Getting enough work to stay busy is a challenge that many contractors face from time to time. A good marketing plan that relies on consistent and beneficial messages to your prospects will help over the long run. But there are a few things that can help jump-start your efforts and get you business NOW.
- Take someone to lunch – Let’s face it, everybody likes to get a free lunch. Depending on your specialty, find someone who could refer one or two new projects to you. It might be a real estate agent, a landlord with a few rental properties, or a home builder. Just ask them to lunch and then ask them questions about THEIR business so you can see what you can offer to them.
- Offer to speak at Rotary or Chamber of Commerce meetings – Most of these local types of business organizations need a speaker who is entertaining enough to keep people’s attention and willing to offer their speech for free. Think about the one area of your business that gets the most questions and come up with a 15 minute speech explaining the subject.
- Look for ways to refer business – This may sound odd, but if you consistently send different types of jobs to a handful of trusted contractors, you will likely receive your own referrals. If you are a kitchen remodeler, find a good tile man to refer jobs to. Likewise, if you lay tile, tell customers about your trusted source for remodeling bathrooms and kitchens.
- Set up a lunch or dinner meeting with other contractors – Most contractors have a few pearls of wisdom that could greatly benefit other business owners. Ask some of the contractors that they know if they would like to meet for lunch or cup of coffee to take part in a brainstorming session. Have a little structure to the meeting but keep it flexible enough to encourage people to willingly throw out their own ideas.
- Create a Meetup group – Meetup is this decade’s version of the business card exchange or LeTip. Get 5 or 10 other contractors together and you now have a mastermind group who can develop ideas and strategies (and possibly work together) on marketing ideas and advertising campaigns.
The point is, moving out of your comfort zone and finding like-minded business people is a good way to learn new ways of handling business and possibly pick up a referral or two.