A customer telling you they told your office manager something that you are now contradicting? Forgot what you promised Mrs Smith? Always looking for random sheets of paper in your trucks, office, and who knows elsewhere? Stop wasting time being disorganized with your daily conversations. While yes, it takes time to organize yourself and start you and your office team to use a CRM - it will save you more time down the road. And help you keep more customers! Watch this video to learn what is a CRM and 5 ways to know it's time for your design/build to get this magical CRM!Read More
Have you ever met anyone who was amazing at everything? Someone who could paint like a pro, prepare architectural drawings, cut pavers, install pavers, run a training workshop, design a brochure, photograph the best angles of a project, write hundreds of words on a specific topic, run social media campaigns, manage a calendar, run interviews, prepare taxes...? I think you're getting the point here. You can't be great everything. It's impossible. But yet you might be doing (almost) everything. What would happen if you delegated what you suck at and did more of what you're amazing at? How would that impact your design/build business?Read More
Getting the most out of everything you do requires looking at the entire puzzle - not just each piece. So step back - look at those core foundational elements - customer service, logo, sales process, and everything else that keeps your business running everyday... before you spend a s*** ton of money of marketing.Read More
Home remodelers, landscapers, and every home improvement business that deals with appointments and work in the field will say that the most challenging parts of running their business include employees and customers. In other words: people. Hands down, regardless of if its formal surveys or passing conversations, these are the most common two biggest headaches in our industry.
On the flip side, the biggest money and time investments by these same business owners include machinery, materials, and actual time on labor by business owners.Read More
Most small businesses in the home services industry use Quickbooks to manage their accounting. The software is truly great at what it does, albeit slightly frustrating to use at times. Everything from creating estimates and invoices, finding a customer’s phone number, and finding out which customers to call for overdue payments, Quickbooks becomes the hub for many small businesses. In fact, we’d say second to email, construction business owners spend more time in Quickbooks than any other software application.Read More
With the 2016 outdoor living season months away, its easier to spend time and energy thinking about closing out this year by wrapping up open projects and trying to close more projects that can be completed immediately. Sure, this is necessary. But with the average buying cycle lasting over 70 days, now is the time to strategize and start executing towards your 2016 season plans. From improving your cash flow, to increasing efficiency, don't put off planing for the next year any longer.Read More
You've successfully made it through to this second full chat with your prospect about their home improvement plans - whether its about landscaping, general contracting, a remodel, or anything in between. If you've asked the right questions to help you understand your prospects real needs (a must read before you continue further in this post: 10 Questions to Ask Your Prospect on The First Call) then you know that this next chat, which is most likely in-person, is worth the trip. You've qualified them in terms of budget and service and you know when they'd like it all completed. The second chat isn't your proposal conversation because you haven't yet filled in all of the details in between. So here are the questions you absolutely must get to in this meeting to make sure your proposal is a winner.Read More
With multiple sales and marketing channels to feed, manufacturers of construction and building materials—specifically hardscape materials manufacturers—often have a choice to make. While some manufacturers focus primarily on the end retail consumer—think Cambridge and select segments of Old Castle—most have adopted a hybrid approach, trying to balance communications across dealers, installers and landscape contractors, and the end user.
With the revolution of shopping habits disrupting the old marketing and sales playbook, it has become difficult for some hardscape manufacturers to optimize and connect with the B2B channel using the old traditional ways. Trade shows, ads in trade magazines, and contractor loyalty programs are all still in the wheelhouse, but is the ROI for these efforts decreasing? It sure seems so.Read More
A question we often get from landscapers, general contractors, kitchen design firms, and home remodelers is with all the varying costs and complexity in customer relationship management tools, what are the benefits? There is a lot that goes into keeping track of your contacts - documenting names, emails, addresses, phone numbers, interests, project interests, and so on. So there is effort in collecting the info and then of course, maintaining it somewhere. There is a significant amount of time that goes into implementing and managing such a plan. And its all worth it, every penny and every minute.Read More
SALES REP… the two words that make most people cringe. Sales rep, the pushy, arrogant, unstoppable, annoying, sale hungry individual, right? No! You, the business owner or landscape designer, or industry professional couldn’t possibly be the sales rep. Wrong, wrong, wrong. What you may have heard is true: everyone is a sales rep – to some extent anyway. Sales reps don’t always have these two words in their title. Often times, your most dedicated sales rep is titled, “owner,” “operator,” “partner,” or “receptionist.” Selling is indeed, arguably, the most important task in your business. Without sales, there is no business.And while there is definitely a need for dedicated sales reps, everyone that interacts with clients, in any manner, is at a minimum, partially, a sales rep. The client-interacting individuals are either maintaining and bringing you revenue or turning customers away. To make sure they’re helping the bottom line, ensure these rules are being executed by all client-facing individuals, including yourself.Read More
Business owners in the home remodeling industry—custom home builders, kitchen design firms, landscape contractors, pool builders, architects, and interior designers—are generally heavily involved in the sales efforts for new work. Depending on the company's yearly revenue, the owner may also be spending quite a bit of time in the field, ensuring that open projects are on time and on budget. Where these two important responsibilites collide is where selling effectively and efficiently from the jobsite becomes critital to meeting goals. Here's 3 tools you can't do without.Read More