When starting a new service business it can be difficult to succeed. The costs of equipment often use up all of your starting capital and you’re left with very little in the way of marketing dollars. If you’ve decided to strike out on your own and begin your own service company you may have found that it can be extremely difficult to get it off the ground without a large budget. You’re competing with possibly dozens of other plumbers and large service companies which can make it very difficult to get your name out there.
If you want to attract new customers and grow your business, you will need to advertise and build brand awareness. That’s not easy to do if you don’t have a large marketing budget. So, here are a few ways that you can market your new business without spending a fortune.
Proper Labeling of Your Vehicle
Most local businesses will tell you that their most reliable source of business comes from word of mouth. That is very true but it’s not always the most effective way. You first need to get new customers and create brand recognition before you will have any advocates to spread the word.
Service industry businesses typically don’t work out of a brick and mortar storefront and therefore can’t rely on foot traffic, easy-to-see displays or signs to attract business. They rely on being found in other manners. The main way most local service businesses are recognized is by their vehicles which can be seen driving around in the local area.
To help increase brand awareness and recognition, you’ll want to make sure that your work vehicle is properly labeled. You don’t necessarily have to have a work truck you could be working out of your personal vehicle, just make sure that it’s properly labeled.
You’ll want to make sure that your business name is shown and displayed with easy-to-read vinyl lettering. You will also want to include business information including a phone number, services you provide, and a slogan and website address if you have them.
Taking Advantage of Online Exposure
With any local business it is imperative that you take advantage of the internet to help promote your company and gain local exposure. It is also a great place to drive traffic and bring in business without having to spend a fortune in advertising.
You will first need to make sure that you setup a simple website and sign up for every major business listing site that you can – many of them offer a free service, such as Yelp, Google, Merchant Circle, Local.com, etc…
Any customers that you service ask them to review your business online. This will help build trust with search engines and potential customers. The more reviews that your business has the more exposure you’ll get and the more likely you will attract more customers.
Finally, take advantage of social media. You can set up a business page on all of the major social media platforms for free and use them to reach your potential customers and drive more business without having to spend money on advertising.
Bonus: Many advertising platforms will offer a one-time credit for advertising – such as Facebook, Google, Bing, Twitter, etc… You can use these free advertising credits to help get your first customers and build off of that. You don’t have to keep advertising after the free credits are used up so you can at least take advantage of the free credits.