I have recently partnered up and started a basement development company. So far we've built a website (logo, business cards, etc), but I'm not sure what the best strategy is for getting these sales. We're on a short budget (under $1000) until we make at least one sale. Any ideas?
OK so you are selling for a contractor who renovates unfinished basements into completed rooms?
What you need to do is encounter people who are just reaching the moment when they realize they want to turn that empty unfinished basement into real rooms they can use.
Then you need to sort those into people who will do it themselves (not your market) and people who are happy to pay someone else to do it (there's your market).
Your website alone is not going to do that. It's just sitting there. Since you didn't share the site, I can't tell you anything about how good it will be in achieving the #1 marketing objective it has.
Your thinking now should be towards: Where do people who are looking for someone to finish their basement GO?
What stores do they visit?
What Google searches do they enter?
What questions do they want answered right now?
Has your marketing been designed to respond to these kinds of questions?
Here are some actionable things you can do right now. Some take guts. But if you don't believe you can actually help people, you probably shouldn't be doing what you're trying to do.
1. Craigslist ads
Easiest and also easiest for your competition to flag.
Cheap to post. And people will be looking on CL for a contractor.
2. Walk up to people in building supply stores and ask them if they're your target audience.
Yup, this is the one that takes guts. But if you're in the aisle where the drywall is, don't you think it's likely that someone wanting to finish their basement is going to come in there?
Use a negative reversal to qualify: "I don't suppose you're finishing a basement, are you?"
Then if they say, "No," it's not a big deal. "Didn't think so," and go back to waiting for the next person. Or have a quick conversation about their project.
If they say yes, now you can tell them you work for a contracting firm and ask if they're OK with talking about their project for a minute.
Now you can qualify further to find out if they are a Do-It-Yourselfer or open to someone else doing the job.
Don't spend more than a couple hours at a time prospecting this way.
This is the fastest way to find customers.
3. Newspaper ad
Yes, people--particularly older people, who generally have more money than their younger counterparts--still look in the Classifieds or through ads in the paper.
4. Radio ad
This option could be far cheaper than you think. Media prices in the town I'm in are rock bottom compared to what I expected (I'm a TV show producer here and when I learned what it cost to put a show on the air I was flabbergasted at how cheap it was).
The key with radio is relentless repetition.
You need to do some research and testing to find out where your target market's age range is and when they are listening. Then you can choose the best station that matches that demographic and run that spot over and over.
Stay away from TV. It's too risky for you right now.
5. Look for lists of qualified prospects
This is where you really start using your brain, which is frankly why most people never get this far.
WHO is in a position to want your services right now?
In my 10 seconds of considering the problem, my brain says:
"People who just bought a home."
Many people DO renovate right after purchasing, don't they.
Homebuyer lists are not hard to get.
And in fact, couldn't you partner up with realtors to recommend you and only you as a favorite contractor to their buyers...in return for a referral gift?
THIS is where real power in the marketplace can begin. When you get the lead immediately, before anyone else has a chance, and are referred by someone the customer trusts.
Feel free to book a call if you want to develop further marketing funnels and referral programs like this.
This is complicated question to answer. I love that you have a set number of sales though. believe it or not this helps strategizing a marketing plan so much easier (relatively speaking).
I think you mean actual home basements right? Also assuming you are in an area where basements are common. Otherwise you face a whole lot of other obstacles than growth or exposure.
With my experience and insight, here is where I would personally decide to start:
1. home improvement blogs with high reader engagement dedicated to either basements or general construction in your area only.
2. craigslist - forums. (not great, I know but people are active and that's what you want right now)
3. Create a campaign that promotes an idea like "how to add value to my home" direct that campaign to a special linked 'squeeze page' targeting those interested in value growth and there briefly, enthusiastically and in laymen terms describe how basement can double or triple in certain cases a home's value. great for those looking to sell in a year or so..? use: unbounce or instapage for this 'squeeze page' have a book now to see how long it would take for you to have your own basement. (don't mention cost here at all) focus on value, building time, etc. but not price.
keep in mind: a S.Page is nothing more than a single page used for promos, tracking ad efficiency, that is apart from your website. It should be very simple very direct. no scrolling necessary.
4. If you focus on 'making basements useful and pleasing' then go to realtors, have an affiliate system. have them sell the option for you to all their new home buyers.
this steps shoudl give you a good further follow up process.
I recommend that you stick to one or two approaches and work the heck out them. I created a strategy to grow businesses and startups particularly, dubbed it "unthink strategy," anyway this strategy shows how a company's every effort is a startup of its own and needs its own dedication and budget and goals, with any startup you can't over schedule yourself, over complicate or over itemize. Stick to one or two and go full force on them, pick a threshold to change efforts or increase efforts like after 3 sale, or if no sales are happening give yourself maybe 3 weeks or 3 months, etc.
Also, general marketing rule most don't think about: Don't contradict/undo your good marketing efforts by creating or having unattended social platforms or half-assed efforts. Is best to not have them sometimes.
Best of luck. Keep us posted maybe!
I started and ran a $2million painting company when I was a full time college student. I started it by myself going door-to-door offering free estimates ($70k in sales year 1) and built it out to having over 20 sales reps across the entire state of IL.
I know a thing or two about getting your first 10 jobs in the services industry and can give you 5 actionable items that, if executed properly, will surely result in 10 new jobs.
I'd love to help you grow your business and can tell you the best tools and strategies to get this done without spending much money to get started.
I you or me decide I didn't help you very much, I'll refund the money from your call. I really hope I get to help you and I'll give you free email support as you execute the items we talk about.