Build Your Business Like An Enterprise https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au Websites for tradies and contractors Thu, 24 Jan 2019 05:53:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-favicon-1-32x32.jpg Build Your Business Like An Enterprise https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au 32 32 Build Your Business Like An Enterprise https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/build-your-business/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/build-your-business/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 04:03:29 +0000 https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/?p=4256 The post Build Your Business Like An Enterprise appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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“Why Focus on Systems?”

One undeniable difference between having a business and a job is that business doesn’t slow down when you’re not there.

However, your business needs structure for it to become self-sustainable. A well-structured business is never achieved overnight. If you wish to take your business to the next level, all systems should be properly established from the ground up.

Over the years of running The Site Shed podcast, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of tradespeople and industry specialists from all over the world. With their help, I’ve been able to customise some frameworks that have been specifically designed for tradies and contractors. By no means is it a destination, but it’s certainly a helpful starting point for most businesses.

Much of this blog has come from my recent conversation with my friend Dave Jenyns from systemHUB and more recently, SYSTEMology. You can tune into the podcast and even watch a recorded tutorial on this page of The Site Shed.

Overview

In this post, I’m going to run through a framework that will suit 95% of companies in the trades. In reality, this will easily suit 95% of all kinds of companies. However, we decided to zero down on trades in this article.

This post is perfect for the business owner who wants to:
  • Maximize all assets
  • Develop a highly functional team
  • Keep distance from the day-to-day operations of their business
  • Increase efficiency, productivity, and turnover
  • Improve consistency and delivery of offering
  • Get a much-needed rest
In this article, we’re going to discuss the following.
  1. Establishing your business’ departments
  2. Creating an ‘organisational chart’
  3. Roles and responsibilities
  4. Outsourcing
  5. Where to start
  6. Creating systems
  7. Project Management
  8. Technology
  9. Collaboration & contribution
  10. Improvement

 

Establishing your business’ departments

Do you know why the presence of systems in your business is very crucial to its growth?

Simply put, breaking the overall business into specific areas make it easier to determine what roles are necessary for each department. Once systems have been established, those roles will be delegated accordingly (as you’re about to see).

In the beginning, most of us start with one department. OURSELVES. However, as we start to think long term, we need to acknowledge that in order to grow and scale our businesses, it’s going to take more than one person to get there.

Over the years, I’ve seen many different types of department structures. Recently, I’ve made some changes to the way I’ve structured my business to simplify it. I’ve also taken that knowledge and framework and applied it to the template that we now sell as a solution to tradies and contractors.

For 95% of trade businesses, this framework will work beautifully.

Some of you may want to add some changes, or separate certain departments, however, feel free to use this as a starting point.

            Admin 
                                                Sales & Marketing
        Operations
  Advertising     Sales Metrics    Sales Records
 HR  SEO  Project Information
 Accounting  Adwords  Logistics
 Payroll  Newspaper  Supplier
 Client Reception  Referral
 Management
 Strategy

 

When I say you can customise the different areas to suit yourself, this is what I mean.

1. Admin
2. Delivery
3. Sales
4. Marketing

In general, however, if you follow these three categories, you won’t go too far wrong.

  1. Admin & Finance
  2. Sales & Marketing
  3. Operations & Delivery

Creating an Organisational chart

Once you have your departments figured out, we need to create an ‘Org Chart’. An org chart is a useful tool that helps you ascertain who is in your business and who wears what hat.

The purpose is to provide clarity over who is in the business so that when we get to the next stage, it’s obvious. The next stage is, of course, roles and responsibilities.

Your org chart will include all of your staff, but it will also include contractors. Not everyone in your org chart needs to be an employee. You may also have advisors and suppliers in there.

Roles and Responsibilities

Now we have our departments, we have our org chart created, we now need to assign roles and responsibilities to the members of the org chart.

Gradually learn the habit of NOT creating roles specifically for people. Rather, create roles first and assign people to them afterward.

The reason we do this is that it takes the emphasis off the individual and puts it on the task that has been assigned.

People will come and go from our business, so if you set up roles and assign responsibilities, it makes it a lot cleaner and easier to manage when someone moves on, or someone gets replaced.

Outsourcing

Once you have a clear outline of what the roles and responsibilities are for your organisation, it is now time to find the right people to assign them to.

You may hire someone to work from an office, or you might find someone remotely to help you. In many cases, you can find staff from overseas that can fill roles for you. The advantage is they are highly skilled and they enable you to remain price competitive because they’re often not as expensive as local staff.

In our business, we’re lucky enough to have an amazing team, made up of both local and overseas members. It’s a brilliant dynamic.

A handful of the many things you can outsource to someone offshore might include:

  • Bookkeeping and payroll
  • Marketing and content
  • Digital and web
  • Admin tasks
  • Assistants
  • HR

The one thing I’d suggest you don’t offshore is anything that requires conversations with customers or leads. Things like answering phones, making follow up calls, etc.

This is certainly not always the case, however having someone answer your phone who’s clearly offshore can occasionally work against you.

Aside from that, the list of what you can offshore is almost endless. As long as you have good systems in place, you should be in safe hands. The key, of course, is having good systems in place. If you have systems that can be followed, then your outsourcing experience will be much less rocky.

 

Where to start

My friend Dave from SYSTEMology recently taught me that before we make a start on creating systems, it’s paramount to create a ‘Critical Client Flow’ for all of your major services and offerings.

A  flowchart will help in making your team realise what steps of that flow need to be systemised first.

The reason we always start there is that those systems are critical to that offering being delivered correctly. We focus on these first, then we move onto the ‘less important’ areas.

A sample of a Critical Client Flowchart. One of the most effective ways of delegating responsibilities in your business.

The critical client flow is simply a drawing that outlines each step in that process. From the source of your leads to the right time you should be asking for a review, every step of systemising your business is properly detailed

Creating systems

So now that we have everything else in line, we can start creating systems knowing that it’s being done in the right order. Most of the problems that I have personally encountered over the years in relation to systems come as a result of the order being out of whack.

It’s also true that if you’re running a small organisation, your need for systems may not be as substantial as a larger company. There’s no point getting bogged down with creating systems if at the end of the day, it’s only you doing the work. You’d just build them to replace yourself with certain things along the way

It’s important to create systems that are detailed. As business owners, we sometimes forget small steps that we simply do out of nature, but these small steps are important to the overall outcome of the given task, so make sure you jot them down.

I like to follow the who, what, why, when and how formulae as it gives it meaning and then explains the process.

So, the framework might look like this:

  • Who is this process for?
  • What is the outcome?
  • Why is it important?
  • When should it be followed?
  • Enumerate the steps

Video and screenshots to accompany.also try to attach a video recording and annotated screenshots with each one

Project Management

In order for systems to be carried out correctly, there needs to be some form of accountability. People/teams need to be able to see what the next step is in the equation so that they can check it off as they go. Based on my experience, people perform a lot better when they fully understand the role they play in the system. This can be done by breaking down the process into more detail.

