COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works, for Shae, but it’s nothing she can’t handle.
The mother to three has homeschooled her seven and thirteen year-old children and looked after her eight-month old baby. But this didn’t stop her and husband’s dream of launching their homegrown plumbing business. They made the decision to go out on their own and founded Anytime Melbourne Plumbing in December last year, before COVID-19 was on anyone’s radar.
When the pandemic hit, they noticed a downfall in work but the pair persisted and looked for new ways to grow their business. “I started off promoting the business on social media, using Facebook mainly and a bit of Google Ad words. But mainly, we were relying on word-of-mouth. “But I was handling the payroll, bookings, admin as well as visiting job sites to provide recommendations and sourcing all the materials. I started to realise that if we wanted our business to go somewhere we would need to involve digital marketing,” says Shae.
Finding the right digital marketing agency took a lot of research, and involved being burnt by a group who turned out to be negligent and sales-driven rather than helpful. After breaking the contract with this company, Shae discovered Melbourne-based digital agency Xugar, who she says has changed her business forever.
“Within a month of engaging Xugar, our revenue has more than doubled, we’ve had to hire three new staff and we’ve expanded to offering 24/7 emergency on-call work – and all this took place during a pandemic.”
What started as a husband-wife plumbing duo has expanded to a team of 5, operating from Keilor Park in Melbourne and servicing residences throughout Melbourne, available around the clock for emergency plumbing work.
“Around 70 per cent of our business comes from the digital side of things.
We have some huge contracts with well-known restaurant chains and deliver all their plumbing maintenance exclusively. These clients found us through Google,” says Shae.
The importance of digital marketing for small to medium businesses is essential in this ever-evolving sphere of the way people get their news and recommendations.
“For anyone starting a business, I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in digital marketing. It’s changed our lives.”