Whether you’ve recently trained as a gas engineer or you’re thinking about changing careers, something may find daunting is how to market yourself successfully enough to make your new business venture work.
Here at Options Skills, we know what a huge learning curve this can be and so, we’ve put together our top tips on how to best use the opportunities you have 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 or promote yourself in a positive light. Never undervalue your skill set and the knowledge you have as a gas engineer.
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.
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. Display flyers, give out business cards and maybe offer customers a magnet or sticker. Recognisable branding is key to being the first person people call 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 such as local estate agents and building companies. Advertise in local magazines and free newspapers. Getting your name out there and having connections can really improve business.
What makes you stand out
Find your unique selling point, your work ethic and business acumen can help set you apart from the rest. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your achievements, your qualifications and the positive traits that you think a potential customer would look for in a dependable tradesman.
Set up a website
As a trainee of Option Skills, you qualify for the Nice and Local service. This includes a free, professional website when you complete your course, as well as leads to future business opportunities. One you have a website up and running, remember to collect reviews and testimonials from customers. 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 connect with customers and businesses. Social media provides a quick and efficient way to stay in contact with customers and inform them of any offers or updates.
Stay up to date
Always stay up to date with new legislation and laws and boost your knowledge by attending manufacturer training days. Training courses set up by manufacturers 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’re 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. Treating customers with respect will go a long way to ensuring a strong relationship is built and loyal customers will often recommend you to others.
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.