If you have a trade skill, whether you’re a qualified electrician, plumber, or contractor, your skills will no doubt be in demand. However, working for someone else means you are on their schedule and don’t get to see much of the profits, just your hourly rate or salary. If you wish to take your career to the next level, you may want to start your own trade business, but how do you take the first step?
Build A Client Base
Many tradespeople test the waters before they quit their full-time job, building a small side business, and getting a few clients who can then recommend them by word of mouth. Build a small business website and start promoting yourself on sites such as Facebook and Nextdoor; that way, people will know that there’s someone offering their services close to them.
Get Tools and Supplies Together
Unless you already use your own tools and truck at your current job, you’ll want to start gathering things together. You can buy supplies at Tradefix Direct, which can save you money, and it’s often easier to get things delivered to your home. Buy tools and equipment that are hard-wearing, as this is a good investment, and get a few basic supplies for when you need to do quick repairs. Most of the time, you’ll order parts before a job, but it helps to have some spares in your truck.
Build an Excellent Reputation
In the early days, it’s important to do a great job and go that extra mile for customers. While you shouldn’t price yourself too cheaply, you should ensure you give good value for money, are friendly and deliver what you promise. At the end of your visit, ask politely if your customers will give you a review. Research has shown that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as word of mouth, so a few good reviews on Google, Yelp, or specialist trade sites could give you the edge over the competition.
Do Some Research and Identify Your Market
If you’re a trades person in an area where they’re highly in demand, then no doubt the bookings will soon roll in. However, if the market is over saturated, then you’ll need to find something to give you a unique selling point. For example, think of any skills you have that competitors don’t offer. If you’re multi-skilled in your trade, this can also be useful. For instance, if you’re a plumber who can also offer tiling and some construction skills, you’re more likely to be in demand.
Make Sure You’re Licensed and Insured
Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so you should check your trade body’s website for more information. It’s likely that insurance will be a legal requirement, and you should make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident or damage, so you don’t end up dealing with an expensive lawsuit.
Setting up a trade business involves more than just sending out a few flyers, but if you market yourself properly and do a great job, the bookings will soon come.