It’s Wise Up Wednesday! The 10 Most Effective Low-Cost & No-Cost Marketing Strategies

Despite all the talk of growth, no-one truly knows what is around the corner. But whatever is in store for the industry, we want to make sure you stay ahead of the game!

T
hat’s why we have put together our Streetwise Wise Up Wednesday Guides to give you a quick burst of stuff that will help you in your business life.

Sometimes quirky, sometimes hard hitting, but always guaranteed to make you think and take no more than 2 minutes to read.

The 10 Most Effective Low-Cost & No-Cost Marketing Strategies

Marketing your business doesn’t have to be costly!

Whether you are just starting up or looking for some fresh ideas, these 10 strategies fit easily into any budget:

Strategy #1: The Power of the Press Release

The only cost of media coverage is time. Build relationships with contacts from trade, regional and national media will take time, but it doesn’t cost a thing when it comes to getting something publicised.

Strategy #2: Referrals

Referrals are the best way of expressing to both potential and return customers why your company is best. In order to generate referrals, offer people an incentive in return.

Strategy #3: Digital Marketing

The world has officially gone digital, so its time you did too. It can be a bit of a challenge, but then so was the whole internet

Strategy #4: PPC and Google AdWords

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a budget friendly way to advertise online as you set the budget. Google Adwords is the most popular way to use PPC as it enables your company to appear at the top of the most popular search engine in the world, Google. Others offering PPC include Facebook, LinkedIn and Bing.

Strategy #5: Get Sociable on Social Media

Social media has become the number one place for both free and paid advertising, PR and marketing over the last decade. With millions of people logging in every day, and budget friendly PPC advertising options, free company pages and more, it is worth investing some time in this marketing gold mine.

Strategy #6: Newsletters – You’re Always The Cover Story

Newsletters both online and offline are a great way to keep in touch with your customers and an effective way to promote additional products and services. Your customers will appreciate the information and your efforts to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Newsletters have a number of other benefits as well. And if you go the e-newsletter route, the chief benefit is: virtually no mailing costs.

Strategy #7: Email Marketing

The only cost you will incur is a subscription to an email marketing service, but the benefits far outweigh this cost. You can send personalised emails with updates, incentives and offers to databases of hundreds or thousands of customers.

Strategy # 8: Telemarketing

Never under estimate the power of one-to-one contact. Although often maligned and frequently misunderstood, telemarketing is one of the fastest growing forms of direct marketing today. With the digital age taking the personal aspect out of sales on many levels now, a traditional method such as telemarketing provides an opportunity to make one-to-one contact with the prospective buyer at a very low cost. It can be used to follow up on enquiries, resolve customer issues in a more personal manner, and contact potential leads directly.

Strategy # 9: Marketing with Flyers

Flyers can be an effective way to spread the word about your business. Generally they are single sheets printed front and back, and used to announce a sale or other limited-time event. Mail it, hand it out, hang it up, and leave it wherever prospects congregate – a flyer is among the least expensive, easiest to produce, and hardest working marketing tools.

Strategy # 10: Magazine Ads

This is direct response advertising at its best. A magazine ad is designed to create responses and generate customers. Every ad should always remind the reader of your unique selling point, even though you are featuring a particular product or promotion.

As always, I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday blog post and that it gave you some food for thought, and i
f you need any help, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.

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‘Breakthrough Construction 2014’: StreetwiseSubbie.com’s Second Annual Conference And A MUST For All Specialist Contractors!

Following the tremendous success of last year’s exclusive conference, we are announcing our second annual event!Join us on 10th June 2014 at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel (same venue as last year) for what promises to be an even bigger and better day than last year!

‘Breakthrough Construction 2014’

StreetwiseSubbie.com’s Second Annual Conference And A MUST For All Specialist Contractors! 

We may be coming out of the recession, we may be returning to growth and better times, but Specialist contractors are still at risk, still getting paid late and less than they are owed, still struggling to find profitable work.

So, it’s time to start making some real progress and Breakthrough Construction in 2014!

I am still seeing far too many Specialist Contractors going to the wall despite the economic recovery, simply because they don’t have the help, support or resources they need to survive and succeed the aftermath of the worst recession of modern times. If you are trying to go it alone, and don’t have access to the proven strategies for commercial and contractual security and new business generation, you are putting you and your business at serious risk.

Please don’t assume that just because we are seeing reports of growth and recovery, of Contractor’s profits soaring and new investments being made, that everything is good in UK construction, and that the hard times are over.

Some Main Contractors are still draining Subbies’ cash-flow to boost their own profits despite their growth, as they are working their way through jobs they have secured at negative margins!