For example,

If step 5 of how to answer client calls involves asking for the customer’s name, occupancy, and email address in exact order; How certain are we that whoever answers the call is actually following that procedure correctly?

Project management put simply is, WHO DOES WHAT and WHEN. In this instance, you can provide a list of checkable items that the call taker can check off as they progress through the call.

All you need is a set of questions that goes like this: “Have I asked this already?” If yes – check it off “Have we discussed this already?” If no, put it in the queue as your next topic

Project management tools are not meant to take charge of the task for you. Instead, it is best used to house the steps and from within those steps,  provide links to other relevant systems.

Using the example above:

STEP 5 of how to answer the office phone – take down customer details.

The call taker would click on that tab to see the system on how to correctly take down those details. Once it’s done, they can tick it off.

Project management tells the individual what systems to follow at what point.

Technology and tools

Just about a decade ago, most businesses create their operating procedures and systems on printed documents then store them in folders on shelves of their offices.

Thankfully, today, we’re blessed with an array of products and solutions that make all of our information available to us at any time, from anywhere. This technology is called ‘cloud’ and it basically means that instead of your documents being saved on your computer, or on your office server, it now lives on multiple servers located around the world.

Why is ‘the cloud’ so powerful?

  1. If you lose your computer, it doesn’t matter.
  2. If your office burns down, none of your data is lost.
  3. You can access your information from anywhere on the planet that has internet.
  4. You can give certain people, certain permissions which gives you a lot of control over your IP (intellectual property).
  5. Cloud servers are generally extremely secure, therefore your data is highly protected.

 

Here at Tradie Web Guys | The Site Shed, we currently use a program called Google Sites to house our systems. It’s a great product that is part of Google’s G Suite, which is starts at less than $50/year.

For project management, we use a combination of ASANA and Podio. They’re both great, it just depends on what you’re using them for.

There are loads of programs available. I’d normally recommend Google Sites and Asana as a starting point as they’re affordable and awesome (here’s an article I wrote on Google’s G Suite). However, there are some other great products around too that offer many more features and benefits, like SystemHUB and NextPond.

>>>If you need help we can assist. Just click here and complete the form.<<<

Collaboration, contribution & improvement

Being able to establish the systems of your business is something to be proud of. However, if no one is using it, then it’s worthless.

Getting your team to buy into the process is key and the best way to encourage their involvement is by involving them. Following processes that they have created is often a lot easier and more effective than you telling them to do something.

If they have a vested interest and input, they’re likely to feel more accountable. Also, you need to be realistic. If they’re the ones that are doing the work, they’re probably going to have a better idea than you anyway.

For example,

If I wanted a system created on how to enter the clients’ details into the system, I would record a tutorial of me doing the task, then I would have one representative, either locally, or from abroad, to turn it into a system for everyone involved.

You don’t have to spend all of your time getting caught up in day-to-day operations. Remember, it’s all about freeing you up. We don’t want to be adding another task to your list of things to do.

Wrap up

The bottom line is, if we’re trying to grow our businesses, we need structure. Structure and organisation come in many shapes and sizes. However, if we’re talking about growing a team and maintaining a standard, you need to make a decision.

You can train and retrain staff and probably still miss a load of things. On the other hand, you can systemise your business so there’s consistency throughout all stages of growth and development. The purpose of this post is to get you thinking about how you can start building a valuable asset into your business that can one day set you free.

Feel free to take the framework from above and make it your own

 

Get Started Today

At Tradie Web Guys, we do all of the heavy lifting for you. Visit this page, complete the form, and we’ll come back to you.

You can also visit TradieWebGuys.com.au and TheSiteShed.com – Australia’s number one business podcast for tradies.

 

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Tradie Web Guys, Australia’s Removalist Websites experts https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/tradie-web-guys-australias-removalist-websites-experts/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/tradie-web-guys-australias-removalist-websites-experts/#respond Tue, 22 Mar 2016 10:05:54 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=610 The post Tradie Web Guys, Australia’s Removalist Websites experts appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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This removalist website was in desperate need of an upgrade.

 

Streamline Movers are a Sydney based removal company that specialise in commercial and residential relocation.
They approached Tradie Web guys to rebuild their existing website which was built using Google Sites. Google Sites is a great tool, however not for company websites.

Streamline Movers have a fantastic reputation as a professional and reputable moving company on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, yet their website was not at all indicative of their brand.

The removalist website they had was impossible to navigate around, had a terrible user experience and was a visual disaster. Not only that, the content was not optimised for the Search Engines.

Here is a video tutorial where I run through the before and after.

 

As you can see the before and afters are considerably different and now with their new website, they have a perfect platform to move forward in the space of marketing and content creation.

After completing a market analysis on other Sydney based removalist websites, Streamline Movers is now by far and large superior in looks, scalability and functionality.

If you’re in need of an awesome new website upgrade just like this one, give is a call today and let Tradie Web Guys work with you to make you stand out.
After all, websites are the place that your customers get their first impression of you and you only get one chance at a first impression.

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Budgeting for tradies – the simple guide https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/budgeting-for-tradies-the-simple-guide/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/budgeting-for-tradies-the-simple-guide/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:57:07 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=606 The post Budgeting for tradies – the simple guide appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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If you’re like me, you HATE budgeting!

I openly admit to really struggling with budgeting, however as a business owner, it’s irresponsible not to.
Only last week I sat in a seminar, where I assessed my process behind financial analytics and let me tell you, it was less than impressive and a very humbling experience.
By no means am I qualified to talk on this matter, so I’ve asked our friends at All Trades Cover to help contribute because it is a highly important issue and I want everyone to have access to experts that I never did when I was on the tools many years ago.

Budgeting seems to be one of those things that we all know we should be doing but tend to avoid. For tradies, it’s important to have a budget in place so you’re keeping up with your expenses and can keep track of where all your money is going. To get you started, there are a few simple steps you can take to put a simple budget in place.

Hassle free budgeting

  • Write down where your money goes – The best way to start is to write down all of your expenses. This includes things such as rent or mortgage, bills and utilities and credit card repayments as well as day to day things like entertainment and food. This will help you clearly see where your money goes.
  • Make small goals – Don’t be unrealistic about your budgeting goals and go too hard too soon. Cutting out your entire entertainment budget may seem like good idea but you won’t be able to keep this up. Small goals such as making your lunch for work instead of buying it is realistic and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
  • Use automatic transfers – Set up automatic transfers on your online banking account so expenses like mortgage and credit card repayments are taken out as soon as you get paid. Eventually, you won’t notice because the money is gone so quickly.
  • Set some savings goals – Try to save at least a small amount each time you get paid and put it into an account which doesn’t have card access. Aim for saving 5% of your pay and increase this over time.
  • Consider cash – It’s so easy to whip out our bank cards to pay for things and it can be hard to keep track of what you’re spending. If you’re one of the people who find it harder to part with cold, hard cash, keep your card at home and have some money in your wallet instead.
  • Do your research – If you’ve been with the same companies for your phone, utilities and insurance forever, it might be time to do some research. Have a look around at different deal that are available and you might be surprised at how much money you can save.

