Marketing isn’t just for big companies and consumer products, says Alisa Bennett, vice president of Bennett Contracting in Bradenton, Florida, and former Equipment World Contractor of the Year finalist. These eight tips will help position your company in the marketplace.
1. Clear, concise and consistent branding enhances your reputation: It’s critical to create a professional and consistent look in every aspect of your business to ensure your team, your vehicles and your equipment are instantly recognizable. Think of every vehicle and staff as moving advertisements or billboards.
2. Network, network…and then network some more: Knowing the right people can lead to inside information and possibly provide a shot at a project before it goes out to bid. Meeting and getting to know the decision makers in your area will help you find out about upcoming projects well in advance.
3. Communicate milestones and news in your local market: Writing and distributing simple news releases announcing new hires, company milestones and other newsworthy items will keep your business “top of mind” in your market.
4. A great website is your best sales tool, and a bad website could be damaging your company’s reputation: Many excavation contractors are late to the digital age and either don’t have an online presence or have an outdated, unprofessional website. General contractors and developers use websites to assess potential partners, and if your site doesn’t clearly and professionally communicate your company’s capabilities, your potential customer may not invite your firm to bid a project.
5. Connect with business associates and
customers on a regular basis: Once you have an awesome logo and polished new website in place, it’s time to expand your reach and communicate with your important contacts on a regular basis. Create a quarterly newsletter, Facebook page, Pinterest board or Twitter feed to provide a forum to keep your customers, vendors, associates and media contacts updated about happenings in your company.
6. Tap into today’s trends and pop culture: Track trends and pop culture and find simple inexpensive ways to use them to promote your company. Tie-ins to events or trends currently part of the national dialogue are a great way to bring attention to your excavation company.
7. Make friends with those in the newsroom: Editors and writers need sources. National stories are often localized by television stations and print media in your local market. If a national story about crumbling infrastructure is getting attention and you have firsthand knowledge about projects that have recently helped to improve local road and utility conditions, call the publication and help them localize the story.
8. Do good/feel good: Community involvement can pay big dividends: Give back to your community through involvement on boards, donations to high-profile organizations or, perhaps most effectively, performing pro-bono projects, such as services at no cost for a nonprofit organization. Don’t forget to promote your goodwill through media contacts, your new newsletter and Facebook page.
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