In our most recent episode of SNAGGED (the construction sales and marketing podcast) we interviewed Dennis Helderman, Co-Founder and CCO of EasyToolHire, about the challenge of modernising a "hand shake" industry.
EasyToolHire has successfully brought an eCommerce experience to their customers. Dennis revealed that the key to their growth has been a strong focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, he also acknowledged the challenges they have faced in getting it right.
As the construction industry continues to evolve, Helderman emphasised the need for innovation in order to stay in the game. EasyToolHire is not only revolutionising the way equipment is hired, but also pushing for a new era of convenience and efficiency in the construction sector.
Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation with Dennis:
SNAGGED: what challenges did you face when bringing a new way of hiring tools to market?
Dennis: To be frank, the technology is only as good as the people that use it.
So I think the biggest challenge we faced that is a challenge you face in any industry when you're introducing a new way of doing business or is changing habits, because especially from a supply perspective, the businesses we work with are used to working in a certain fashion.
Whether that's efficient or not is another question.
So the little things from getting the customer service team of a rental operator to be much more fluent with a CRM system that we provide, you know, helps us enhance the customer experience because it centralizes all the little pieces of information you gather about that customer in one location.
But it is a new habit. Of course. It is something new that the team has to do.
SNAGGED: How has the market responded to eCommerce style tool hire?
Dennis: Generally positive, obviously, because I think we save people time.
There's a big convenience in the transparency we provide.
If you're about to scope out a job and just want to understand what that's going to cost you, you can do that pretty fast with us.
Of course you can get a quick idea of what that equipment is going to cost you.
So generally the feedback actually has been quite positive.
SNAGGED: What growth strategies have you found effective?
Dennis: One of our kind of key growth channels and also something that's generally influenced how we work in this industry is Search.
So there is a really big emphasis on Search as an acquisition channel for us.
And we've really also focused our catalog based on our keyword research as well as seasonal search volume data that we constantly redo and get.
And that's been really important.
So Search has been a big focus both organic and paid search.
It's unbelievable when you look at the numbers to see the number of people that actually go to Google and type in mini digger hire near me.
It really is a big number.
You're talking about like 100,000 people per month.
It's a very big number amount of people that come in.
And these are pretty high commercial intent keywords.
When you go ahead and do that analysis, if they're putting the word "hire" or "rental" in it, it means that they're pretty advanced in that job that they're looking to do.
SNAGGED: What challenges did you face with SEO?
Dennis: A lot of folks just don't understand what SEO means, or they hire an agency and they don't know what the agency is doing, and then the agency will tell them what they're doing, but then you still don't understand it.
So we got it wrong initially.
We hired the wrong people.
We had to let them go.
We worked with an agency, we let them go.
So there was a lot of trial and error that we lived through, and now we're in a much stronger position.
And one of my things is, I would say when you find your Cristiano Ronaldo in SEO, you make sure you keep him or her.
It's rare to find SEO people that are really, really good at what they do.
It took us a while.
We went through a bunch of different people, so it was definitely not instant.
SEO is a long burn.
It takes time.
It varies also per industry, of course.
In our industry, we go after commercial keywords that have higher we're not after informational keywords as much.
Also, a lot of things change.
There is constant algorithm updates.
So that's something people need to understand.
It's not static.
It's not just because you're on page one now, you're forever going to be on page one.
It's constantly, constantly changing.
So having someone either if it's an agency that you've contracted, or having someone on your team, that literally is an SEO nerd.
SNAGGED: What do you think the future holds for EasyToolHire & the industry as a whole?
Dennis: We would like to expand further into Europe and we really see UK, the UK, as our highest growth opportunity.
And we've invested a lot and we will continue to invest tremendously.
And I believe that digitization is only getting started in this sector and it's going to become a really important point and people are going to be left behind.
If you don't adapt, you will go out of business.
I think that's already happening.
If you just look at the amount of resources that some of these incumbents, these larger companies are putting in as an independent, as a family run business, and if 90% of your account business, for example, is through word of mouth and sales, that's great.
But if you don't offer an app, or if you don't offer a digital portal for your own account customers, or if you're not innovating, or if you're not really keeping up with the change that's happening, you're going to be put out of business.
So I think it's a matter of survival.
And for us, we're at the forefront of that.
We have a full on engineering team.
We've invested seven figures into our tech stack
and that's what gives us our competitive advantage.
So for us, it's just more of that really. Riding that wave and geographic expansion.
EasyToolHire has effectively brought an eCommerce experience to customers, revolutionising the way equipment is hired and pushing for convenience and efficiency in the construction sector.
Through this, he offers independant equipment hire companies who partner with EasyToolHire a way to stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace.
Dennis emphasized the importance of innovation and adaptation in the ever-evolving construction industry.
One of the key factors contributing to EasyToolHire's growth has been their strong focus on SEO, although they faced initial challenges in finding the right experts for the job. Despite the obstacles, EasyToolHire is dedicated to continuous improvement and expansion, with plans to further penetrate the European market.
As digitisation becomes increasingly vital in the industry, companies that fail to adapt may face obsolescence. EasyToolHire's commitment to investing in technology and maintaining a competitive edge positions them as leaders in the field, ready to ride the wave of change and secure their future success.
It was a pleasure to have Dennis on the podcast.
If you'd like to be a guest, or have questions you'd like answered on the podcast in the future, email email@example.com.