A few simple changes

Making a few simple changes can make all the difference when it comes to your budget and you’ll hopefully no longer feel the panic of being down to your last few dollars in the days leading up to your next pay.

If you want to make sure that your insurance package suits your budget and your needs, have a chat to your insurance broker and they can help you out. At All Trades Cover, they specialise in offering insurance to tradies so they understand the specific needs of your business.

To discuss your insurance options or for any other questions, contact our friends at All Trades Cover through www.alltradescover.com.au and they would be happy to assist. To make things easy, they also have an easy online form so you can request a quote.

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Mobile Friendly Websites will OFFICIALLY outperform others on Google as of April 21 https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/mobile-friendly-websites-will-officially-outperform-others-on-google-as-of-april-21/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/mobile-friendly-websites-will-officially-outperform-others-on-google-as-of-april-21/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2015 09:41:39 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=601 The post Mobile Friendly Websites will OFFICIALLY outperform others on Google as of April 21 appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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THIS IS THE BIGGEST UPDATE TO COME FROM GOOGLE IN AGES!
PLEASE READ AND FORWARD ON TO OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS…THAT YOU LIKE 😉

To avoid being penalised, Mobile Friendly Websites are a must as of April 21, 2015.

 

It’s official! If you’re website is not mobile friendly, you’re about to be penalised.

Google has officially announced that the new update to be released on April 21 2015 is going to favour mobile friendly websites.

In a recent blog posted on Google Webmaster Central, they officially confirmed a change that has been a long time coming. Websites that are not ‘Mobile Friendly’ are less likely to appear in search results.

This is a MASSIVE announcement that will see many businesses literally fall off the face of the search engines overnight if they don’t act now.

With the growing popularity of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets in the marketplace, this is a change we new was coming, however now there is an official date on when it’s going to happen. For companies that run local search based businesses (such as tradies) this is going to effect you….in a big way.

 

What are ‘Mobile Friendly Websites?

‘Mobile Friendly’, or ‘Responsive Design’, refers to a webpage designed to scale to the size of the device you’re using. So if you’re on a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer, the page your viewing will automatically adjust.

If you’re not sure if your website is mobile friendly, go to this link and enter your URL (web address).

At Tradie Web Guys, we know that tradies typically rely on ‘Local Search’ from mobile devices, so our clients are well and truly prepared for this update. All of our websites are mobile responsive, so luckily for them they’re in the clear. I know however, there are many companies out there that are going to be radically effected by this update.

 

If this update is going to catch you out, we can help. Either give us a call on 1300 417 297, or simply click here and let someone get back to you.

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DIY Content Creation: Create Content Like A Boss https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/diy-content-creation-create-content-like-a-boss/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/diy-content-creation-create-content-like-a-boss/#respond Mon, 09 Mar 2015 08:28:40 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=588 The post DIY Content Creation: Create Content Like A Boss appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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DIY content creation that stands out on the search engines.

Welcome to the fourth and final entry of the ‘4 Essential Elements for a tradie to focus on in 2015’ series.
Entry one was about websites
Entry two was about building a professional profile, and
Entry three was about cloud solutions, specifically Google Apps for Work.

The final article is about Content Creation and how you can create it yourself, so the search engines will pick up on it.

The purpose of this article is not necessarily to give you another role in your business. The purpose of this entry (and really, the purpose of this entire series) is to empower and equip you with a basic understanding how these different areas of business work. By understanding how they work, you can delegate, or outsource (if you choose) and not get taken advantage of. Outsourcing something that you don’t understand can place you in a vulnerable position, so I want to help you know enough to be at least mildly dangerous 😉

We’re going to cover the following:

  • Why create content?
  • Keywords and Keyword Phrases
  • Optimising your posts
  • Optimising your posts images
  • Tools to help you stay consistent
  • Syndication – Getting it out there

In 2015, SEO is a very broad term and it encompasses many elements.

Disclaimer:
It’s important to understand that creating content is by no means an entire SEO strategy. It is however a fantastic place to start and if it’s done correctly, it can create great results. YES an agency may do this better than you and NO, this is not designed to replace your agency (if you’re using one).

Content comes in various forms. Written pieces, video, Images, Photo’s and Audio and often when we consume, or create content, we’re experiencing a combination.
Different people respond to different types of media and where many absorb what they read, many may also absorb what they see. With that in mind it’s important to try to accommodate everyone in your content strategy.

In this blog we’re going to discuss how to create a written article in WordPress. For those that don’t know, WordPress is an ‘Open Source Content Management System’ (CMS) and without getting too technical, CMS’s are programs that typically don’t require advanced coding skills. With a small amount of training, most basic changes/additions/amendments, etc can be done with relative ease on a CMS.

At Tradie Web Guys, we like to educate our clients on how they can use WordPress, so that they don’t have to rely on us to make minor changes and updates. Nothing in this article is going to be a revelation to anyone that has a reasonable amount of experience with WordPress, however for those that are wanting to update their websites/blogs, this article’s about equipping you with some basic skills and techniques that can help you create content that’s search engine friendly.

Why create content?

From a profile building point of view, creating written content bout your area of expertise is a great way to position yourself in the marketplace as an industry thought leader. Why is that important? Well it’s not, unless you’re wanting to be seen as an expert. If you have well written, published content on your website, it’s it’s obviously going help you stand out against competitors that don’t.
If you’re talking about a topic that you know, it proves that you know (at least to some level) what you’re talking about. Also, having published content means that it can be found. If someone is searching for what you’ve written about, by employing some of the basic tactics that you’re going to learn about in this article, it has a good chance of being found.

Another reason why it’s important to add content to your website is because search engines are looking for websites that are regularly updated.

Don’t think of your website as something you need to have because everyone else has one.

Your website is powerful marketing tool and if used to it’s potential can become a powerful company asset. You just need to learn how to build that platform the right way. We spoke about this in detail in this post.

‘Keywords’ and ‘Keyword Phrases’

Okay, so we need to create content, but how do we do it so the search engines pick up on it?
Many of you would have heard the term SEO before. SEO, stands for Search Engine Optimisation’ and here is a definition.

When we create content, we want to make sure that we are doing it FOR THE READER, but with the search engines in consideration. We’ll talk more about what NOT to do in a second, but for now let’s talk about using keywords in our articles and how to create content around those keywords.

Try to make it easy for search engines to understand what your article is about by staying on topic.

