Business Development Ideas For Home Improvement Business

The home improvement business is an interesting line to be in. Less chaotic situations and the special nurturing of the place by the residents makes it an even more tempting line to be in. Yet like other businesses, you want to grow and, therefore, require business development tips, which is exactly what this articles intends to provide you.

What is the first thought that strikes you when you think about developing your business? Development or growth is indicative of higher profits, more customers (rather satisfied customers), and expansion in both reach and income.

How do you achieve these growth parameters in your home improvement business?

Well to start with, review your existing marketing efforts. Are you waiting for customers to look for you, or have you established a channel of communication whereby they can easily locate you? Develop an online presence if you already do not have one. Create a website that takes the prospective parties through a road map of how things would happen and how exactly you can help them. If possible, let it be an interactive site wherein the seekers can drop in their queries and you can contact them accordingly. Start a question-answer section on your site where you can provide some quick tips about home improvement. If your customers are happy with your tips, they can give you huge business as an award. Make a picture gallery that depicts the old and new pictures of some of your works. Do not forget to add testimonials, and if possible, a few happy faces.

Don’t just sit back because you now have an online presence. Send out your pamphlets and do a basic market research to understand your competition’s offerings. If time and resources permit, carry out a neighborhood survey to see if anybody requires such services. You might not get business directly by this means, but leaving your card and pamphlets while conducting this survey can get you few referrals. Send out cards or mementos to important clients and seek referrals through them as well.

Another way to grow is by adding to the portfolio of your services. See what your competitors provide and maybe start doing few things complimentary. To further increase your presence, you can also advertise in various women’s or home-related magazines. Being present at trade shows organized around home products always helps you generate business. It is then up to you to convert initial interested seekers into concrete clients.

A home improvement business is a place for the creative minds. Development in this field comes from your own hard work. One happy and satisfied client can help you add many. So, pay close attention to your existing projects and see them turn numbers for you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Top 10 Methods for Advertising Your Home Improvement Business

People often ask us the same question: “What’s the best way to advertise my Home Improvement business and gather leads?” We’ve compiled a handy list of the 10 most useful tools to advertise your business and see results.

1. Build a Good Online Presence

For what may seem like an obvious necessity for most, some companies still don’t value the importance of a good website. While most companies do have an online presence, it may not be attractive or user-experience optimized. A good website should convey the businesses’ goals, experience, qualities, and services in an easy to read way. There should be a blatant call to action, and sufficient information for the viewer. If the potential client can glance at your page and get all the important information needed, you are that much closer to reeling them in.

2. Search Engine Optimization

Many people think that SEO is solely related to building links and advertising your website link. A large part of search engine optimization is related to the way your page is set up. Are you taking advantage of meta keywords and titles? Are you using headers properly? Does your site have a large amount of unique content optimized for targeting certain keywords? These are all important things to consider.

3. Craigslist

Craigslist is a great way to advertise your services. You can hire a designer to create a small ad for you to embed into your Craigslist post, or simply use HTML to format a nice, easy to read, eye-catching advertisement. Re-post as per Craigslist’s guidelines and keep your business’s name out there.

4. Adwords

Google provides a great PPC (pay-per-click) advertising system which will target related websites that use Google Adsense to display your ads. You can target your chosen demographic, choose how much you’d like to pay for every click, and modify the appearance of your ad. They offer text ads, image ads, and rich media ads (flash, animation).

5. Social Media

These days social media is becoming the leading the way for advertising and creating a “friendly” relationship with your clients and fans. Create a Fan page on Facebook, establish a Twitter account, or create a blog. these are all great methods to attract your customers.

6. Blog Commenting

Find blogs related to your industry. Search them out, and post meaningful, relevant comments in the comments section. Be sure to add a link to your website, with a keyword that you’d like to target in the search engines. Slow and steady is the key to seeing results; keep at it on a daily/weekly basis and in due time you’ll see results.

7. Local Advertising

If your business is based locally, an ad in a local magazine or newspaper is a great option. Some companies provide direct mail advertising, which allows you to localize your advertisement in a demographic of your choice.

8. Content is King

Creating and publishing unique content will provide your website visitors with an interesting read, a potential link-back, and will improve your chances at getting picked up by the search engines. Google is beginning to heavily penalize websites with unoriginal content, and content of poor quality. Don’t get cut by the search engines. Keep your content interesting, unique, and greatness will follow.

9. Word of Mouth

Sometimes in these technological days we forget the importance of word of mouth! Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good recommendation. Treat your customers with respect and handle their job with excellence and you just might get the good word passed on.

10. Physical Ads

Physical advertisements such as billboards, bus benches, and other sign-age are often expensive, but they are generally high-profile and attention-getting. If you have the marketing funds available, give it a shot and see how it works. Create a marketing campaign and if the results are lower than you expected or needed, try another route.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

5 Reasons Why Your Home Improvement Business Should Be Online

Why Your Home Improvement Business Should Be On The Internet

1. It’s much more cost effective that yellow page ads that only serve one area. A website can serve your entire county for less than the price of a basic yellow page ad.

