Whether you’re a plumber, an electrician, painter, renovator, or any other kind of contractor, you enjoy a certain amount of freedom. The freedom to control your costs isn’t always a complete positive, however. Those costs can grow huge and overwhelm the business if you’re not kerbing yourself a little. Which is why we’re going to look at keeping those costs in check.
The branding of it all
Building visibility, establishing trust, attracting new leads. There’s no denying that marketing is hugely important part of becoming a successful contractor. But that doesn’t mean you have to have a huge marketing budget. Instead, you should think of more cost-effective marketing methods, particularly of the inbound variety. For instance, it won’t cost you as much money to write content or to learn a little search engine optimisation that makes your site more visible. Just as it won’t cost you money to keep active on social media, just a little more time.
The admin of it all
When you’re on the road, when you’re marketing, when you’re doing jobs, the admin is going to keep piling up. Invoices, contracts, email management and so on. It can easily slow you down. But you don’t have to hire someone to take care of it permanently. Instead, you can make occasional use of outsourcing through virtual assistants. Or you can even download automating software to take it off your plate.
The tools of the trade
Most contractors are going to need some sort of toolset to keep on the road. The best ways to keep them cost-effective is to buy directly from the supplier rather than a general store. If you need an industrial hose, then you go to whoever sells industrial hoses to the retailers, for instance. Besides skipping a step in the supply chain for a better deal, you need to ensure that your equipment is kept in conditions where they’re in less danger from the effects of moisture, the weather, dust and so on. Otherwise, you need to get used to replacing them often.
Most contractors drive around, which means being efficient with your vehicle is of course as important as the rest of the tools. Besides fuel efficient driving and choosing a vehicle that is more reliable and requires fewer repair costs, you should look into whether buying or leasing fits your current business model. While a business is young, for instance, leasing might give you time to build up your funding and buy further down the line.
If you work in building, plumbing, renovating or other such trades, you will likely need to find the supply as well as do the job. From building materials to new windows, it’s always best to start local and build local relationships. It costs transport costs out of the equation, at the very least. Long-lasting relationships with other businesses can also give you more wiggle room in negotiations down the line. After all, you’re a more important customer to them than the bigger businesses.
Learning to become cost-effective is a must as a contractor. After all, you have to make sure jobs are as profitable as possible to keep you going through those lean patches you’re inevitably going to go through.