For example, if you’re a landscaper and you want to write about retaining walls, don’t get side tracked and start talking about irrigation techniques. Try to keep your article about the retaining wall as much as you can. Sure you’re going to need to mention things like subsoil drainage, but don’t catch yourself out on random tangents.

The way that I stay on track in my articles is by following a formula. I do this before every article I create and I have it all built in a project management system (that we can now help you implement).
I start with a topic that I want to talk about, which will form my keyword, or key phrase. For example, this article’s keyword is ‘Content Creation’.
Then I come up some associative keywords. An associative keyword is a word, or phrase that is close to the actual keyword, but not it exactly. For example in this case, some of my associative keywords are:
– Creating great content
– DIY content creation
– Creating your own content
– How to create content yourself, etc.

By implementing this simple keyword strategy into every article, the search engines can crawl the article and get a good understanding of what this piece is about. That way, when somebody enters a search query around that topic, the search engine knows that it’s probably looking for my article.

Also, understand that the longer your phrase is, the more likely it is that your article will appear for an exact match as it’s less competitive. This diagram will help better explain this.

What NOT to do. 
Don’t stuff your articles fill of the keyword you’re trying to rank for. This is a really important point. Typically, you should aim to include your keyword around 3-4 times throughout your article. Remember, it’s all about the reader, NOT the search engines.

Optimising your posts

WordPress has some cool plugins that will help you with your SEO. The one that I like to use is called SEO Yoast. It’s a really simple program that practically tells you where your article needs improvement.
I strongly encourage using a plugin like this as it will make your life so much easier and as you can see below, it practically guides you in the right direction.

Optimising your posts images

You can also optimise the images in your posts, so if someone is searching for photos relating to the tags that you’ve applied to the images in your article, it may show up in the search query.

This is what the image optimisation feature looks like in WordPress. Notice also how the keyword for the article is present in the various fields on the right there.

  • The image is given a unique file name
  • It’s given a unique URL
  • It has a title
  • You have the option of giving it a caption (which I have not in this case)
  • It has ‘alt text’ which will display if the image wont load
  • It has a description, so you can explain what the image is relevant to.

Tools to help you stay consistent with your content creation

It’s important to plan your content creation, so that it get’s done regularly.  There are a bunch of tools available that can help you do this, however, for me I find the best tool is trello.
Trello, allows you to create a visual board of tasks and projects that you have underway and it enables you to delegate and collaborate with your team, or contractors on various projects.

You can sign up for a free account and once you have one, go to this link to get this awesome template for content creation. I use it all the time and I absolutely love it.

Getting your posts out there

Now that you’ve created some content, it’s time to get it out there so it can be seen.
There are a number of cool tools that you can use to ‘syndicate’ content to various channels. Personally, I suggest you use a combination.
First of all you want to make sure your article has been proof read and published. Once it’s published, you’ll be able to search for it via the URL.
I like to give my articles as much exposure as I can, so firstly send out an email newsletter to my network. You can see more about how that process works in this short video series. Then, I post it to all my social media channels. I could do this manually (and occasionally, I might), however for the better part I use a program called Buffer, which does it all for me.

Buffer allows me to create a single post and syndicate it to multiple channels at different times. This is important because you don’t want all of your social media channels getting bombarded with the same post at the same time. It will look stupid if someone is following you across multiple channels.
You can see that this blog is going to go out to my Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. This is the free version, however you can upgrade and add as many channels as you like with the paid version.

So now that you have a basic understanding of how to create content, get out there and give it a crack. If you don’t have time, don’t stress because we can help you with that. What’s important is that one way, or another, it gets done.

 

Give us a call, or click here if you need any help. We manage content creation for many of our clients so they can stay out there making the big bucks. 1300 417 297

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How to turn your email address into a valuable company asset using Google Apps https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/how-to-turn-your-email-address-into-a-valuable-company-asset-using-google-apps/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/how-to-turn-your-email-address-into-a-valuable-company-asset-using-google-apps/#respond Tue, 17 Feb 2015 07:41:10 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=572 The post How to turn your email address into a valuable company asset using Google Apps appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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If you’re a Small Business, or a Tradie, ‘Google Apps for Work’ could change your life!

Have you ever been on site, or away from your desk and not had access to a saved document on your office computer?
Have you ever replied to an email on your phone, only to find that someone in your office has also replied to the same email?
Have you ever wondered how to build systems into your business that can be accesses by anyone, anywhere?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, this blog is going to be a revelation and a complete game changer for your business. 

This is the third entry of the four part series ‘4 Essentials to help Tradies and Small Business stand out in 2015′
Part one was about ‘Web Presence’.
Part two was about building ‘Professional Profile’.
And this article, which is the third entry, is about moving your business into the cloud with ‘Google Apps for Work’.

In this article we’re going to explore the following topics:

  1. What is this ‘cloud’?
  2. What is Google Apps for Work?
  3. Getting rid of your filing cabinet…forever
  4. Security and Protecting your company’s Intellectual Property (IP)
  5. Building an acquirable asset into your company
  6. Synchronising emails
  7. Managing your team with Google Calendars
  8. Communicate for free with your team
  9. Team collaboration
  10. Why Google Apps is the PERFECT stepping stone into the cloud.

So first of all, let’s define what the cloud actually is.

According to Google, cloud computing is defined as ‘the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

’

My ‘less-geeky’ definition is, “Making your business accessible to team members wherever they are, whenever they need it”.

So, why is that cool?
Well there are limitless advantages to having a cloud based business, but the key advantages that I can see from a business point of view are that you’re:

  1. Not tied to a location, and
  2. Anyone in your team has access to everything they need, from wherever they are.

Both of these elements alone equate to a more productive business model.

What is ‘Google Apps for Work’?

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition

1. Google Apps for Work (formerly Google Apps for Business) is a suite of cloud computing productivity and collaboration software tools and software offered on a subscription basis by Google. It includes Google’s popular web applications including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and Google Docs.

Here’s a video.

Getting rid of that filing cabinet…forever!

For most businesses, that alone would be a big enough reason to move into the cloud. Filing cabinet systems are seriously outdated and in this day and age pretty much completely unnecessary. Having documents stored in a filing cabinet is very restrictive and it completely ties you to a location. If you want that document, the only way you can get it is by physically being there (or having someone there to get it for you).

Running a paperless business means flexibility and freedom. Tradie Web Guys is completely paperless and most of our customers are also. Part of our focus is on helping companies run more efficiently, and running a paperless operation is the first step in keeping you out of the office.
Our friends at TradiePad have built an entire business model around helping trade related businesses manage their business from the road via their phones, or tablets. Everything from job management and project management solutions, right through to invoicing and onsite payment systems. Like Tradie Web Guys, TradiePad agrees that Google Apps is the perfect stepping stone into the cloud revolution, due to its many features and its established integrations. We’ll talk more about integrations in upcoming points.

How secure is it?

