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Should You Niche Your Tradie Business?

Being a “Jack of all Trades” usually means you make less money. Find out why marketing yourself as a specialist and finding your niche means landing more of the right jobs and more profit for you.

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by Daniel in Marketing, Profit, Sales

SHOULD YOU NICHE YOUR TRADIE BUSINESS?

Being a “Jack of all Trades” usually means you make less money.

Find out why marketing yourself as a specialist and finding your niche means landing more of the right jobs and more profit for you.

We’ve all heard the saying. Jack of all trades. Master of none.

What this means is Jack has a certain skill level at a whole number of things but is not especially good at any one thing.

In other words, he’ll give anything a go. But it probably won’t be the best job and may take longer than it should.

This is not where you want to be – if your clients say this about you (or potential customers perceive you this way), that’s a big problem for you and your profits.

EVERYONE IS NOT YOUR CUSTOMER

In every trade, there is a range of companies catering for different types of clients in their market.

Let’s look at a simple example.

Certain larger building companies build homes on the lower, more affordable end

  • They produce large numbers of houses for a very competitive price
  • Good at controlling pricing and costs to hold budgets
  • Have set design plans saving on costs of architects
  • Guides clients through each stage of the building process with minimal surprises and effort

VS.

High-end home builder

  • Produces one-off architecturally designed bespoke homes
  • Price is less important
  • This builder can produce the highest quality house using the best materials, latest tech, and unique designs
  • Works with the top architects in the country, and can build houses that win awards

What we can conclude:

  • If a customer is on a budget and the bank will not lend them a dollar more, then for them, the lower-cost building company is the way to go.
  • If they go to a high-end builder, it’s likely the budget will blow out in the first month, and neither the customer nor the builder will be happy.
  • Just as the client who has millions to spend and wants a spectacular home, would be very disappointed with the more affordable type building company.

Neither the lower priced builder nor the high-end builder is right or wrong – they both can be great profitable businesses…

But only if they stick to the customers that fit their business.

Let’s look at some other examples:

  • A builder might find a good fit in the “Eco-friendly” niche
  • An electrician might find they are better at residential work instead of more complicated lower margin commercial jobs
  • A plumber may specialise in new homes instead of repairs
  • A fencer may find his profits and efficiency is best on building standard fences for subdivisions, rather than specific one-off high-end designs

Usually, trades businesses don’t define what they are good at or who their best client is. So they pitch themselves as a jack of all trades. Or at least that is what their marketing says.

But when clients are looking for [insert your trade here] what are they attracted to?

That’s right…

The expert.

Just like if you need heart surgery, you want the best guy, the most experienced, the specialist surgeon who has done it a hundred times before. (Not the GP or the newbie in training)

When clients find you on Google, and you claim to specialise in everything, what do they think to themselves? Probably something like:

“How can this guy be THE BEST at architectural new builds AND earthquake repairs AND additions AND kitset homes AND decks AND kitchen renovations AND swimming pools AND commercial… 

…Wouldn’t that make him a flippin’ Unicorn?”

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THE PROBLEM WITH JACK

The mistake many tradies make is they want to be all things to all people in case they miss out on work. This is usually because they don’t have enough work to start with, so they believe they need everything to keep their staff busy.

The problem is they are losing on some jobs (the jobs they’re not best at), so they keep losing margins and profits overall.

One tradie I’ve been working with discovered they were losing money on many of their smaller repair jobs, whereas with larger jobs, they were quick and efficient. Those were where they were making nearly all their profit. Now they look for those jobs where the real money is (and have less hassle and problems).

Be honest and look at the jobs you have been involved in lately that have been the most difficult. How much time did you spend trying to get them right, or having to redo the job, or arguing with the grumpy client?

Did you make the money you wanted on those? I doubt it. These jobs canceled out the profit you made on the good ones.

The reality is, being “Jack of all” also demands much more from you and your team. You will spend a lot more time figuring out the job and dealing with surprises – the realities of dealing with a large variety of work.

So what happens if you say “no” to some of these jobs you aren’t good at and work on the more profitable jobs? The answer is, you will make more money and get more done.

It takes a while to get good at something, so don’t waste time trying to be good at everything – no one ever is.

 

BENEFITS OF MARKETING YOURSELF AS A SPECIALIST

Simply put, if you find you’re making 15% on repair jobs, but 25% on installation jobs, wouldn’t you want more installs?

  • Landing more of the best jobs (most ideal, most profitable, less stressful)
  • Higher margins (you can charge a higher price and will be more efficient)
  • Being in demand, with plenty of work lined up in advance
  • Your team will be more professional with a high level of expertise (with increased confidence that you can handle anything that comes your way on the job)
  • Clients see you as highly skilled experts (this positions you to win more jobs)
  • Customers are happier and you can give more to them because you better understand their needs (you are also more likely to get referrals)
  • You can now advertise directly to your ideal clients (which will make you a much more appealing option in the market)
  • You become the “go-to” and can begin to dominate in your niche (+ earning more respect and ultimately building the kind of company and team you can be really proud of)

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If you’ve been in business for awhile, you know which work is highly profitable and the types of jobs and clients you enjoy most. Now it’s time to take the next step and maximise your income.

Decide what jobs you want more of and promote yourself within that niche.

You don’t necessarily have to turn down other work, but by marketing yourself as a specialist, it won’t be long before you can pick and choose the best jobs.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Stick to the type of clients that suit you best. Everyone is not your customer, so you aren’t doing yourself any favours aiming your marketing to “cover all the bases” (you can’t do everything well, you are not a unicorn).
  • There are lots of different ways you can niche. Play to your strengths.
  • Jobs you’re not suited to steal profit from your good ones and demand more from you.
  • If you market yourself as a specialist, you will almost certainly be more profitable and have more fun doing it.

Not 100% sure what your niche should be? Get my free *identify your niche* worksheet here 

WHAT IF YOU COULD NEXT LEVEL YOUR PROFIT?

Get my new guide and find out the 5 simple steps to make your tradie business grow financially and get more cash in the bank. It's all steak, no popcorn.

Get it now

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NEXT LEVEL YOUR PROFIT?

Get my new guide and find out the 5 simple steps to make your tradie business grow financially and get more cash in the bank.

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