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5 Things General Contractors Do to Generate New Business When They Don’t Have Time for Marketing

5 Things General Contractors Do to Generate New Business When They Don’t Have Time for Marketing

Gone are the days when lawn signs and local newspaper ads were your main marketing options. As a general contractor in 2019, you have access to so many new and exciting ways to market your business and make your name known, from starting a blog to showcasing photos of your completed projects on Houzz to sending out an email newsletter. It’s a great idea to explore and invest in these marketing opportunities when you have the time, but being a GC means you’re often on the go, not sitting behind a computer. That said, there’s no reason you should miss out on reaching new customers, even when spare time is hard to come by. Here are five things successful general contractors do to generate new business even when they don’t have time for marketing.


They make sure locals can easily find them.

The number-one way new customers find a local general contractor is via Google. If you don’t have time to work on optimizing your website’s SEO (search engine optimization), consider hiring a company that specializes in this. In the meantime, take just a couple minutes to claim and verify your general contractor business on Google my Business, which helps control how your contact information and website appear on Google search as well as Google Maps. You should also create a professional profile on Houzz and claim your contracting business on Yelp, two other primary sites where people research local general contractors. Be sure to backlink to your official website—that’ll ensure interested parties click to the right place, not to mention boost your aforementioned SEO. (Don’t have a website? Houzz can help with that too via its site designer tool.) These simple steps take minimal time yet are important to ensuring that potential new customers have no problem tracking you down.

They ask their fans to spread the word.  

Word-of-mouth is the most effective way any general contractor can generate new business—and it’s marketing that doesn’t take much time (or cost a thing). When you successfully complete a job, give clients a few business cards in case they have friends or coworkers who may need a contractor soon. Ask satisfied customers if they’d be willing to go online and write a positive review or testimonial for your website in order to help you generate new business. It’s also beneficial to get your name out there via proximity; chat with neighbors to let them know you’ll be doing some work nearby and give them your contact information in case they have questions or concerns, then follow up when the project wraps. Hopefully, you’ll be top-of-mind when those neighbors need their own work done.  

They follow up on past jobs.

Another excellent way to generate new business as a general contractor: Give previous customers a call just to see how everything has held up. Offer to drop by and check on things when you’re already in the area; you could even offer complimentary touch-ups. There’s a good chance your former clients have more work that needs to be done by now, and you reaching out will prompt them to move forward on those plans. Or, maybe they know someone else who’s currently looking for a general contractor and your call will remind them to recommend you.

They collect email addresses.

Even if you don’t have time to launch a blog or newsletter right now, simply asking each client for his or her email address (even if you mainly communicate via phone) is one of the smartest business moves any general contractor can make—not to mention easiest. If you keep all of your customers’ emails on file, you can easily put together an effective email distribution list once you’re ready to step up your marketing game.

They play up a specialty.

Even if you’re a general contractor who really does do it all, focusing on a specialty you do well can help you stand out from your competitors and generate new business. If kitchen renovations or creative finished basements or new builds with old-house charm represent some of your best recent work—and are popular projects in your area right now—play that specialty up on your website, business card and any upcoming marketing efforts you do find time to undertake.


Ivy is the leading business management platform and community helping home professionals streamline their businesses by providing the technology, resources, and support they need to thrive. Learn more about Ivy’s business solutions for home professionals here.

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