The safety of your companies Intellectual Property (IP) is extremely important. If you’re going to have all of your IP stored on Google’s Servers, as opposed to the server in your office, or maybe your computer at home, you want to be sure that it’s safe.

Firstly, if all of your work information/documentation is stored on the computer in your office, you’re in a VERY vulnerable position right now. If you’re office get’s broken into, or if there’s a fire (heaven forbid), you’re at risk of losing everything. With Google Apps, you can access all of your information, from anywhere in the world, from any device that has access to the internet.

Secondly, lets be realistic about the security of Google’s servers versus your own. Google is a enterprise level, multi-billion dollar company. Their entire organisation relies on security of the highest calibre and it’s pretty safe to say that they have one of the, if not the highest security standards on the planet. When organisations like the US Government trusts storing their information on Google servers, you can rest assure that your plumbing company is going to be in safe hands.

I’d almost go as far to say that with the level of due diligence that these huge corporations invest in prior to adopting any such systems, you can probably save yourself the time and run off their shoulders.

One of the awesome features of Google Apps, is the ability to allocate permissions to various users. For example, if you have an accountant that needs access to your financials, you can share folders, or documents with them and you can give them various levels of access.

Same goes if you have guys on-site that need access to drawings, or OH&S documents, etc. You can update revisions so they’re always working off current drawings and you can share that information with whoever you need to.

Where it gets really cool, is the control you have over locking down permissions. If you no longer want someone to have access to certain information, you have control. Likewise, if you have an employee that leaves your company, all you have to do is log into the administrator console and change their password, which locks them out.

Using Google Apps to build an asset into your company.

At Tradie Web Guys, we work with companies to help them build acquirable assets into their businesses.

In a takeover situation, the company that’s making the acquisition is normally looking for two main things. Firstly, a database of customers/clients/prospects and secondly, systems and processes that outlay the business operations.

For the former, you can check out our ‘Sales Funnel Initiative’ outlined in this FREE video series) and for the latter we use Google Apps for Work’s cloud storage program, ‘Google Drive’ in conjunction with its Intraweb platform called, Google Sites.

Storing your business systems and processes in Google Apps makes things like training new staff much easier. It also gives people, immediate access to information they need, which means they don’t need to be calling supervisors 24/7.

Say for example, you’re a builder and you have a new staff member starting. Your new staff member is fully skilled, however you want to train them to perform tasks your way.

You can create the system (once) on how to perform this task with images and video tutorials if you like. You save it on the cloud and then share it with any new staff member that joins your organisation. This compounds your training process and makes it infinitely scalable. You could bring onboard 10 new guys in a week and train them all at once, by simply sharing a series of systems.

By taking what’s in your head and turning it into a system, you’ve transformed your ‘Intellectual Knowledge’, into ‘Intellectual Property’. You’ve built an asset that can be acquired.

Synchronised emails.

If you’re using programs like Microsoft Outlook, or Apple Mail for your email, you may have encountered this problem before.

You’re out on site and you receive an email on your phone, which you action by replying to. Meanwhile in your office, a staff member sees the same email and also actions it, without knowing that you already have.

This scenario is not only unproductive, it’s also unprofessional. It’s saying to the recipient that your organisation doesn’t communicate and it’s disorganised.

Gmail for Business eliminates this scenario, as your mail is always synchronised across all of your devices. Meaning, if you action an email from your phone, it will show that email has been actioned on your computer also.

If you’re not using cloud email, do yourself a favour and get onto it.

Keeping track of your staff’s schedules with Google Calendars.

Another feature of the Google Apps suite is Google Calendars. This feature allows you to organise your staff members day, while making it visually accessible to your entire organisation. So if you have one of your staff booked in to attend a job, you can enter that job into their Google Calendar, along with all of the job details, address, etc. With the sharing settings, you can make that calendar visible to whoever you like, so there’s no more double booking and everyone knows where everyone else is during their day.

Also, it makes it really easy to amend, or move appointments by simply dragging and dropping that time block elsewhere.

Communicate for free with your team.

Google Hangouts is a feature that enables your team to call, video call, conference call, screen share and chat/text message, for the bargain price of nothing! You can use it on your phone, tablet, or computer.

If your company phone bills are racking up, this could be a great alternative for you. We use Google Hangouts a lot as it enables us to record training tutorials and share it with our clients so they can reference back to it whenever they like. We also use Google Chat to communicate throughout the day as it means we don’t have to send each other internal emails, or text messages.

Team collaboration.

Google Drive offers real time team collaboration, which allows multiple team members to work together on documents at the same time.

Where we see the biggest advantage of this feature for trade based companies is in areas like toolbox talks and tool registers, etc. Staff in the office can add notes to be covered by the supervisor/foremen, while they can see who is in attendance, etc. It’s also very handy in scenarios where collaboration is required on project briefs and other things of similar nature.

Why Google Apps is the perfect stepping stone into the cloud.

Apart from all of the features that we’ve just discussed, one of the main reasons that Google Apps is such a great stepping stone into the cloud is because of all of the available integrations.

When your company starts to grow, you’ll inevitably need to incorporate more systems to help streamline operations and processes.
Maybe you’ll need a job management platform, or maybe you’ll need cloud accounting. Whatever it is, you want to make sure that the solution you choose doesn’t require you to double enter information.

Google Apps has amazing integrations with dozens of programs, so you can effectively allow them to speak with each other.

Summary

If I was to recommend one program to any company, at any stage of business, it would be Google Apps for Work.
Looking beyond the immediate advantages of having reliable, cloud based email, you can’t go past the scalability and collaborative features that the entire suite of apps delivers.

Google Apps for Work is an enterprise level solution, that is perfectly suited for small business and the trades. From companies that run solo, right up to companies that have 100 staff, in my opinion you’ll struggle to find a better product.
As resellers of Google Apps for Work, we’re huge advocates of its features, it’s flexibility and mostly, it’s ability to facilitate growth. And from a profile building perspective, Google Apps forms the perfect foundation.

 

Tell me, what would be the first thing that you’d move from your filing cabinet into the cloud?

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Building Professional Profile to compete with the big players https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/building-professional-profile-to-compete-with-the-big-players/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/building-professional-profile-to-compete-with-the-big-players/#respond Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:06:59 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=566 The post Building Professional Profile to compete with the big players appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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Spend less money on advertising, while increasing your leads with a ‘Professional Profile’.

Welcome back to the second edition of this 4 part series, ‘4 Essentials to help Tradies Stand out in 2015’.
In the previous post we spoke about the importance of having a Professional Web Presence and in this post we’re gong to concentrate on the importance of having a Professional Profile.

Take note however, in 2015 it’s critical that before you do anything from a marketing, or profile building perspective, you must have a professional website, or blog that represents you, or your business correctly.
This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you’re generating hype, you need something to back you up.

You’re going to get ‘Googled’, so you need to be ‘Googleable’.

