Monthly Archives: January 2017

How to Get More Profitability and Grow Your Contractor Business in 2017

How was your 2016? If it was like most contractors I know in our industry, your revenue was slightly up, which is a welcome change from the past few years.

But what about your profit? This often ignored piece of the performance puzzle is the figure that should mean the most to you. It means you operated your business in such a wise way that you now get to invest those earnings in the future – the future of your company, your community and your family.

There are plenty of ways to get there. One of the most common methods is cutting costs. But that method often has a limited lifespan. As you continue to hack away at the services and quality of products that you offer your customers, your business is eventually left with few customers and a bad reputation.

Instead, implementing the following four strategies will improve your services and your reputation to achieve long-term success and consistently strong profits to grow your contractor business.

You’ve Got to Know Your Numbers to Grow Your Contracting Business 

First and foremost, to measure your success, you must know your numbers to grow your contractor business.

You need to be able to answer questions like…

  • How many leads are coming in?
  • How many appointments developed from those leads?
  • Which pieces of marketing are working best for you?
  • Which of your salespeople has the strongest closing ratio?
  • Which segment of your customers are the easiest to close?
  • Which of your products are performing the best?

If you cannot answer any of these questions, then you do not have the data you need to determine where your company is struggling and where you are succeeding.

The greatest “Wealthy Contractors” I know can answer all of the questions above instantly. By constantly measuring their company’s performance, they are able to quickly address any declines before they become major issues and capitalize on any high-performing areas.

The key to this is having a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System that will do most of this tracking for you. If you don’t have one, you need to get one TODAY.

By knowing your numbers, you’ll have a strong foundation to help you get more leads and grow your home improvement business.

You’ve Got to Raise Your Prices to Grow Your Contractor Business

It seems obvious, but raising your prices is one of the quickest ways to boost your profits. While it’s so simple, many contractors are terribly frightened to do this.

So to help you overcome this fear, consider that there will ALWAYS be someone who will do the same job as you for less. There is some desperate contractor who will take a loss because they need the cash, or a contractor who will skimp on labor or materials. But as you know, those are not sustainable strategies.

The one way you can stand out is by offering more value to your customer than any of your competitors. And you may get a few less jobs than you’re used to. But doesn’t working less and getting paid more sound good to you?

You’ve Got to Deliver More Value to Generate More Referrals for Your Contacting Business

So to build more value into your services, you must first examine your customer experience from beginning to end – from the very first contact made before the sale to long after the project is completed.

Survey your customers or ask a friend to play customer and get their feedback – which parts of your customer experience are impressive? Which are disappointing? Which need a slight tune-up? Which need to change dramatically?

Then, once you have these detailed evaluations of your current process, you can take action to make every step of your customer experience a “Wow” moment – one that completely knocks their socks off.

These “Wow” moments are essential, not only because they make your higher prices worth it to your customers, but because they encourage word of mouth recommendations (the most effective and cost-efficient form of advertising), positive online reviews (helping to you close more leads) and referrals (the easiest leads to close).

So you may find out that you need to have a new sales presentation, or better communication during the installation process, a system for following up after the sale or a more professional sales team. This will result in a little bit of work, but it opens up the opportunity to truly impress your customers and will pay off in dividends for years to come.

You’ve Got to Invest in Your Team to Grow Your Contracting Business 

As mentioned above, maybe it’s your people who are preventing you from creating a memorable customer experience. More than anything else, it’s your team that differentiates you from your competition. No other business in your industry has the same team as you – it’s impossible. So, it’s essential that you invest in them (and in yourself).

You may find that your staff needs training in a particular area or the right materials to do their job. For instance, your receptionist may need some training on how to sell callers on the value of an in-home estimate, or maybe your installation crew would feel more confident with new uniforms or training on a particular product.

Whatever the case, making these tweaks so that your team can be at its best will radically change the way you present yourself to the marketplace.

But don’t forget about the most important part of your team – yourself. As the leader of your company, your entire team relies on you for guidance and for steering the direction of your company.

So start blocking out time in your week to work ON your business rather than IN it. Read a book about how to be a better leader or how to better manage your business. And attend events where you can learn from peers and industry experts on what’s working for THEM (and you may actually be able to return the favor by sharing some of your own successes).

