When your phone stops ringing, try this…

Old_phoneWhat do you do, as a contractor, when your phone stops ringing? When you’ve got no work?

Anyone can be affected by this phenomenon, whether you are new in the renovation industry – or whether you’ve been a contractor since Mike Jagger wore diapers.

So, if a work famine happens to you, what DO you do?

Well, you could begin by calling previous customers to ask them how the work you completed is holding up. And hope, that way, for new work or at least a referral or two. Or you can empty what’s left in your bank account and advertise in the Yellow pages or in local newspapers. Or how about sending out flyers to help fill your neighborhood’s blue boxes?

Another way is to use online web-based referral companies. Some have been around since time began, while others are being newly-minted every day. The secret is to do your research, and one way is to not be shy about getting in touch with some of their members to get feedback. With some of these referral companies you can sign up for free. However, free in my book can mean you might be well covered in dust before any action arrives.

I believe you don’t get anything worthwhile for free. So I recommend parting with some cash. Give one or two of these companies a trial period and see what results you get. This way you’ll quickly find out if one is better than the other. A number of CARAHS members use these services and survive very comfortably; some even run a few work crews based on the work they get.

Now some of these companies will charge you a monthly fee based on the category of work or location you choose. Others will charge you a smaller up-front fee, but then will charge extra on every referral you receive from them. Some may even want a percentage of earnings on the work you’ve secured. Others may even want to double dip and ask the homeowner to pay them a fee for supplying them a contractor like yourself and crew. It seems everyone has an angle out there, so take your time and choose who you think is best suited and will drive quality business towards you. That’s if you decide to try this route.

Lastly, if anyone has already tried these types of these companies and had some good results, some bad ones or even some ugly stories, let us all know here.

Read article at the Canadian Contractor Magazine at: http://www.canadiancontractor.ca/uncategorized/when-your-phone-stops-ringing-try-this


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