How to make your decorating business more secure

If you want to build a stable and less stressful business, then you need to have a reliable stream of work coming in.

To do this, you need to advertise.

A good rule in business is to have at least 5 advertising streams.

3 of which, you should be paying for.

Let me explain:

A lot of tradespeople think that your reputation alone should be enough ‘advertising’ to keep your business going.

Now, I’m not going to dispute that your business could survive of ‘word of mouth’ alone.

I know plenty of people who do this.

In fact, good word of mouth advertising is something you should definitely have.

However, there is a problem when you rely on recommendations and referrals.

And that is: You are not in control.

You don’t know where your next job is coming from.

You can’t be sure when the phone will next ring.

You are completely reliant on existing customers either calling you in to do more work or recommending you to their friends.  

And it’s because of this lack of control that small business owners like you can often find themselves losing sleep and getting stressed.

To combat this, I recommend you dedicate a monthly budget to advertising and think of AT LEAST 5 ways to generate new customers.

As an example, let’s say you want to spend £100 per month. Your 5 advertising techniques might look like this:

  1. Paid social media ads (Facebook & Instagram) – £35
  2. Leaflet campaign – £30 (Average cost if you print a large batch of them)
  3. Local parish magazine / newspaper ad – £35
  4. Word of mouth referrals – FREE
  5. Monthly email newsletter – FREE

Now we have planned our advertising strategy and we start doing it, the next step is to start measuring it.

This is where having paid advertising helps.

When you are paying for advertising, you’ll be very focused on monitoring your return on investment (ROI)

This is how much business is coming in, compared to how much money you are spending out.

To track this, all you need to do is ask every customer how they found you and write it down.

After you’ve tracked this for a couple of months you can review the results.

Let’s say you do this and after 3 months they look like this:

  1. Paid social media ads (Facebook & Instagram) – £105 spent – 4 jobs secured – Expected profit from jobs = £2,000. Positive ROI of £1,895
  2. Leaflet campaign – £90 spent – 3 job secured – Expected profit on jobs £1,500 = Positive ROI of £1,410
  3. Local parish magazine / newspaper ad – £105 – No jobs secured = Negative ROI of -£105
  4. Word of mouth referrals – FREE – 2 job secured – Expected profit £1,000 = Positive ROI of £1,000
  5. Monthly email newsletter – FREE– 1 job secured – Expected profit £500 = Positive ROI of £500

Now we’ve tracked the data, you have some valuable insights.

Firstly, you can see that the print advert in the local parish magazine is not working. So, you can either change the design of the ad, try a different magazine OR swap it out for something else.

Maybe you try spending the £35 per month on Google ads and see how that does?

Next, you can see that social media adverts are bringing in a better ROI than the leaflet campaign. So why not change the budget for these two things? Spend more of your £100 per month budget on social media as that is working better and spend less of it on leaflets.

Simple really.

All you need to do is set your 5 tactics up.

Allocate a monthly spend.

Track the results.

 Review it every 3 or 4 months and make changes to improve it

Whether that be:

  • Changing how much money is allocated to each of the 5 tactics, based on how they are performing
  • Stopping one form of advertising and switching in another one to try
  • Thinking of ways, you could make your existing adverts even better

Like this sort of stuff?

Check out my book ‘Sales and Marketing for decorators here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sales-Marketing-Decorators-Jon-Mears/dp/B08L78Y8MX/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1605205324&sr=8-1

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