Back in the day, most contracting companies were built on word-of-mouth. And that’s still not a bad way to get referrals. Those tend to be the best leads. However, it can take a long time to build a business simply by hoping people mention you to their friends and family.
Phone books were invented and offered a new medium for contractors to promote themselves to new, potential customers. They worried that their name, logo, and phone number were big and bold. They tried to put a few words in the ad to try and explain how they were different than the hundreds of other contractors in the same book. Some contractors would even pay for two-page ads!
Well, folks, the phone books are dying. They’ve been dying a slow death for about a decade. Sure there are some markets where phone books can still generate business. If you’re in a small market, a rural market, I know of plenty of contractors who still benefit from spending big money in their phone books. But those days are numbered.
For most of America, the Internet has made phone books extinct. It’s no longer the wave of the future, it’s NOW. It’s here. And you simply cannot have a plane Jane website if you expect to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Study after study after study shows that how well designed your website is directly impacts consumers’ decisions to call you! So, that website you paid a buddy a build in the late 90’s will not work anymore! In fact, if you have an old website, it’s COSTING YOU BUSINESS! And if you don’t have a website at all, many, many, many homeowners simply won’t call you at all. You could be the best contractor in town, but they won’t trust you… because you don’t have a website.
So, yes, word-of-mouth advertising is great. It still works. You might be lucky enough to be benefiting from your old phone book ads. But if you’re not spending real dollars on a professionally written and designed website, you’re flirting with some serious disaster. It’s time to contact several web professionals. Get some quotes. See what it will cost you. Budget for that cost, and then make the investment into a website, into your business, and into your future.