Research by professional services marketplace Bidvine.com has found that although 67% of sole traders and micro businesses want more work, a significant proportion are still failing to use the Internet to best effect to help grow their business.
While 87% of businesses rely on word of mouth, most indicate that it simply isn’t enough, and yet they appear to have been reluctant to innovate. Less than 50% of those surveyed have a website. Even fewer have embraced social media– just over a third say they have some kind of social media presence. Less than 20% of the 630 sole traders and micro entities surveyed have given online advertising a try.
According to Sohrab Jahanbani, founder of Bidvine.com, “In September 2015 alone there were over 180,000 Google searches for the types of professional services we offer at Bidvine.com, so we know that there are customers actively looking for these small businesses online. If over 2/3 of the businesses we spoke to want more work it makes sense for them to turn to the Internet to support this desired growth.
While word-of-mouth continues to be one of the strongest and most reliable ways of growing your business, it does have its limits. For example, a business that gets referrals during their busiest time of year helps no one – the customer is disappointed because they cannot get an appointment, and the business is disappointed because they have to turn away new customers. Bidvine allows professionals to create their own profile page and state the work they conduct; they can create an online presence for free in a matter of minutes and start getting leads. Only when they see a lead that is suitable do they pay to quote. It couldn’t be easier or more targeted.”
John from Candofix has successfully used technology to grow his business. As well as investing in a professional website, he has also been using Bidvine to deliver up qualified leads for new customers: “I’ve used Bidvine’s service for just under a year and now receive a regular stream of qualified leads for my services. As my reputation grew I also found that the initial Bidvine customer provided return business – they’ve become an integral part of my customer base.
Whenever I have gaps in my schedule I look to Bidvine to find new customers. The service is invaluable for a handyman service such as Candofix. It’s not very easy for a multi-trader to find the time to look for customers. Marketing before for me was ‘word of mouth’ but this didn’t provide me with the same consistency of leads and the ability to plan around the busier and quieter times any business will experience.”