Running a small business is not an easy task at times. There are the highs and lows where money can be good and not so good. This is particularly true if you have a seasonal business like construction contractors.
When heavy snow or rain falls, some contractors’ workflow is decreased and business suffers. To prevent these instances from happening, here are seven steps to help you keep ahead of the game to profit and never see a slow season again.
1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
First off, it is important to know what you do well. While no one loves looking at their faults, doing so as a business can help you focus on your strengths and, in the meantime, improve your weaknesses.
Avoid doing things outside of the comfort zone until you can get it right. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Focus on what will make your company money and grow your customer base until you are properly able to expand services.
2. Know your customers
First, take the time to talk to your customers so you could fully understand why and how they found you. Lift the advertising budget to focus on the channels most of your customers find you.
Consider sending out a survey to get to know them better. Call your customers and personally talk through your survey questions for a better understanding of their needs. Can offer them other services that will help your customer.
Find out what other jobs they have projected in the future. You may learn some things that may prompt you to shift your sales or product strategy.
3. Provide excellent customer service
Focusing on a single strategic objective and seeking customers who fit within your company mission guarantees success. By not wavering to provide perfect satisfied customers, you can grow your top-line revenue and bottom-line profits.
The big picture philosophy is that you will build a long list of happy customers who trust you and know that they can count on you.
You can start by simply answering the phone every time your customer calls and not let it go to voicemail, even if you have no new information to give them.
4. Call your previous customers
A business owner must put in the time communicating with those who he or she hopes to serve. This will mean getting on the phone and contacting your existing customers.
Ask how the work you did was holding up? This will show your customers that you care about them and have integrity in your own work. This will also open up an opportunity to ask for referral business.
5. Target Your Marketing
The phone book is a thing of the past; people now search for companies they want to use via the Internet. This means having a website, social media (Facebook, etc.) and business listings online such as Google My Business.
Offline marketing works well for contractors such as their company information on their trucks, and business signs placed in the yards of current work you are doing on a customer’s home or business.
Marketing isn’t all about getting new projects. It’s about having a solid qualified lead pipeline for sales that you can project out over a long period-of-time.
Good marketing delivers better, more profitable projects, not simply more projects. Successful marketing is about effectively communicating the value you can bring to your customers.
6. Implement a New Seasonal Service
Winter can be a slow time for contractors. No one wants to work outside in harsh weather conditions. There are ways around that, having an adaptable business strategy will help generate cash flow even through the slowest of times.
There are a couple things contractors have done to offset cash flow in the colder months.
When the snow starts to fall people and businesses will need removal. If you do not have the equipment to plow the snow, renting a UTV or ATV plow maybe a good idea.
Prevention of roof cave-ins
Snow can also damage housing structures and cause roof cave-ins. Snow removal is known to be quite profitable as repairs may need to be made.
7. Cash Is King
It’s no surprise that you need cash to run your business. Businesses who are profitable on paper have gone out of business due to poor cash flow.
Here are two ways to improve your cash flow:
First, stay on top of your billing. Your customers can’t pay your bill if they don’t have one to pay. Prior to the end of the due date, send out friendly reminder for payment. Offer incentives to pay on time, and penalties for failure.
Second, try to stay ahead of the curve by not funding your current jobs with future starting job deposits. As many small contractors can attest, this is often easier said than done.
Instead of robbing the cash flow from one job to fund another, get a working capital loan from Express Capital Funding, Inc.
How to Give Your Business the Capital it Needs
Express Capital understands contractors and specializes in short term loans. We know that jobs get pushed back; there are weather issues and delays for any given reason.
With over 20 years in business lending, it is evident that contractors need to access credit fast. That is why we’ve designed a short-term working capital loan to solve the slow season issues.
Contact us and we can approve and fund your business with the capital it needs within 2 hours.