2. Cost less and is more environmentally friendly than printing glossy brochures. Think about how many people ask to see your portfolio of your craft. A website can display your pictures over and over again with no extra cost.

3. Having a website brands you as an expert. Think about two businesses with everything being equal except one has a website and one does not. Who do you think most customers will go with? Well a website will brand your image in the head of your customers.

4. Out of town customers can reach you. Yes I realize that if you work in Alaska it is no value to have someone see your website in California….or is it? YES it is because what if someone from California was about to move to Alaska and needed some Home Improvement Done?

5. It’s cheap these days to have a website. It no longer cost thousands of dollars to make a nice looking website. Most small trades people can have an attractive website for about $200.00-$300.00 with yearly maintenance and hosting running about $120.00. So when you add it up that is less than $1.00 per day. Most trades’ people will break even if they got 1 extra customer in a year. Yes one extra customer will pay for the website entirely.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Internet Marketing Methods to Grow Your Home Improvement Business

Last month 22,200 people searched online for “Home Improvement contractors New York” and 33,100 people searched for “Contractors New York” indicating a strong demand for home improvement related services. The fact is another Contractor in your local area is ending up with this business. Most Contractors entered into the profession thinking that they would open up a business and the business would generate from word of mouth and referrals. This may be true for a select few Home Improvement businesses, but it is more likely that if you want to compete, you need to market your services.

Traditionally, Contractors are not marketers! But if you do what I recommend in this article, you can not only stay competitive, but you can also potentially blow away your competition. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 4% of Contractors market their business, and most are NOT doing it effectively. The key to Home Improvement marketing is to acquire, retain, and re-market. If you do all 3, you will have a steady stream (or even a flood) of leads coming into your Home Improvement business.

The best way to grow your Home Improvement business is by using Internet marketing. Forget TV ads, expensive Radio, or Newspaper advertising. We know very few Contractors for whom these marketing mediums have actually ever worked for. In fact, their lack of accountability, measurability, and limited geo targeting capabilities will leave you wondering where your investment went. You need to be where your prospects and clients are, which is online searching for the products and services they need.

Marketing Methods:

Conversion Focused Web Design

To effectively market on the internet, you need a conversion focused web site. What you DO NOT need is a website that collects dust. Think about it, just about every home improvement business has a website of some kind. Most are poorly conceived by graphic designers or stock templates, and were implemented with no strategy, no calls to action, and are basically just like brochures. A brochure is not going to cut it as we move forward into a more competitive marketing space on the internet. Most of your competition has a brochure, but to convert traffic into prospects and then into customers, you need a much stronger pull to get the prospect to want to do business with you.

An internet marketing consultant can help design and organize your site to move you beyond a simple brochure to a highly productive lead generation machine. Also, an effective web solution should put you in control of your site and content. Make sure your site is built with a Content Management System (CMS) that will allow you or your control staff to make simple edits without having to hire your designer at $100+/hr for each little web change needed.

Organic Search Marketing

Organic or Natural Search Marketing is similar in concept to Pay Per Click, but for organic search marketing results you do NOT have to pay per click. It is a much longer and slower process, but it is where 80% of your prospects are going to find you. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a process by which your site is engineered to show up for certain keywords in the search engines. Organic search results can lead to a consistent stream of leads for your practice, but patience and time working on your site (and off of your site) is required to take advantage of this strategy. Make sure if you outsource your SEO work, you deal with someone who understands your business, will not spam the search engines, and is someone you can trust with your message and reputation. One wrong move here could leave you black listed by Google and the other major search engines.

A solid SEO strategy is rooted in delivering good quality keyword rich content to your site. Writing content for the web is a lot different than writing content for a brochure or off line marketing collateral. Make sure you work with an SEO team that understands the complexities of search engine optimization, can create a realistic plan, understands your business, and can measure the results.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Thousands of potential customers are searching online every day for Home Improvement contractors and related services in your local area. With the right message and a conversion focused Pay Per Click marketing campaign, you can get immediate leads and new clients into your practice. Pay Per Click marketing delivers ads in the search engines to prospects that are not only local to your business, but looking for exactly what you are offering at the exact time they want it! It is highly targeted, and a highly measurable marketing technique unlike anything else in existence.

The problem is Pay Per Click marketing, or PPC, is extremely competitive and you really need someone who knows what they are doing to make it successful. If you are going to invest in PPC, you need to make sure you track conversions (emails, phone calls, web forms, downloads, etc.). Without tracking this data, you will not know how effective the campaign really is. Also, PPC marketing needs to be constantly monitored and optimized every day to avoid stagnant and lack luster results. If you do this, you will not only compete in your market, you will dominate.

