So, I'm planning to build this website which provides a certain service to the users. I initially wanted to make it only add based but soon realized that this won't provide me with enough revenue. Now I'm thinking about charging each customer $ 5/month, but I'm afraid that if I do so, they won't be willing to pay. When I for example see a paid service I often choose not to use it not because of the fact that the price is too high but because of the fact that I have to pay (idk if this makes sense). How would you deal with that?
This post was originally published on July 24, 2017, and was updated on May 21, 2020.
It’s nearing the end of the month. You’ve just finished up a big job and your schedule for next month looks pretty light — maybe even lighter than normal due to consumer concerns related to COVID-19. We both know that running a carpenter company means you need a steady supply of jobs to stay afloat.
Sure, you might have a few gigs here and there, but you’d really love to be booked up months in advance. This isn’t a pipe dream. In fact, it could be your reality if you make it easy for people to find you.
The old ways of doing business are behind us. Today’s customers turn to the internet before making almost any decision, and this includes hiring a carpenter. To bring in a steady supply of new jobs to your carpenter company, you need to use the internet to your advantage.
Below you’ll learn what you can do to help your business show up in the local search results when people are looking for the exact services you offer.
7 ways to bring more customers to your carpenter company
- Claim your local business listings.
- Ask customers to review you online.
- Get local backlinks.
- Learn about keywords.
- Improve your search engine headline and description.
- Start a carpentry blog.
- Add schema markup to your website.
Let’s nail this!
1. Claim your local business listing
If you haven’t claimed your business listings online, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Whenever a person searches for a carpenter on Google, the top results are often local business listings.
If you only list your business in this one place, you’ll be giving yourself a leg up on the other carpentry contractors in your area. Simply claim your business listing and go through the verification process (it may take a week to receive your verification code from Google).
Once the process is complete, make sure to add photos and fill out every single detail (hours, phone numbers, service area, etc) in your listing.
To get the most out of local business listings, create pages in the following directories as well:
Make sure all of your information — especially your business name, hours and phone number — is correct. If you’ve changed any of the three points of information mentioned above, then this needs to be updated everywhere your business is listed.
2. Ask customers to review you online
Online reviews matter more than you think. In fact, 72% of customers state that they won’t use a business unless they read reviews first.
Local reviews help to build a ton of trust in the eyes of your customers. You might have a lot of flattering words to say about your company on your own website, but real-life customer reviews can help to back that up.
It’s important you have a system for encouraging local reviews. Even something as simple as asking previous clients and customers to leave you feedback in the form of a Yelp review will often do the trick.
According to Google, having good reviews will improve your business’s local visibility, too. Beyond having positive local reviews on sites like Yelp, Google My Business and Facebook, you should also display these reviews on your own website (if you have one).
If you’re using WordPress for your website, there are plenty of plugins that allow you to show reviews on your site.
3. Get local backlinks
If you have a website for your carpenter company, then you can benefit from local inbound links. You get local inbound links (also known as “backlinks”) when other websites link to your website. It might be a local hardware store or a home improvement blogger who gives their visitors a link to your website.
The more relevant and authoritative links you have leading to your website, the higher it will rank with search engines like Google.
Your goal is to make it to page one of the search results that show when anyone types in “carpenter + “your city” (go ahead — try it).
Locality refers to the location of the sites that are linking to your website.
For example, a link from your town’s Chamber of Commerce is more valuable than a link from your friend who runs a cooking blog from her home on the other side of the U.S.
If you’re unsure who to ask for links to your website, try some of the options below:
- Look for local industry associations, Chamber of Commerce and other directories focused on your niche or city. Ask them to link to your website (this might require a fee).
- Ask any local real estate bloggers or media outlets that focus on local business news and events to link to your website.
- Ask any local partner or regular supplier if they wouldn’t mind placing a link to you on their business website.
- Sponsor a local Little League team or consider creating a locally-based scholarship.
4. Learn about keywords
When a customer wants to find a business like yours, they often turn to a search engine like Google and type in certain keywords, like “carpenter in Reno, NV.” If you’ve spent time working on your search engine optimization (SEO), then your website has a better chance of ranking above your competitors for the very keywords your customers type in when looking for a carpenter.
