Author Topic: Getting customers question  (Read 620 times)

Lan Mandragoran

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Getting customers question
« on: July 18, 2017, 12:27:27 PM »
Hello :)!

I live right next to a college town which has tons of turnover so I'm thinking about doing some painting and tile setting types of jobs on the weekends/evenings. I've never really tried anything like that.  Where have you had the most success finding customers in the past? I'd probably put something on craigslist and was looking at using thumbtack, but they both have their drawbacks.  Idk maybe just need to conscript my mostly stay at home wife to be a marketing person for me :P.

Also considering doing the same thing for Techy stuff (day job), but thats another can of worms.

I'm weird in that I hate getting jobs/finding jobs, but dont mind work generally.

Thanks for any suggestioins
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 12:31:21 PM by Lan Mandragoran »
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Lepetitange3

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 12:58:45 PM »
Of it's a college town, Craigslist is a good bet.  Or if you've got the tech skills, make a cheap webpage or even free blog advertising your services.  I think you can make business pages on Facebook too? (I don't have Facebook soooo not 100% on that).  Try to throw in a little SEO so when someone searches the area for painters, you come up first page. 

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 02:11:44 PM »
hhmmmm yeah I could probably throw up a site. Facebook is sadly probably a great place to start looking, I've stayed off it for years because it annoys me but I know it has a ton of useful pages/services I should be taking advantage of.
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PoutineLover

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 02:30:33 PM »
I use a few FB groups for buying/selling and trades, I think it's a good place to find customers. Just something to think about though, do you have a target customer in mind? You mention college town with lots of turnover, so who are you hoping to be hired by? Landlords, tenants or homeowners? As a college student I moved often and I wouldn't have paid to get an apartment painted, and my landlords never bothered. Also, lots of student-run painting businesses exist and they pay basically minimum wage, so are you sure you can make decent money off this? Not meaning to put down the idea, just throwing out stuff to think about.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 02:41:07 PM »
No I appreciate the thoughts.  I'm about 80% sure it can make some money, I need to get some quotes and see what other people are paying. 5 years ago or so we used to do this for a landlord for aprox 15 an hour~, but I feel like we were undercharging by a good amount (family friend + ran by my well intentioned mother).  Getting some quotes from thumbtack as a first step.  Hopefully 20+ an hour is pretty standard. I dont need tons of $ as time wise it ends up being very efficient (100% of it will go to investments, instead of my day job where I struggle to make it so 50% goes to it)

From what I know of tileing, it should be a good amount higher wage, but I'm not an expert at that yet and haven't done the research necessary.

 Well, I was under the impression most land lords repainted I know I certainly do if the walls start to look bad (maybe once every 2 tenants~). Probably just depends on the quality of the building
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 02:47:00 PM by Lan Mandragoran »
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HipGnosis

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 07:38:28 PM »
Personally, I see Co's facebook pages as a negative if it's their only web presence.  It's not professional or serious.  I can't help feeling they do everything as easy and/or cheaply as possible, which isn't an attitude I want to pay for.  Okay for side-gig, economy work, but not a 'real' company.
Ditto for people/co's that post the same thing on C.L. every other day or only once.

You're not clear on how/what you want your image to be, so hard to give advice.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 06:27:25 AM »
It would be strictly side gig for a time at least :).
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Villanelle

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 06:41:09 AM »
You might also contact property managers to make them aware of your services, offer a $xx referral fee for the first three customers they send your way, etc. 

MsSindy

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 06:55:12 AM »
If it's just a side gig, then CL and word of mouth is going to be your best bet.  When we look for someone to do some odd-job type things that's where we go - if I was having my whole house painted, or the outside painted that needed a lot of prep work, I would want a "real company" with insurance, referrals, website, etc. 

You're going to have to do a little hustling in the beginning to get some business.  Get some business cards made up that aren't the totally cheap kind - they should state what you do (i.e. outside painting? staircase painting? staining? wall AND floor tiling?)  Attend landlord or REI meet-ups and start to make contacts - landlords and flippers want people they can trust.  Reach out to smaller general contractors and let them know if they have small or overflow work, you can help them out... you get the idea.

Once you have a network of people, and you're EXTREMELY reliable with good quality and decent prices (don't be the cheapest, you'll just attract crappy customers), you'll have a steady flow of work.  This is how DH and I had a very successful cabinet/woodworking business - this was before CL/internet.

bwall

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2017, 07:05:53 AM »
Try and find the service that you are looking to offer. Call two or three competitors and request a quote.

See how they charge, observe their customer service and go from there. What can you improve on? What are they doing right that you can also do? etc.

Good luck!

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 07:55:59 AM »
Thanks for the responses!

So CL + word of mouth + talk to any property managers we know/can find (I know one or two), narrow the scope or at least acknowledge what im doing via more official means (cards, website, whatever), real estate meetups, referrals. So tons and tons of things I can do, sweet ^^.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 07:58:48 AM by Lan Mandragoran »
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CargoBiker

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2017, 09:03:57 AM »
Thumbtack is great.  Just put up a solid looking profile and see what happens.
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Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Getting customers question
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 12:39:14 PM »
How are the fees on it generally? Doesn't it charge you to enter quotes? That seems a bit annoying to me, maybe still worth it though idk.                                     
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