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5 Marketing Tips for Contractors

Maybe you are just starting out in business or are looking for ways to increasing your already existing business. Whatever the case, marketing your business is an important way to connect with existing customers and also reach new ones. Marketing does not have to be expensive or time consuming and covering the basics are what is most important.

1. Keep a database of contacts. Build a database and start it with all your family and friends. If you use Outlook, that is a great start. Your database should include the person's name, email address, snail mail address and phone number. Birthdays are great to add if you have the time. In addition to Outlook, I use a free online database system at http://www.Plaxo.com which allows members to automatically update their information to other members. It also asks for birthdays and you can use their free e-card system to email someone a birthday wish.

2. Keep in contact with your contacts. Send out a postcard mailer at least once a year, the Christmas/Holiday season is a good time. It's not too late to get one out for this year, a calendar or fridge magnet, while more expensive, has a longer shelf/advertising life. A mailer is a nice way to remind people that you are still in business. Mailers can be designed, printed and mailed inexpensively online via VistaPrint.com or another online postcard mailing service. If your mailing list is not large enough to bulk mail (500 pieces) and you have the time, you can hand write and stamp your cards. Or, pay your kid to do it (that's what my parents did ;0). A good photo on the front may get you put up on someone's fridge.

3. Always have business cards on hand and hand them out frequently. If you don't have any, http://www.overnightprints.com is an inexpensive place to design them yourself online. Keep a box of business cards in your vehicle.

4. Send your customer a thank you card after you have finished a job. Include two business cards and ask them to refer you to their family and friends. Purchase thank you cards in bulk so that you always have some on hand.

5. Send a thank you card after you have given someone an estimate, thanking them for considering you. Also, put that person in your database. Even if they don't use you for that specific job, they may refer you to a friend or use you in the future if you keep in touch.

With most small businesses, word of mouth and referrals are your best form of advertisement. Keeping in touch with people and reminding them what you do for a living gets them to think of you when they are talking to others about their next project for hire. Why shouldn't they recommend or hire you for their next sweet project?

Jude Herr is the editor for Toologics.com, a Tool Blog which provides information, news and reviews about power tools for the professional tool user and craftsperson. Visit http://www.toolking.com where they leverage their buying power to offer you the best prices on professional power tools and accessories.

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