Contractors! During a tight economy, think small for big opportunities

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Mar 16, 2023

 Contractors! During a tight economy, think small for big opportunities

If there’s one thing we’re hear­ing from con­trac­tors across the coun­try, it’s that peo­ple aren’t say­ing No” to big­ger projects. They’re say­ing Not now.”

So we wait… Or do we?

Exte­ri­or sea­son for a lot of home improve­ments pros is right around the cor­ner, and you like­ly have your sights set on installing new roofs, full exte­ri­or repaints, deck rebuilds, gut­ter installs, etc. Makes sense. This is the time to go for it!

If you’re hit­ting the Not now” objec­tion, we have a quick tip to keep in mind. 

Recal­i­brate your pri­or­i­ties: it might be time to start small

Espe­cial­ly after the boom sea­son we expe­ri­enced over the last 18 months or so, it can be hard to even enter­tain the idea of small­er projects. With lead flows start­ing to con­strict, you need jobs NOW that will get your team out of fur­lough and keep them busy. 

So here’s our quick tip: start push­ing the small­er projects that are a lit­tle more palat­able to home­own­ers and might be nag­ging them from their to-do list. 

Painters, you might try res­ur­rect­ing your Painter for a Day pro­gram. One painter for 8 hours of work, all for an easy flat rate. It’s an ide­al way to take care of rou­tine touch-ups, repairs, or pow­er wash­ing, and it won’t break the bank. It also lets you get your foot in the door, estab­lish­ing a rela­tion­ship with new clients and exist­ing cus­tomers alike. 

And don’t feel lim­it­ed to sell­ing just one Painter for a Day either. Let the prospect know that dur­ing the esti­mate you’ll help them focus on their pri­or­i­ties, but that addi­tion­al painters can be added as need­ed. In oth­er words, if their project won’t fit into one day of work, let them tack on an option­al extra day. You can also include painters at dif­fer­ent rates. A gen­er­al painter touch­ing up scuffs in high-traf­fic areas will cost less than a skilled cab­i­net refin­ish­er updat­ing built-ins in the mud­room. Offer a cou­ple dif­fer­ent pric­ing tiers based on the homeowner’s needs and the skill required. 

The take­away for them is that they feel like they’re in the driver’s seat and have options, and the take­away for you is that flex­i­bil­i­ty is key in an uncer­tain econ­o­my. Peo­ple might be hes­i­tant (and are hes­i­tant!) to sign on the dot­ted line and com­mit to a big project. By cre­ative­ly repack­ag­ing your ser­vices, you can cre­ate entic­ing options that lead to more work down the road. 

You get the idea.

Think­ing small can be a strong strat­e­gy. Plus, it’s a great call to action for your social media cam­paigns, mail­ers, and email blasts. 

It’s time to roll out main­te­nance plans, turn­ing one-time cus­tomers into repeat customers

Like just about every­thing, the cost of leads is going up. That means that every sin­gle one you get needs to be max­i­mized. Make sure you have a strong sys­tem in place for stay­ing in front of exist­ing cus­tomers with emails, texts, mail­ers, and social media, and also by show­ing them some love with exclu­sive offers.

You also should real­ly con­sid­er a main­te­nance plan. After that first job is won, man­age expec­ta­tions by telling the home­own­er how long it should last, what to expect, and how to increase the lifes­pan of their paint. Maybe it’s sea­son­al pow­er wash­ing, caulk­ing checks, wood rot inspec­tions, or touch-ups… Don’t over­whelm them, but edu­cate them, then give them the oppor­tu­ni­ty to hand off the stress and work of upkeep by let­ting your team han­dle it.

It’s impor­tant to note that this isn’t just a hard sell, or upsell. You need to offer real val­ue and build trust. This is where trans­paren­cy is key, giv­ing away some knowl­edge and exper­tise for free. We often empha­size the impor­tance of this when it comes to the con­tent on your web­site too, empha­siz­ing just how cru­cial it is to tell peo­ple what things will cost, what to expect, how long their paint will last, etc.

Are you ready for spring and summer?

As a final reminder, con­sid­er this your friend­ly nudge to keep the ped­al to the met­al in your lead gen efforts. A lot of con­trac­tors assume that their busy sea­son must be around the cor­ner as the warmer months get clos­er. They could be, but this also could be a lean­er sea­son. It pays to plan ahead and keep grind­ing. There’s real­ly no downside. 

Have more mar­ket­ing ques­tions or ideas to dis­cuss? Con­tact us! We love to talk shop.

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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