One in ten tradespeople thinking of quitting after losing customers in the past year

With tradespeople across the country struggling to make ends meet, a new study has revealed that one in five are adapting their business to survive.

The research, by designer radiator specialists BestHeating, asked 2,000 tradespeople about their thoughts for the future, and has led to experts providing advice to help anyone struggling in the industry.

Financial pressures continue to trouble all trades and one in 10 are thinking about giving up their business, whilst a further 29% are willing to get a second job to survive. In an effort to keep themselves going, 11% have stated they are exploring new technologies so that they can adapt their work and attract customers.

  • Study reveals that 20% of tradespeople are turning to social media and new technologies to try and grow their company
  • One in 10 are thinking about leaving the industry after losing customers
  • Experts have provided advice to help tradespeople increase the demand for their services

Many independent businesses don’t utilise social media but one in nine plan to use the likes of Facebook and Instagram more to show off the work they have done and expand their clientele.

To support tradespeople, John Lawless, content marketing manager of BestHeating has provided three pieces of advice to help them be noticed by new customers and expand their business.

Reviews

“With search engines one of the go-to places to find a tradesperson, take advantage of this to improve your reputation. Make sure to ask anyone you do a job for to leave an online review, whether it’s through Google, Facebook, Trustpilot or any other site, as this will be the first thing a potential customer will see online. Take this further and react or respond to posts where possible, this lets customers know you are thankful and respectful of them. People who are new to an area are more likely to search online so it’s imperative to have a good average rating. Reviews also reflect highly on referral sites such as Checkatrade, which leads consumers to know the trade they have hired is certified.”

Post consistently on social media

“The best way to increase awareness of a local business is to publish content on social media regularly. Identify the platforms which your target audience use the most, this is likely to be Facebook and Instagram for homeowners and those who will need a tradesperson. Content should include completed work with before and after pictures or videos. Educational posts will also add value, this could be a heating engineer explaining the importance of bleeding a radiator. Be sure to post in the right places too – publish a project you worked on in the relevant online neighbourhood group, and add your personality so people can relate.”

Diversify your offering

“Keeping up to date with trends within the industry is good, but take this further and expand the services you offer to appeal to new customers. A key example right now is with energy efficiency and bills being top of the news agenda for over a year – incorporate newer or Smart technology to help people lower their bills and offer a wider variety of services such as installing better insulation, this will lead to more repeat business and an improved reputation.”

Finally John adds: “With price rises affecting all trades, it is challenging to keep a business going as the public look to cut back on non-essential updates to their home. Increasing your number of customers is a difficult prospect and there is no surefire way to do so, but there are small steps that can be made to your strategy to help with growth. Whether it’s using social media to display stunning work you have done in the local area or encouraging people to leave reviews online, we hope our advice proves beneficial to those within the trade industry.”