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
The 2016 Houzz report on the state of the industry is out and we couldn't be more excited about the info and based on the content - majority of general contractors, home remodelers, builders, and landscapers feel the same.
2015 proved to be another year of growth for the industry - year over year as well as compared to the pre-recession times.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
The green industry, or as some prefer, the outdoor living industry, has exponentially grown over the last few years. Homeowners in the U.S. are seeing their outdoor living spaces as part of their homes. They're investing in their outdoor homes. As a result, and as everyone in this industry knows, this means that landscape design and build companies are popping out left and right. Regardless of where you are, your competition is endlessly growing. And rightfully so. After all, if you're going to start a business, you want to do it in an industry thats booming.
This is good and bad news for landscape professionals. Increased competition means increased standards. This industry is on the uphill in quality and margins. The downside.. losing to bids to the wannabes.Read More
It's time. You've got your business at a pivotal point. Maybe its a live or die year or maybe its a grow more kind of year. Whatever you current state, if its time to have a killer (net) revenue making year, then we've got the 7 habits that landscaping and home remodeling business professionals must break asap to have their best year yet.
1. Stop trying to do everything in the fieldRead More
From the beginning days of on-boarding to the years that proceed, inbound marketing isn't easy. Whether you've hired a marketing agency or writing your own content, it takes time, dedication, and patience. And it all pays off; the results it delivers don't compare to any other marketing approach. There is a lot that home service contractors can be thankful for with inbound marketing. So here is your list of things of the top ten reasons to say thank you to inbound marketing!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
More than for any other position within a company, the sales rep position has a notoriously high attrition rate. The ongoing hiring and leaving - leading to prospecting and recruiting efforts are never-ending for any company - including manufacturers of building products.
There are the industry-specific factors that make hiring for this position more challenging. Take for example, the constant travel, extremely long sales cycles, and the education required to the buyer.
To help improve hiring rates and attrition, lets take a step back to understand what exactly these sales reps want.Read More
It's the small things that make all the difference sometimes. But only when the basics are covered. For this foundation of sales and customer relationship management in the home services industry, we call on professionalism. Your contracting business can have the nicest company logo of all logos, the best work portfolio, and the best inbound marketing driven website in all the world. If your leadership team and all of your client-facing employees do not carry themselves in a professional way, it will all be for naught.Read More
There is a new trend emerging: collaboration among indoor and outdoor living companies. In this new buyer's world, it is indeed the buyer who controls the service, creativity, and quality expectations. The buyers control the sale through their online research, including yours and your competitors' websites. Your prospects and leads have a lot of ideas well before they call you. To meet their needs, businesses in this industry need continuously learn and innovate.Read More
How many job titles do you have? As a landscape or home remodel business owner or executive, you are probably handling: accounting and budgeting, marketing, sales efforts, recruiting and training, client management, office management, legalities, equipment/inventory purchasing, and of course - you are also likely very involved in the field. The list goes on and on. Sure, you might be less involved in all of these if you're an executive, but in the small business world, you definitely wear several hats. Add in a seasonal business, the positions that businesses in other industries would hire for, yours doesn't. It's tough - we know! Regardless of the reason, delegating work and taking off a hat or two (for at least most of the time), will in most cases, bring you more revenue than you think.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
It's tough to grow a business when you can't find anyone to fill positions that are critical for expansion.
The home remodeling space is growing like crazy and the opportunities for solid companies to expand today is huge. All too often when asked what their biggest challenge is, landscape contractors, home remodelers, custom home builders, pool companies, and architects say the same thing—finding qualified employees.
There are many reasons why finding and keeping the right employees can a be very difficult for small to medium sized service businesses. A major one is that...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
Many landscape contractors are struggling to find the key employees they need in order to grow their businesses. But when we take a closer look, is the lack of skilled employees a cause of the problem or a result of others?
Good help is hard to find as they say. And in the landscape construction industry today, this age-old saying seems to be truer than ever. The ‘skills gap’ as it’s called—defined as the mismatch between employee skills and those needed by employers with available positions—is a source of major concern in the green industry. We often hear business owner’s explain that if they could just find the right talent, they could easily grow their company’s revenue by 20%.Read More
There comes a time in the life of every landscape construction business owner when he or she realizes that in order to grow, change is necessary. While this is an important realization to have, what’s even more important is what they do after having it. If growth is the goal, acquiring and retaining top talent is key.Read More
Landscape conctractors have the best opportunity to connect with potential clients during the initial face-to-face meeting. During this meeting, the homeowner should learn enough information to decide whether to consider hiring or look elsewhere. To make a good impression and turn that meeting into a sale, here are a few key essentials.Read More