Freelance contractors are key to the economy because they’re contractor business contributes a vital piece to homes and businesses. Without freelance contractors, buildings wouldn’t be built or worse, they would completely fall apart! Because of this, starting your own contracting business can be an extremely lucrative endeavor. But before you buy all your tools and get too far involved, here are a few tips for freelance contractors can use to make their contractor business last. Freelance contractors who take these tips seriously will more than likely have a successful and long career with their contractor business.
Operate Your Contractor Business Using Best Business Practices
A typical problem freelance contractors have when they try to attempt to grow their business and improve efficiency is understanding and implementing industry best practices. With already some system in place, there is no doubt they know how the industry works, but it’s important to consider much more than simply “doing the job.” Freelance contractors need to consider everything from basic knowledge of tasks, to bookkeeping, and providing instructions to any of their employees. Fairmarket makes it easy for freelance contractors to stay organized and in communication with their clients all from one dashboard. When you have an effective system in place, freelance contractors can maintain their current success while also preparing for more.
Freelance Contractors Should Make Themselves Available
Customer service is everything when it comes to your contractor business. The better you treat your customers and prospective ones, the more likely they are to come back for more of your services. Customer service is about following up, letting your clients know how the job is going, communicating any issues you foresee prior to beginning the job. Although you may think that customer service is time consuming, it is absolutely worth every minute you give because that is your entire business. If a client feels ignored or mistreated, they will not recommend you or request your services again. Statistically, it’s easier to keep a client than it is to get a new one. Plus, referrals are everything. One thing to remember is that freelance contractors can often feel as though they are “always working.” Even if you give out your cellphone number to your clients, it’s important to set limits so you aren’t answer the phone at 9pm. You might also want to think about setting up an automated email message through a system such as outlook or even mailchimp so your customers always get a response from you even if you aren’t available right away. Respond to their emails within 24 hours to show good customer service.
Freelance Contractors Need to Step Up Their Marketing Game To Get Noticed
Completing your profile on Fairmarket including any and all certifications, licenses, and awards is a great way to stand out among the competition. Additionally, when creating a profile, that’s the time to brag a little about yourself. Write in a professional, yet confident tone. After all, you don’t just want one or two small jobs, you want big, profitable projects that keep your customers happy and coming back for more. Having a great profile on Fairmarket and a solid online presence – perhaps through your own website, social media, YouTube channel or blog, can be a great way to demonstrate your abilities and how you are the best among the freelance contractors. You could even make t-shirts, keychains, or other swag items to give away to your clients so you become memorable. The more that prospects and current clients see your name, the more apt they will be to call you for all their homeowner needs.
Freelance Contractors Should Be Unique
You don’t want to show up to your job with purple hair or in a clown costume, that’s not the uniqueness you should go for. But if your business has a particular specialization or niche, you are more likely to be the go-to choice out of all the other freelance contractors. Capitalize on the differences that you can bring to the table and what specifically makes you the best in town. Perhaps your expertise is with understanding older homes, or you have a unique certification that the other freelance contractors do not have – whatever it is, your uniqueness can offer that competitive edge to reach a wide audience.
Freelance Contractors Should Join An Industry Association
From finding your next employee to learning new skills, an industry association such as the Associated General Contractors can help you grow your business. Through networking and developing essential business skills to succeed in your contractor business, an association is key. You may also discover new products to use and where to find sub-trades.
Be Flexible For Your Contractor Business To Succeed
Even the most skilled general contractors aren’t an expert in everything. You are a professional in your particular field or niche, which means you provide your top-notch services and go above and beyond every time for your customer. So although you might not be a plumber, if you’re putting in new cabinetry into a bathroom and notice an issue with the pipes, you can suggest your client call a plumber. You might even have one to recommend. Going the extra mile can make all the difference.
Find Other Freelance Contractors As Mentors
If you’re just starting out, a mentor can help guide you and share mistakes they’ve made so you don’t make the same ones. They can also share their secrets to success to help you get started on the right foot. They may even introduce you to clients, investors, and vendors. A mentor can help guide you and they can be someone to reach out to when you have questions or problems.
Freelance Contractors Should Watch Their Finances
When you are just starting out there can be a lot of overhead costs. From certifications to the cost of tools. Unfortunately, many freelance contractors can’t make it in the contractor business because they spend way too much money on materials and severely underestimate the cost of labor. If you don’t know what to charge, talk to your mentor or look at what your competition is charging to help you ballpark the estimate. You may also find that creating a budget is extremely helpful to know exactly what amount is going in and what is coming out each month. This can help you make changes to cut what is unnecessary and know when to raise your rates. It’s also important to stay on top of your invoicing. Pick a date each month and stick to it as the day to send out your invoices.
Choose The Best Customers For Your Contractor Business
While you certainly don’t want to turn anyone away, it is important to work with customers who respect your work. In this business, the truth is, some customers are better than others. From deadbeat customers to those who don’t pay on time, try to feel out a customer before you take on the work. You could ask to be paid up front (at least half) and keep a contract so everything is in writing. Always remember that you want your customers to deliver a positive ROI rather than ones who will constantly give you problems. In order to spot these types of customers ask if other contractors have worked with them. Many times you can tell by their demeanor over the phone or in person. But remember, many people have had deadbeat contractors, too, so they may feel as though they have to be extremely stern. If you come off professional but relaxed, your client probably will, too.
Don’t Be Afraid To Keep Your Contractor Business
Many contractors feel pressured to grow their business, but many clients prefer going to a small, but reliable freelance contractor business. Don’t feel as though you have to force yourself to grow to the point where you’re hiring people and the profits don’t get any hire. Sometimes it’s actually easier to stay small and keep all the profits for yourself. This ensure constant positive cash flow while keeping your expenses low. Not to mention, the stress remains less, too!
Always Be Prepared In Your Contractor Business
Regardless of the size of your contractor business, it’s
crucial to understand that however prepared you are will make or break you. For
freelance contractors, little things such as knowing how long it takes to order
parts to what time the local hardware store closes are all part of the preparation
for each job. While you can’t plan every single scenario for your clients, preparing
as best as you can before you jump into a job is the first step in doing it well.
Be sure you have everything you need to complete the job well.
Join the many freelance contractors on Fairmarket and grow
your business exponentially with premium tools, the best vendor relationships,
and clients ready for you to come work for them. Get started today!