Secondly, here in Australia, 75% of us will do our own research before picking up the phone, and the first place we go is online. It’s critical that once someone goes looking for you, they can find you.  Once they find you, you hope that they like what they find.

If you missed the last post on websites for tradies, click here.

Now onto building a professional profile.

At Tradie Web Guys, we work with a lot of tradies that are small businesses. Your typical ‘up to 5 guys’ kind of companies. It’s a difficult spot to be in when you’re a small business and you don’t have a huge amount of cash flow because like it or not, you’re competing against companies that are possibly spending upwards of $100,000 every month on advertising.
So the question becomes,

How can you be creative in that space and still get some runs on the board, while not playing like the ‘big boys’?

For those that have read the book, or seen the movie ‘Moneyball’, Billy Beane (the coach of the Oakland Athletics Baseball team) is competing against the biggest Major League franchise in the world, the New York Yankees. (The Yankees, by the way are also one of the most recognised brands on the planet. Up there with Coca Cola, Apple and Nike.)
That year, the Yankee’s had a payroll of $114 Million USD, however Oakland were competing against them with a budget of $39 Million USD.
In one key scene, Billy is in a pre season meeting with the teams scouts and they’re trying to replace various players they had lost the season before to other clubs with more money than them. He states, “Guys, if we try to play like the Yankees in here, we’ll loose to the Yankees out there”.
This is a powerful statement and it’s totally relevant in traditional business. He meant there’s no point no trying to out spend a franchise that has a budget nearly two and a half times what they had.
You need to get creative and you need to think outside the box. Sure some companies have large marketing budgets, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of the game.

What is profile?

Your professional profile is how you’re represented in the marketplace.
To break this down, I’m going to give you an example of two different (hypothetical) plumbers, with two different profiles.

You can see from this comparison that there is a clear winner. You might also observe that a lot of the traits are things that can be easily remedied. Things like Appearance and Professionalism are all elements that can be improved, simply by making the decision.
It doesn’t take a lot of work to look and speak well to clients and if you’re the kind of tradie that shows up to your customer’s door with a coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other, then more fool you.

What tools can you use to help build your profile?

You could be the best in the world at what you do, however if no one knows about it, your phone won’t ring. Here are a few areas that you could try leveraging.

Your website:

A great place for you to showcase your expertise is on your website. Features like blogs provide an effective platform for you to talk specifically about projects that you have done and they allow you to educate your audience along the way.
When creating an article for a blog, you are also creating content that search engines can find. By employing some basic SEO tactics to your piece, you’re enhancing the chance showing up in search queries.

Google Apps for Work:

Google Apps for work is Gmail for business. It’s a suite of applications that incorporate; cloud storage; cloud email; Googles own version of Microsoft Word and Excel which enables people to collaborate in real time; and much more.

The reason that we choose to use Google Apps as the preferred provider for both Tradie Web Guys and our clients, is because we use that email address to form the foundation of the Professional Profile. With that Google account, we automatically get a Google+ account, a YouTube account, a Gmail for business account, and a bunch more features. Not to mention it’s integration with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

You can find out more about Google Apps for Work here.

Social Media:

Social media can be a great place to build profile and it can be really powerful if you choose the right platforms. If you have a visual product like building or landscaping, platforms like facebookInstagram, Pintrest and YouTube might be a good way for you to visually exhibit your work. Whereas if your product is more business to business, perhaps LinkedIn is a better avenue.
At the end of the day, you should be spending your time where your customers spend theirs. Don’t try to be everywhere.
If you’re wanting to build your name as an industry thought leader, I don’t think there’s a better place to be than LinkedIn, because it has such strong networking benefits with other industry thought leaders, which in turn leads to strong strategic partnerships.

Testimonials/reviews.

If you’ve done a good job, don’t be afraid to ask for a review.
Professional profiles always have great reviews and testimonials.
It’s all about relating to people. If someone can see a review that’s been left by a person from a similar background, on a subconscious level half their apprehensions have been diffused.
You can ask your customers to leave reviews on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Yelp and many more, however one of the most powerful methods is the video testimonial. A legitimate video testimonial, will serve you very well. Sure, they’re not always the easiest to obtain, however they’re definitely the most powerful.

The Media.

The media is a greatly to build your profile as an thought leader. Don’t be afraid to write a Press Release, or contact your local paper if you’ve done something out of the ordinary. The difference between a press release and an ad, is a press release is not about selling, it’s about telling a story. It shouldn’t be biased and it can often represent opposing views.
The other significant difference is that people will actually read a press release 😉

Leveraging others to enhance your profile.

If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to anyone!

Collaboration is the new black. Working with others in your industry is a sure way to grow your professional profile as it highlights your ability to network and it also proves that you’re open to opinion.
Find another person that has the same market as you, but with a different product or service and buy them a coffee. Swap ideas; conduct an interview for a blog; feature them in an article; take selfies with them, whatever it is just get out there!
You’ll be amazed at how many strategic partnerships you’ll be able to form, by getting in front of people. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Here are some action steps for you to apply to help you improve your profile:
1. Scrub up and look the part.
2. Start a blog.
3. Secure your social media accounts.
4. Build your LinedIn profile.
5. Collect 5 legitimate written testimonials.
6. Get 1 video testimonial.
7. Speak to 3 potential partners and document each encounter.

Profile Builder eCourse coming soon. For priority notification click below.

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4 Essentials to help tradies stand out in 2015: Part One – ‘The Tradie Website’ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/4-essentials-to-help-tradies-stand-out-in-2015-part-one-the-tradie-website/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/4-essentials-to-help-tradies-stand-out-in-2015-part-one-the-tradie-website/#respond Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:25:18 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=544 The post 4 Essentials to help tradies stand out in 2015: Part One – ‘The Tradie Website’ appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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So what are the 4 main areas that you can work on this year to help your business grow? Part one of four – A Tradie Website!

The beginning of a new year can be a daunting time. We all set big goals because this time next year, we believe we can be someplace better than we are today.
This is normal for any semi ambitious person, and it’s certainly not industry specific. Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the main things that really stops people from achieving their goals, is an uncertainty of where they should be applying their efforts.

For Tradies, one of the biggest mistakes I see, is individuals setting a goal without having clarity of what path to take to get there. An example of this might be, ‘In July this year, I want to be working for two more builders as their preferred Electrician’.
That’s a great goal, but what do you have to do to achieve it? These contracts aren’t going to fall in your lap, you’re going to have to go and get them.

The next series of blogs was made to offer some guidance and some tactics, that you can apply to your business going forward in 2015.
Tradie Web Guys will be focussing on these key elements for both ourselves and our clients in 2015, and believe these topics are pivotal in helping the modern Tradie forge ahead of the competition.

In this series, we’re going to cover the following topics:

  1. Your website
  2. Your Professional Profile
  3. Transitioning into the cloud
  4. Content creation and having basic understanding of SEO.

