Every fencing company is looking to boost sales and revenues. If you currently have mostly residential customers, one way to increase business is by expanding your number of commercial jobs.
How can you reach this competitive market? Let’s look at 10 ideas to help you land more commercial fencing jobs.
1. Use your current contacts.
If you have built up a steady residential clientele, you can use many of those same contacts to attract new commercial business. Let these contacts and customers know that you are expanding the commercial side of things and ask for their help in getting the word out.
• Previous and current customers • Real estate brokers • Material suppliers • Friends and family • Staff members • Other local businesses
2. Update your website and social media
Does your marketing focus primarily on residential fencing? If it does, it is time to broaden your message to include commercial business. Add headlines and copy to your website that highlight your commercial fences. Publish blog articles with SEO content that drives commercial prospects to your website.
Show photos of commercial fencing projects on your website and social media pages. Also, ask for and then highlight testimonials from satisfied commercial clients. Use Google Local so that your company ranks high when prospective clients search for fencing companies.
Use print and media ads that focus on the commercial side of your business. Use the sides and back of your vehicles for advertising. Develop a commercial brochure to use for direct mail and to have on hand in your office and showroom. Use your completed fences as ads by including “Fence installed by” signs that offer your company name, website and contact information.
4. Get to know local contractors
Meet local construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors and other individuals who do commercial construction work in your community. Do a little homework in advance to find out which companies might be a good fit for your fencing.
Call their offices to arrange a get-to-know-you meeting. Another option is to stop by construction sites with the idea of making a brief in-person introduction. Be ready with your business cards and your best sales pitch for these impromptu meetings.
5. Join and get involved in trade associations
Another way to get more commercial jobs is through local trade organizations that represent contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and their support
agencies. A couple of examples are Associated General Contractors and Associated Builders and Contractors. Some trade groups sponsor planning events (both in person and online) where blueprints and specifications on upcoming projects can be viewed or downloaded for bidding purposes. Some require a fee for this service.
6. Meet architects and engineers
Commercial projects are more involved in scope and time than residential projects. Therefore, another idea is to get involved in the initial planning stages by meeting project architects and engineers. Find out who is designing large projects on your area, and you might be able to get in early on the process when they open the bidding process for fencing. Consider joining these organizations:
ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) can get you involved in a lot of commercial work.
CAI (Community Associations Institute) can get you plugged in with all the property management companies/HOAs in your market.
7. Expand what you think of as “commercial”
When we think of commercial fences, we tend to imagine only new building construction and renovations. However, there are many other commercial avenues for your fencing products.
• Roads and highways
• Entertainment venues
• Parking lots
8. Creative promotions
Another way to attract new commercial customers is to offer promotions and discounts for fence maintenance or repairs on their existing fences. It may serve as a strategy to get your foot in the door for when they are ready to purchase and install a new fence.
9. Keep up with industry standards and best practices
Education is key to gaining entry into the competitive commercial market. One way to stay up to date is by becoming a member of the American Fence Association (AFA).
AFA supplies the training and certification programs to increase your skills, train your staff, learn new bidding techniques and connect with others in the industry. AFA also has valuable information about the kinds of insurance you may need as you expand your fencing business.
10. Meet and exceed expectations
One of the best ways to build your commercial business is by doing what you do best — quality work with top-notch service. Many companies fall short of their promises. You want local contractors and builders to know that you are the fencing company they can count on.
Whether it is for residential or commercial fencing, positive word-of-mouth is still the best way to attract new business. Offer the best in customer service and deliver quality fencing and the word will get out.