Help for Construction Business

11 replies
Hey All --

I have a one man operation who needs some help getting new clients. What are some purely offline strategies I can give him? If I can give him an idea or two that works, I know he will give me his business for Internet stuff.

All help is appreciated,

David
#business #construction
  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    Develop a contractor exchange where contractors throughout the area can join up and provide each other leads. Sell it where only one of each specialty is allowed. Some people running my software are doing this and it is working well for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author mmresources
    Construction these days is tough, but people buying and rehabbing homes is hot.

    Maybe find an investment club locally and offer his services, or rub elbows with local REO realtors. If the realtors are selling REO properties, most of them need some kind of work. If he falls in with the right people, he could get steady work out of targeting fix and flip type investors.
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      When I was a full-time cabinet maker I had an aggressive direct
      mail lead generation system using postcards directing recipients
      to call a voice-mail box and leave their info for a free report.

      The report was, of course, mostly a salesletter promoting me
      as a reliable and skilled provider of a specialized service.

      I had follow-up mailings too.

      This was before the internet was very meaningful. I didn't expect
      postcard recipients, at that point, to have internet access, so
      while I did have a website it wasn't mentioned on the postcard,
      only in the salesletter.

      The target was architects and interior designers.... some of whom,
      have - SURPRISE! Rich Clients on the hook. Architects
      and designers often serve as project managers and make
      decisions about hiring contractors and other tradespeople.

      If your client uses such an approach once, it will fail. Not because
      it does not work, but because success requires repetition.

      It was in doing this stuff I cut my teeth in direct response. Since
      then I have helped clients with the direct mail lead-gen systems.
      These days most people will just want to see your website,
      so the cycle is somewhat shortened. You send the postcard,
      and they can call to get the report in the mail or go to the
      website, or both.

      In any case, both the "report" and the website should be
      functional direct response mechanisms. The mailing should include
      grabbers, and some single sheet things like "7 Reasons Why
      You Should Hire Us" (one, we don't show you our butt cracks,
      2. we never leave a mess on site overnight without your
      permission...), and so forth.

      The website should have mostly the same content.

      In today's market, there is a glut of construction guys looking
      for work, so the guys who want to get it need to differentiate.

      When your marketing itself shows competence, attention to
      detail, and confidence you overshadow clueless "me too"
      competitors with cards and fliers babbling trite homilies like
      "No job too small", "service is our #1 priority" and so on. Yawn.

      Your guy is probably not gonna do any of this. If you're looking
      to do a couple thousand bucks worth of work for the guy for
      free, (I'll bet he's got no money to pay you) at least try to get
      some work done for yourself in trade. Developing such a system
      is hella' work, but he'll be eating the competition for lunch if
      it's done right.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
      If he would be willing to do some small repair jobs here and there in between actual construction work, that would keep him afloat. Most real estate offices holds weekly or bi-weekly office meetings. The real estate broker is calling all their agents together for an update of the latest happenings.

      Instead of having your friend the contractor cold-calling god knows how many agents, have him call the broker and ask to be allowed to attend the last 5 minutes of the meeting, introduce himself and tell that whatever rate he normally charges, he will take 25% off (first time only) his labor, thanks to the real estate agent.

      This would be an excellent way for the agent to get back in touch with past clients that would really appreciate it and your contractor friend would get work. 75% is better than nothing, lol

      P.s. It might be a good idea to bring some donuts or cookies and drop them off BEFORE the meeting, having the broker mentioning that it is from him and that he will introduce himself at the end of the meeting.

      Best of luck, Eva
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      • Profile picture of the author jwellsy
        What kind of construction? There is a huge range of trades and specialties in the construction world.

        Mortgage foreclosures are huge. Banks need the properties they foreclose on cleaned up and minor repairs done. Go into say 4 banks a week and introduce himself to the residential and commercial lenders and explain how he can help them fix up the foreclosures and minimize their losses.

        If he can, check out a local community college and get certified as a House Inspector. He could specialize in foreclosure property inspections.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwellsy
    Also have him check out:
    http://www.indeed.com/
    and
    http://www.roadtechs.com/

    I'm not affiliated with either site, just a big fan.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidkimball
    Thank you, everyone. These are some great ideas!
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    This has always been my fallback income. I actually had this conversation with a local contractor. I told him to offer free information to local businesses and landlords about cheap upgrades that would increase their likelyhood of renting their place. Any information that helps their target audience draw people to them instead of a cheaper contractor will work.
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    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ingegerd
    Many successful small businesses eventually decide to expand their operations by either purchasing, leasing, or building a new facility. In some instances, the business in question relocates its entire operation in the new facility.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Ok I do construction myself, and here's what works best.

    People on the way to and from the dump, is a great place to stick a sign. All of these people keep up on their properties and have this type of thing on their minds.

    People on their way to and from the hardware store. Somewhere close by is also a great place to stick a sign. People have this type of thing on their minds on this route as well.

    Yea some of you guys are probably going to give me **** for talking about sticking signs lol...But in construction man does it work wonders.

    Think about it, most home owners these days want to save money, don't want to pay a fortune for a project. Who are those type of people going to call if they don't get refferals from friends?

    The guy with the huge truck and tv commercials?

    Or the guy who doesn't have all of that overhead?
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  • Profile picture of the author jacquic
    He could ask local DIY and garden stores if he can do a few demos on, for example, brick laying and platering. He can have his leaflets, etc, on view. The store can advertise the fact he is coming (and both could send in a press release). The store will get more visitors and sales, and with luck he will get some prospects and clients.

    He could join the Chamber and tell lurid and fascinating stories of construction gone wrong when well-intentioned amateurs had a go.

    He could also visit local BNI chapters (and similar) and make contacts in his 'power group'.
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