As a contractor, your goal is to give your customers high-quality work. Your goal is always to do the best job you can at a fair price for your client. You need to find the balance between offering lower prices than the competition and making a reasonable living for yourself and your family. The quality of your work will most likely be the deciding factor in the success or failure of your business.
In order to compete in today’s marketplace, you need to have the right tools for the job. We are not talking about wrenches and hammers here. The assumption is that you know which tools you need to accomplish a job and have invested in them already. The tools we are going to talk about here are in some cases more abstract than a screwdriver and are often linked to the growth of technology that has entered into almost every part of our lives.
So let’s take a look at 4 tools that the modern contractor should be using to help them secure new customers and maintain relationships with past clients.
1. Contractor Financing
When you are approaching a prospective client, you may have little or no sense of their financial situation or their ability to pay for the work they are requesting. However, this is an extremely important factor for all but the smallest jobs. Many projects that you will be engaged to complete come with a substantial price tag attached. You really do not want to be wasting your time talking up projects that your client cannot afford.
Customers who want home improvements often understand that they will need to obtain financing in order to get their project completed. Rather than spending your time searching for an answer to the question of how to find financing for my customers, you can take the initiative and offer contractor financing to your potential clients.
Providing financing to customers has advantages for all parties involved. From the contractor’s perspective, they know they will be getting paid and can use the availability of financing as an incentive to sign with their company. The client has a simplified road to obtaining the required financing and may be able to expand the original scope of the project with the additional funds that can be made available to them.
2. Social Media Presence
In today’s world, ignoring social media and its ability to connect with your customers is a mistake that could spell disaster for your business. People are sharing and connecting through social media at an ever-increasing rate, and there are a number of ways that you can use this to your business’ advantage.
Perhaps the most obvious way that social media can help your business is in advertising your business through a social media platform. This could be creating a Facebook business page where you can highlight successful projects that you have completed. Using social media in this way is basically the modern-day equivalent to generating word-of-mouth interest in your company. Getting visitors to like and share your page will attract more visitors, including potential customers.
Publishing videos and photos that showcase your work is a powerful tool to be used when engaged with a new customer. Rather than just telling them of your past exploits, you can direct them to your page where they can see the quality of your work for themselves.
A positive online presence developed through social media can also help you attract quality employees, and build your business’ reputation. Be sure to take advantage of the tool of social media. A tip is to address all of your online reviews, whether positive or negative, in a meaningful way.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
According to enerbank.com, using the right Customer Relationship Management tool can help you attract more customers while freeing up your time and keeping your staffing needs to a minimum. A CRM tool is a software application that will run on your business computer. It will help you keep existing customers happy, which translates into return business and more profits for your company.
There are many CRM tools available that can service a wide variety of businesses. Some are generic tools meant for any type of enterprise, but there are also tools that target a specific industry. CRM tools designed specifically for use by contractors are now widely available and should be used to give your business a competitive edge.
Some of the benefits that you can attain by using a CRM system developed for contractors are:
- Track leads and follow up with your hottest prospects.
- Easily schedule meetings, phone calls, and tasks related to specific customers.
- Manage invoices, purchase orders, and inventory
- Keep up with current customers to entice referrals
Take the time to find the right CRM tool for your level of computer expertise and the functionality that your business needs.
4. Mobile Technology
A commonality of all the tools previously mentioned is that all of them will work with mobile technology. Using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets lets you bring your online presence with you to any face-to-face customer meeting. Notevault.com states that over 70% of construction professionals are using smartphones, with a slightly lower percentage using tablets and laptops on the job.
The benefits of using mobile technology are tremendous, and to stay competitive in today’s market you need to take advantage of anything that might give you an edge over your rivals. You will have a much better chance of closing a deal if you can whip out your tablet and show the client your portfolio from your Facebook page than if you ask them to look it up later. It could well be the difference between closing a deal right now and losing the customer to another contractor. Other advantages are that you can monitor and track equipment and respond to emails while in the field.
These are some of the modern tools that contractors need to consider using to increase the profitability of their company. It is no longer good enough to be handy with a hammer and nails. You need to get your hands dirty with a little technology as well.
Was this article helpful and informative? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and tell us what tech devices have become essential to your everyday business routine as a contractor.
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