The majority of tradesmen work as independent operators, as soon as they have finished their apprenticeships. Working alone gives a huge amount of freedom, and yet at the same time it means a professional is confronted with many other issues normal employees do not deal with. Most will want to increase their earnings, and start a company/contractor of their own. Using IT and other communications technology can go a long way to helping you build that business.
For example, the Windows 8 operating system that will be released in a few months will have many features that integrate all of our devices, such as our smartphone, laptop and desktops. The same operating system will work on all of your devices, and that will make your computer and smartphone life much easier. Here is a look at how you can really grow your business with the use of technology.
- Websites. Most tradesmen, and even other small business owners do not know how to use a website, and how to make the most out of it. A properly optimized website, both onsite and offsite, it will have many visitors each day and this will lead to a lot of business. Those who think websites are a waste of time, or do not lead to any business do not understand SEO (search engine optimization).
- Communications. VOIP (Video/Voice Over Internet Protocol) applications, and business phone systems will allow you to communicate cheaply and with video all over the world. You can even use your smartphone and this will help you deal with your workforce when you are not on site.
- Social Media. Facebook is more than just a social site, it is the most commonly used site for marketing and professional reputation development in the world. Use Facebook, Titter, LinkedIn, and even more social sites that focus on your industry and business. NoCowboys in NZ is getting real traction for both individual clients and small business, and is a perfect example of a social website perfect for the trades related industries. There are many more. Social media should not be used for sales unless you have an extremely good offer or contest, you would like your potential market to be involved in.
- YouTube. You are on worksites everyday, and so why not use your smartphone to record simple ‘how-to’ and help videos and place them on the internet? You can have them on your site too. You will be helping a lot of people who are trying to do some DIY. When they make a mess of it, they will come to you for help. The internet is not just about promotion, it is about building your reputation.
- Projection and Presentation. 3D design and manipulation of photography to show what could be possible will go a long way in communicating what you can do for your clients. Keeping records of what you have done, integrating that into your site, social media marketing, and VOIP communications will have a radical impact on the number of clients who choose to sign up with you.
There is nothing like speed, quality, technology, effort, professionalism, and a broad range of skills you demonstrate to impress clients. Getting business, is all about impressing those who have taken the time to listen and see what you have on offer. The trades industry, on general, is lagging so far behind you can take advantage of technologies to take as much business as you want. What is explained in this article is only the tip of the iceberg. Think about talking to professional consultants in SEO and online marketing and communications.
Author Bio:- Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including Windows 8 and Business phone systems.