If you have a freelance contracting business, you know that it can be very lucrative. Even though you may have built a solid customer base, there are still things that you need to do to keep your business going long term. We’re talking contracting success here people! With the new year right around the corner it is important to take the time to do a once over on your business and business practices if you are planning for any kind of growth.
Contracting Success | Functioning Operating Systems
Managing your business is just as important as the work that you do. Analyze the systems that you have in place for bookkeeping, scheduling, and invoicing to ensure that they can keep up with more demand. Although the systems that you have in place now may be effective, they may not be not be able to handle higher volumes.
Contracting Success | Solid Internal Structure
Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the internal structure of your business before you grow. Here are some important things to look at:
- Are you financially stable at this time and can you absorb additional costs that come with growth?
- Do you have a substantial amount of repeat business or are most of your clients relatively new?
- Do you have a referral program set up?
- How would your clients rate the quality of your work, your customer service, and your follow up procedures?
If you feel that your business is lacking in any of these areas, consider hiring additional employees to focus on these items. These are essential to the longevity of your business as well as its growth.
Contracting Success | Assess Your Availability
Part of good customer service is your availability to customers if they need to talk to you before, during, or after a project. It is easy to overlook this issue because the nature of your business is hands on and you spend most of your time out in the field. However, this can make or break customers returning or referring you out.
If you do not have someone that answers incoming calls during the day, consider having your office calls sent to your cell phone.
Many contractors also have success with automated phone services that run 24/7 to capture any incoming call.
Contracting Success | Business Associations
There are several industry associations for contractors that are not only great for networking but offer various business resources.
Contracting Success | Marketing
Since a large part of a contractor’s client base is made up of return customers, they often do not have any marketing in place. This is a simple and sure- fire way to gain new business.
In today’s business world having an online presence and social media interaction with clients is a must. This not only helps you maintain relationships with current clients but lets new and potential clients get a feel for who you are.
Do not limit yourself to just online practices. Introduce yourself to other businesses and business owners in the community and attend local events. This not only gets your name out there, but, puts a face to the name.
Contracting Success | Make Yourself Stand Out
There is an abundance of contractors, so it is important that you stand out. Capitalize on special skills that you have to create a marketable niche for yourself.
Keep in mind that your niche is just an addition to your business services. It is important to offer a wide variety of services in your contracting business.