Off The Ladder

Why The Busy Season Could Ruin Your Home Improvement Business

WOW! That seems like a stupid thing to say.

I know what your thinking: “How could the busy season possibly ruin my home improvement business? I’M BUSY! Isn’t that the point?!” Well, yes, the point is to be busy with work but the better point is to be busy all year round, right?

I spent twenty five years in construction and 15 of those years swinging a hammer in the home improvement industry. I know what ‘busy’ is like in the busy season. You work from dusk till dawn some days and you never feel like you made any progress on your backlog. But, you feel good because there is a backlog of work you can depend on for next week and even next month.

The problem is the backlog dries up at some point.

I’m a sucker for a good narrative so let’s take a look at this through John’s eyes.

John is a roofing and siding guy from New York. Referrals are rolling in and he is busy. He has a crew of 5 and has two trucks running. Most days John can split the crew and handle two smaller jobs – about 35 to 40 square each – at the same time. He lets his lead, Mike, take a 2 man crew and he takes another two man crew. On large projects he combines the crews and everyone works together.

John likes swinger a hammer. He loves being out there with the guys. He loves the camaraderie and the laughs he can have with his guys. He loves being the Boss. He enjoys the work and it shows in his craftsmanship. What he doesn’t like is all the business crap he has to do.

Take off your tool belt nd work on your company not in it.He hates getting ‘off the ladder’ [see what I did there] and taking off his tool belt. He dreads doing the books, paying the bills, going on estimates, worrying about his website, and he definitely hates trying to figure out this marketing crap on the web never mind social media. He buries himself in his work ‘on the ladder’ and blissfully works through the busy season happily swinging his hammer.

John is happy. His wife hates that he is never home but she loves the chance to catch up on the bills and take the kids to the lake. John can’t go to the lake – he is too busy on the ladder to even think about it but, he is happy he can afford to send them. John thinks to himself “This year is going to be different. I am not going to scramble come Christmas time. I’m going to find the time to do the shopping now while I have the cash.”

The end of August rolls around and John still hasn’t done any Christmas shopping. He knows the backlog must be running dry so he takes a good look at his appointment book and lo and behold his calendar is empty after the first week of October. worse, his September is pretty light and he is going to have to stretch to keep the guys busy. Even worse than that, he only has ten more estimates on his calendar and he realizes he hasn’t been on an estimate in almost two weeks.

“Holy S***! Now what?!” John says to himself “How am I going to keep these guys going? How am I gonna make it to Spring? How am I going to buy Christmas presents for the kids?”

I can go on but I am guessing you see the point here. You see John (could be someone I know personally…just saying) is ignoring the ‘off the ladder’ side of being in business. He is so involved in swinging a hammer and being out there with the guys that he is ignoring the fact he has a business to run. He allows himself use his dedication and hard work as an excuse. But, it never makes him feel better.

Season after season John allows his busy season to take him on this roller coaster of feast and famine. People love him and they love his work. He gets plenty of referral business and he just doesn’t understand why this happens. Why does  Christmas have to be a struggle AGAIN?.

He lets busy season bring his home improvement company to the brink. He allows busy season to bring his family to the brink.

Are you letting busy season ruin your home improvement business?

What are you doing to avoid this?

I get it. Referrals are great. But, they dry up. I have worked with countless home improvement companies and when we start working together they always say they get “…plenty of referrals.” I am sure they do. I am sure you do. Do you want to risk your business and your family on referrals?

The good news is that there is a solution to every problem.

There is a better way.

Digital Marketing by Contractor Websites Plus - image by william ivenDigital marketing doesn’t have to be hard for you. You can hire an agency to take care for it for you. There are plenty of digital marketing agencies out there that can take care of your home improvement website, your social media and your marketing including mine (poorly veiled hint…).

I know the objection you have is paying someone to do something that you know you can do on your own. You can take a weekend and learn all this digital marketing mumbo jumbo, roll your sleeves up and get at it, right?

The problem is you don’t have time for your family now. How would adding something else work out?

You could even go to your cousin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s best friend and he can do this for you. He will work for food and an occasional sawbuck.

Uh huh… I’d say that’s a great plan.

Look, I know you’re busy. I’ve been there. I’ve gone on those estimates after work and I’ve spent my Sunday paying bills and doing payroll while my wife and kids were at the lake. I know this stuff is a pain in the ass but if you ever want to get to a place where you don’t have to swing a hammer anymore, digital marketing has to be part of your planning to get there.

When you decide to get off of the feast or famine roller coaster of referrals and be proactive with your marketing you will gain a sense of security. You will know where and when your next paycheck is coming from. You will be relaxing for the weekend up at that lake house with your wife and kids. You will have the Christmas your kids have always dreamed of without sweating it.

If you want help with this, let me help. I know the market, I know the customers and I know what your day is like. We have done-for-you solutions that will take a minimal time commitment form you and can possibly change your life. Simply fill out this onboarding form and we will set up a time to talk about swinging a hammer and then we will talk about how I can help you improve your bottom line and improve your life.