Search engine optimization includes a number of steps you can follow, which will let Google know which keywords to rank your site for.
To find these keywords do some initial keyword research. Then follow the steps below to include those keywords in your website:
- Include your keywords in your headlines, text and meta descriptions.
- Create location-specific pages for each town or county you’re targeting.
- Create blog posts that include your target keywords.
If you have a shop or other business space, you might also embed a local Google Map on your website that shows where you are.
5. Improve your search engine headline and description
Beyond including the keywords you’ve found, make sure to also change your site’s headline and description to improve its appearance in the search results.
When a potential customer types a carpentry-related search term into Google, the first thing they’ll see is a page of search results.
To make your site stand out, spend some time writing your title and description (include your top keywords in both). Both of these need to work together to entice visitors to click-through to your site.
To walk the fine line of optimization and intrigue, follow the guidelines below:
- Only include relevant information in your title, description and URL.
- Include your city name, or business area, if you’re trying to reach local customers.
- Include a single keyword towards the beginning of your headline, without making it sound awkward.
6. Start a carpentry blog
One way to truly stand out in your local area is to share articles that are helpful to your customers.
Writing a steady supply of blog posts — for example, articles on emergency carpentry fixes or furniture refinishing dos and don’ts — takes a lot of work, but the results can be well worth it.
Creating regular blog posts that focus on the needs of your local community can help your carpentry website get more traffic via search engines and impress your local clients.
Writing on a regular basis will provide value to your visitors to encourage them to call, and help build authority so you’re seen as the go-to local source.
Plus, you don’t always have to write about carpentry for your content to be effective. If you’re stuck and can’t think of what to write about, try some of the following tips:
- Are there any local events in your area you’ll be attending, or that generate a lot of local “buzz”? Write a blog post about your experience at the event.
- Do you have a unique company story that ties you and your employees to the area?
- Are there any common questions you hear again and again from potential customers? Create a list of the most common questions you receive and answer these in detail.
- Do you have any in-depth project you recently completed? Create a case study that documents that problem or project your customer had and how you went about completing it.
7. Add schema markup to your website
Schema markup makes it easier for users to find the exact information they’re searching for, while letting the search engines more easily understand your site. A win-win for both you and your customers.
You can add schema markup to any reviews you might have, your business information, NAP (name, address, phone) — even the services you offer.
To use schema on your website you can install a plugin like Schema if you’re using WordPress.
Another benefit of using schema is most of your competitors may not be aware of schema, which gives you an advantage. To double-check if you’re using schema correctly you can use a tool from Google called the Structured Data Testing Tool.
Let the internet work for you
Generating a steady supply of customers for your local carpenter company is all about letting the internet work for you. Use the tips above and soon you’ll likely find you’re booked up well in advance of your next mortgage or rent payment.
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With growing consciousness of sustainability, it looks like fast fashion might not be so on trend anymore. Currently benefitting from that shift is Vestiaire Collective, a French fashion tech startup based in Paris. Founded over ten years ago, the company has raised €209 million, closing a recent funding round just weeks ago totalling €49 million.
We caught up with CEO Max Bittner, who took the helm of the startup in 2018. A former founder himself (of the e-commerce giant Lazada), we discussed tips for first-time entrepreneurs, as well as Vestiaire Collective’s unique value proposition, future trends in sustainable fashion, and how the company is faring during COVID-19.
Thanks for your time, Max! For our readers who don’t know, what is Vestiaire Collective and what problem is it trying to solve?
Vestiaire Collective is the leading global resale platform for desirable pre-owned fashion. Our community of 9 million fashion activists worldwide inspire one another whilst selling and buying unique pieces from each other’s wardrobe. An increased interest in sustainability and the rise of social media has driven consumer interest in the pre-owned market. Gen Z and Millenials want to access the fashion they desire in a more sustainable way whilst also feeling connected to a wider community, which is where Vestiaire offers a unique proposition that meets a growing demand driven by the younger generations.
Congratulations on closing the latest most recent funding round! You’ve stated that one use of the cash is to keep fuelling Vestiaire Collective’s international expansion. What have you found to be the key challenges of continued growth?
