Are you working with the best possible subcontractors, suppliers and professional service providers? Anyone working on the job site could be a reflection on you and the quality you deliver to clients. Consider the providers you interacted with over the past year, and if they aren’t delivering the standard of service you expect, take action to improve or end the relationship.
“We look at those service providers who we’ve worked with over the past year and do a report card,” Aaron Hymas of Vuu Homes in Bluffdale, Utah, says. “We give a grade to vendors and subcontractors in all the areas where we build homes. If there are continual performance issues with a company, we’ll find a way to address them or consider replacing them.”
Prospect for New Jobs
Your past clients can be your biggest advocates. Spark interest in a new project by reaching out to people already familiar with your work. If they don’t have a need for your services, a friendly call or email may remind them to write a review or recommend your business to a friend. This can be an especially powerful tactic toward the end of the year.
“I contact my past customers during the early part of December to see if they are enjoying their updated living spaces,” Leanne Baldwin of She Paints Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, says. “I use a combination of email and phone calls to find out if they are planning any new projects or have any referrals to share. Contacting past customers can generate another 25 to 30 percent more work for the new year.”
Send Some Love
During the holidays, a year-end gift not only shows past clients that you value them and their business, but it can also serve as a subtle marketing tool. Something eye-catching that a client might put around the house can start a conversation about you with their guests.
The gift doesn’t have to be extravagant — in fact, it doesn’t have to be a gift at all. Sending a holiday card is enough to keep you top of mind. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
“I always make sure to plan an end-of-the-year gift,” Lauren Clement of Lauren Nicole Designs in Charlotte, North Carolina, says. “As early as summer, we pick out what we want to give. We may have two levels of gifts, such as if someone has done an entire home or a smaller room. If someone was a client a long time ago, we’ll send a card. The gift can be something small, but it makes a big impact on past clients. I would not be where I am today without this relationship-building aspect of my business.”
Tell us: How do you leverage your professional relationships? Share your tips in the Comments.