So to get started, we’re going to discuss websites, but in a different light. We never look at your website as ‘just a website’, we look at it as a valuable business asset that forms the foundation of your ‘Modern Business’.

In 2015, you have to be realistic about where your customers are going in order to find you and let’s be honest, it’s not the phonebook anymore. If you’re not online, then you’re closing a huge window of opportunity.

The internet has changed the landscape of the way we do business and like it or not, it’s just getting started. Having a professional website is the first step in establishing your profile.

So lets discuss what a website really is…

Because the majority of people that come to us, don’t initially understand the value proposition. The word ‘website’ is a bit of a ‘buzzword’ in the sense that people know they should have one, but don’t necessarily know what they need.

A tradie’s website is their modern day shopfront

It’s a place where customers can go to learn about you and establish if the services that you require are a fit for their needs. It’s a place where you can upload images of products, services, reviews and general information that could speak to your ideal client.
Where back in the day, potential customers might have dropped into a showroom, today they jump on their smartphone. It’s an element of convenience that often comes at the cost of genuine relationship building. You have to make sure that your website encapsulates that dynamic and allows the trust building process to begin from the moment that visitor lands on your page.

A tradie website is a marketing tool

A tradies website not just a pretty place that people might visit to see pretty pictures of homes you’ve built in the past.
A well built website will have features that allow your visitors to become a part of your community and learn more about your products along the way. We call this process ‘Sales Funnel’ and for a tradie, it’s a supremely powerful tool. Not only does a ‘Sales Funnel’ qualify your prospects through various stages of the buying process, it also allows you to build an asset into your company in the form of a names database.
By collating a list of subscribers, you’re collecting marketing leverage that allows you to communicate with individuals that have shown a genuine interest in your products, or services.

A tradie website is the foundation/hub for all of your content and open source intellectual property (IP)

You own your website and by adding content to it, it remains yours. All too often I see companies write a blog post, or upload an image gallery to Facebook that doesn’t link back to their website. If, for some reason Facebook decides to close that account, they’ll loose all of their content. By having it on your website, no one can close it, therefore it’s protected.
You can also keep certain pieces of IP on the website. Things that you would like people to have access to, without them bugging you for them. Take for example, Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), Insurance documents, or Business Certificates. If you’re in an industry that regularly calls for such items, you can save yourself a load of admin time by having them readily available for download.

Your website is a ‘social proofing’ weapon

It’s a place where potential customers can come to see examples of people just like them that have used your services and loved it. Things like testimonials and reviews are really powerful on a website and they can often be the deciding factor between winning and losing a job.

This isn’t a hard sell, it’s for anyone who wants to get moving.

So now let’s look at some of the fundamental elements that a tradie website should have.

Actually to be fair, every website should consider these, regardless of industry.

Scalability! How scalable is your website?

What’s the point in building a website that needs to be rebuilt in 3 years time because you’ve ‘out grown’ it? You’d be amazed how often we encounter this scenario. Make sure that your website is adaptable and enables you to make changes along the way.
Fact: Your business is going to change and as a result, so will your website. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to save a few dollars in the beginning on a product that won’t grow with you. It will cost you a fortune in the long run.

Every tradie website MUST be ‘Mobile Responsive’!

This means that regardless of the device your visitor is searching from (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc), your website will always scale accordingly.
Google openly confirms that a mobile responsive website will perform better from an SEO standpoint and with the growing trend of people using mobile devices, it’s critical that you accommodate for that increasing segment of the market.

We recommend you build your website on an open source CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress

Actually, we only build websites in WordPress, as it allows our customers the freedom of making minor updates themselves and also enables them to have other developers work on your site if (heaven forbid) something happens to us.
Don’t get tied into platforms that don’t offer you flexibility in the space of who can and who can’t access your data and always make sure that you have logins. You’ll have to keep on top of security updates as open source CMS platforms can be more susceptible to security issues, but otherwise you should be in pretty safe hands.

Make sure your website has functionality to build landing pages

This is critical for running promotions and campaigns as it allows visitors to get the exact information they’re looking for, without having to navigate to a page from your homepage. When we talk conversions (and we always talk conversions), utilising well built landing pages will increase your conversions significantly.

Create a website that has opt-ins that drive traffic into an automation sequence

This is how you create a ‘Sales Funnel’ and by doing so, you’re actively building your database.
The key to making this successful is the automation. We’re all busy and we’re all time poor, so by setting up an automation sequence correctly we can leverage time and content both effectively and efficiently. Here is a short video on how the sales funnel actually operates, from opt-in, through to the automation sequence.

 

Create great content

Content that your customer is going to want to read and content that they can get a lot out of. As tradies, you need to get creative with this, however often you have an advantage over many industries in the sense that you have a visual product. Use various social channels to promote your services. Channels like Instagram, Pintrest, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Don’t be afraid to showcase your work on your website and get in the habit of educating your audience, as doing so will help position you as the expert.

In summary, think of your website as the lifeline of your business. It’s a living organism that needs to be fed with content and nurtured by keeping on top of updates etc. Don’t treat your website as a static platform that collects virtual dust. Bring it to life and let it represent your business. You’ll be amazed at the results if you apply a little time and effort into it  If you don’t have the time yourself, someone can be sourced to do it for you. There are many companies like Tradie Web Guys that can manage everything on your behalf, so you can stick to doing the work, while we stick to making it look good for you.

In the next post, we’ll be discussing how to develop your professional profile, so that you stand out against your competitors and you position yourself as the expert.

If this is the solution you need and you’re ready to take action, click on the button below.

Also, if you haven’t yet seen the sales funnel process in action, or want to learn more about it, go to this link. It’s pretty much the coolest thing since the cordless drill!

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99% of Tradies are NOT doing this: Using ‘Sales Funnel’ to grow your business https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/99-of-tradies-are-not-doing-this-using-sales-funnel-to-grow-your-business/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/99-of-tradies-are-not-doing-this-using-sales-funnel-to-grow-your-business/#respond Thu, 08 Jan 2015 09:26:05 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=482 The post 99% of Tradies are NOT doing this: Using ‘Sales Funnel’ to grow your business appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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Anyone who’s reading this post, tradie or not, I want you to ask yourself this question. “Who could potentially buy my business off me in 5 years time?”

All too often I hear tradies (which are typically a small business) tell me, “I am my business. Without me, it has no value”.
Let’s clarify one thing right now, that is not the case.

Over the years, I’ve personally worked in organisations that frequently acquired companies in order to grow their business market share. It happens all the time, however in order for that to happen, there needs to be a couple of (critical) elements in place that make a business acquirable.
Today, I’m going to look at one of those elements, which is building your client and prospect database by implementing a ‘Sales Funnel’ and more to the point, I’m going to show you how you can do it in your business.

Your website is not just a pretty online presence. It should be the foundation for a seriously powerful marketing tool.