This is really the moment for resale. There are so many opportunities we could pursue, one of my personal biggest challenges has been to keep the team focused on the big topics that really make a difference. The biggest challenge overall for the business has predominantly been scaling internationally. Each market has its own cultural nuances, meaning you need to dedicate a lot of time to research each market, building a broad understanding of all the factors that can impact your ability to scale successfully. It’s important to build a strong local team that understands each market you want to reach.
This is the second time you’ve chosen to personally participate in a funding round during your time leading Vestiaire Collective. What motivated that decision?
The first thing that struck me when considering joining Vestiaire Collective was the huge potential for the business model. I strongly believe the platform answers a number of today’s growing consumer needs and this shift in the consumer landscape will continue to escalate over the coming years, this is why I wanted to invest in the business myself shortly after I joined in 2019. I’ve reinvested again in this round as I am personally convinced that this unprecedented period of disruption will not only challenge where we shop but how we shop which will further drive adoption of online resale platforms.
Vestiaire Collective was founded in 2009 – it’s already been over ten years! As the business has grown – and investor cash has flowed – how do you believe the company goals and objectives have changed?
I’ve been with the business for just over a year and a half, but I believe the fundamental goals of the company remain the same as they were in the founding years. Encouraging a sustainable approach to fashion consumption was a core founding pillar of the Vestiaire Collective model when it launched, and this remains key to the company’s future objectives.
When the founders launched the platform they spotted a shift in the way people were starting to think about and consume fashion. This evolution has continued to grow and we believe this will be further escalated by the impact of the current crisis. We want to encourage more people to join our circular fashion community and explore a more sustainable way to enjoy fashion.
In these ten years, more fashion startups with similar circular business models have arrived on the scene. What continues to make Vestiaire Collective unique?
The platform remains unique due to its highly engaged global community, its rare desirable inventory and the high level of trust we have developed in the company and the community. There are no other players in the market that offer this unique combination. I also believe that you should always be willing to self-disrupt so we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and evolve to ensure we can continue to provide for the ever-changing needs of today’s customer.
What trends do you see taking off in the fashion e-commerce industry over the next five years – will sustainable alternatives really triumph over fast fashion?
We live in a world where consumers, especially younger generations, have really been changing the paradigm of the way things are done. There has been a shift of consumer behaviour towards a circular economy and digital landscape. I think customers will continue to question and change their approach to consumption. Where they are becoming more conscious of both sustainability and the impact of consumerism, this will be further escalated by the current crisis which will ultimately force brands to rethink their current model.
How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted business at Vestiaire Collective, if at all?
As a C2C platform we have been able to be quite agile in the way we operate during this period, and this has allowed the business to rebound from an initial impact quite quickly. We are seeing positive figures on both order and deposits right now. Central European orders are +20% on our pre-Covid-19 February average, and overall deposits are +33% for the same period. We’re also seeing our community continue to be strongly engaged on our app.
Finally, as a founder yourself, what advice do you have for those hoping to take the plunge and start their own company?
Follow your passion and your instincts – you need to start a company that will make you want to get out of bed in the morning. Always keep an entrepreneurial state of mind. Innovation is key to any business maintaining a competitive edge, so never miss the opportunity to drive change where you believe it’s needed.
I was just thinking about all they barriers and places where a sale could "go south"…some random thoughts:
First of all the potential customer needs to find your website…
- Next, they need to see that your product could potentially help them
- Then they need to have confidence and some level of trust in your product, company and website. Is it affordable?
- They want to try it, they enter their email address. Have they entered the correct email address?
- We send them a welcome email…
- Will it bounce? Is their inbox full, will their mail server accept the email? has it gone in their spam folder?
- Ok, so they receive and *open* the email, they now need to download the software (*)….and install it….oh, it's PC only…I can't install it…I having a problem installing it…I downloaded it but can't find it… etc
- It's installed!
- Now they need to learn how to use it and have 10 days (free trial) to try it….
- Will they remember to try it? Can they use it at all? Is it useful?
- 10 days pass….
- Reminder email, trial expired…..
- Did they find it useful enough to pay for it? Do they trust you with their credit card details? Can they afford it? Are they averse to "yet another subscription"?
- They pay! a new customer…AMAZING!