Don’t get caught in the firing line. Come and enjoy the enlightening, informative and entertaining presentations, and a great day out!

Come and get the information that will enable you to make ‘breakthroughs’ in your business!

Please click here to make that breakthrough!

We will show you how to protect your business and improve your marketing, solve your problems and make sure that you are at the leading edge of the most recent thinking that affects all Specialist Contractors.

The Conference

What is it? A half day conference where you get everything you need to maximize your profits – and protect your business in 2014.

When is it? The Conference takes place at the Belfry Hotel M1 J26 Nottingham on 10th June 2014.

Who is it for? This is a must attend conference for you if you own or run a Specialist Contracting business and want to survive and prosper in the aftermath of the recession!

It’s for small and large businesses and it doesn’t matter what type of installation you specialise in.

What’s In Store?

You are set for a transformational day, because you’re about to discover ways to grow and protect your business and cut through the confusion to give you a clear and profitable strategy for growth and prosperity.

For a detailed and evolving agenda of the day; Click Here!

How to Book Your Place

Places are Strictly Limited – So Please Don’t Miss Out!

Priority Reservation is currently available just email info@streetwisesubbie.com and our team will contact you to take care of everything. It’s that simple!

With Priority Reservation you and your colleagues can book places on this exclusive event for just £95 plus VAT.

That’s a massive deduction on the ticket price, so don’t miss out, when the Priority Reservations are gone they’re gone!

The advice and support your will receive on the day is worth hundreds if not thousands of pounds, so don’t miss out, grab a bargain and ensure the success of your Specialist Contracting business in 2014 and beyond!

Come and have a great day out and meet some wonderful people at the same time!

The Conference isn’t all gloom and doom it’s about making the most of the opportunities that are ahead whilst ensuring your commercial security. It’s about a fast paced series of short presentations that will keep you interested and entertained – if you want a boring lecture then our Conference isn’t the place to come!

To grab your Priority Reservation; please email info@streetwisesubbie.com or call us on 01773 712116 now.

Last year close to 100 delegates took something away from the event, with many thanking us for an insightful and enjoyable day. See their feedback for yourself;

Essential Print Services: “I drove away buzzing my socks off.”

Taskmaster Doors: “Thanks for last week’s do, we enjoyed it greatly and have decided to sign up [as a Streetwise Buddy].”

Giles:  “I very much enjoyed it!”

S+B UK Ltd: “My colleague Craig attended the recent Conference and has said that he found it most worthwhile. As I result, I have sent an e mail to Tanya to see how we can best avail ourselves of the services you offer.”

Shakespeares Legal LLP: “Thanks for the opportunity. It had a great good “buzz”.

Demag Cranes and Components:  “I really enjoyed the Streetwise event. I usually say that if I get 5 good pointers from such an event that I can use in my business it was worthwhile. I got 11 pointers!”

Top Service:  “A big thank you for inviting us to be part of your day on Friday. The whole Streetwise Subbie team did a fantastic job of hosting a brilliant day! 

Natalie Wilson: “The atmosphere was amazing; I felt such a buzz and really part of something big!”

So what are you waiting for? Reserve your place now before it’s too late! Simply emailinfo@streetwisesubbie.com and our team will contact you to make the necessary arrangements.

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 10th June in Nottingham for what promises to be a very special event.

And, if you are travelling up to stay over the night before, dinner is on us at the informal pre-conference evening!

Its Wise Up Wednesday! Enhancing Your Firm’s Credibility

We are already well into the fourth month of the year and we need to stay  focused on doing the right things in our business, because despite all the talk of growth, the future isn’t certain, and no-one truly knows what is around the corner.

T
hat’s why we have put together our Streetwise Wise Up Wednesday Guides to give you a quick burst of stuff that will help you in your business life.

Sometimes quirky, sometimes hard hitting, but always guaranteed to make you think and take no more than 2 minutes to read.

Enhance Your Firm’s Credibility!

Blogging may seem like the last thing most Specialist Contractors would consider doing to enhance their firm’s credibility, and back in the day, assuming that customers don’t read blogs might have been a fair assumption.

But, whilst that might once have been a fair assumption to make based on the stereotypical view of construction clientèle, it’s out-dated thinking and unless you ask them you can’t be sure whether they would or not.

Because, like it or not, blogs aren’t just for idle gossip.

Getting your name out there with creatively crafted useful information is one of the best ways to be picked up by a search engine, especially seen as Google has changed the way it searches (check out the Streetwise Blog for our article on Google’s new search and how to make it work for you).

