Many of us at least once in our lives toy with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur. Some of us have a great idea, find a niche market and make it big. Others of us stay put, with a stable job with a stable income. Both ways are absolutely great and fantastic, the important thing is doing what we believe to be right.
I'd like to cite Mike Bloomberg - once an employee, then a successful entrepreneur, Major of New York City and a founder of a charity. He decided to make his way by following these five simple steps.
If you want to be an entrepreneur you have to risk your time, money and resources in starting something new. Of course there's a chance you won't succeed with your business, but the very prospect of success is a great motivational tool, one which will help you in overcoming risk.
2. Create your own luck
There's no question that luck also plays an important role in your success. And yet it's also true that the harder you work, the luckier you'll find you become. No matter what job you do at the moment, be sure to try your best - even if it isn't your dream job. Sheer hard work creates opportunities.
3. Be persistent
We all agree that persistence is a great attribute. Bloomberg would bring cups of coffee to his future customers and ask them for a short chat. People got interested, and he started to build relationships with his target group. He would visit them on a daily basis, learning more and more about them.
4. Never stop learning
The word "why" is possessed of great power in any language. No matter what you do, in whatever area you start your business, people will always pay attention to those who persistently want to get to know more about the world.
5. Give something in return
You only become truly successful once you are capable of sharing that success with others. Try to find a charity or a good cause, a way of giving something back to society. You don’t necessarily need to have a lot of money - the mere fact of being rich is not synonymous with success.
Have a great evening!
For many of us, finding a suitable salesperson for our business is a real grind. Which is hardly surprising - posting a job ad on the internet brings in CVs by the wagonload, the vast majority of which are simply not suitable. And then you have the task of trawling through them and selecting those who deserve a phone or personal interview.
At this stage, you might want to take the following factors into consideration.
Ability to Work Alone
A key skill for a salesperson is to be able to work independently, without the need for constant supervision. Irrespective of whether the position you have in mind is an inside or field sales job, that person needs to be able to manage customers.
Planning and Preparation
A good salesperson works to a plan - they should know at least a week in advance what they're going to be doing, and who they're going to be visiting. They also need to be well prepared - armed with as much information about the potential customer as possible.
Product/Service Price Point is Irrelevant
A good salesman should be able to sell customers on even a top-price product. They do this by becoming well-informed about customers and their business needs. This gives them real persuasive power - even in the case of a top-of-the line product. (Selling a bottom-price product - given that there are no other differentiating features - is absolute child's play.)
Their performance needs to solidly based. In other words, they need to be able to keep the emotions related to their day-to-day lives at bay, just focusing on the job in hand.
They can't be afraid of making cold calls (which are, after all, a fact of life for every salesperson). A good preliminary test would be to send them your number and have them call you before the interview.
The best salesperson for your business will be someone forever on the lookout for new sales techniques, who feels the urge to keep learning, day in and day out. Which also means that they'll be coming up with creative ideas, looking for new ways to sell your products and services.
And what about your search process for salespeople? Which factors do you take into consideration? Why not let me know in a comment here, or else on my Facebook page!
Have a great evening!
Image source: Marco Giunta
I'm convinced that each and every one of us knows about the importance of feedback. It’s important to know how your customer thinks about what you do and how you do it. The way I see it, you can get really get a lot out of their comments and criticism.
Which is the reason I give my customers a short list of questions to respond to after every completed job. Of course, the list shouldn't be too long - discouraging people people from completing it is certainly not your objective. The principle to keep in mind is KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) - so there should probably be not more than 10 easily answered questions.
The questions generally should be closed-end ones (limiting the set of answers makes it easy to work with the data afterwards), together with just a few open-end questions, where the respondent gets the opportunity to give full rein to his or her opinions.
You also get to learn a bit about your customers' demographics if you ask them for their age and gender.
You can print out or create a survey online - for example at: Surveymonkey
Maybe you're already using questionnaires to get feedback from your customers? Let me know what works for you in a comment here, or else on my Facebook page!
Image source: Theia
Previously we discussed structuring your website, and whilst this is an important and valuable part of establishing your online presence, it can be relatively slow to gain momentum and start bringing in business. We are coming into the winter months now, and these can be the hardest for finding new customers - but they needn't be. In the modern world we are spending more and more time interacting on Social Media platforms, and as a tradesman you can use this to your advantage quickly and at minimal effort. Now, with winter looming, might be the best time for you to start.
