A few months ago I discovered a company on ContractorTalk that is a great resource for marketing ideas for remodeling and trade contractors. The owner of the company is Mark Buckshon and he has been working with contractors for many years. He is in touch with the contractor's needs, understands consumers and has great insights for marketing your business. I frequently read and learn from his site and always come away with ideas that can help my business as well as my contractor coaching clients. I recommend you sign up for his newsletter and visit his site frequently. Here is his blog link.
The Contractor Coaching Partnership Blog
What allows you to have a business that works and produces profits? The answer is systems with clearly defined processes and procedures. The systems needed to run a fine tuned contractor business are marketing, sales, production and administration. In our training, we use the Four Legged Chair analogy to represent these four systems. Each leg must be strong to prevent the chair from falling over or collapsing.
Traditional marketing mediums are not producing the quality leads residential remodelers, general contractors and home improvement companies need to keep busy. Newspapers, post cards, newsletters, print advertising are not producing the needed results. Contractors are saving their money and focusing on marketing efforts that have a higher return on investment. We are seeing a huge investment in time spent on networking activities.
In today's competitive construction market it is harder and harder to win jobs without an effective sales process and sales training. Just a few years ago a decent contractor who showed up on time, talked well, looked good and had a decent bedside manner had no problem getting plenty of jobs. Most contractors with little or no formal sales training were very busy. The residential contractor now knows that being a simple order taker is no longer good enough in this market. It is critical to have an effective sales process and sales training to win jobs from the new consumer. The chances of succeeding without an effective sales process and training is small. In addition, the cost of leads has skyrocketed. Can you really afford to blow a lead?
Last night I attended a great contractor networking event at EM NARI in Natick. Ten contractor coaching clients and friends joined me and the 120 plus attendees. The featured speaker was Adrienne Zoble. She is a nationally known networking expert for the remodeling contracting industry. She was fantastic and shared excellent ideas on how to obtain great results by networking effectively. She also offered strategies on how to maximize results from your existing customer base and the importance of staying in touch with all leads. Everyone I spoke with said they were very satisfied that NARI provided a great speaker and the networking topic was perfect considering the current economy.
We always hear about the bad stuff, like poor service and unfriendly people, how about something different for a change?
We don't have to look hard to know that our world is experiencing some challenging times. All we have to do is turn on the TV news or weather and we are quickly bombarded with the realities around us. Things that blow up, crash, burn, crimes, job losses, scams, war all lead the news and dominate the broadcasts. We can protect ourselves from these programs easily by turning the channel or hitting the off button on the remote control.
Owning and operating a residential contracting business presents unique challenges for contractors servicing the homeowner market. These challenges are unique because the industry has very little structured business training for residential contractors who provide services to a savvy, demanding and educated consumer. Contractors with formal business education or experience from the commercial construction industry tend to do better with today's homeowner consumer if they use and apply, industry best practices and systems.
I wrote a post a few weeks ago about writing your business plan for 2009. How are you doing? We have a few more days until the New Year, will you be ready?
An article recently published by Eastern Mass NARI in the monthly newletter sent to all members about The Contractor Coaching Partnership.