Marketing can be a daunting area for small business owners, especially if you’re in a competitive market. Residential building is a highly competitive market regardless of your area. Small business owners are faced with volume builders as well as other locals, which only increases the importance of marketing.
If you’re up against major volume builders it’s vital to understand you will not be able to match their marketing efforts, however that DOES NOT mean you can’t compete with them. Like in any other aspect of your business, you need to play to your strengths.
How? By building your LOCAL profile.
One of the strongest cards in your ‘marketing deck’ is your reputation. Reputation is everything. It’s not enough to just build this up; you need to make sure your potential clients hear, see, and read all about it.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth is a highly trusted recommendation, especially when it comes from friends or family. Make sure you’re providing every customer with an experience that not only meets, but exceeds their expectations. If you’re successful your reputation will build naturally.
Provide your clients with an opportunity to leave feedback or a review of your services. This may be a small card that’s written and featured on your website, a post on your Facebook page, or even investing in a review platform such as productreview.com.au. While this may cost you a bit, your reviews will speak for themselves and they could be the difference between a client signing a contract with you or a competitor.
Remember, an unhappy client sings a lot louder than a happy one, and one bad review can have a significant impact on your business’ reputation.
As a local, you need to build your presence and image within your town. If you’ve lived there for a while you’ll have a really strong understanding of the town’s history, lifestyle and characteristics, which is a major benefit because you know what’s important. Support local initiatives and engage with the community by attending local community events such as fairs, expos and fundraisers. Create relationships with other local business owners whether they directly relate to your business or not. As mentioned above, reputations and referrals are very important and building those relationships will help this.
Local area marketing
When you’re competing with volume builders they will likely have thousands of dollars invested in their marketing and advertising strategies. You do not need to spend this much money on marketing. Keep in mind as a volume builder there are countless areas they will target, which is why their campaigns and advertising can be so extravagant. As a small business owner you’ll only need to invest in the areas you operate in. Your advertising should only be placed in local media outlets such as newspapers, local radio stations or local television stations (depending on the size of your business). As your business begins to expand so too should your advertising, until then keep it local.
Tell your story
Every business owner has a unique story and it’s a story that should be shared. Your passion, your experience and your history are all a significant part of your story as a local builder and it’s what you should be sharing with your consumers. You can share your story at client meetings, invest in advertorial or even book during prime time on the radio. Give your clients a chance to get to know you.
Point of difference
Your point of difference is something that separates you from your competitors. Sometimes it can be very obvious, other times not so much. It’s very important you find and highlight your point of difference within your community and tell your clients why they should choose you over any other business.
‘Guerrilla’ means to do something in an unconventional or unique way that defies traditional principles. Guerrilla marketing focuses on creating a new way of reaching your audiences that is surprising, fresh and extremely effective at conveying messages (especially if it’s done right!). There are endless possibilities of guerrilla marketing which can cost anywhere between $5 and $5,000,000 – the beauty of it is you have the power. This type of marketing can include newsletter drops, distributing promotional items on the street or even creating an interesting advertisement that will catch your consumer’s eye.
One major benefit of joining Hotondo Homes is the marketing support you receive from the Support Office. With a 6-member marketing team who each specialise in different areas our builders have all the tools they need to build their reputation locally while the brand continues to grow nationally.