There are many different options when it comes to Social Media but I am going to focus on using Facebook as a springboard for finding future clients, it is after all the most widely used and therefore should be the perfect place to start.
Having a business page separate from your personal profile is a good idea, as your personal views (no matter what they are) should not get in the way of you finding customers.
Setting up your page
First things first, I am going to give a short overview of how to set up your page, I will not go into too much detail as I want to concentrate more on how to use the page, once set up, to drive customers to your door.
Creating a standalone page is incredibly easy to do, and as I am assuming the majority of people reading this already have a personal profile, you have already completed step one. Anybody who is signed up can scroll down to the bottom of their news feed and click the ‘Create a Page’ button.
From there you can choose the option that best suits your business. As a small local business or sole trader you should probably choose “Local Business or Place”. You will then choose a category such as “Home Improvement” or “Professional Services”; enter your business’ name and address, and then you are ready to get started. The rest is pretty self-explanatory, and Facebook will guide you through setting up your information; they will also ask you to invite your current friends to ‘like’ your page.
Facebook groups are possibly the best, largely untapped resource for finding customers in your area. You may already be a member of some groups on Facebook, and publishing your services in any and every local group can be a great way to find business. If you can establish yourself in a large group as the best of your trade then you will quickly find that people are ready to recommend you. Then, if anybody asks for a ‘reliable roofer in the area’, the best roofer's name will come up pretty quickly. The key to this is maintaining a presence in the group, building confidence with customers, and actually being reliable.
I am a member of several community groups in my town (and nearby areas), mainly ones that focus on the selling or swapping of goods and services. Last summer I was inundated with work every week, with a large proportion of it coming directly through Facebook. This also gave me a hassle-free way to communicate with customers at all hours.
Facebook will give you direct feedback of people’s interaction with your page. You can find out which content people view most, at what times they are looking, and even the age and gender of the people looking. This may be too in-depth for some people but, if you're willing to look at this information, it can provide valuable market research and you can focus the content of your posts to impress the right people.
Updating your page regularly is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself in the minds of others. I mentioned in a previous post that it's worth taking before-and-after pictures of any jobs you do, and post these to your website, and the same goes for Facebook. Customers want to trust the people they hire to work on their homes, and being able to prove that you have successfully completed jobs goes a long way for those thinking of employing you.
Post as positively as possible, don't post argumentative or excessively personal opinions - you might be offending potential customers, and this page is all about creating a positive image for your company or work. You might want to include a joke or two every now and again, or information/news relevant to your field of expertise, but don’t overdo it – people may be put off by you clogging up their news feed and be drawn to click the “unlike” button.
One thing to make sure of is to add good cover and profile pictures. The cover photo is at the top of the page and the first thing anybody will see when they visit your page, so it is a good idea to use your company logo (maybe a photo of your logo) or an image that describes what you do. Your profile picture is what people will see in their news feed whenever you post anything, so you may also want your logo here or, if you work alone, then a friendly mug-shot of yourself could do the trick.
In summary: Set up your page. Once you are happy with it, join and interact with some local groups. Keep your page up-to-date and don’t forget to invite your friends!
Image source: Advo Group
No question there is something up with the climate these days - I can feel it on my skin more with every passing season. The winters are getting colder and more unpredictable (either massive snowfalls or else unseasonably high temperatures), and during the summer we have the same kind of story: heavy rainfall, extremely strong winds, and hail over a wide radius.
It's no wonder that roofers get so many residential jobs these days. Some of these storms are big enough to blow away the whole roof, or at least most of the tiles, causing the house owners trouble a-plenty.
Over my time in the business, I've had to replace or repair no small number of roofs damaged by the awful weather. When installing new roofs and roof windows, I make sure I choose materials that will protect the home from these kinds of adverse conditions in future.
As far as roof windows are concerned, there's no question in my mind - I install Dakea windows, which have been tested under rigorous conditions to withstand even a huge storm, and are manufactured to meet the highest standards.
I often get questions from customers about the glass: "Would it survive even a massive hail storm?" Absolutely. The glazing on Dakea roof windows is made to last - all Dakea panes are toughened and come with a lifetime guarantee against hail damage.
Check out this short video about Max Protect, which ensures your safety:
Sounds like an unbeatable offer doesn't it? Do you also use materials tested for durability under extreme weather conditions? Tell me more about it in a comment here, or else on my Facebook page!
Image source: British Airways