Hello and thanks for contacting us! Sounds like you have a very viable and valuable business proposition, so with some carefully curated marketing I’m sure you will be up and revenue positive again very soon.
I’d like to make a few suggestions that could help.
Firstly, get your messaging and ‘positioning’ right. Think about who you are now targeting in your local community and what will resonate most with them, and define your messaging clearly. For example, if you are targeting mid-sized family owned businesses, what will they most relate to? What is going to appeal to them at an emotional (as well as rational) level, that will help them connect with you quickly? Try to use messaging in your communication that goes beyond the obvious such as ‘efficient, and local, and quality’ – as these are givens. Seek more unique and compelling messaging like “our customers are an extension of our family” etc or something that relates closely to your values and your way of working that differentiates you. I think, given you have a female tradesperson on staff you should definitely promote her ‘face/profile’ in your campaigns as many female business and home owners will relate to her as a ‘trusted partner’ (but not at the exclusion of the rest of your staff for fear of reverse discrimination!) So possibly featuring all your people and their values / way of working, could be a strong differentiator for you? After all, bringing people into your home and business to do the work you do is a large trust based decision.
Secondly, think about your channels to find these customers. There many digital channels now that are cost-effective (some free) and a good way to also support and reach local businesses. Such as ‘neighbourly’, local facebook community groups, referral websites, radio, and local newspapers. Where do your potential customers go to find recommendations and how can you get your business high in their visibility? Think about your Google Business profile, make sure you get some good reviews from past customers (this is one of the fastest ways to increase your chance of being found in search) and think about creating some Google Ads. Also Facebook is a great advertising channel and will enable you to test different messages and be super-local. Visible signage on cars and poster boards at local shops might be also worth trying.
Lastly, think of a compelling offer to get them to ‘try’ you. What about a free consultation to evaluate their needs? Or an introductory offer that includes a follow-up check-in post the work being complete. Referring a friend and receiving a benefit also works well in service industries. I think at the moment people are tight on cash, and so the more you can do to show that you ‘relate’ to them and their circumstances, the more likely they will be to try you. Plus in current market conditions, you are better to have your people working on a lower margin job, than not working at all.
I wish you all the best,