Headlines are bleak right now. The spread of the coronavirus has people in panic mode, the election process has been upside down, and that is impacting every small business.
Being unprepared can have consequences.
Hello. Jim DuBois here with WindowWashingWealth.com. Crazy times we are in especially if you are a business owner in any industry.
I was unprepared in 2008. I remember feeling like I was drowning: in fear, in bills, in uncertainty.
Fortunately, I learned some things we are implementing this time around. Things for you to consider.
Your sales may decline. But that is no reason to stop your marketing. In fact, you need to boost it. Depending on your state, depending if you’re commercial or residential, and depending on you and your mindset will be the basis for how you tackle some of this uncertainty.
1. Increase your marketing efforts
Why? You’re marketing to get customers and prospects into your database today but more importantly, customers for tomorrow. You’re marketing to stay top-of-mind with people so that “tomorrow”, they’ll come back and buy from you.
Whatever’s working for you, do more of, then track it to see where every lead is coming from, the lead count, and number of jobs you got to determine conversion. Measure everything.
The good news is, you can do pretty decent marketing without a big budget. Here’s some things my company is doing and perhaps you might consider too:
- We are being very aggressive with our 5 and 10 arounds by doubling the count. 5 arounds mean we knock on the doors near where we just finished a job and introduce our service. 10 arounds are additional flyers or door hangers put out on the street near the job we finished.
- We are staying front of mind by calling every customer we served 6 months ago and 1 year ago to get them on the calendar now. It is a very successful campaign.
- Our email blasts are going out even more frequently, 2 in the last two weeks generating thousands in sales. We know how to get creative with our offers, headlines, deadlines, and body content to drive the sales in now and/or later.
- We doubled up on our technician incentive programs and added contests and prizes for the most upsells. Our technicians are excited and that alone is bringing our average upsell revenue to a higher mark.
- Our marketing dial is ready to turn up even higher as good news drives the market positive so leads will quickly come our way while our competition “sleeps”.
2. Get your financial ducks in a row
If your revenue gets severely cut, what’s your plan to pay bills and employees? Do you have enough in reserve to make it through potentially several months of hard times?
If not, think about applying for a line of credit now before you’re in dire straits. Even if you don’t need money now, there may come a day when you’ll be glad that you got approved for a loan or line of credit.
If you don’t end up needing the money, great. But having a financial product can also help you build your business credit, so it’s really win-win.
We do 3 things:
- We have a business line of credit, just in case.
- We allocate “X” number of dollars every week into an emergency savings account.
- We put a small percentage of every deposit into another account that cannot be touched.
Try these strategies and watch your money grow!
3. Examine your expenses
The time may come that you need to tighten your company’s belt. Look at all your expenses and trim anything that’s not necessary. It’s only temporary. But this exercise may also uncover some things you didn’t realize you were wasting money on, so you’ll streamline your expenses to focus on the essentials.
If you subscribe to software packages, see if you really need the level of service you’re at. You might do just fine with a cheaper (or free) plan, at least for a while.
If you get to the point where you can’t afford to keep staff on, consider asking them if they’re willing to work part-time on a temporary basis. Hire contractors for what you need, and you’ll cut down on employee fixed expenses and benefits costs.
At my company, we take a close hard look at our profit and loss statements every month, analyzing them to see exactly where the money is going, and identifying concerns to put our attention on for next month. We stay frugal with our spending and are very careful with our spend budgets for equipment and supply for example.
4. Focus on existing customers
A recession typically isn’t a great time to attract new customers, so focus on the ones you’ve got. It’s those repeat customers who will see you through challenging times. They already know that the services you sell meet their needs. Now you just need to convince them that, even in a recession, they should buy from you.
Consider launching a loyalty program that rewards customers for buying more. Offer discounts and sales tailored to each customer’s interests and past purchases. Pay attention to the data you get from your marketing campaigns so you continually hit the mark.
But don’t let this be a reason to stop your marketing beyond your customer base. Even if your ROI goes down to breakeven, your staff keeps working, and you’re adding contacts to your house list for future marketing. This is called CLV or Customer Lifetime Value which will bring you above break even the very next time you service them. Now multiply that by 5 more services… You get the idea.
5. See the big picture
My wife was at Sam’s Club the other day and was blown away with how many people were loading up on toilet paper. She almost bought more just because everyone else was. Right now, with the threat of coronavirus, people are freaking out. They’re thinking about the here and now but not the big picture.
The threat of this virus will pass. A recession will pass. It’s important that you take care of your here-and-now needs, but stay strong, knowing that your business will survive this. Just stay out there and keep marketing.
Let me tell you something, just by implementing some of these marketing strategies above along with others, we came just short of doubling our residential division’s revenue through 2020 (and my residential division is not small).
You are in a great business with great rewards. I mean, there’s a new 5-letter word in town; CLEAN. We are in the business to capitalize on that. Adjust your marketing message accordingly.
Looking for a high-level window cleaning “only” Business Coach to take your company to the next level? Have a specific question you’re stumped on? Reach out and I will be happy to help you…
WindowWashingWealth.com has mastered the marketing components that every company needs, big or small to rise above your competitors while charging the highest prices in your marketplace. If unsure how to take your business to the next level with marketing, or anything else, reach out to me.
Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC and is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com. Visit the site for a FREE MARKETING REPORT, and BUSINESS BUILDING MANUAL. Window Washing Wealth is a high-level business coaching program that specializes in aggressive marketing tactics, systems implementation, and growth trajectory execution – all leading to market domination on auto-pilot. We are changing the way window cleaners do business. Email questions you’d like to see answered in this column directly to [email protected] or call 704-451-0409.