Much To Do When Flooring Business Is Quiet
Craig Pawson on keeping productive during winter
WINTER is nearly upon us and while we can’t predict whether it will be a mild winter like last year, or one that is disrupted by snowfall, December brings a slightly quieter time for flooring contractors.
My advice is to prepare for this by taking advantage of the time in the office to drum up more business by developing existing customer relations, focusing on keeping up to date on training and looking into different forms of marketing.
l Develop relationships: Keeping in contact with customers is a great way of getting repeat business. Although phone calls can take a while, setting an hour aside every other day, to chat with potential and previous customers, can boost your market awareness. When most people are stuck indoors, it is the prime time to have a detailed conversation, over their next flooring project.
Those customers who had a wooden floor installed early this year, may require a cleaning and maintenance kit. Spending a bit of time on the phone, you can answer these requests and queries, which may create more business for you.
And with the housing market doing well, properties are being bought and sold. If you delivered a great service on a previous job, keep in contact once the work is completed, you could be the first person they think of when looking for someone to install a floor in a new home.
l Christmas cards: Yes, it is a bit old fashioned, but I believe in the benefit of sending Christmas cards, especially if they can mention an offer or promotion. I suggest something such as, ‘pre-order and get cleaning products’ or ‘Buy one, get one free’. These are incentives for customers to contact you, but also just to keep you in mind for when they prepare for new year make-overs.
l Training: With flooring contractors being out and about most days, it is usually hard to find the time to catch up on the training side of your business. Winter is a great opportunity for this. It is important for contractors to be aware of what is going on in the industry and new training developments. There is always something new to find out about.
Catch up on reading, a vital part of any training and development programme. Also with the huge number of online training videos and theory based courses around, you can get through a few courses from the comfort of your home. Winter is an opportunity to catch up on those pesky paperwork jobs you can’t find time for in a normal working week.
l Marketing: Social media clearly has a business benefit. A negative impact of being on Twitter is that it can be time consuming. You could try Hootsuite. This is a platform that allows you to write social media posts in advance and then set them to go out a varied times.
You can do this across a multitude of social media platforms. This allows you to have a constant social presence without constantly going online. This is a cheap and reliable way to stay online while getting on with other work.
l Signs on vans: Lastly, during the cold and dark months you could get your commercial vehicle signage up-to-date. I regularly see contractors driving in unmarked vans. Not only does it give you more market credibility, but it is also advertising, whether your van is in a driveway or out on the road.
Craig Pawson is flooring specialist at Osmo UK
www.osmouk.com T: 01296 481220
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.