Can Your Business Thrive If You Do Not Market?

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Apr 20, 2016

 Can Your Business Thrive If You Do Not Market?
Over the years I have seen many paint­ing and con­tract­ing com­pa­nies stay the same size and strug­gle to sur­vive: stay in busi­ness and not make enough mon­ey. I don’t know about you, if I am not mak­ing mon­ey in my busi­ness and work­ing just to pay the bills, I do not want the stress to stay in busi­ness. That is sur­vival mode! I don’t want to sur­vive in my busi­ness. I and most busi­ness own­ers want to thrive. We want to make mon­ey and pro­vide a qual­i­ty busi­ness we are proud to serve up to our cus­tomers and hope­ful­ly pass on to some­one else or sell someday. Back to my blog top­ic, can your busi­ness thrive if you do not spend mon­ey or time on mar­ket­ing? The short answer is no, you can’t! You will just sur­vive. It is very dif­fi­cult for a home improve­ment com­pa­ny, espe­cial­ly a paint­ing con­trac­tor, to grow their busi­ness strict­ly rely­ing on refer­rals and pray­ing that peo­ple will appre­ci­ate their amaz­ing qual­i­ty and call them for a bid. These are the con­trac­tors I have seen year after year at con­fer­ences that do not grow. They are stuck in a rut. These are the folks that think mar­ket­ing is a waste of time and mon­ey. These are the con­trac­tors who will always strug­gle to make it!

Why Is Not Mar­ket­ing A Problem

First step to any recov­ery: admit you have a problem! If you do not invest the time or resources into mar­ket­ing your busi­ness, it is very chal­leng­ing to pro­duce enough ongo­ing leads and sales. You will tend to have too many highs and lows in your lead flow. When the econ­o­my is very strong, this is when con­trac­tors make the mis­take of either stop­ping all mar­ket­ing efforts or cut­ting way back. The exact oppo­site should take place. You want to pre­pare for the times when you know, his­tor­i­cal­ly, that the phone is qui­et and the leads are down. You need to be con­sis­tent and not stop! You need to take risk, have a plan, and work it. The more time and ener­gy you spend work­ing on your busi­ness to increase sys­tems, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and mar­ket share, the more will you see your busi­ness grow. The guys who do not mar­ket or are not con­sis­tent blame it on the fact that they can­not afford to mar­ket. Every busi­ness should have a mar­ket­ing bud­get. I do not say this because I am a mar­ket­ing guy and it keeps me in busi­ness. I am shar­ing this with you, because I guar­an­tee that you will not have a thriv­ing busi­ness with­out a con­sis­tent and steady mar­ket­ing plan for your con­tract­ing com­pa­ny. You will be amazed when you take risk and focus on brand­ing your busi­ness month after month. So if you have a prob­lem, the next step is to pro­pose mak­ing some changes!

What Should I Do Now?

  • Step 1: Raise your prices! I am seri­ous. If you are not mar­ket­ing, you are also not charg­ing enough for your ser­vices. You need to be able to afford to mar­ket. So bud­get a good 3 – 5% of your rev­enue to the mar­ket­ing department.
  • Cre­ate a mar­ket­ing bud­get for the year
  • Review your his­to­ry of sales: If you can, check the pre­vi­ous few years on leads and sales. This will help you under­stand the highs and lows in your busi­ness. If you know that leads slow­down from Dec-Feb, you need to devel­op a plan and pre­pare to increase sales pos­si­bly in the Fall. If you tend to get booked sol­id from April — Sept., you need to have a plan that pre­pares your cus­tomers to book ear­ly. You might also want to look at hir­ing ear­ly to pre­pare for those busy seasons.
  • Track your progress: Always make sure you track your mar­ket­ing expens­es and lead flow. Invest in a good Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment CRM) pro­gram. When you track and have good data, you can make more intel­li­gent deci­sions on where to invest your time and resources.
  • Be pur­pose­ful in your mar­ket­ing: Don’t just put all your mon­ey into Ang­ie’s List, a Print Ad or _____. Care­ful­ly think about your clients and how to best reach them. It nor­mal­ly requires a num­ber of mar­ket­ing efforts.
Do you agree? Do you think a busi­ness can be prof­itable with­out mar­ket­ing? I would love to know your thoughts. My expe­ri­ence has lead me to believe it is not possible.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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