Landing Pages

Internet marketing for Home Improvement business is competitive, and if not done correctly, you can squander your marketing dollars pretty quickly. Developing a custom landing page is a technique to develop a small 1 or 2 page website focused around a very specific service (Plumbing, Roofing, Kitchen Remodeling, etc.), and developed around a strong call to action.

By utilizing a focused page to send targeted traffic to, you are properly aligning what someone is searching for in the search engines with the exact result they are expecting to see when they click on the pay per click ad or organic search result. Conversion rates can increase 100% or more using a landing page strategy. Landing pages tend to work best when used in conjunction with a Pay Per Click marketing campaign. When it comes down to it, effective marketing is all about doing it better than your competition. Landing pages, when used correctly, can dramatically accelerate your lead generation efforts and squeeze more out of your Pay Per Click budget.

Social Media

Social media sites are where your prospects and customers are spending a lot of their time. So how come most contractors are not utilizing this marketing strategy? It is most likely due to a lack of time and lack of knowledge on how to use Social Media to your advantage. Get on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and at least start engaging with your prospects and customers. Post relevant articles and quick tips on troubleshooting your AC unit, or post excellent bathroom tips for remodeling and renovating your bathroom. You can realistically post whatever you want to talk about that helps present you as an expert. Social Media is all about engagement. Also, Social Media can help your organic search results, build your email marketing database, drive more traffic to your website, and help with reputation management.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great strategy to use for retention and re-marketing, and a way to present yourself as an industry expert. You need to stay in front of your existing customers and potential prospects every month. The average prospect needs 6-7 touches from a business before they actually do business with them. Mailing out letters is not the answer and it is very expensive. Email marketing is quick, measurable, and extremely effective. Keep your customers engaged and aware of all the services you have to offer and any new exciting breakthroughs in the field of home improvement.

When developing an email marketing strategy, you need to plan it out carefully and make sure every campaign is created with a strong offer or call to action. Don’t be too pushy or overburden people by sending out more than one email campaign per month. Email marketing is a key piece to the internet marketing puzzle and can help maximize all of your marketing efforts.

If you are a Home Improvement contractor, I encourage you to implement all of these proven marketing strategies into your business today. The longer you wait, the more your competition will gain a larger share of the market (and their friends, family, co workers, etc.). All of these strategies need to be worked on and improved upon over time, so do not think that what worked today will always work tomorrow. Create a clear strategy to maximize your internet marketing investment and set realistic expectations. With the right plan and execution, internet marketing will not feel like you are taking a risk by spending your money on it, and hoping for something in return. Internet marketing is a tried and true investment that will deliver consistent returns for your business.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Easiest Way To Start A Home Improvement Business

If you’ve always loved working with your hands and making your home look better than when it was first built, you may want to start a home improvement business. This can be a fairly complicated undertaking, however. In order to be successful, you need to choose a focus in terms of what you want to improve about the home. You also need to build a name for yourself to attract more and more clientele.

Instead of trying to take on everything on your own, you can opt for a franchise business. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your hopes and dreams of a home improvement business. You can simply choose a franchise that deals in home improvement products. This will give you the focus you need for your business as well as a brand name that people already are familiar with.

Purchasing a home improvement franchise can consist of various different options. You can choose a company that deals in flooring, cabinets, bathroom remodels or virtually anything else. Depending on whether you like to work indoors or out or even where your interests lie will dictate which kind of franchise you want to buy.

When you are looking into a franchise business, it’s also important to see what you’re getting for the money. In many cases, you will pay a flat fee for the rights to the franchise. This will include the rights to use the name as well as many other things. Some franchises have a website and will add your location to the website. Others will provide you with equipment, product lists, letterhead and much more.

You have the option to choose the franchise business that is most advantageous to what you are trying to accomplish. Some of the franchises will give you some creative freedom while others are very black and white. You need to take the time to review these options to ensure you are able to run the business the way that you want.

Having a home improvement franchise can allow you to be your own boss and work with your hands on a daily basis. As the boss, you get to determine how involved you want to be on a regular basis. You can choose to be in sales, management, installation or any other aspect. Then you hire staff to handle the areas you don’t want to be regularly involved in.

If you were to start your own home improvement business, you may find it more difficult to take a backseat to what’s going on. The reason for this is because, as a new business, there’s a lot more to be done. You will have to work hard to get your name out there. You will need to do a lot of the ground work on your own. With a franchise, however, that’s already done for you.

A home improvement business isn’t a fad. This means you have a better chance of being successful with this kind of franchise than just about any other franchise opportunity out there. Regardless of the state of the economy, there are always people who will want to make improvements to their home – be it adding carpet, updating cabinets or replacing tile.

Starting a business can be difficult. However, if you take advantage of a home improvement franchise opportunity, most of the work has been completed for you. Take the time to check out the options around you and you may be able to become your own boss faster than you ever thought was possible.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off