We don’t want to be party poopers but…
An economic downturn isn’t a risk, it’s an eventuality. Anyone who has been in business for over a decade knows this first hand. CCN’s Scott Siegal unpacks this topic in a recent Qualified Remodeler article, and he brings up some great points. There are a few things you could be doing right now to protect yourself from the next economic slowdown or *gasp* recession.
Squeeze Every Drop From Your Marketing Dollars
“During the recession, many contractors got a rude surprise when lead flow slowed to a trickle.”
There are a couple of tactics that can help counter-act the slowdown in leads that happens when homeowners have less cash on hand.
- Diversity in lead generation
By funneling your leads through the right system, you can easily track which sources are giving you the best return. Want to experiment with new types of marketing but are afraid to risk the extra cash? No Problem! A system that stores all your leads and logs their interaction with your marketing efforts provides you with an enormous safety net… instantaneous data. You can quickly cut what isn’t providing a return or just divert money from lower performing lead sources and lean harder into what is working best for you. (In other words, you CAN throw something at a wall and see what sticks.)
- Recycling unsold leads back into your marketing ecology
If you’ve kept a database of all those leads that weren’t ready to buy (and why), you’re sitting on a goldmine. Keeping these once-interested homeowners close for when they are ready to pull the trigger is a cornerstone of all wildly successful home improvement businesses. Being able to re-engage these unsold leads with recycle or rehash campaigns will be a life saver when net new leads start drying up. And better yet, the cost to re-engage is typically far less than new lead generation. So make sure your system takes advantage of, and enforces, these best practices.
Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency
“You may be getting jobs completed, but is it possible you’re burning money on those jobs because efficiency is not the priority, getting the work out is?”
The right system gets you from contract to completion as efficiently as possible and points out those pesky problem areas that keep recurring. Having a project template that shows you every step along the way and when it was completed provides invaluable reporting on every aspect of your business.
This case study shows how one company was able to diagnose bottlenecks and remove them, expediting their process and getting them on to other jobs quicker. As you know, this really adds to their bottom line quarter after quarter. Not to mention how happy their clients were with how quickly and professionally they got the job done! Do we smell a referral?
Take Care of Your Employees and They Will Take Care of You
“How are you managing your current employee base? Do you onboard new hires? Assimilate them into the business?”
We saved your employees for last, but you shouldn’t. How easily can you track every nook and cranny of your employees’ performance? With the right system in place, you can get real-time business intelligence through reporting. If a sales rep is having an off month, let the data be the bad guy. Using what the system has laid out transparently in front of them, you are freed up to be the helpful coach that gets them back on track.
An intuitive system can actually help train new hires as well, effectively becoming your digital operations manual. The platform will hold your new employee’s hand, guiding them through the business’ process. This helps ensure all your employees are on the same page and your business is running smoothly. Here is how one company used their platform to teach and enforce best practices.
Finally, nothing makes an employee happier than success. Providing tools and technology that helps them succeed in a market where every company is starving for the same business is a great way to set them up for that success. If success equals happiness, and happiness equals retention, then you’ve just saved yourself a mountain of time and money during an economic period when you need every bit of it.
Look, we know planning for the future isn’t the most fun. Why think about an eventual economic downturn when things are going so well? Well, it turns out that making yourself recession-resistant in the future will also make you more successful now. If you streamline your business through solutions offered by the right platform, you will enjoy more success in the short-term while setting yourself up to cruise right over any economic potholes that are waiting down the road.
*DISCLAIMER* – all mentions of “systems” and “platforms” can be replaced with the name improveit 360 because we do all this stuff. Effectively making this article a commercial for us…how efficient is that!