I want to put an ad in the Yellow Pages. Which heading would contractors most likely use when looking in the book for a commercial installer?
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
Contractors aren't going to look in the Yellow Pages for tradesmen, except maybe Business-To-Business Yellow Pages.
My suggestion, which will probably cost you less and zero in on your target public, is to buy a mailing list of general contractors and do a mailing to them. Or grab your Yellow Pages and start calling GCs. Get their addresses and follow up your phone call with a mailing piece.
There are several ways to do this, but personally I'd consider Yellow Pages ads a waste of money.
I also liked when a subcontractor would stop by and ask if he could leave some information and possibly bid some of my work. If he had a couple of references, his work was of sufficient quality and I had a good gut feeling about the guy, I would generally give him a try. The face-to-face meeting gives me a chance to size up the person. My judgment of character isn't infallible, but it is usually pretty accurate. In essence, the person sold himself.
I didn't mind people dropping in and giving them a few minutes if I had the time, but it is usually better to make an appointment. Be on time and stay only as long as it takes to get out your information. I didn't appreciate too much of my time being taken up, or the offer to take me to lunch. I always felt like people were buying me lunch as a bribe to get work.
Visit with your local lumberyards and hardware stores and get in with them. Buy what you can from them, go often and they will remember you first when they are asked about tradesmen. Banks, title companies, chamber of commerce and realtors should also know you pretty well. And last but not least - local preachers. They know everybody, hear more and see more than most.
The quick visit to a GC's job or office is good too, if you want to deal with the backstabbers. I visited a few shops. Most were cold, but one was very friendly and helpful - he gave me numbers to low priced suppliers and loads of advice. He's now retired and refers lots of work to me.
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