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About the Author

Arpana is inspired by the ever changing digital realm, with a great appreciation for businesses seizing digital opportunities. Captivated by the online world, she is also a victim of the travel bug, having endeavoured international experiences such as studying in Denmark and the UK, and volunteering in Peru.

Michaela Clark

 

Michaela Clark from Tradies VA offers specialised advice to the trade industry on technology, outsourcing and online marketing to help save you time, money and stress. Here are Michaela’s tips on using smartphone technology to market your business.

 

It’s the never-ending challenge facing business owners.  You need to market your business but finding the time is well – near impossible! Just imagine if you could market your business, in just 5 minutes a day and from anywhere in the world.  Have I got your attention now?

The explosion in smartphone technology is now making marketing easier than ever and yes – you can now market your business from the job site.

So here are 5 easy ways to get started:

1. YouTube & Video Marketing

Video marketing is one of the easiest and best ways to market your business.  Did you know there are over 6 billion hours of video watched every month on YouTube?  And it is also the second biggest search engine next to Google (who own YouTube)!

So what kind of videos can you record while on the road? Just about anything really:

  • Examples of poor workmanship
  • Signs and problems customers should look out for
  • When customers have left a problem too long
  • ‘How-To’ videos
  • ‘Before and After’ videos
  • Examples of your work
  • Staff interviews

Remember to optimise your video title and description with keywords, and make sure you place your website address at the top of your description box.   Also share the link to your videos on your website as an article or blog post – in addition to social media sites and newsletters.  Google will index your YouTube video, which benefits your search ranking and will drive a whole new audience to your website.

2. Customer referral sites

Customer referral sites can be a great way to get new leads and grow your business.  Push notifications and emails to your phone will let you know as soon as new leads are available, enabling you to respond quickly increasing your chances of winning the quote.

3. Social Media

Live it or loathe it – social media is here to stay.  Using the likes of Facebook and other social platforms is a cost effective way to grow your audience and customer base but there are a few strategies you need to put in place, otherwise it can be a waste of time.

One of those is consistency.  Being able to add status updates, photos and videos on the road is a great way to keep your social media up to date and working for your business.  Just one update a day can make all the difference.

Remember just taking a quick snap of a job or project done well by your team is all it takes.

4. Creating a memorable customer experience

Just making some small changes to the way you deal with customers can be all you need to stay ahead of your competitors.

  • Ensure you have all the relevant job information on hand in a cloud based job management system, which allows you to complete the job in an accurate and timely matter.  Nothing is as powerful as having all the information you need in the palm of your hand anywhere, anytime.
  • Text your customer if you are running late or to confirm their appointment times
  • Use Google Maps as your GPS so you know your travel times and routes, avoiding getting lost and being just another tradie that is late to a job.
  • Call the customer to follow up on the job or the quote, sometimes nothing beats a quick phone call!  Sadly it seems to be such a rare occurrence these days so that little extra touch will be remembered.  Don’t forget that the cheapest and most effective marketing strategy is word of mouth and social proof and those little touches can make all the difference.

5. On site quoting

So it’s not marketing as you would traditionally think of it, but on site quoting is a great way to ensure your marketing effort isn’t wasted.

Get the wow factor and convert more leads into sales by sending customers instant electronic quotes while you are still onsite.

You can add photos, videos and drawings to customise electronic quotes easy.  While you’re there, secure the job by getting their onscreen signatures for the work to proceed.  Convenient, easy and hassle free for everyone.

And there you have it.  Quick, simple and no cost marketing methods that any tradie can implement TODAY.  So get that phone out of your pocket and get started!

About the Author

Arpana is inspired by the ever changing digital realm, with a great appreciation for businesses seizing digital opportunities. Captivated by the online world, she is also a victim of the travel bug, having endeavoured international experiences such as studying in Denmark and the UK, and volunteering in Peru.

Image_We Wash Windows_v2

1. What type of business are you in? Tell us about the story behind your business.

Simply put, We Wash Windows. Our company name leaves no questions. My father in-law bought the company 10 years ago and as of Jan 1st this year, I purchased it from him. I was in the midst of needing a career change and thought I’d try this temporarily while I was applying for the police force. I LOVED it, I haven’t looked back. We service mainly residential customers, I love meeting new people.

 2. Tell us about the challenges you face as a small business owner. 

Like every small business owner wearing multiple hats is a large challenge. It can be hard to maintain any sort of flow when you’re changing tasks midstream. Finding staff is also a challenge; the work is hard, harder than some people might think.

3. Who do you look up to as a small business owner?

There have been a few people that have taught me valuable business lessons. My first employer taught me about customer service; he was incredibly good with people. He made them feel welcome by being sincere. Another employer taught me that if you can pull tomorrows business forward and get it done today, do it! And make more business tomorrow.

