Home Forums Marketing mastery Marketing Building Company, where to start

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  • #1000271
    NathanBoxa
    Participant
    • Total posts: 34

    Hi all, im wondering where to start in regards to marketing for a building company.

    At the moment the work we get is word of mouth. But these jobs are small to medium size, mostly small home renovations and extensions, we get them one at a time.
    What we’d like to do is start taking on more jobs, so we have a few on the go at the same time. Maybe even expand to large new home builds or unit developments.
    The company is all setup with systems, licenses and insurance ready to take on these jobs, we just need to get the phone ringing more with legit customers.

    I was wondering if anyone here could point me in the right direction. From what i gather i should start with a marketing consultant, make a website and then set a monthly budget for online marketing.

    My concern with this though is that we risk burning money, as we may be marketing in the wrong place or to the wrong people, maybe even the platform we use to market from is wrong, and we don’t reach who we are supposed to.
    Also seeing the building industry covers a lot of areas, id like to avoid competing in areas where we would lose work to those who can do it cheaper, like it would be pointless competing against a mass builder who can buy materials cheaper than we can.

    If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be great. Im the eastern parts of Melbourne so working with someone local would be handy.

    #1223660
    businesstrade
    Participant
    • Total posts: 210
    NathanBoxa, post: 270317, member: 46158 wrote:
    Hi all, im wondering where to start in regards to marketing for a building company.

    At the moment the work we get is word of mouth. But these jobs are small to medium size, mostly small home renovations and extensions, we get them one at a time.
    What we’d like to do is start taking on more jobs, so we have a few on the go at the same time. Maybe even expand to large new home builds or unit developments.
    The company is all setup with systems, licenses and insurance ready to take on these jobs, we just need to get the phone ringing more with legit customers.

    I was wondering if anyone here could point me in the right direction. From what i gather i should start with a marketing consultant, make a website and then set a monthly budget for online marketing.

    My concern with this though is that we risk burning money, as we may be marketing in the wrong place or to the wrong people, maybe even the platform we use to market from is wrong, and we don’t reach who we are supposed to.
    Also seeing the building industry covers a lot of areas, id like to avoid competing in areas where we would lose work to those who can do it cheaper, like it would be pointless competing against a mass builder who can buy materials cheaper than we can.

    If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be great. Im the eastern parts of Melbourne so working with someone local would be handy.

    Most tradies and builders I have come across deal mainly with word of mouth. In saying that, it never hurts to have a professional website in the digital age. If you’re in this business for the long haul, it may be a good idea to invest in a good website and to have a long term plan for your online presence.

    Getting a quality website is relatively inexpensive these days and with a robust SEO strategy, you could grow your SEO to target local long-tailed keywords – eg. “luxury custom builders Toorak”.

    To grow your business, you could look to other channels to try to get exposure/leads.

    Feel free to PM me for more information.

    #1223661
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    NathanBoxa, post: 270317, member: 46158 wrote:
    The company is all setup with systems, licenses and insurance ready to take on these jobs, we just need to get the phone ringing more with legit customers.

    Slightly different thoughts, and I think going down the digital path is ok, but expensive if done properly so be very careful where you invest your money. All digital marketers have an I’ll give you the world attitude, but zero promises on delivery, just a warning up front.

    But what concerns me more is your opinion above, you want to ”get the phone ringing with legit customers”. wrong attitude really. Besides being free, word of mouth jobs are the most legit customer out there, they come to you because someone else has said that you provide great customer service and products. You are already 10 steps ahead, these referrals most likely wont go and get 2nd quotes, or will be willing to pay slightly more, because you are the man, you have delivered to there friend, you are not a potential problem, you are the greatest (ok a bit OTT).

    My question to you is why are you only getting one word of mouth job at a time (they are free, thats $0), do you need to spruik yourself with your previous clients to say I am open for more, or maybe you are not doing that great a job, or, or or.

    Go digital, but ask 2 questions.

    1. why is my best and cheapest sales channel (word of Mouth) not working for me?
    2. why do I think they are not legit.

    Maybe the answer to the second will give you the answer to the 1st

    #1223662
    businesstrade
    Participant
    • Total posts: 210
    bb1, post: 270323, member: 53375 wrote:
    1. why is my best and cheapest sales channel (word of Mouth) not working for me?
    2. why do I think they are not legit.

    Maybe the answer to the second will give you the answer to the 1st

    Its clear OP wants to grow his business and isn’t happy with the idea of just relying on the leads he gets based on word of mouth.

    A business can work on building up their network of clientele through word of the mouth whilst simultaneously working on their digital presence and investing in their future in the form of a website and SEO.

