Expanding Your Business in 2023: Tips for Tradespeople Looking to Grow
Starting as a self-employed tradesman or woman is no easy feat. Learning to expand and grow as a tradesman can be even more daunting. Where do you start? What areas should you focus on? Will your plan work? These, among others, are natural worries when looking to build your empire.
Today, the team at Rhino Trade Insurance is here to help guide you through the rough waters of growing your trade business. We have you covered with tips on finances, marketing, admin, and more.
Think about who you need to hire
As a busy tradesperson, your business responsibilities rely solely on you. You may consider taking on staff to ease your to-do list when growing your trade business.
The three main types of staff for a trades business include:
If your business is booming and everything seems to be going to plan, hiring one or more full-time employees should free up your time so you can concentrate on getting more work and expanding your company.
Not quite business ready to take on full-time staff? Consider subcontractors to ease the burden of work. Without the financial and administrative burden of long-term employment, hiring a subcontractor can bridge that gap and help your business grow.
Maybe your business is ready to help the next generation whilst you also get a helping hand on-site. Hiring an apprentice can be a meaningful milestone in any company's growth plans. With the skills shortage in specific trades, you would be more than capable of finding a hungry, driven and confident young apprentice in your area.
Your finances and costs may need a hard look at if you want to grow your trade business.
Running a trade business entails considerable financial responsibility, which includes paying employees, investing in equipment, and meeting operational costs. Taking stock and carefully examining your cash flow to see if your finances are weak is a good idea. You can also hire an accountant if you're struggling.
How much to charge
Finding the correct rate to charge customers when you are called out for a job will help you grow as quickly as possible. A perfect hourly rate or call-out rate shows that you are not choking your expansion plans by charging too little or too much, nor are you hindering your ability to win more work by charging too much.
Be efficient at your admin.
Making sure you have a few simple steps in place can help your customers' journey to booking your trade business for work.
A simple and efficient procedure for inquiries
An inquiry is the first communication you will have with new customers. If you want to ensure it's not the last, you must make a good impression. Utilising tools like Tradify helps ensure you respond quickly and take advantage of every opportunity from your website, phone or email.
Effective quoting and billing
Trade business owners have been found to devote more than 18 hours a week to administrative tasks. With growth comes even more responsibility, and your business needs to be working at its full potential.
You can quickly and easily create and send professional invoices, quotes, and estimates using tools like Monzo Business, Tradify or Xero to manage your admin tasks.
Refresh your marketing
A robust online presence is essential for marketing your trade company. People will choose an alternative if they are unable to locate you online.
You want to ensure that potential customers have a positive impression of your business because your website will likely be their first exposure. Keep in mind the fundamentals of modern web design: keep it simple and professional, and include essential information about your business and services.
We are confident that the majority of your customers are using some form of social media, and so should you. If you want your business to grow, you need to have a presence on social media in some way because other trade businesses in your industry are already there, talking to potential customers and growing.
Think about your goals so you can know which channels to concentrate on. Do you want more jobs? You must focus on exhibiting your completed work, reviews and prices. However, to prove your expertise and build confidence, mix up these posts that are more focused on sales with valuable hints, tips, and insights about your industry - or even a bit of personality.
Develop a plan for expansion
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. With that in mind, if you are trying to grow your trade business, why not consider a refresh in the way you do business? This could be called your expansion plan. A few quick ideas you could work on right now include:
Hire a new tradesman or woman
We love writing tips for tradesmen. If you are super busy, your phone never stops, and you're feeling the pressure of your customer's expectations, it may be time to plan for a new hire. Just be mindful that altering your business this way could go really well or poorly.
Consider when hiring to ensure that any new team member won't break your budget, hurt your current team, or hurt your business's growth.
Develop and train your current staff
Having experienced, trained and confident staff members only serves your business better. Providing any staff with training can only reap benefits for you. It may help them become self-starters and genuinely love their job instead of seeing it as a 9-5. What's more, how do you expect your trade business to take off without investment in your team?!
Update your services
It's the 21st century; if you aren't offering services like easy online booking, payment via bank/ credit card or finance options, you may end up being left behind. Services like Tradify, QuickBooks or Sage, help tradesmen and women streamline their processes whilst appearing extremely professional to their customers.
Target new customers through marketing
Trade work and new customers are everywhere; you just have to sniff them out. By building a website that shows up when people in your area search for 'local electrician' or 'plumbers near me', you are already on to a winner.
On top of this, building your social media profiles, whether it's Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or Facebook, will help yield a new type of customer. Younger generations, for example, aren't too keen on phoning up a random tradesman. They want to see their work online and contact them through Instagram messenger or the like. The trade world is your oyster when talking about social media.
Take a look at our social media profiles and explore the tradespeople we follow for some inspiration.
Why tradesman insurance is important
As a hard-working tradesman or woman running a fledgling business, you must know that trade insurance is of the utmost importance when starting up and expanding.
The team at Rhino Trade Insurance offers a variety of trade insurance policies that cover you for things like Public Liability, Employers' Liability, Tool Insurance, Personal Accidents, Legal Expenses and Professional Indemnity.
We have specialist insurance options for almost every trade imaginable. Whether you are an Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter, Window Glazier, Handyman, or Carpet Fitter, we most likely cover it.
We are at the forefront of online insurance technology, as our quote engine allows customers to get immediate quotes without having to give us all their data.
Give our helpful, UK-based team a call at 0116 243 7904 or ask for a quote online today.