Some Tips to Help Grow Your Electrical Business
No one can deny the distress in the electrical construction sector at the moment. It begs the issue of why certain businesses are having banner quarters while others are going down.
Factors like market share may be at blame. There is a great deal of diversity among electrical contracting companies. EC&M's Top 50 Electrical Contractors list is dominated by roll-ups, and even the biggest businesses on the list have just around 0.5% market share, while the players lower on the list have only 0.1% market share. Approximately 60,000 more electrical contractors are left with a far smaller slice of the pie. So what does this have to do with anything?
The point is that, in this economy, even the biggest electrical contractors don't need a huge increase in business in order to stay afloat or make any headway. You can do it too, because they did it. Here are three grassroots marketing strategies that, regardless of the economy, have a good chance of producing steady outcomes that can help your business expand.
1. Word of Mouth MarketingIt's not often that we go straight to the yellow pages, find the "painters" section, and start making calls when we're thinking of giving our house a new coat of paint. You probably have at least one friend, family, or neighbor whose home was recently painted. For a recommendation, this is the first person you should contact. The power of positive (or negative) word of mouth cannot be overstated.
How then can you make the most of this possibility?
Offering exceptional customer service is, of course, the finest "brand-building" strategy there is (as defined by the customer). What would it take to waste this chance? If you want to know the power of word of mouth, just try providing subpar service to your customers. The old adage goes that "bad news spreads like wildfire."
Branding one's name effectively increases its likelihood of being remembered. The success of your business may be measured by how well-known your brand is and how often its ideals are called to mind. Your business card in a meeting, your employees' demeanor and service in public, the appearance of your company's vehicles, the clothes your employees wear to work, the stickers you strategically place on finished projects, and any other interaction with a potential customer are all examples of brand touch points.
2. Keep in touch with your existing client baseAfter completing a job, the last thing a contractor wants to hear about is a warranty claim. A warranty term should be seen not as the time until you are free of responsibility, but as an opportunity to present your organization to the building owner. The general contractor is usually where an electrical contractor's liability lies. You do their bidding, keep in touch with them, and patiently wait to be compensated.
Even after a project is over, the owner or end user may continue to have need of your services. By visiting or calling the end-user and emphasizing that you want to make sure they have all your contact information in case there are any issues with the equipment you installed, you can quickly establish yourself and your team as a proactive contractor and begin building a rapport with them.
Do you remember how effective word-of-mouth marketing can be? You can really set yourself apart in this area and make your firm stand out. Also, although while service sales are often less than contract revenues, they typically have significantly larger profit margins and fewer risk.
3. Outline Your Marketing PlanEach and every one of the world's most successful businesses has a well-defined marketing strategy and plan. To what extent do the following terms apply to you?
In the last three years, what kinds of projects have brought in the most money for your business?
Can you tell me how much money we're talking about for each?
In what areas do you anticipate the greatest growth in sales and earnings?
Where do you currently provide your services?
When it comes to potential clients, which ones are you most interested in working with?
Are you able to provide satisfactory solutions to the second and third questions? In that case, how well do you showcase this in your advertising materials and presentations?
If you don't have these things already, what steps are you doing to get them?
If almost no one at your organization knows the answers to these questions, it will be tough to rally them behind a single marketing initiative. Successful corporate promotion requires a collaborative team. Everything from the receptionist's phone manners to the presentation of a proposal may help or hurt your chances of landing the next big client.
Sharing your progress, both good and bad, with others will help you avoid making the same errors again. Make sure everyone on your team is aware that you want to generate profits rather than squander money on unnecessary expenses.