June, 2013Archive for
It is that time of year and you can’t find enough skilled labor to build what you’ve already sold, and you’ve got several bids aging on your desk. So why in the world should you think about spending time and money on marketing?
The answer is simple! Marketing is not about increasing the size of your client base, it’s about getting better quality, and more qualified clients. It’s about working on the type of projects you want to work with and taking home the profit you want for yourself, your company and your family.. Good marketing will do just this for you.
Even with your current backlog of business, effective contractor marketing will allow you to consistently upgrade the quality of your lead flow, replacing the less profitable projects with more desirable and profitable ones. Because you will be spending your time on more profitable projects, your most precious commodity – your time – will increase in value.
Plus, consistent contractor marketing will help ensure that the demand for your services exceeds the supply. When the demand for your services and time greatly exceeds the supply, you have the luxury to be selective and you decide whether you will or won’t accept a project, not the other way around. In short, good marketing will allow you to take control of the selling process instead of being controlled by it. More Information »
When it comes to your website content is important. As Footbridge Media focuses on the optimization of your website, it is important to provide information that the client is looking for and will convert potential website visitors to leads. It is beneficial that the following six things are on your website.
1) What is The History of your Company?
Let’s be honest. Every summer the local news does a report about “crooked contractors”, especially during the storm season. It is imperative to display all information to a potential client on your website as well as all marketing materials. You want to display definite proof that you are a local contractor that is in good standing that provides stellar work. This includes the most basic information: More Information »
Recently I read an article about lead companies hijacking contractor’s websites and selling leads to other contractors. This reminded me of the Footbridge Media support department and when they get bombarded with a specific request.
Every six months or so our client service department gets overloaded with adding “Super Service Award” badges or “Preferred Contractor” awards from various lead generation companies. These award badges are not actual “Awards” but a very weak SEO trick to capture leads and resell them back to you, or to increase the optimization of the lead service site.
The way it works is that you get an email from the lead service stating that you have recently won an award and that the best thing to do is to promote this award on your website. More Information »
Facebook recently announced official hashtag support, with clickable hashtags and new hashtag feeds. While hashtags aren’t yet working on Facebook mobile, we suspect that mobile hashtagging isn’t too far off. With all major social media networks now utilizing hashtags, hashtag marketing can take deeper roots.
The company says that it will “continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”
While Facebook continues to develop their hashtagging system, we can take a moment to figure out exactly what hashtags mean for Facebook and social media users. More Information »
It happens. There are times in your day that you want to kill or strangle a client:
- The client who asks if they can use their 10% off coupon after a project is completed
- Or the client who changes colors on a room in the middle of a painting project
- Or my favorite, the client who offers to help out because he just saw the same job done on HGTV.
This can be frustrating, and year after year dealing with it can take a toll on a small home improvement company.
The reality of running a business over the years is that you lack or hold back your enthusiasm. The constant problems of running a small business, plus the occasional problematic client, can “beat down” a home improvement contractor. This is where you need to prevail.
Levi is a four year old Bernese mountain dog. My wife brought him home one day when he was two years old. He is a huge mammoth of a dog that was beaten by his previous owner. However, I love my dog so I accepted this mammoth animal that was bigger than all of my children into our home.
Over the past few years I learned to appreciate one aspect of Levi. A trait seen in almost every dog I have met… enthusiasm.
For example, at 5am every morning my alarm goes off. If I do not spring out of bed, I begin getting licked and see a 150lb dog jump on bed in pure excitement. Why?
- To see the same .25 acre of yard he sees everyday?
- The amazing meal that is fed to him each and every day?
I know that it cannot be me and my wonderful morning breath. Levi shows an enthusiasm that cannot be matched. Something that as his owner I thrive to achieve.
“Without enthusiasm, you cannot work up to your fullest ability and potential; you’re just going through the motions. And just going through the motions won’t bring you to the level of competitive greatness” – John Wooden (10 time NCAA champion coach of the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team)
Enthusiasm is the one thing that as a business owner you need to have. It is a trait that needs to be displayed not only to your potential customers and clients but also to your employees. Regardless if it is a clogged drain or a complete room addition. The homeowners are excited to see you, so it is important to equal or exceed that enthusiasm.
As a small business owner, if you are not enthusiastic every day then you should not bother showing up. I know that sounds silly, but if you are not providing the right dedication or support to your employees, clients and to your own business it will show up in the bottom line.
If you’re not feeling your enthusiasm or passion on a particular day, start from the outside and work your way in. Put a big smile on your face every time you meet with a client. While on occasion people can be suspicious of people who we think smile “too much,” we are – in general – drawn to people who are smiling.
Five Quick Things To Get Your Enthusiasm Back In Track
- Maintain A Positive Outlook – Regardless of the project, always be positive and listen to what the client wants. They are excited about it, so should you.
- Be Grateful – You own your own business. You are your own boss. You are no longer working for the “man.” Be happy about it. When someone is feeling grateful, they are more likely to be excited and passionate about what they are doing.
- Look Towards the future – There are slow times in a contractor business and those times can be tough. The best way to not fret about this is to be enthusiastic about the projects you are working on. You cannot control the market, so there is no reason to worry about it.
- Without Your Employees, You Have No Business – Your employees thrive off of your own enthusiasm. If you are unhappy, pissed off or just having a bad day, they are aware and it effects them too. Always keep your employees up to date on everything and share your enthusiasm with what the future may bring.
- Get Out Of The Rut – If you have been in business for over 10 years, the job and the company can be routine. Develop a new specialty or service to offer, take on a new responsibility, or do something else to reinvigorate your enthusiasm for your work.