How did you build your clientele? There’s a natural distrust of the trades people, so it’s harder it seems. Also, if you were just starting out in a new state, what would you do? And finally how did/do you handle the inconsistency of work and income?
In the beginning I just built my clientele one client at a time. I just did good work and made sure my clients were happy and got the service they wanted. I’ve never really felt like there’s a natural distrust for trades people. Sure there’s definitely a stereotype like that but I’ve never actually felt it in my business. I think if you’re a trustworthy person you’ll be alright.
If I were just starting out in a new state I’d:
1. Get a website
2. Get on Google Places, Yelp, and all the other directories
3. Post ads on Craigslist (just to get the ball rolling with jobs coming in)
Those are the things I’d focus on first. Actually I wrote an article about starting over here.
I don’t deal with inconsistency anymore because I’ve been doing this long enough. Once you reach a certain point, the jobs just keep coming in. In the beginning, I just kept trying to get my name out there and keep the jobs coming in. If you do good work, you’ll eventually find that getting jobs isn’t the hardest part of this business (if you’re doing at least “some” marketing). If you are going to try to rely solely on word of mouth then yes, you’re probably always going to deal with inconsistency. Don’t make the mistake of trying to rely completely on word of mouth. Think of that as a bonus. Every successful business does some type of marketing.
Hope that helps.