Last month I thought I’d try out a new chimney sweep to clean the chimney in our living room. So I Googled Chimney sweeps Leeds and this bloke came up.
He called me back immediately, was friendly and knowledgeable, and his prices were reasonable. And, once he found out what I do for a living (i.e. freelance SME copywriter), he asked me what I thought about his website – and if I could offer him any other advice to help his fledgling business grow.
Strangely, in a past life this guy had been head of credit card fraud at a major bank. But he’d become disenchanted with the corporate life and set himself up as a sole trader chimney sweep. His SME business is still relatively new. Curious, I asked him what “Mr G” stood for ( as in Mr G Chimney Sweep) and he told me he’d named it after his dog which died recently…
Anyhow, he said he was already getting some great reviews from customers which, I was glad to see, he was posting on his new website. But he was keen to grow a base of repeat customers and also encourage people to get their chimneys swept in the quiet season – the summer.
So I suggested that he keep a database of customers’ email addresses. Then email them in the summer months offering them a discount if they got their chimneys swept before the end of August or September.
Also, offer them a further discount for recommending a friend who then goes ahead and arranges a sweep. Then be sure to keep the new customers’ data on file and contact them in the same way.
And so on.
But, already, I felt, he was building his business on the strength of being a Really Nice Bloke.
He was thorough. He took his time. He offered good (non-hard-sell) advice on the various nasties lurking inside my chimney flue (flaking render, etc). And he was friendly.
I’d use him again.
And I’m happy to link to his website for anyone looking for a good chimney sweep in Leeds or Bradford.