Owning your own business is a dream many people don't get to live. Loosing your job is hard but think of the positives!
We help small businesses and startups every day so here is my advice.
Big newspaper ads. NO WAY. They work great for big furniture sales and car yards. You are a 'destination business' - people only require the services of a plumber when they need someone to fix their sink, toilet etc. Go for the small $15/week newspaper advert in the trades and services section. Make sure its eye catching and has your point of difference. ie: "Plumber, available 24/7, local area, sinks, toilets, small jobs." or "Plumber - Anything, Anywhere, Anytime."
Business Cards - cheap and give two to everyone. Y? because they need one and so will their next door neighbor or friend. For $119, you can have 1000 of them - www.conciseprint.com.au
Small Website. Google is your friend here. A website can cost $500 - $10,000. You need something very simple that appears top of the list for "plumber (your area). Add yourself to www.hotfrog.com.au
and google maps. They are all free!
Flyers. Get some cheap DL flyers (again www.conciseprint.com.au
) and hand them out when you do a job. Walk up and down the street to 10 houses at the job. Flyer reads "I just helped one of your neighbours. I'm a plumber and mine name is (name). I live in the local area and i'm available 24/7. Call me on (number)." etc etc DO NOT DO JUNK MAIL WASTE OF TIME for small business. If you do, do it yourself.
Again, look for destination advertising or referral.
Thats marketing, now, admin side of things. You need a catchy phone number and a landline (some people cannot ring mobiles). Make sure you answer EVERY call or have a voicemail. Have a diary where you write the name, phone number & referral source of every enquiry. You want to know where your customers are finding you so you can get rid of the non performing ones and improve the improving ones. Go and buy yourself MYOB to do accounts. It will do all the invoices for you, tell you what you have to pay and when and be easy to give to your accountant at the end of the day.
Things will start slow and grow. Don't try to run before walking, you'll fall over. Trust me, been there done that!
Any questions, just email me. Here to help! Love this website!