    The two options aren’t mutually exclusive and there is no reason OP can’t work on “word of mouth” as a marketing channel and grow his business by investing some time and money into a website.

    bb1, post: 270323, member: 53375 wrote:
    All digital marketers have an I’ll give you the world attitude, but zero promises on delivery, just a warning up front.

    Sure, there are bad actors but I’m sure there are some in all industries. Your statement is a huge generalisation of an entire industry and it isn’t really true.

    It usually comes from mum and pop business owners that aren’t willing to spend much at all and end up with a crap website and no optimisation in terms of SEO.

    This is of course after they paid $250 for a website on fiver and $100 (once-off) for SEO services expecting to get a high-quality website and thousands of leads only to be sorely disappointed and bitter at an entire industry.

    If OP has a reasonable budget, there is no reason he can’t find a reasonably priced SEO or web designer to get him where he wants to be.

    Out of curiousity [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] – how many web designers and SEOs have you hired in the past?

    NathanBoxa, post: 270317, member: 46158 wrote:
    At the moment the work we get is word of mouth. But these jobs are small to medium size, mostly small home renovations and extensions, we get them one at a time.

    What we’d like to do is start taking on more jobs, so we have a few on the go at the same time. Maybe even expand to large new home builds or unit developments.

    [USER=46158]@NathanBoxa[/USER]

    If you intend to target the high-end market, you’d be silly to not build a website as it adds credibility to your business as well as leads (when done right).

    See it from a client’s perspective – there two equally priced businesses from referrals that provided the same level of service but one had a professional website with a beautiful portfolio, quality reviews and the other just had a Facebook page with no photo. Who would you hire?

    I know where I’d be putting my money – into the business that has an online presence with reviews and all. They’re simply less likely to close up shop overnight with your money and disappear.

    #1223663
    MH08
    Member
    • Total posts: 284

    Theres a reality here, but most won’t agree with what I’m saying. Some businesses out there can’t leverage well from digital marketing. I.e. Blocked drained plumber local area, people will search for, but most will not search for a builder online without getting a referral from someone due to the size and personal nature of the investment. That’s reality. Yes some can utilise and leverage technology but again, once you search up a builder online 90% they’ll come in for a chat and then start asking around about your quality of work which refers back to…. Word of mouth again.

    Go out and network, network and network, from my understanding depending on size of company most builders require at least 2-3 jobs per week because once you do a Reno or build a home, that’s it.. Years will pass before you’ll ever see that customer again.

    The question you have to ask yourself, where do people immediately go when they need a builder for work? I know google, but usually a friend, the architect, real estate agent, neighbour. Direct and referable contacts besides google.

    #1223664
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,183

    What we’d like to do is start taking on more jobs, so we have a few on the go at the same time. Maybe even expand to large new home builds or unit developments.

    Determining what market segments want and how they get their information is the first step. That is, you are starting with you. You should be starting with the customer.

    If the new renovation government incentive is something that will provide impetus to the industry, perhaps that would be a good place to start research.

    Picking up the phone to other builders, architects and previous customers would be worthwhile.

    Good money and a steady flow of work will come from being known for a certain type of work or price category.

    That is find your niche.

    It will make marketing laser focused, not scatter-gun.

    #1223665
    VoIPSmart
    Member
    • Total posts: 22

    When looking for a builder I do the following:

    1. Check out their website
    2. Check online reviews
    3. Check their credit report/court judgment

    The website for me is a must. If not, at least a Facebook page.

    #1223666
    businesstrade
    Participant
    • Total posts: 210
    VoIPSmart, post: 270374, member: 117957 wrote:
    When looking for a builder I do the following:

    1. Check out their website
    2. Check online reviews
    3. Check their credit report/court judgment

    The website for me is a must. If not, at least a Facebook page.

    I agree. Tradies without some sort of online presence is a big no-no for me.

    If you have a website with lots of 5 star reviews spanning 10 years, you’re less likely to risk losing all of that goodwill.

    A business that has none of that has little to lose from burning clients for a quick buck.

    #1223667
    Evo the marketing guy
    Member
    • Total posts: 58

    You have a bit more homework to do before hiring anyone.

    The first clue is within your existing customer base.

    Who are they? Size, location, industry, needs etc.
    Why did they buy from you?

    Hopefully there will be a clear ‘segment’ in your customer base that is easy to serve and profitable.

    The tighter the initial segment to start with, the more cost effective it is to find more of them…

    Once you know WHO they are, the WHERE to find them becomes easy.

    Good luck.

    #1223668
    Zarabasiri
    Member
    • Total posts: 16

    Well, seems like you know what sort of customers you want and how to get started by having a new website and drive your ideal customer to that site and convert them to leads/ customer enquiry/ or calls.

