Starting up your own tradie business can be challenging at first. But it gets even harder when you’re doing absolutely everything on your lonesome!
There are many reasons tradies decide to fly solo. For some, it might be the freedom of being their own boss. Others, more control over their working hours. A few might even be drawn in by the money they make staying in their own pockets.
Make no mistake however, being a solo tradesperson can be hard. You:
- Have no brand to speak of
- Might find yourself saddled with all sorts of additional responsibilities
- Have to run everything on your own
- Can’t hand off or delegate work
It’s much harder work than just applying to join franchise out an existing business. But it can be done!
Whatever your reason is for striking out on your own, there are a couple of ways you can increase your odds of success in the tradie business:
Tip #1: If you can, specialise!
That’s how many results you get when you type “tradie in Melbourne” into Google. And the number grows every. Single. Day.
Make no mistake, the competition is steep. As a one-person show, how are you supposed to compete with that?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of standing out in a crowded marketplace, having a unique selling point certainly helps.
Tradies who want to bring in more business can certainly increase their odds by emphasising specific traits, skills or locations. Like we said before, there are thousands of plumbers, roofers, painters and carpenters around Melbourne. Find something that sets you apart, like:
- Niche services
- Unique components, parts and materials
- A focus on specific areas
- Competitive pricing and offers
- Speed and same-day service
- Breadth of service
Honestly, the options are limitless, as long as it sets you apart!
Continuous learning should be a lifelong tradie goal. The growing desire to improve their skills and knowledge can also put solo tradies above their competitors.
Tip #2: Have a concrete business plan
A goal without a plan is next to useless.
Every business – tradie or otherwise – needs a concrete business plan. A business plan serves as your roadmap for reaching your long-term goals, as well as determining the effectiveness of your business.
Yet despite its importance, not all do! Many solo tradies operate day-to-day, with no goal for their business or set-in-stone direction.
We understand that as a one-person operation, you have a lot on your plate and might need to get your footing first. Even then however, you need a plan for afterwards!
Your business plan determines your business goals, future objectives and can help you monitor your cash flow in order for you to manage your business effectively. As a solo tradie, this type of stuff can help you figure out where your business is going and how you can steer yourself towards that.
Tip #3: Get covered
Oh, we don’t just mean public liability insurance for your work (although that’s hugely important as well!)
It’s also important to get insurance for yourself as well. Working a trade is back-breaking work – sometimes literally! Physically-demanding trades have one of the highest rates of health conditions such as heart disease.
And as a solo tradie, you have no source of income if something goes wrong. Imagine getting into an accident while on the job that puts you out of work for months. The result: business grinds to a screeching halt!
Tradesman insurance is essential for solo tradies. It provides a degree of income protection in the event of injury, accidents or health problems. It might seem like a luxury now, but when things go wrong it could be the only thing between you and financial ruin!
Tip #4: Excel in customer care
We talk a lot about the importance of customer service to tradies, so we’re not going to take up too much of your time.
Every tradie recognizes the importance of customer service. However, not all of them understand that customer service is much more than turning up with a smile and cleaning up after yourself!
Customer service is an all-encompassing word that covers the entire length of your relationship with said customer. That means everything before, during and after you finish the job. Believe it or not, it even extends to the way you set up your website!
Tip #5: Be good at what you do!
This one should go without saying! After all, who’s going to ring if you can’t be trusted to finish the job properly and on-time?
Tip #6: Invest in tradie online marketing
One of the best ways to make an impression as a solo tradie is to get online.
Our lives are increasingly being ruled by our smartphones, tablets and computers. And that doesn’t just extend to how we keep in touch or pass time either!
Tradies who want to grow their business beyond what word-of-mouth and flyers can offer should look online. A well-crafted tradie website:
- Acts as a showcase of your experience, skill and previous jobs
- Makes a good first impression – Google is your first point of contact with many customers
- Gets you found online
- Establishes your credibility
- Gets you leads and conversions!
While digital marketing for tradies is starting to take off, not all of your competing tradies approach it with the same level of expertise. Cobbling together a site using one of those free website generators and setting up a Facebook page won’t do the trick – for lasting results, you’ll need professional help.
And that’s where we come in!
Get started online today with iformat’s digital marketing for tradies
iformat offers digital marketing for tradies that are guaranteed to help you achieve growth and turn from a solo tradie into a fully-fledged brand.
We specialise in getting you found on Google, generating more calls and booking more jobs. Our unique Hi VIS strategies help tradies big and small:
- Increase how visible they are to their target market
- Inspire trust in potential customers, meaning more calls
- Sustain growth with constant improvements and a steady stream of jobs
Don’t just take it from us either – we’ve helped tradies of all stripes get the results they want, whether that’s a certain number of jobs or calls about specific jobs and services. Our packages are tailored to meet each business’ unique goals and budget.
Want to know who you’re up against online? Click the banner at the bottom of the page for a free trade insider report!