So here are the main reasons why you can enhance your credibility by having your own blog:

It demonstrates your technical knowledge

In the construction industry, showing your worth in terms of skills and expertise is a priority, and I bet most of you say about your company in brochures, letters and on the web, describes you as ‘experts in your field’ or something similar!

But, before that prospective customer hires you, how do they know you have the technical knowledge or skills for the job? Anyone can SAY they know it all, but the proof is in the pudding.

So use your blog to show off your knowledge and skills by writing technical content to support your claims.

Post a series of blog posts on why you should design or install in a certain way and back this up with specific drawings and datasheets.

Gain feedback from designers and engineers on innovative new ways of designing for construction and post about it on your blog.

The possibilities are endless!

Prove You Are Market Leaders

The majority of companies claim to be market leaders in their industry, and there becomes a point where just saying it loses all meaning and emphasis. So make your company stand out as a true market leader by proving WHY you have earned the title.

Post blog posts about people you have helped and how.

Use in-depth case studies about how you solved specific issues for customers, ask clients for testimonials or reviews of your products and services which can be posted on the blog to show why they chose you over others in the industry.

Provide specific information to back up their claims of your products being the best on the market.

Don’t be afraid to interact with your audience and engage them through collaboration. Ask for their feedback on new services and products, as them to share their thoughts and ideas for new ones. This all helps show why your company stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Provide information and answers

There are people who take a keen interest and actively seek out all information on upcoming regulations and legislations that will have an impact on their industry, but there are also those who need to be informed.

You can please both of these types of people by writing an informative piece discussing the key points of a upcoming change and throwing in your company’s opinion on the change and how it will affect the industry.

Encourage people to comment and share their thoughts and opinions on the matter to engage the audience and get a conversation or debate going.

You can also encourage people to come to you with their questions, or run a regular Q+A piece where people can send you their issues and you can provide answers via your blog post for all to see.

Follow these easy tips, and in no time at all your credibility will have soared.

As always, I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday blog post and that it gave you some food for thought, and if you need any help, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.

Wise Up Wednesday – Dealing With Delay And Disruption

It’s a scary thought, but the third month of the year has ended already.

Time flies when you’re having fun!

And as “fun” is not something that we naturally associate with construction, our Streetwise Wise Up Wednesday Guides should help you to to stay  focused on doing the right things in your business, and give you a quick burst of useful information that might just help you to ease the pressure.

Sometimes quirky, sometimes hard hitting, but always guaranteed to make you think and take no more than 2 minutes to read.

Dealing With Delay and Disruption!

Let’s face it delay and disruption is a common occurrence within the construction industry.

Delay and disruption can be caused by a variety of factors but high on the list is poor planning and programming. We have all experienced Contractors who couldn’t plan their way to the bar in Wetherspoons, and unfortunately what tends to happen is that all their Sub-Contractors suffer as a result!

If you do not complete your works by the contractual completion date and you cannot claim an extension of time, you may incur liability for substantial costs arising from the delay.

Remember that under most forms of sub-contract, liquidated and ascertained damages imposed on the Main Contractor by the Employer will be just part of a thick sandwich of costs you can become liable for in the form of a claim against you for general damages. The other parts of the claim being the Contractor’s own costs and any other Sub-Contractor that makes a claim against him as a result of your delay.

(You can find more information about the difference between liquidated and general damages on our web site)

When you are being delayed by circumstances and problems beyond your control, you have to be able to demonstrate the impact of those problems on your progress. It is imperative therefore that you plan and programme your works right from the start.

Ideally, planning should start at the time when you tender for the works. Your estimate of the cost of the work should take into account the proposed method of working and the time required/allowed to carry out the work.

In order to plan and programme effectively you need to know a certain amount of time related information which should be set out in the tender documents, but may not be!

This information should include:

…the dates of possession and completion of the main contract works

…the order of works

…the dates between which the sub-contract works can be commenced

…the period required to approve drawings after submission.

When submitting your tender, you should set out the following information:

…the period you require for submissions of your drawings

…the time required for the execution of works on site

…the notice which you require to commence on site

…the period required for off site work prior to commencement on site

…any other relevant time related information

It is essential that these items are completed carefully; taking into account all the factors which you consider will affect your works.

By including such items in your tender you will be identifying the factors outside your control (such as preceding works by other trades) that need to be in place to enable you to complete your works.

If these factors change when you subsequently come to do the work, then it will be easier to demonstrate that you have been prevented from completing your works in the way that you envisaged.

But, be careful, because the downside is that you will probably be contractually committed to complying with the programme information you have put forward.

As always, I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday blog post and that it gave you some food for thought, and if you need any help tackling the problems arising from delay and disruption, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.