    Since you know what sort of projects you want, it should be more straight forward. Whoever you hire to do the marketing for you, just explain to them what services exactly you want to get customers for, they will do customer research and market/ competition research for you and try to put your ads in front of those people who are after particular services you are offering.

    Your advertisement campaigns will be well optimised over time (usually 3 months) as well and as time goes by, you can well compete with the competition and target customers for specific services more precisely and it becomes more consistent.

    Hope it helps!

    Feel free to ask any other questions you might have. :)

    Cheers,
    Zara

    NathanBoxa, post: 270317, member: 46158 wrote:
    Hi all, im wondering where to start in regards to marketing for a building company.

    I was wondering if anyone here could point me in the right direction. From what i gather i should start with a marketing consultant, make a website and then set a monthly budget for online marketing.

    #1223669
    MareeJaeger
    Member
    • Total posts: 9

    Agree with everything that has been said.
    I would also add don’t get bamboozled by all the offers and promises and to remember that there are many roads to reaching your goal- you just have to find the right one for your business. (including your business budget for getting there).

    For example I know of many tradies that get the bulk of their work from Facebook – and referrals from Facebook.
    I know of others that just use print advertising.
    I know of others still that combine digital and print.
    It has to be strategic and targeted approach and you really need to know exactly which type of customers you are targeting.

    All the best I hope you can work out something that suits your business.

    Maree

    #1223670
    SamsonWho
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    Well firstly, Congrats with your business. A business with already some word of mouth is already 10 steps ahead. I’m in an industry that offers a higher ticket product so would be very similar to yours.

    With our experience, a website does the followings for us.
    1. As a store front so people who have heard of us, referral customers, could look us up and reach out to us easily. ie less friction for customer to find us.
    2. Our website act as a lead collection tool. All contact form would be stored in a CRM system automatically so less leads will be loss during any marketing process and since its automated, over time it will be a great customer asset for us.
    3. Build credibility for us and act as a portfolio. When we are talking to a customer, it is somewhere we could asked to go to during the conversation and give them a visual on what we are talking about.
    4. We’ve managed to rank our page on first page on google so we do get phone calls coming in from time to time. (Not for every one)

    I’ve tried placing ads myself and one thing you have to think about before is… When the leads comes in, are you able to manage and convert it?

    Leads that comes in online do show some interest in your product/service offering, however they aren’t as hot as referrals. They need more time to nurture them to become a customer. Do you have the energy to take it? Leads could come in very quickly and once we have a couple dozens comes in two weeks and we need to stop as we need to take time to follow them up one by one.

    All in all, having a website is a no brainer investment considering the cost of a website is very low and one new customer will pay off all the cost on industry like yours.

    I am happy to talk to you a bit more. Just PM me.

    #1223671
    eagleeye
    Member
    • Total posts: 31

    1. Do the very best you can on each job to get more word of mouth. Under promise and over deliver. This is your best marketing technique by far. It is the cheapest and reflects your reputation which is everything in the construction industry.
    2. Get a reasonable website and a capability statement you can email.
    3. Make sure you have business cards
    4. Go to UDIA and Property Council Events. Expensive but will generate high quality commercial project leads when you meet people.
    5. Once you meet people – email your capability statement to them as a follow up.
    6. Focus on quality all the time. Number 1 is the best thing you can do in the construction industry.

    #1223672
    Danielroberts
    Member
    • Total posts: 7
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 270349, member: 78928 wrote:
    What we’d like to do is start taking on more jobs, so we have a few on the go at the same time. Maybe even expand to large new home builds or unit developments.

    Determining what market segments want and how they get their information is the first step. That is, you are starting with you. You should be starting with the customer.

    If the new renovation government incentive is something that will provide impetus to the industry, perhaps that would be a good place to start research.

    Picking up the phone to other builders, architects and previous customers would be worthwhile.

    Good money and a steady flow of work will come from being known for a certain type of work or price category.

    That is find your niche.

    It will make marketing laser-focused, not scatter-gun.

    Congratulations and best of luck for your start-up. I personally agree with what tpaul is saying. I think you should take it under consideration as well.

    #1223673
    adrewthornton222
    Member
    • Total posts: 2

    The key element to growing your online presence would be to make your business appear in google search results. You should start out with putting up a website that has great content, user experience, and make sure that it is optimized for SEO. You could also expand your reach through social media, online business listings, and pay-per-click ads. If you hire an SEO company or expert, these things would usually come with what you pay for. You could reach out to Build Media Group, they’re a digital marketing firm that works specifically for contractors and construction companies. You could also check out this article from them to get you started and for you to get a grasp on what you should do. Digital Marketing doesn’t come cheap, but it is an investment worth making and expressing your interest in expanding your business through this means is already a great sign. Good luck!

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