Trade work is highly valued in the UK, being highly skilled and essential for both domestic and commercial customers. But manual trade professions are experiencing growing shortages of workers, spiking demand and creating some strong opportunities for self-starters.
Entrepreneurialism is an extremely valuable asset, but especially so when it comes to the trade industry. High demand for skilled work is the perfect environment in which to create a real presence within your niche.
Whether you are an electrician or a joiner, what are some key tips for getting a new trade business off the ground?
Secure Your Supply Chain
One of the most important aspects of any trade business is the supply chain supporting it. Without a reliable and robust network of wholesalers and trade partners, you won’t be able to provide a reliable standard of service to your customers. This is for two reasons.
For one, the quality of materials available to you can have a corresponding impact on the quality of finished work; if you’re offering loft conversions, you will need ready access to a range of insulation materials as well as timber. The second reason can be found in the word ‘ready’, as any delays to receiving supplies can cause major disruption to works in progress – with a negative impact on end results and your business’ reputation.
Build a Strong Portfolio
New trade businesses face an uphill struggle to gaining a solid, profitable client base – largely on account of the high level of local and national competition you are likely to face. Other, more established businesses can rest on their record, while your new trade business is something of an unknown quantity in comparison.
One essential route to improving your chances is to build a compelling portfolio, that showcases the quality of work. Conventionally speaking, this might take the form of a photo gallery on your website or social media, comprising pictures of work done for friends, family or early clients.
However, testimonials and customer reviews can also be folded in to your portfolio; soliciting positive reviews from your early clients can be instrumental in winning new clients over.
The Power of Local Marketing
Of course, a strong portfolio alone is not enough. Finding customers requires active outreach in the form of marketing – and for trade businesses, geo-targeted marketing is arguably the most effective route. This means communicating your skills and services to your local community, via a number of means.
Physical marketing strategies are particularly effective for winning domestic work locally, in the form of flyers on community noticeboards and adverts in local newspapers. But there is also a space for digital marketing, in the form of curated social media posts and targeted advertisements on social media platforms.