4. What is the most rewarding aspect about owning your own business?

People that aren’t entrepreneurs will say “you get to do what you want” or “you get to pick your own hours”. That’s so far from the truth it isn’t funny. I would say the rewards come from building something that you can be proud of; I want to look back and know that I built a successful business using Integrity, honesty and hard work.

5. What is the most interesting job you or your fieldworkers have completed?

We see SO many amazing houses, it’s hard to say. We’ve seen priceless pieces of art, priceless cars and incredible views.

About the Author

Arpana is inspired by the ever changing digital realm, with a great appreciation for businesses seizing digital opportunities. Captivated by the online world, she is also a victim of the travel bug, having endeavoured international experiences such as studying in Denmark and the UK, and volunteering in Peru.

Image_Work Life Balance

Let’s face facts: running a small business can eat up a lot of your time. But juggling personal and professional commitments does not have to be a struggle.

So take the weight off your shoulders with these simple tips.

Work hard. Play hard.

Maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. An active lifestyle will clear your mind and increase your productivity. Make it possible by following a simple routine.

Start your day with a morning walk. You’ll feel revitalised and bring a fresh perspective to work. Eat well. Plan recipes for the week to save you time and ensure a balanced diet.

Flexibility for more Mobility

Be flexible. It’s possible with cloud computing. There’s no need to be tied to your workshop office. Complete tasks such as invoicing and reporting on the go!

Stringent Timing

Do you dwell on minor tasks? Draw a schedule and stick to it. Give each task a reasonable timeframe. This will inspire you to complete your day-to-day duties in due time. But best of all, you will find yourself leaving the workshop earlier, with more time to spend at your leisure.

Work life balance will have a positive impact on your work flow. Engaging with family and friends, and making time for yourself is important to enhance motivation.

How do you manage your work and social life? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear.

 

About the Author

Arpana is inspired by the ever changing digital realm, with a great appreciation for businesses seizing digital opportunities. Captivated by the online world, she is also a victim of the travel bug, having endeavoured international experiences such as studying in Denmark and the UK, and volunteering in Peru.

Belderbos Lanscape_Image1

What type of business are you in? Tell us about the story behind your business.

Belderbos Landscapes Limited is a high-end landscape design, build and garden Maintenance Company. We work for private and commercial clients all over London.

The business was established by Ed Belderbos in 2004. Ed is a qualified Landscape Architect but has always been passionate about construction as well as design. Prior to setting up his own business, Ed was a Captain in the British Army – the perfect foundation for people management!

Tell us about the challenges you face as a small business owner.

Being a small business, means that you are nimble and can adapt to changing circumstances quickly. We enjoy being a small business and all the challenges that we face. Everyone in the company plays a critical role in the success and growth. As a small business, you can’t afford to have people who do not work hard or with the wrong attitude.

Who do you look up to as a small business owner?

We admire anyone who has the focus and determination to set-up their own business. It takes hard work and is not for the faint-hearted. It is always inspirational to read books, written by famous entrepreneurs or business people who lead companies.

What is the most rewarding aspect about owning your own business?

Being in control and meeting lots of different people from all walks of life is always very rewarding and enjoyable. I am never stuck in an office all week and every day is different, visiting construction sites and meeting people to discuss their gardens. Having my own business is varied, interesting and never boring!

What is the most interesting job you or your fieldworkers have completed?

We undertake lots of interesting jobs, ranging from roof gardens in Central London, to large estates in the Home Counties. Access to sites in Central London can often present us with challenges and the traffic congestion always has to be factored into our daily planning.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t risk more than you can afford to lose.

 

About the Author

Arpana is inspired by the ever changing digital realm, with a great appreciation for businesses seizing digital opportunities. Captivated by the online world, she is also a victim of the travel bug, having endeavoured international experiences such as studying in Denmark and the UK, and volunteering in Peru.

connectrix_Image_v2

1. What type of business are you in? Tell us about the story behind your business.

Established in the year 2000, Connectrix specialises in underground reticulation using the latest in sub surface technology. We have an experienced team operating a range of specialised equipment to install conduits for power, telecommunications, and ultrafast broadband fibre. Connectrix also undertakes open cut trenching for these verticals as well as more general excavation work, site clearing and foundation work, roading and the installation of pit, cabinets and plinths.

2. Tell us about the challenges you face as a small business owner.

Our greatest challenge this year is managing growth, we have been extensively involved in the infrastructure rebuild following the earthquakes and we are now the main civil sub-contractor for fibre to the home installations in Canterbury. We are projecting four-fold growth in the next 12months.

3. Who do you look up to as a small business owner?

Warren Buffet

4. What is the most rewarding aspect about owning your own business?

Providing employment and growing a great team.

5.  What is the most interesting job you or your fieldworkers have completed?

For me re-doing our IT and comms systems, for the boys: they are enjoying the new challenges of the fibre network.

6.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Manage your cash-flow, a profitable company can still fail without well managed cash flow.