Construction Trends in 2015 For Artisan Contractors
What’s the construction trends in 2015 for artisan contractors? The improving economy means a bigger demand for artisan contractors. In 2015, plumbers, electricians, flooring specialists, carpenters and masons will see an upswing in remodeling and installation jobs, some of them more complicated than in recent years.
1. How to Stay on Top of Trends in 2015
According to industry trade magazine, Fine Homebuilding, spa showers, whirlpool baths, heated floors and clear glass fixtures are among the top bathroom trends for 2015, so investing in supplies and updated installation methods will give you an advantage over other artisan contractors, especially in upscale neighborhoods. For kitchens, customers are choosing painted cabinets, vinyl flooring, larger-size tile and easy to clean countertops over chic stone or concrete. Subscribe to industry trade magazines and network with other artisan contractors in your field to learn about hot new suppliers and styles in your field.
2. Position Yourself as an Industry Pro
Although social media is the most popular way people find businesses, don’t rely on it as the only way to attract new customers. Place ads in local or regional newspapers (including mail circulars) for a month or more to attract customers. Consistency is the key to a successful advertising campaign. Most readers need to see an ad between 7 and 15 times before they remember it, so be patient. Keep your Yelp and Google My Business pages up to date and always respond to customer questions. Catchy radio and TV ads may be old-school, but they still increase visibility for contractors. And don’t forget to keep your phone number, website and logo prominently displayed on your work van or truck. Vehicle wraps have a higher ROI (return on investment) than many other forms of advertising.
3. Back to the Basics
With technology enabling you to reach and serve more customers than ever, it might be tempting to concentrate on quantity of customers rather than building relationships with present customers. Cultivating a good rapport with customers and going the extra mile to provide excellent customer service will not only retain clients, but result in referrals and testimonials for your website or Yelp page. You can charge loyal customers a reduced rate, for example, as a thank you for their patronage.
4. Communication is Key
Keeping in touch with customers is easier than ever with Facebook, Smartphones, website contact forms and email. Keep your cell phone charged and within reach at all times. Artisan contractors without an office staff should consider hiring at least a part-time assistant to keep track of emails and social media inquiries. This enables the contractor and his onsite workers to concentrate on serving homeowners and businesses. If you don’t reply to a call or inquiry immediately, most prospective clients will simply contact the next name on their list until they get a response.
5. Keep Records and Track Statistics to Improve Your Business’s Future
Keeping complete records of your business activities is fundamental to a successful business. By tracking where your customers come from (ads, social media, referrals), what type of jobs they request (repair, installation, new plumbing, wiring or cabinets in several rooms), you’ll be better able to serve your clientele. And you’ll be able to see what services bring in the most money, and what marketing avenues work most efficiently.
6. Acquire Proper Insurance Coverage and Surety Bonds
Geared toward carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other skilled single specialty contractors, artisan’s insurance is designed for tradesmen. Artisan’s insurance is tailored insurance that covers business operations by craftspeople. It doesn’t cover your business office furniture, vehicles or work supplies; you’ll need a separate insurance policy for those items. Regardless of how conscientious you are, mistakes do occur, and it’s best to be protected for any financial liability for property damage or bodily injury with artisan’s insurance. You’ll need a surety bond as a financial guarantee, if a binding contract requires such policy.