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.

Advertisements

“Pihl files for bankruptcy after ‘too aggressive expansion”

This story caught my eye this morning because it has a number of key points that I would ask all Specialist Contractors to bear in mind.

Pihl says; “The expansion took place without sufficient balance in the contract terms and without having sufficiently verified the credit quality of the foreign customers and sub-contractors, and without making sure that the qualities of the work processes and the risk management procedures were sufficient to support the increase in activity.”

Woah, so many key points in one comment…

“….sufficient balance in the contract terms” Please don’t enter into contracts unless you understand the terms and the risk they pose. Please see http://www.streetwisesubbie.com/contracts

“…without having sufficiently verified the credit quality of the… customers” Please make sure you check out every potential customer/contractor’s status properly. Please see how we can help via Top Service http://www.streetwisesubbie.com/top-service-credit-reference-agency

“…without making sure that the qualities of the work processes and the risk management procedures were sufficient to support the increase in activity” Please don’t assume that your current procedures and what you are doing now will work if you are increasing your turnover. Take a look at http://www.streetwisesubbie.com/books for a cracking read for Specialist Contractors on all such matters.

And please make sure that every Specialist Contractor you know joins over 1,400 colleagues in our exclusive group on LinkedIn. Here’s the link; http://linkd.in/cvfM9X

The Streetwise Guide To Being Well Prepared In Business

The past few years have not been plain sailing for a lot of us in the construction industry, and we have already lost 5,500 companies to insolvency in the space of just 2 years. The year ahead isn’t set to be easy either, with no-one truly knowing what is round the corner. That’s why we have put together our Streetwise guide to being well prepared for any eventuality in business:

Ask Questions and You Will Get Answers

If you have some questions that can’t be answered by a quick Google search or you are unsure about a new business move, don’t be afraid to ask others for help and advice. There are plenty of people you can ask, from the seasoned pros at StreetwisesSubbie.com to forums full of retired construction industry veterans and others who are still active in the industry and have the experience and knowledge to help you out.  For example, our LinkedIn group, The Nationwide Alliance of Specialist Contractors, is brimming with over 1,100 members discussing business issues, industry topics, advice and personal experiences.

Good Estimation = Healthy Profit

If you are not making a healthy profit from your jobs, it is time to question why this is so. In many cases, it could be due to the accuracy of estimations being made, leading to you expecting more from the job than you are actually getting profit wise because you are basing it on assumptions that aren’t well thought out. Be sure you’re estimator is experienced and knows the job well, or your company will be the one that suffers for it.

Emergencies Will Occur

It is inevitable that at some point during your business’s lifespan an emergency of some scale will occur, and so you need to be prepared for this eventuality. For example, if you were taken ill do you have a team who you know you could trust and rely on to keep everything running smoothly without you? If not, it’s time to start building one.
Be Flexible and Ready For Change

The construction industry may have been stuck in its ways for many years, but it could change at any moment, especially with the turbulence its suffered over the last few years. It may become necessary to change the focus of your services to keep your head and shoulders well and truly above the rest if changes occur, and being ready to do so instantly gives you a major advantage. Start to look at other areas and niches in which your company could operate, and even start taking on some small jobs in those areas now. After all, more work equals more money and security.

What Do You Know? 

Do you have plenty of construction industry knowledge but feel like you struggle with the general business aspects of running the company? You aren’t alone there, many people are feeling exactly the same, and its hard times like these when it really begins to show. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Purchase some worthwhile reading, seek out useful business resources online, and you may even consider taking a course if you are more of a hands on kind of person. Check out our recommended business books for specialist contractors.

What Can You Offer?

Holding a class or seminar in your local area is a rewarding activity in more ways than one. It not only allows you to offer people advice and knowledge from your own experience but also has great potential for word of mouth advertising for your company and meeting new potential clients.

Its Not Just What You Know, But Who You Know

Network with people from other industries such as mortgage lenders, estate agents, etc who are looking to add value to their services. If you create mutually beneficial relationships you could become one of the companies they turn to when in need of added value.

A Little Help From Your Friends 

Not everyone in the construction industry is in direct competition with each other. In fact when we work together we can earn more money and get complex jobs done a whole lot faster when we are in contact with a variety of skilled construction professionals in all areas who are willing to team up.

Don’t Cut Marketing, Improve It

When money gets a little tight, many people first begin reducing their sales and marketing spend to save money in the short term, but this could seriously damage your long term revenue. What you need to do is rather than just cut things willy nilly, sit down and chat with your marketing manager or talk to a professional in the marketing and advertising sector about what exactly needs to be done to keep the business growing and what needs to be spent. Without a constant steady flow of marketing and sales strategies you will find it harder to gain new prospects and stand tall in the industry.

Stay On Top With Your Accounting

Whether you choose to do it yourself with the help of computer software and help guides or decide to call in a professional to help you keep things running smoothly, your accounting needs to be kept healthy and in order if you want everything else to follow.

This guide is there to help you keep on top of all aspects of your business and prepare for every eventuality be it having trusted people there for emergencies, back up plans for cash flow issues or helping hands for new opportunities. For more advice on keeping your business well prepared, and information on how StreetwiseSubbie can help you do that, visit our website www.streetwisesubbie.com.

What is your Unique Selling Point? How to determine what sets your business apart from the rest…

What is a unique selling point I hear you ask? Let me answer your question with another question. What is it about the local café that you go to on your dinner break that keeps you coming back for more? Or what is it about the local pub you go to that makes you choose that one over the others in your area? Is it the friendly service? The special meal deals? The type of beer they serve? Or maybe it is something else? Whatever that reason is, that is their unique selling point. It is the thing that for you, the customer, sets that place apart from the others.

Now, consider your business from the client’s point of view. What is it that people should choose you over all your competition? If it isn’t obvious to you right now, don’t panic, it is actually a good thing if it isn’t immediately obvious as that means your competition can’t necessarily see it either.

If you still can’t think of what sets your business apart from the competition, then why not create a reason? The best unique selling point you can give your business is the offer of a simple but effective guarantee. Make a list of everything people hate and find fault with within the industry, such as hidden costs, not completing jobs efficiently and on time to name just a few. Then simply make a guarantee that states that you will not do these things, and in the rare event that you do then amends will be made, and that is the reason you are better than the competition.

It is a simple but effective way of setting your company head and shoulders above the rest, and is a sure fire way to get people spreading the word giving you a great reputation to even further boost business.

Want more advice and information on unique selling points and other sales and marketing strategies that could benefit your business? Contact the Streetwise Team and check out our website, www.streetwisesubbie.com