A small custom homebuilder in a growing suburban area was maintaining a modest stream of business. He had enough jobs to keep his crew busy, but not enough to expand. Nearly all of his projects came through referrals from former customers, who recommended his company to their friends and neighbors.
Some construction business owners would be adequately satisfied with such a situation, but he believed there was a larger market for his services. The contractor just wasn’t sure how to tap into it. So he asked his CPA for some cost-effective ideas on taking his company to the next level.
The advisor recommended he try advertising to raise his company’s profile. She pointed out that his base of satisfied customers was already a great resource. But the fact that he served a small geographic area meant he could take advantage of relatively inexpensive local advertising media.
3 media to pursue
She suggested he first examine his current materials — such as business cards, brochures, and signage, as well as his website — to ensure they had an attractive, consistent look. Then she told him to focus his journey on three media:
- Signage. Used thoughtfully and consistently, signage can be an important way to make passersby aware of a company’s work. Lawn signs, as well as logos on vehicles and job trailers, should prominently display the company’s name and contact information.
- Local advertising. Although online advertising is a hotter topic, the CPA advised the contractor to explore traditional local media outlets such as newspapers, printed directories (such as the Yellow Pages and other construction-specific ones), and TV and radio stations. Specifically, he should see what competitors are doing and design ads that differentiate his business from the rest.
- The Internet and social media. First and foremost, the contractor needed to update his website. Even if the site must become smaller and simpler, it’s essential to have a Web presence that appears contemporary and functional. Today’s home and business owners may view anything else negatively.
Beyond that, social media beckons. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer significant promotional value for little to no money spent, aside from the work hours put into creating and maintaining the account. The contractor could even use a platform such as Instagram to share engaging, enticing construction-related photography.
Strategy in motion
After pondering his advertising options and working closely with his CPA on an appropriate budget, he set his strategy into motion. Within a year, he saw a substantial increase in new customer leads and secured a number of jobs that, otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have.