One of these events is Accelerate LIVE 2017 – being held in Philadelphia February 22. There’s still time to save your seat at a low introductory price so you can find out the latest success strategies from home improvement sales and marketing experts – just click here now.

By investing in yourself and your people, you will see a dramatic payoff through higher closing ratios and more satisfied customers who become your company’s fans and advocates who will in turn provide more leads for your contracting business.

 

So as you start 2017, remember to focus on PROFITS rather than just revenue. By taking these four steps, you’ll be able to take your business to new levels not only this year, but for years to come. 

 

The “Backwards” Strategy That Guarantees Your Customers Will NEVER Mistake YOUR Marketing For Spam

Do your customers mistake your email marketing for spam? It’s VERY expensive and damaging to your business if your marketing ends up in your customer’s spam folder.

Something has shifted in the past two decades and few people realize it (although those of us in marketing saw it happen)… and it’s created a huge opportunity to do something “backwards.”

Follow the historic progression and see if you spot the opportunity…

  1. A hundred years ago, people used to LOVE getting mail. Everyone sent letters. They’d run to their mailbox to see if they got anything that day.
  1. Then the mailbox became bloated with stuff no one wanted. People hated looking in the mailbox.
  1. Then email came along and it was a modern version of that time when everyone sent letters! Everyone ran to their computers to see if they got an email.
  1. Then the same thing happened: the inbox became bloated with stuff no one wanted.

How much spam have you deleted from your inbox this morning? How many of your customers have deleted your email marketing from their inboxes? How many of your customers’ inboxes are AUTOMATICALLY deleting your newsletter because some algorithm thinks that it’s spam?

Here’s the surprising way to end that costly hassle once and for all…

We came full circle: People love getting mail again. It’s so special. It’s so different. People recognize the time and investment required to send a REAL piece of mail. It stands out to them and has real, TANGIBLE value.

That’s why so many of our contractors are going “backwards” in their marketing – moving back to mailing out information like our Happy Home Gazette newsletter and other printed marketing.

Think about it: would you rather have your marketing buried between an email from a Nigerian Prince and a promise of a billion dollars from Bill Gates? Or would you rather have someone eagerly anticipating your information, looking forward to it month after month, and never mistaking it for yet another “hilarious” cat joke that your old aunt CC’d to the entire family?

  • A printed newsletter has tangible value – not just in the information it provides but also in its physical weight in your hand
  • A printed newsletter creates anticipation when delivered regularly
  • A printed newsletter may seem like it has a higher cost compared to email marketing BUT it gets read more often… and even saved!
  • A printed newsletter shows up in the one place where people AREN’T getting weird spam – this creates a surprisingly special bond between you and the customer because you’re reinforcing how unique you are

If you’re not doing any printed newsletter marketing, I urge you to seriously consider it because people’s mailboxes are empty and they don’t even realize how DESPERATE they are to get good mail in it again. It’s such a simple, powerful, cost-effective way to set your business apart. 

Get the Financial Freedom You Deserve Today and Grow Your Contractor Business

Scott Siegal started Maggio Roofing over twenty years ago and he continues to own and operate one of the most reputable roofing companies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

He was one of the founding members of – and now owns – the Certified Contractors Network (CCN).

He acquired the organization to strategically reinvent it by building on the years of experience of the organization’s membership group and bringing in critical new knowledge and partners for the ever-changing home improvement contracting industry.

Scott’s visionary strategies and commitment to empower members to reinvent their contracting business to survive and thrive in today’s new landscape are evident from the companies’ successes. CCN offers an entire marketing, sales and management system for the contractor, from the one-man shop to the 100+ employee companies.

Scott uses tried and true methods to help entrepreneurs get rid of the fears that prevent them from getting unstuck and how to make the shift to get away from doing the “thing” in their business by sharing his contractor marketing tips.

He discusses the top 4 characteristics of entrepreneurs who have been successful in building financial freedom in their lives and shares how to get your business to the next level using his revolutionary “no-option behavior.”

Join us and tap into his experience as we follow his powerful journey from his early introduction into the home improvement industry to owning and operating the top contractor organization in the country.