Monthly Archives: December 2020

Tool theft is costing installers over £5.5k

A recent survey by Honcho insurance reveals that tool theft from vans is costing businesses an average of £5,584 with 89% saying that their van insurance didn’t cover the full cost of replacement.

And tool thefts are on the increase. A tradesperson’s van is broken into on average every 20 minutes in the UK and the financial impact is not just on the cost of replacing tools but being unable to work is costing installers an additional £5,892 in missed work. Not only that, but installers can also face negative reviews from customers and suffer reputational damage as a result of not being able to carry out work booked in.

If you live in London, Birmingham or Sheffield, you are most at risk according to another survey by Simply Business, which revealed the main hotspots for van break-ins.

Tools can be a substantial investment so what can you do to protect your van, tools and work?


Fit additional security to your van, whether improved locks, upgrading your alarm, dash cams that can record both in and outside your van, using grills and/or tints, or even investing in a separate safe for inside your van. Also, make sure you take your tools or ladders in with you at the end of the day, even if you have overnight cover.

Tool insurance

Ensure you have the right level of tool insurance that covers the full replacement cost. Tool insurance can be bought separately or usually, you can add it to your business insurance. Remember, not all insurance covers tools left overnight. Make sure you also check the excess.

If you own your van, make sure you notify your insurance provider of additional security features. If you are leasing a van, make sure you check with the leasing company before adding any additional security measures.


Make sure you park in a safe location that is well lit and visible to others, preferably in an area with CCTV. Also, park smart to prevent thieves from accessing rear and side doors and make sure you take your tools in with you at the end of the day, even if you have overnight cover.

Keep records and mark your property

Marking your tools and business equipment is a must so that if the police do find your van or tools, you can instantly prove they are yours. It is also recommended to keep a note of serial numbers and take regular pictures of the inside of your van, so you have proof for any claims.



Hand photo created by senivpetro –

Could a strong online presence generate leads just as well as word of mouth?

strong online presence

Word of mouth marketing has been around since the beginning of time and we all know that it’s a great way to generate leads for free. Research proves it. 72% of people get news from friends and family, making word of mouth the most popular channel for sharing [1].

Word of mouth marketing has evolved over time and now it doesn’t rely solely on having a conversation with your peers, but also on social media and review sites. In the new digital age, there are influencers recommending businesses on Instagram, people who you may follow whose tweets go viral about their experience with a company, and people giving company recommendations in Facebook groups.

However, how does word of mouth marketing compare to having a strong online presence? By online presence we mean a modern, user-friendly website, active social media channels (from Facebook through to LinkedIn), videos, user generated content (UGC) and actively generating authentic and positive reviews, for example.

With a wealth of digital marketing tools at our fingertips, is word of mouth still the #1 contender, or has digital marketing replaced it? It’s a tricky question to answer and that’s why we advise maximising both to increase awareness, attract and secure new leads and increase retention and repeat purchases.

By utilising the right digital marketing channels for your sector, you can get ahead of your competitors. Most companies will receive some form of word of mouth marketing but not all companies have a strong online presence to back it up. You can reach more customers online and collect visible online reviews and testimonials to help build trust and personal recommendations on groups and chat which will lead to increased enquiries and conversions.

How you can best use digital marketing to increase your online presence

There are many ways to increase your brand reputation online and attract potential customers but here are our top 5 tips:

  1. People generally trust other people more than they trust a brand themselves
    This is where the importance of good customer reviews comes in. If you know a customer is really pleased with the service you have provided, ask them to leave an online review, whether on Facebook, Google My Business listing, or on reviews sites such as TrustPilot. 91% of consumers say that reading a positive review makes them more likely to use a business. [2] Facebook also has a specific tool that lets its users ask for recommendations.


  1. Make sure your website is searchable and user friendly (particularly for mobile search)
    Many customers search online for local and reputable companies and will check out your website before contacting you and/or giving you the job. Your website needs to be SEO friendly so people can find you and also user-friendly in terms of navigation, information and calls to action to help you stand out from the competition.


  1. Create extra value for your customers
    Having a website is great and although most tradespeople have websites, not all tradespeople have a website blog. You can create extra value for your customers by having a blog and writing informative and educational content that will help your customers.


  1. Ensure you have a social media presence
    Having a website is a good start however having social media is now a necessity in the digital age, given that there are over 3.2 billion people on social media globally. [3] Social media not only enhances your reach, but it is also great for showcasing individual jobs, your brand, your personality as well as enhancing credibility and connecting with the wider industry.


  1. Stay active online and stay on your customers’ radar
    If you have set up social media profiles, it is important to stay active on these. People value consistent communication so make sure you’re posting a variety of content formats at least every few days to keep your audience engaged. It also helps you increase your business reputation online as well as driving traffic to your website.

There are also many other ways to help build your brand online, but these are our top five starting points. If you have any questions about any of this, or would simply like some advice or assistance, please contact us either by phone on 0333 323 2655 or by email at where our team will be happy to help you.

[1] Pew Research Center