- One month passes…renewal time, are they still using it? Is it still useful? Can they still afford it? Is the card they registered still valid? can it renew successfully??
(*) my product is software that needs to be downloaded and installed so more places to go south than SaaS.
Hey! Just released this free tool for businesses to listen to employees and customers so they can learn and adapt quickly for the recovery!
So many businesses are changing at lightning speed trying to survive and they need a way to listen effectively and support the people who matter most (employees and customers). We created this template recovery feedback channel and builder so businesses can easily listen to private anonymous comments and reply in real time.
It’s our hope that they can use it to make the changes they need to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy so they can reinvent themselves and find success.
Would love any feedback on the system or help to share it and spread the word.
App Start-up that connects people (mainly student demographic) to do things. (not saying much not trying to advertise) — Looking at the way events have turned out marketing physically may seem near-impossible. The next best thing, stickers or a card form that people scan?
Anyone got any ideas how-to market the app to restaurant facilities where people will have something to either scan or take-home. I was thinking a sticker on that leather/vinyl bill holder where the receipt is, but it seems today those aren't being used due to COVID.
TLDR; COVID-19 is making physical marketing difficult, how do I market my app locally by utilizing restaurants existing customer base, in exchange for offering new customers and exposure.
How did you get your first 10 users / customers (or how do you plan to)?
Getting the ball rolling and securing those first paying customers can be a daunting task. It'd be great to learn about how you acquired them and what your takeaways were.
This is such an amazing subreddit with a wealth of knowledge, so let's learn from each other.
In these uncertain times of COVID-19, small businesses need to be creative in how they maneuver through the closings, potential exposure issues and budgeting. For industries such as pet care, pet grooming and dog walkers, this can be an even more unpredictable time.
Here are some tips to help those in pet care services to safely continue to work.
Develop an effective long-term strategy
Implementing a long-term strategy for situations like the current pandemic will help to insulate your business from future crises and protect your business from the harshest results of the situation. Your strategy might include the following categories:
It is a given that income will drop off during times of uncertainty, as consumers prepare for the worst. That makes it more important than ever to cut back on unneeded expenditures and overhead, while eliminating waste.
This means monitoring your supply inventories and evaluating what is a requirement and what isn’t. For example, you might choose a more affordable brand of similar quality or switch to cloth towels rather than paper towels.
That might mean using dispensing cups for shampoo instead of pumping straight from the bottle, for example. Being a penny pincher will help you keep the lights on even if you can’t afford that expensive cup of coffee every morning.
Alternative customer servicing procedures
You’ll need to come up with solutions that meet the 6-feet distancing requirements.
Curbside pick-up and drop-off, door-to-door delivery services, and texting check-in and pick-up services can keep business flowing when everyone else is at a standstill.
Hygiene and cleanliness procedures
During a pandemic, cleanliness is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Creating stringent pre- and post-service cleaning processes will help to keep you and your customers safe.
Informing your clients of your cleaning policies and the measures you are taking will have the added bonus of creating customer loyalty and confidence in your company and services.
This information gives customers what they need to make an educated decision and shows them that you care about both their health and the health of their pet.
Understanding and addressing the stress associated with these difficult times and working with staff to create an amicable work situation will not only ensure that your staff are looked out for, but can minimize short handedness, unhappy customers and disgruntled employees.
Consider offering temporary work-from-home options or temporarily retracting non-compete clauses so groomers and bathers can maintain customers’ pets where they are less likely to be exposed to virus contamination.
Consider providing improved isolation for onsite workstations, such as partitions or barrier curtains.
Keeping customers and employees informed is vital to maintaining a steady flow of business and ensuring that customers return after the closures are over. Regular communications that are upbeat, positive, concise, accurate and informative are what customers want to hear from you.
Ideas for minimizing physical customer contact for pet care services
Customer contact is more than your direct interaction with customers. It is also customers being in close proximity to each other, coming in contact with surfaces and areas that others have been in contact with, and any type of face-to-face interaction.
Below are some tips for keeping these instances to a minimum while still offering the pet care services your customers need.
Dedicated drop-off and pick-up locations
By providing one space for drop-off and pick-up interactions, you minimize facility exposure and cross-contamination. Try meeting clients near the front door and politely explaining the need for isolation, rather than bringing customers inside.
