Winter Business Strategies - Part 1
Map Your Marketing Plan Now for More Jobs in SpringG.K. Sharman, Writer
You can’t send a crew out to nail shingles in the snow, but Mother Nature’s annual chill-down is the perfect time to develop or refine your business strategy.
In part one of our Winter Business Strategies series, we’ll take a look at how to plan your marketing. Setting sales goals during the quiet period will pay off in more jobs when the weather warms up again. When the crews go out and the money comes in, you’ll thank yourself for working ahead.
Define Your Marketing Plan
Success in business rests firmly on your sales and marketing plan – and the more specific and action-oriented it is, the better. Winter is the time to determine where to take your business in the future.
“I find that winter is the most efficient time to do my planning for the coming roofing season,” said Glen Holzman, owner of Peace of Mind Roofing in Chickamauga, GA. “I’m less likely to be interrupted, so I can think and brainstorm about what I would like to do, then turn those ideas into actionable tasks.”
Start by asking some questions:
- What were your sales this past year?
- How did sales break out – did you do mostly repairs, replacements or new construction?
- Are you happy with that number or do you want more?
- Where are the new/upcoming roofing opportunities within your market?
- How much competition do you have, and what are the other contractors doing?
After assessing the business landscape, consider how – and how much – you can grow:
- How many jobs do you want to book, and how many can your teams handle? Determine what you want based on a percentage or number of jobs.
- How many sales calls will your team have to make to land those jobs?
- What is your strategic plan to set yourself apart to the homeowner? What are the things your teams do well, that your company does well, that competitors in your market can’t duplicate? (Hint: See article on becoming a Scotchgard™ Protector Shingle Sales Specialist.)
- How does the workload divide out among your sales reps? Who has the best close rate and who needs a little help? Set up training for all your reps, but spend extra time to boost those who aren’t meeting their potential.
- How much advertising will you need to do, how much can you spend on advertising and what is the best media to reach customers in your market? Determine what has worked for you and what has not, and put your dollars where they will do you the most good. Not sure what works and what doesn’t? Make a point of asking all your customers how they learned about you – did they find you online, either through a search or because they saw an online ad? Or maybe they noticed a yard sign, opened your mailer or found your materials at their door. Once you know, you can plan your strategy.
- How will you measure your progress? Assessment and measurement are crucial. Review your progress throughout the year – quarterly check-ins are recommended – to make sure you are staying on track. Re-assess the plan and adjust as needed.
Establish your business goals, then set reasonable, achievable benchmarks for the month, quarter and year. Be sure to include specific actions – both in terms of advertising and sales efforts – that will help you reach your benchmarks.