Whether you’ve recently trained as a Gas Engineer or you’re thinking about changing careers, something that people often find daunting is how to market themselves successfully enough to make their new business venture work.
Here at Options Skills we know what a huge learning curve this can be and so, we’ve put together a Top 10 list of how to best use the opportunity and what will help your business thrive.
– Word of Mouth –
Ensuring that you build up a network is one of the most important things you can do in business, whether it be on a trade website, attending networking events or trade shows. Market your business at all time, whether you’re rushed off your feet or not and, as unnaturally as it may feel to you, promote yourself in a positive light and never undervalue your skill set and how you have built up your work experience.
– Use Review sites and Local Directories –
Using websites like Trust a Trader, Check a Trade and our very own Nice and Local can ensure that customers are just a click away from reading reviews, finding your website and getting in touch. When you complete a job for a customer, don’t be afraid to encourage them to leave a review for you.
– Customer Service –
The relationship you build with your customers is completely down to you, and as explained previously, ‘word of mouth’ is a very useful tool. People are more likely to trust the reviews of their friends, families and colleagues and therefore behaving in a professional manner with your customers is extremely important. A job well done will more than likely lead to another, whether that be with the same customer or as a referral.
The reputation which you build can be one of your strongest assets when marketing your business so make sure that your customers have something good to say about their experiences.
– Branding, Slogans and Signs –
Advertise your company using memorable signs and slogans on your van which will grab a potential customers attention; this means that you can market yourself wherever you are without even saying a word. Put up flyers in local areas, give out business cards to your customers or maybe think of using a magnet or stickers on boilers to ensure that people think of you first when they need a Gas Engineer.
– Make Links with Local Businesses –
Being self-employed by no means requires you to do it alone. Making connections with businesses, especially local businesses such as Estate Agents, Building Companies and Builders Merchants as well as advertising in local magazines and free newspapers etc., can help you grow in confidence as well as creating more buzz in the local area.
– What makes you stand out –
You may not feel that, as a Gas Engineer, you have a unique selling point however you should have confidence that your knowledge, your work ethic and your business acumen can set you apart from the rest. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your achievements, your qualifications and positive traits that you think a potential customer would look for in a dependable tradesman.
– Set up a website –
Being a trainee of Option Skills, you would qualify for the Nice and Local service which offers a free professional website when you complete your course, as well as leads to future business opportunities. One you have a professional website up and running always remember to use reviews and testimonials from customers you have collected, people will always read reviews, so make sure they’re good ones. Keep your front page up to date with your experiences and pictures of latest work carried out.
– Use Social Media –
The future is here and more than that, it’s free. Use social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to advertise your work and make connections with customers and businesses. Using these online tools means that your customers can be responded to in a quick and efficient way as well as being able to post updates regarding your business (offers, additional training you have received etc).
– Stay up to date –
Always stay up to date with new legislations and laws and boost your knowledge by attending manufacturer training days. Training courses set up by Manufactures can be cheap and very informative and a good marketing technique to show you have specialist knowledge.
– Become a Business Person –
You’ve completed your training, now what? Suddenly you have to become the Engineer, the Business Manager and the Marketing department all rolled into one. This will mean identifying your market and preparing strategies which will determine your business’ direction.
Always act in a professional business manner whether that be answering your phone, replying to a review or working in someone’s home; if you treat your customers with respect, this will go a long way in ensuring you build a strong relationship which may lead to more business.
Try everything. If something doesn’t work straight away, it doesn’t mean that it won’t. The extra effort you put in with marketing will be worth it in the long run.