ISSUE 1 - NOV/DEC 2012

cover contents products

• Anyone for Pizza?

• New bucket trap

• Gas storage for vehicles

• Dux Prodigy range

• Overflow relief cap

• Rinnai commercial HWS


• A change is as good as   a holiday!

• Apprenticeship savings

• WA awards

• Backflow industry group

• Sydney Water policy


• A few basics


• This month's joke...

• Words of wisdom



Advertising your plumbing business


Marketing - a few basics

In the following months, Chris Hatcher - owner of Ontime Media - will be writing and publishing a series of articles to help guide you through different ways to advertise your plumbing business.


We'll kick off the first in the series with a few basics...


The internet

Years ago, it was pretty simple.

You put an ad in the Yellow Pages, customers call you, you do the work.

Yellow Pages were happy, customers were happy, you were happy.


Then along came the internet - and everything got a whole lot more complicated!

The many ways that people search for trades online means that there is unlikely to be just one online solution for your business.

And how you advertise online depends on the type of work you do - and the type of work you want.

For example, if you specialise in commercial work, or want to do strata and real estate work, you are best developing a good quality website to showcase your services.

But if you are after the domestic and commercial maintenance market, you need to get found in Google in your specific search areas.

Either way, the internet is clearly the future.

There are many different online options, and we will cover as many as we can in the coming months - so stay tuned!


Traditional advertising

By traditional advertising, I mean phone books and newspaper classifieds.

Phone book usage has plummeted in recent years, and it's hard to see the phone book even being printed in years to come. In some areas, newspaper classifieds still work, but the entire newspaper industry is going through major change, so the future viability is far from certain.


Like all advertising, if traditional methods are working for you, then keep doing it!

But it is becoming critically important to future-proof your business by looking into online alternatives sooner rather than later.


The humble fridge magnet

I'm a fan of the fridge magnet!

I think that every customer should end up with your business stuck to the door of the Westinghouse! The best thing you can get is repeat work, and the fridge magnet is a great way of customers having your phone number handy.


Word of mouth

By far the best form of advertising.

Without wishing to state the bleeding obvious, there are a few things to keep in mind to help grow your business through word of mouth.


The first one - and the big one - be reliable!

• Turn up when you say you will.

• If you're delayed, call the customer.

• If a customer calls and leaves a message - call back as soon as possible.

• Get in and do the job as efficiently as possible - don't stuff the customer around.

It's all simple stuff, but critical to the success of your business.


Secondly, look the part.

Banging around in an old ute doesn't exactly fill your customers with confidence!

Get a decent looking van, get some sign writing and keep it in good nick!

The same goes for your own appearance.

Getting shirts made with your logo on it makes you and your staff look professional.


So there are the basics, I'll be expanding on each category in the coming months.

In the next edition, I'll write about Google and how it all works.


For more marketing articles, click here...



Chris Hatcher has more than 30 years in design and marketing including 25 years running his own business. Chris owns and manages Ontime Media, a specialist marketing business for the construction industry and developer of the Ontime Plumber website.


Do you advertise online or still have ads in the phone book?

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