Following the reopening of the economy after the spring lockdown, consumer spending and construction activity recovered strongly. It can be said that many tradesmen have fared well during this pandemic.
But dark clouds are gathering for trade professionals, especially as the economy now endures a second autumn lockdown.
Here's what we know so far:
- The Irish economy is in recession and according to the Department of Finance, it will contract by 3.5% in 2021.
- According to Goodbody Analytics, there will be a 24% decrease in new housing starts in 2020 which will have ongoing repercussions for the trade into 2021.
- National unemployment levels are set to remain at around 11% (up from less than 5% pre-Covid) during 2021.
- Covid welfare payments are expected to be phased out during 2021 prompting further financial constraints on household spend.
- There will be less disposable income in the economy and a reduction in home improvement spending.
How to Beat the Recession
During a recession, a website will offer a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. A Google-friendly, mobile responsive website is not a luxury, but a necessity to drive new customers and business to your door.
This is also especially important during the pandemic, as customers are mindful of social distancing and have increasingly resorted to online services.
Getting a website up and running has never been easier and does not need to cost a fortune either.
Onlinetradesmen offers a website builder tool with premium membership plans and if you need help along the way, we also offer services to help build and improve the quality and quantity of website traffic to your site.
Finding job leads and building a pipeline of work is going to be critical to surviving the recession.
Not all customers will be at the same stage of the decision-making process to hire. Some homeowners might be ready to hire, but in many cases awareness and evaluation of their home improvement needs or consideration on who to hire, will all be part of the decision-making process.
When contacting a customer for the first time, making a good first impression and providing as much information about yourself and a competitive quote, will be important to the process of securing the job in the short-term or in the future.
Onlinetradesmen’s platform encourages homeowners to post home improvement jobs while providing as much detail as possible about the job, including a start date, as well as their status in the decision-making process i.e. budgeting, just looking or ready to hire.
As thousands of jobs get posted to the service every month, Onlinetradesmen members can find work immediately as well as build a pipeline of work. This means you’ll have the opportunity to find larger jobs as well as fit in smaller jobs around bigger projects.
During a recession, reviews and ratings will be vital to generating new and returning business.
Although word-of-mouth is still hugely important in the process of finding new business, many homeowners will now comfortably use online reviews when deciding to hire.
The best way for a tradesman to have all basis covered in the referral game is to ensure they have both a highly rated online profile as well as a good reputation.
To generate a strong online profile, be sure to show off the quality of your work with photos, descriptions and qualifications as well as get ratings and reviews to share and for everyone to see.
Onlinetradesmen makes it super easy for our members to get reviews and ratings from homeowners who use our site. As we also invest in search engine optimisation for our service, when homeowners are looking for trade services online, it often means our member’s profile pages appear higher in search than other small business websites.
During the downturn, saving money on hardware, tools, materials and workwear plus finding the best possible price on insurance, as well as reducing travel costs are all important in reducing the cost of doing business.
Tradesmen can save money by eliminating travel time for site visits when quoting for jobs by using their phone, tablet or PC. Using technology to reduce presales expenses will mean saving hundreds of euros on van and fuel costs as well as ensuring more time is spent on the tools.
Onlinetradesmen offers a club discount scheme which saves our members money on hardware, consumables, materials, tools, insurance, petrol and more.
Plus, homeowners who post jobs can now request to meet with trade members using the recently launched Video Site Survey platform. This now means setting up a site meeting can be facilitated from anywhere, eliminating travel time and saving money on travel costs.
The signs are that things are going to get tough in 2021, however tradesmen who are profiled online, seeking new job leads, generating ratings and reducing costs will pull through more successfully than those who don’t. So, the question is, what are you doing to prepare right now?
Access thousands of leads a month, build your reputation online and get a website worth €800. Sign up with Onlinetradesmen today!