Raising Contractor Reputation: Referrals and Community
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to help your contracting business stand out and grow its reputation. Reputation is a major factor for contractors, as many clients factor this in heavily when choosing a partner for their needs, and differentiating yourself from the competition will go a long way.
At Contractor's School, we're here to help not only with obtaining a contractor's license and setting up a contracting business, but also maintaining your existing contracting business in intelligent ways that help it grow and flourish. What are some of the other tips we commonly offer our clients on how to improve reputation?
In certain areas of the contracting world, you or even your entire business may be targeted primarily at private clients rather than other businesses. This is the case for general contractors who work mostly on residential properties, for instance.
And in these cases, one great element to consider is taking part in a referral program. Most of these programs involve offering a discount on a product or service to an existing client when they refer a new client who also makes a purchase of some kind. This gives your happy clients an additional incentive to mention your business to someone else – and as we went over in part one, word-of-mouth is enormously important within the contracting world, especially on the private side. Just be sure you have the time and skills to coordinate the referral program without missing anything.
As you establish yourself in your community, it's important to define certain related elements here. For instance, many general contractors will regularly have a need for hiring subcontractors for specific jobs – if you're a general contractor, building relationships with local subcontractors in your most commonly-needed fields is a great move. You'll also develop relationships with common clients and professionals who may subcontract you in certain situations.
Contractors produce physical structures, and this offers the industry a relatively unique way of evaluating quality: Construction competitions. These are often offered as a form of community goodwill, where multiple contractors will "compete" to build the same structure for a disadvantaged family or community of some kind – and it's a great way to not only get yourself out there in the community and get noticed, but also to showcase your quality as a contractor. There will also be some private construction competitions you may consider competing in, especially if they include primary competitors you're certain you're superior to in quality.