prominent adverts.
Delivering leaflets to a local audience can be an effective way to attract new customers. If you wish to conduct a leaflet marketing campaign it is important to keep the content straightforward and punchy. There are so many leaflets that are delivered either directly or as part of the mail service, that you will need to try to capture the imagination of prospective customers with the content of your leaflets.
Most building concerns now have their own dedicated website. Many also compliment this with Facebook and Twitter accounts. Social media advertising is becoming more and more popular, with almost one billion people subscribing to Facebook! Make sure that your online advertising tells the public what you do and why they should choose your business. Use photographs of your work and include any commendations from satisfied customers. Consider paying for someone to optimise your site so that it appears prominently in search results. Although historically building companies have shied away from internet advertising, it is impossible to ignore it now.
Word of Mouth
Linked to the issue of commendations, advertising by word of mouth can be invaluable. If a customer tells you that he or she is happy with your work, ask them to pass this on to any of their friends, whether they are considering any building work or not. If you are remembered as someone that a friend has recommended, you are already in a position of advantage when it comes to them handing out the contract.
There is not very much that a new building business can do under this heading, other than try, from day 1, to develop a good reputation as an efficient, reliable, honest and professional building concern. The longer the builder manages to sustain this the more his reputation and, in turn, his business, is likely to flourish.
Whichever way that you try to keep your work coming in, the essential thing is to concentrate on showing why your business is better than the competition and that potential customers will find that contracting your firm has been a positive experience for them.That’s what we do in Torquay, South Devon and the South West and, so far, it seems to be working!