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Running a trade business can, at times, be BUSY work… there’s no arguing that!

With so many things to stay on top of on any given day… phone calls, putting together quotes, running your team, managing jobs, working on the tools, invoicing etc. it’s easy to overlook certain areas of the business.

One of those areas is your image.

When was the last time you checked the overall presentation of your business?

And I mean REALLY checked it!

It’s often something that gets sorted when you first start your business, but as the years go on, you forget to update or keep it looking fresh.

As a result, A LOT of trade businesses out there are running around with run down images.

This could be costing them BIG time.

One of the most effective ways to get someone who has never heard of you to know, like and trust you is through showcasing professionalism both online AND offline!

This is leveraging the idea of perception.

Perception is one of the most powerful marketing assets you have. How do you want you and your business to be perceived?

People will make judgements and assumptions from the outside looking in. This is human nature. And you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

So, check your image! Is it up to date? Professional? Congruent across everything you do?

Are you actually being perceived how you want to be perceived in the market?

If you want to win more work, generate more referrals, solidify your brand and portray your business in the best light possible – ALWAYS showcase professionalism! So, if you haven’t checked your image recently, use the following list to get you started!

  • Company Name: Honestly and objectively, is your company name the best name it can be? Is it relevant to your specific market? Is it a good name or should it be re-considered? Is it unique or can it be easily mistaken for something else?
  • Company Logo: Similarly, is your company logo clean and professional? Is it relevant in design? Or is it old and tacky and not a standout from your competitors? Your logo is seen everywhere, it’s on every document, work shirt, business card, etc. So, it is critical that it is of a high quality (PAY A PROFESSIONAL). You want something that is simple and strong where the letters are clearly seen and distinguished, and you want a nice font that you can use across all your marketing material!
  • Personal Presentation: You and your team need to both look and act professional at all times. This means trimming beards when they get scruffy; cutting hair when it gets daggy; carrying a positive attitude onsite and in public; using deodorant, etc. Don’t carry on and swear, be courteous to other businesses and customers, act sensibly! Also, remove the eyebrow piercings, lip piercings and big stretcher earrings! You’re not just a tradesman anymore, you’re the business owner! People will make judgements about you whether you like it or not.
  • Presentable Uniforms: Sometimes you’ll get dirty. That’s okay. But if you’re attending a meeting to quote a job or you’re visiting a customer’s house and so on, dress nicely to begin with… at least start the day with a clean and tidy uniform free of rips and tears! Are your staff dressing how they should be? Do you and your staff wear all the necessary PPE? Are your uniforms ripped and ruined, faded and old? Or are they updated when required so that no one has their whole knee or shoulder exposed from rips. Do you have a dress code? Or do your employees wear whatever they want… unison is critical! Click here to see our post for more.
  • Hats and Hardhats: Do you need to wear hardhats? If you do, do you and all your employees have the exact same style hardhat? Is your company logo on the front with employee names underneath it? (having names on hardhats work wonders for being remembered by personnel on sites). Do you have company issued hats like trucker caps or bucket hats etc. for you and your employees to wear when working outside (when hardhats aren’t required)? These are a great way to keep everyone dressing to the same professional standard – they aren’t wearing whatever hat they want.
  • Website: Do you have one? Is it actually any good? Is it updated and new? Does it support your business and help you sell more work?
  • Social media: Are your accounts set up right? Full of good market relevant content? Consistent with your branding and overall image? Help and assist with your brand positioning?
  • Vehicle signage: Do you have signage? It’s putting your name in front of more people, more often! And remember, timing is everything when it comes to marketing. By driving around and marketing your business, there’s a strong chance you’re going to drive by someone who needs your service! And… you need to drive anyway, so might as well kill two birds with one stone! Having branded vehicle decals naturally portrays professionalism of your business because it shows you care about your company image, which very likely means you care about the quality of service you offer. This makes you seem more trustworthy than a plain white van or ute that could have come from anywhere. The key is to stand out!
  • Clean Vehicles and Machinery: Do you look like a million-dollar company? Are your vehicles, machines and equipment kept clean, tidy and well-maintained? Or is your van dirty, with all your materials and tools piled on top of each other? Take care of your gear and stay organised – stay professional.
  • Clean and Tidy Office, Yard, Workshop, Shed or Facility: Is your workplace (whatever that may be) clean, tidy, professional and most importantly, presentable? You can’t afford to be working in clutter, you have to get organised! With your workshops, storage area or shed etc. is it organised? Or is there a serious case of NFS syndrome (nearest flat surface)? Do you have random piles of crap everywhere? Are materials organised per job, tools well maintained and sat where you can find them? Ask yourself, would you want your customer to see your workplace?
  • Company Documents & Forms: Are all of your company documents and forms consistent with the company branding? Are they branded at all? Are they clear and professional? Easy to understand? What about your invoice and proposal? Are they all branded and tidy? Are the colours, logo and relevant information spread across every document, looking professional? They should be!
  • Business Cards: Do you have business cards? Are they professional, effective and most importantly, up to date? Business cards are a great ‘leave behind’ when meeting people. Make sure all employees have some that they are able to keep on hand and ready to distribute. Ensure that they are consistent with company branding, clean and simple – simple is best! On the back even think about having a promotional offer.
  • Emails: Do you have your own business domain? NEVER use a basic email domain from the likes of Outlook or Gmail. The email address bob.electrician@hotmail.com.au screams unprofessional! You need your own email domain like bob@xyzelectrical.com.au. It’s also important that you use appropriate fonts and colours. This means using either Arial or Calibri in size 11 font as your primary font (Steer clear of any chunky or outrages fonts). Additionally, ONLY use black as your primary font colour.  It’s critical that you have a professional email signature too.

When you and your team begin to look and act like professionals, you begin to work like professionals, and results will likely follow.

This list doesn’t cover everything, but it does give you a great starting point to go from – and hopefully, gets you thinking about how you want your business to be portrayed, and whether or not your current image is in alignment with what you want people to see!

If you're an electrician, plumber, painter, carpenter, or any other trade business owner who is looking for assistance with developing your marketing infrastructure, click here to learn more about how our team can help!


Warren Peachey | Founder & Trades Business Coach

About the author

Warren grew up in suburban Brisbane in the 1970’s. He was a very active child and highly competitive, spending most of childhood playing sports and his teenage years training martial arts - earning...


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