Future Proof Your Painting Business
Anyone that’s been in the painting business (or any service business for that matter) understands that there will typically be a lull in work around the wintertime. Weather conditions play a major role in the kind of work that contractors of any kind do, but especially painters in particular. Even if you are doing indoor projects there is still the question of humidity and ventilation – two things that we often have little control over.
But during these lean times your business doesn’t have to hibernate – you can use this time to instead refocus your business and dedicate more and more time to finding customers and paying work when the weather turns more favorable. And though you may be a painter by trade, you’re really a businessman/businesswoman first and foremost, and you need to take care of the sales and marketing side of your enterprise. Here are a couple of tips to help make sure that you are in a fantastic position to hit the ground running when spring comes around by leveraging some of the most powerful businesses building tools available – the internet and SEO.
There are some absolute web design essentials that you cannot afford to be without
While there are a million and one different tools and technologies out there offering to help you build the best business website possible, the fact of the matter is that too many of these solutions focus on the technical details over web design essentials. And though the technical aspect of creating, uploading, and maintaining a website are often the most intimidating, nobody is going to book your service because of the web builder you used – you need to leverage smart web design principles to boost your business.
The first and most essential thing you’ll need to make sure of is that you have a clean and easy to navigate site. Though the temptation is great, keep anything that isn’t absolutely positively essential off your pages – don’t clutter the space for no particular reason. You also need – need! – to have a call to action that drives people to give you their contact information. Usually an email address and name is enough, but you can certainly go whole hog and ask for as many details as you want. This little list gives you the power to contact people at will, and puts the ball in your park. No more reactive marketing, you’ll be able to go out and find business instead of waiting for them to come to you.
The SEO world is ever changing and rapidly moving – make sure you are prepared by hiring the titans of the industry
The best designed website in the world will do you zero good if people don’t know how to find it, however. This is where SEO comes in – Search Engine Optimization is a process that you or a professional can go through to boost your rankings in the search engines. Some research has shown that the percentage of people that look beyond the first page is only about 10-20% so if you’re not on page 1 for your main keywords, the chances of boosting your business are slim to none. Lean on professional SEO services whenever possible, but make sure you are only working with reputable companies. There are a lot of fly by night jobs that would love nothing more than to take your money and leave you with nothing.
My recommendation for most companies starting out is to fully optimize your Google + Local listing. I talked about this in a recent blog post.
Google+ can be a powerful tool for business, but only when you optimize it for a business purpose
In the end, it’s all about making sure you are constantly putting yourself in the best possible position to grow your business and your bank account at the same time – and to do that effectively you’ll need to leverage all of the advantages out there
If diving head first in to the world of computers, the internet, and search engine optimization leaves your brain spinning in a bit of a fog – don’t feel alone. These tools are as cutting edge as they get, and the simple truth of the matter is that at the rate these technologies are advancing, it’s an almost never ending battle that needs constant monitoring and practice to master. But you aren’t alone – there are fantastic SEO and online marketing firms out there that can give you the edge you need while freeing up your time to handle other mission critical aspects of your business. Look to leverage these professionals as much as possible, and understand that the best of the best will provide a return on your investment and a flood of customers that just cannot be beaten.
In summary, use your slower times to beef up your presence online. I recommend doing some little task each and every day. Perhaps a blog post. Or if you don’t have a website, go get your domain. Set up a social media account. Claim some of your citations (Google + local, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Manta, etc).
If you need any help increasing your presence online, reach out to me, and I’ll give you a free analysis of where you are now, and what you should do to increase your presence online. I don’t pressure you or make recommendations that I don’t believe in. Get in touch, and lets see what we can do to grow your business next year!