Starting a carpentry business can be an excellent move for professional carpenters. Homeowners often need skilled carpentry pros at every stage of a build, from the rough framework to the finishing touches. If your work is flawless and priced correctly, a small carpentry business could be a profitable success!
However lucrative this career choice may be, carpentry can also be a competitive trade. Every job you bid on will likely attract several other carpenters who are just as eager to win the contract. You’ll need to find ways to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.
Here are seven tips to help your small carpentry business beat the competition.
1. Research the Competition
Before starting a carpentry business, you may want to research your local competition. Basic research is typically part of writing a business plan and creating a marketing strategy. The information you collect could help you hit the ground running and quickly make a name for yourself.
When researching your competition, pay attention to areas such as:
- What services they provide
- Their pricing
- How they advertise themselves
- Their social media activity
- Customer reviews
This and other information may inform your own service offering, prices, and promotional strategies. You might decide to adopt a similar approach or try something completely different.
2. Set Competitive Prices
Pricing is as much an art as it is a science. Price yourself too low, and your small carpentry business won’t be profitable. Set them too high, and you might just price yourself out of the market. Finding the right balance can take time, but it is essential.
Seeing what your competitors are charging is a good place to start. However, you should also take other factors into consideration. Your work experience, skill, and education can all play a part in how much you charge. Also, consider the services you’re providing and the time it will take to complete these types of projects.
3. Find Your Niche
Offering multiple carpentry services can be a good way to widen your customer base and help ensure you have work throughout the year. However, being a “jack of all trades” might not set you apart from the competition. Potential customers might find it hard to distinguish your small carpentry business from the rest.
Specializing in a niche carpentry service could help your business stand out. It positions you as the expert in your area or skill, which could make it easier for potential customers needing that service to find you. Niche areas of carpentry you could focus on include:
- Cabinet making
- Furniture making
- Custom shelving solutions
- Framework and rough carpentry
- Finish carpentry
You may still decide to offer other secondary services, but focusing on a specific skill could prove very profitable on its own.
4. Look Like a Professional
People want to work with professional carpenters, and looking the part can go a long way towards getting you hired. How you present yourself and your business can help build customer trust and confidence in your work.
Carpentry can get messy, but you should still dress as cleanly as possible when in a customer’s home. Beyond that, consider wearing shirts with your business name and logo to job sites. Other forms of branding, such as putting logos on your work truck or invoices, can also help your small carpentry business look professional.
5. Make Customer Service a Priority
Happy customers are the lifeblood of any small business. They are more likely to bring you repeat business and give a positive review (more on that next). Providing excellent customer service is as much a part of this as your actual carpentry skills.
Good customer service is often simple to provide. It may include steps such as:
- Turning up on time
- Greeting customers with a friendly smile
- Promptly replying to emails and voicemails
- Communicating issues right away to help set expectations
- Leaving homes clean when you finish a project
Sometimes it’s the little things that stand out to customers, especially if they are not used to receiving good customer service from other tradespeople!
6. Ask for Client Reviews
People trust recommendations from their family and friends, which is where many word-of-mouth referrals come from. Online reviews are an extension of this idea. Now potential clients can read reviews from your current customers before hiring your small carpentry business.
There are many online review platforms to choose from: Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to name a few. You might consider asking customers to leave reviews on just one or two sites. This can help you build a good source of reviews that are easy for new customers to find.
7. Update Your SEO Strategy
When you’re starting a carpentry business, you may have a website made to help promote your company. Web developers (and plugins available through free site builders) use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to help your site show up on Google. The right techniques could help your website appear on the first page of results.
However, SEO is not something you want to “set and forget”. Google is always changing how it ranks sites, so your SEO should be updated regularly to help your website stay ahead of the competition.
Consider Business Insurance
When you think about business insurance, you likely consider the ways it protects your business first and foremost. While this is an important benefit of your coverage, insurance could also help set you apart from the competition.
Carpentry business insurance is another way to show your professionalism to potential customers. Businesses that take the time to buy insurance care about their customers and want to be sure they can take care of them if anything goes wrong. Your policies also show that you are organized, as having certain types of coverage is required for some trade licenses and permits.
Adding insurance details to your website, invoices, and other relevant business documents could get you hired over a competitor who isn’t advertising their coverage.
Time to Beat the Competition!
Starting a carpentry business can be an exciting step for a skilled tradesperson. Though it will take hard work and time to establish yourself in the market, your small carpentry business could soon be a great success.
Looking for carpentry business insurance? BizInsure makes it easy to compare policies and choose coverage that works for your business. Get free quotes from top-tier insurers now.