Having a vision for your company is critical. Not enough business owners have a clear understanding of where they want to end up, so it’s no real surprise they’re disappointed that all of their hard work over the years has not created them any security.

FACT: In the majority of business acquisitions, the takeover company is looking to acquire a database.

“So what is a sales funnel, how does it work and how does it help me build my database?”

In todays environment, it’s pretty rare for someone to purchase on the first point of contact. Typically speaking if you’re selling a product, the stats say that it will take an average of around seven points of contact or ‘touches’ before the purchase takes place. This number will differ for a lot of emergency based companies, as people that visit that site are in desperate need of getting something done, but lets focus on the average and lets use a ‘home renovation’ company as an example.

If I’m looking to renovate my home, I’m going to take the time to conduct some research and get a few quotes. I’m not going to rush into anything, making sure I’m well prepared. Statistics tell us that even if someone has come via a referral, 70% of us are going to search them online regardless, so this is where a having a sales funnel in place is going to become really important.
I’m going to visit that site (and many others) but I am not likely to buy straight away. This means that I’m going to eventually leave that website and potentially never return.

70% of Australians will do their own research for a company online, regardless of weather or not that lead has come via referral.

Now if I am the home renovation company and I know that statistically, people that visit my site are not going to buy from me immediately, I am going to want to find a way that I can stay in contact with that person, because I know that if they don’t buy right now, they might buy in the near future.

So, how do I keep in touch with these (potential) customers? How can I build a dialogue with them and keep my business fresh in their minds, so when they’re ready to move forward, I’m at the forefront?

Put yourself in this scenario for a minute.
You’re looking to renovate your home in about 12 months time and you’re researching companies on the internet to find some suitable builders.
You come to XZY Renovations (all names made up for purpose of article) and they look like they offer everything that you need. They have good, legitimate reviews and they have a nice looking gallery with some great projects behind them. You take a note of XZY Renovations details somewhere and intend to get in touch with them when you’re ready to move forward.
You then come across Sales Funnel Renovations and again, they look like a great solution. Pretty similar to XZY Renovations, however this website has something cool on it that immediately grabs your attention. On their homepage, there’s a complimentary document called

‘5 EXPERT tips on how to save a fortune on your home renovation’

If you’re serious about renovating, there is no way you wouldn’t want to read that document. And this is where it gets cleaver.

Naturally, the report has to be emailed to you, so when you click on the link, you get sent to a page that allows you to enter your name and your email address. Once you’ve done that, the report is sent via automation straight into your inbox for you to read whenever you like.

By opting in to receive that document, you have made it clear to Sales Funnel Renovations, that you are interested in renovating at some point and more to the point and most importantly, you have opened up the communication channel, so a dialogue can now begin.

From Sales Funnel Renovations’ point of view, they have someone that is interested in their information. It’s now up to them to provide it.

It’s all about educating, building trust and keeping in contact and regardless of weather you have 1 staff member or 100, the best way to do that is through automation. Automation allows you to set up an email sequence once and deliver it automatically with consistently every time .
Effectively, once the visitor receives their report, they enter into a sequence of automated communications that are generated via email and set to go out over the course of the next 3,6,12, or whatever months. This enables Sales Funnel Renovations to continually add value by further educating them, which in return gains them trust and also keeps them fresh in the visitors mind.

Keeping yourself in that scenario, how awesome would it be to receive an email once a month, that contained a detailed outline of a renovation project that had just been completed, that could give you ideas about what you could do with your own renovation.

XYZ Renovations had everything that I wanted, but so did Sales Funnel Renovations. The difference is that Sales Funnel Renovations was both cleaver and proactive in making sure that:
a. The communication channel had been opened,
b. It’s not up to the customer to get back in touch with them (because they’re busy and they won’t remember) and,
c. The customer receives useful, relevant information that adds value.

Implementing a ‘Sales Funnel’ into your company will completely turn your business around and the best part is, hardly any of your competitors are doing it.

So Sales Funnel Renovations has achieved a number of really significant things here.

  • they have built an attraction model into their business.
  • they have added a contact to a list of other (semi) qualified people.
  • they’ve put themselves in a situation where they can start to build trust.
  • they can now openly educate and at the same time exhibit their expertise and,
  • they’ve proven to be proactive and professional.

So lets look at a general overview of the steps involved in building this ‘Sales Funnel’ attraction model, so you can see what you need to do in order to integrate this strategy into your business.

  1. You need a product, or service. Nothing happens without an excellent offer.
  2. You need to have a well built website. If your website is poorly built, or represents you in an unprofessional manner, then you’re behind the eight ball.
  3. On your website, you need to have a strong call-to-action that ‘Adds Value’ to the reader.
  4. Your call-to-action should take visitors to a landing page that speaks specifically about your offer.
  5. Your landing page needs to have an opt-in. Keep it short and sweet. The more fields that need to be completed, the less chance you have of someone doing it. Preferably, keep it to ‘first name’ and ‘email’.
  6. Your opt-in needs to tie into an automation sequence that delivers great (relevant) content and continuously adds more value.

If you want to see and experience how this process works, go to this link. I’ve created a short video series on the sales funnel process, complete with a bonus eBook.

We work with many trade based companies that are in highly competitive markets. There are plumbing companies in Sydney that spend $100,000 every month on advertising, so you need to get creative on how you position yourself.

Competing against companies like that on ad-spend alone is not an option for most, however where you can see great results is not focusing so much on bringing in new customers, but looking after the ones you already have.
If you do a good job, you have an 80% chance of retaining that customer in the future, so instead of blowing your budget on AdWords, why not invest in nurturing the (qualified) clients that have already purchased from you.

So you have the basic understanding now. If you’d like to discuss specifics around implementing this strategy into your organisation, fill in the contact form at this link, or give us a call on 1300 417 297.

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The Modern Tradie Workshop is here https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/the-modern-tradie-workshop-is-here/ https://www.tradiewebguys.com.au/the-modern-tradie-workshop-is-here/#respond Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:52:25 +0000 http://tradiewebguys.twghosting.com/?p=477 The post The Modern Tradie Workshop is here appeared first on Tradie Web Guys.

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Finally a product designed specifically for Tradies, designed to educate them about modern methods. Enter – The Modern Tradie Workshop.

Helping tradies, better understand areas of their business is passion of mine.
I love being able to help them facilitate and implement change, however the main hurdle that arises time and time again extends from the lack of exposure that exists towards what is actually available for them.

It’s a constant educational journey and its ever evolving. With that in mind, I got together with a handful of industry experts to create a product that can educate those wanting to learn and at the same time, reach the masses.

I’m proud to say that as a result, we have launched the ‘Modern Tradie Workshop’. It’s a day long educational tool, designed to help educate tradies about various aspects of their business, revolving around technology and the internet.
The first one is being held in Sydney and then we’ll be taking it around the country to major cities.

Here is the link and I hope to see you all there.

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