Drop-off and pick-up appointment times
Avoid clients coming into contact with one another during these times by scheduling a 10-minute gap between when one customer will be picking up and the next will be dropping off. This allows for those clients that are chronically late or always early.
Institute a text-ahead feature
Allowing customers to text you when they are downstairs or in the parking lot helps groomers and bathers manage the flow of customers proactively.
Check out the American Pet Professionals’ COVID-19 Resources and Information for Pet Care Businesses for lots of useful tips during this time.
Getting through tough times
It will be easier to continue business as close to usual as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak if you have a clear picture of your business, are willing to modify your traditional practices, and work together with your groomers, walkers, bathers and entire staff.
Offering work-at-home options and providing additional policies, procedures and isolation strategies while budgeting for the worst of times might be what gets you and your pet care services business through these tough times successfully.
The post How to safely take pet care services to your customers appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
From side hustles to established businesses, ventures everywhere are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your doors might be closed but you’re still working with virtual yoga classes, stay-at-home spa kits, takeout meals, or one of the many other ways day-to-days have transformed into innovative ideas.
As your business responds to evolving restrictions, your online presence is essential in keeping customers informed about the latest developments. Staying in touch with customers is more important than ever, and your Websites + Marketing site can help. We’ve added two new features, pop-ups and messaging, so your customers are always aware of timely updates, and can get in touch with you whenever they want.
Notify customers with pop-ups
When there’s a major update, like to announce new business hours or changes to your contact info, add a pop-up to your site’s pages. Your pop-up is the first thing your site’s visitors see, so use it for crucial information.
When you create a pop-up, you can include custom text. There’s also an action button so visitors can go directly to another page, or even to another website. For example, your pop-up could tell visitors that you’re now offering curbside pickup, and include a link to your contact page with your location and hours. Or, use a pop-up to announce a sale and link it to your product page.
Ready to add a pop-up? Here’s how.
- In your Websites + Marketing dashboard, select Edit Website to open the editor.
- Select Website and choose Popup from the add-ons.
- Customize your pop-up with a unique Title and Description, and if you want, an Action Button linking to another page or website.
- Select Done and publish your site to apply your changes.
Hear from customers with messaging
Help customers start the conversation through messages sent directly from your site.
Instead of a chat that you have to manage in real time, you can reply to customers by email when it’s convenient, whether that’s after another long walk with the dog or making sure the kids finished their online schoolwork.
With messaging, a button hovers in the bottom corner on each of your site’s pages. Visitors can click the button to provide their name, email address, phone number, and the message they want to send you. You’ll receive all messages in the email of your choice, and you can respond right from your inbox. The new contacts and messages also appear in your Connections page so you can easily track and monitor them. Messages include details such as which of your site’s pages the message was sent from, so you’ll understand its context.
Follow these steps to add messaging to your site.
- In your Websites + Marketing dashboard, select Edit Website to open the editor.
- Select Website and choose Messaging from the add-ons.
- Customize your messaging window with the email address you want to receive new messages at, your Welcome Message, Thank You Message, and if you want contacts to be able to subscribe to your email marketing list.
- Select Done and publish your site to apply your changes.
Everyone will stay in the loop
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a time of unforeseen change, and that means increasingly communicating with customers online. Communication works both ways, you need to inform customers about updates, and your customers will undoubtedly have questions or concerns they need to convey to you. That’s a lot to take care of.
Websites + Marketing is here for the busy entrepreneur. Focus on turning those ideas into realities while we help handle growing your business. Have some big news to share? Pop-ups get your most important updates to the people who need to see them. Want to hear from your customers? Messaging lets your customers start a conversation anytime, so you can follow up when it’s convenient. Use your site for communication and manage your time the way you want.
You can do this!
If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.
- Check out our How-To videos for content aimed at helping you navigate through COVID-19.
- Looking for stories and inspiration? Visit the GoDaddy YouTube channel.
- Dig into resources on the GoDaddy blog.
- Connect with like-minded people in our #OpenWeStand community forum.
- Find answers to product questions in our Help Center.
- Call or chat with one of our GoDaddy Guides.
Above all, have faith in yourself. We have faith in you.
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