Tips from the trades: advice for running a successful contracting business

Wisetack Team
March 3, 2021
min read

We sat down with Mark Draeger, VP of Enterprise Account Management & Field Operations at Extend and former consultant for the trades (HVAC, electrical, & plumbing), to ask him a few questions about what it takes to run a successful contracting business.  

For a brief summary of some of the questions discussed continue reading. Want to learn more? Watch the full video below. To stay up to date on similar content, like our Facebook page

What is the difference between a successful contractor and an unsuccessful one? 

Successful contractors know how to price well, offer financing, and train their teams. 


Many times contractors underprice themselves and don’t consider the holistic costs of running their business (e.g., marketing, rent, equipment). Remember to take into consideration other cost factors outside of individual jobs that are being performed. 


Offering financing expands the customer base to customers who need more flexibility financially. It’s a tool that helps meet the needs of more customers. 


Training in the soft skills of the job is just as important as the hard skills. Good customer service needs to be consistent as it helps differentiate you in the marketplace. 

How can I offer financing? If I already am, how can I take it to the next level? 

Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, this leads to customers delaying jobs. A financing solution can solve a customer’s cash crunch by empowering customers who need more flexibility financially to complete a job they otherwise could not previously do. 

To empower the customer, this has to be a company-wide initiative. The whole team from call-takers to technicians need to be educated on offering financing options available early and often. In addition to the team, other customer touch points such as the website should also mention financing as a payment option.  

How can offering financing increase your sales?  

Offering financing can increase a businesses’ sales by up to 50%. Consider the payment processing fee that a business makes in order to offer financing as an investment that is more than offset by the increase in sales that a business will have. 

Let’s look at the automobile industry as an example. Dealerships lead with monthly payments since customers are used to paying for monthly expenses. By breaking it down into monthly payments, it lets consumers upgrade their vehicle purchase. Like the automobile industry, service based businesses can benefit from the same upsell opportunity that the automobile industry has had for years. 

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