Long, long ago, you could start an electrician’s business with a couple of reels of cable, a Philips screwdriver and a hammer. Those days are gone.
As a start-up, your time and finances are stretched thinly, but customers expect even the smallest company to have an online presence. You have to live up to customer expectations because you need credibility in your local market.
You will find yourself inundated with emails and other marketing pushing 257 different ‘essential’ business products and services. Resist. You can still start a company with a minimal Internet presence.
Forget about email autoresponders. Forget about video marketing tools. Forget about podcasts.
What’s the minimum Internet presence you can get away with? A Facebook page.
What should you aim at online? A Facebook page and a website.
Why a Facebook Page?
Unsophisticated consumers expect you to be on Facebook. To many consumers, Facebook IS the Internet, and you have to be where your prospective customers are.
A Facebook page is free, but it will take time to set up. You will need a header image, business description, and marketing messages. Your header image should be a photo of you and your van, with the business name clearly visible on the side of your van. Your vehicle is your primary marketing tool; when people see you around the area it will jog their memories, and you will become a local celebrity. Your Facebook page will help.
Why a Website?
Most of your income will come from working with other businesses. To be credible in the B2B market, you need a website. It needn’t cost a fortune because you can set it up yourself using cheap hosting and free software such as WordPress.
Use your own photos throughout your site because doing so gives more credibility than stock images. It will also help with search engine visibility and cost less than using photographs you have bought from a stock agency.
If putting your website together is too daunting then find a freelancer to do it for £20: Just make sure the set up allows you to make changes yourself and remove the freelancer’s login credentials when the site is live.
Since when has software been essential for tradespeople?
You could run your operation using a notepad and pen, but come tax return time, you will spend hours searching thousands of small pieces of paper. Scribbled receipts and invoices fail to give the professional impression you need and trying to cut corners here will lead to a lack of trust and credibility in customers’ thinking.
You can find specialist software for electricians that will do much, much more than your accounts.
Will this software pay for itself?
You can get specialist electrician software for £12 per month per user. That’s £24 per month for you and someone in your office to both connect. If you get one extra job that makes you £25 in the month, the software has paid for itself.
What difference will it make?
- Using your phone to connect to the SaaS website, your office person will be able to send professional typed estimates to prospects using data and prices you have previously set up
- When you get the job because of your estimate, you can use your phone to *instantly* send an email quotation to a customer to print out and accept before you leave the premises
- Update your office with your location just by checking a job as complete on your mobile
- Your office manager can update your schedule with any urgent jobs that come in
- Update your accounts and tax liability automatically every time you send an invoice
- As your business grows, add employees to your subscription and be better informed regarding their activities
- Store all your customer names and addresses on a secure cloud server, removing GDPR concerns about lost sheets of paper or phones that contain customer data
Long Story Short
Time has moved on from the 1950s. You need more than a couple of screwdrivers and a lump hammer. Yes, they are still essential tools, but they are no longer enough.
Specialist software has become an essential tool to help electricians and other tradespeople meet customer expectations and to save hours of admin time each week.
Marketing is mostly online, so Facebook pages and websites have become compulsory applications for every tradesperson.
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