Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hello all. I'm brand new posting here and would first like to say that the site is great. I've really enjoyed reading the forums and learning more about contracting in general.

I'm posting here to ask for a little bit of advice/assistance. I am a small business owner in North Carolina looking to expand my financial services business. Traditionally, we've worked with a lot of small and local businesses on tax preparation, planning, and business strategies. Over the last few years, though, we've been doing an increasing amount of income tax recoveries- that is, actually getting overpaid money BACK from the IRS for our clients. This paticular facit of the business has been very exciting, but we haven't been able to put forth enough resources to focus on it until now. I am working on changing that and trying to expand our client base. The reason I'm posting here is because we've had our greatest successes with contractors and I'd like to first build on that.

What are your opinions on how to best reach out to the market? I hate to say it, but that's just not my specialty- I'm a numbers guy. We know that we've got a good an unique service that really brings value to our clients, but we are struggling getting that message out. Just so that you know, our services are absolutely free unless we recover money. In that case, we are comensated as a percentage of the return. So, our motivation is to find as much money to return to our clients as legally possible.

Do any of you have suggestions about how to get our name out to contractors here? Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions that you can provide.

Jeff A.
http://www.carolinataxrecovery.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Carolina, Business to Business (b2b) is differant than Business to Consumer (b2c). The required techniques for an effective campaign are different.

My suggestions include post cards to the contractors and calls to the contractors. Perhaps hire a telemarketer or telemarketing firm.

Marketing is measures in a few ways. Reach, frequency, and return. The reach is the number of people to see your add. The frequency is the number of times they see your add. The return is the number of people who contact you because of your add.

Send the post cards out, follow up with a phone call that very same week. Next month same thing. Next month same thing. The trick here is to send multiple mailings regardless of return. I read somewhere that it takes 3 mailings to really see a good return. The average is 1.5%. Play the numbers!

Another trick I have leared it so advertise when you are busy. Why? Because you are busy for a reason. Obviously customers are looking for your services at this time of year. This is the best time to advertise. It allows you to be less depserate about the customers you choose to work for, and allows you to raise your rates.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thaks for the suggestions, Grumpy. You make some really good points. You're correct in that this time of year is really our prime season; taxes have been filed for 2003 and there is a while to go before 2004 has to be completed. I've begun to do some direct mailing research and the statistics that I've found are pretty similar to what you describe- between 1-3% rate of return. Seeing as how there are literally thousands of contractors in the 'general' metro area, I'd take that to begin with. Perhaps it will also get us some better word of mouth. I'm also considering offering finders fees to super's and managers if they reccommend us to some of their subs. Do you think that idea has any merit?

Thanks again!

Jeff
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Jeff,

You might consider going to home shows and trade shows in the area and spend some time talking to the companies there, where I'm from there are always home shows going on and they are filled with basement remodellers, landscapers, ect.

Put on free seminars open only to the trade showing them how to save money taxes for free and put more money in their pockets. Once you save enough contractors money word of mouth will take over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Speaking of home shows, you might rent a booth at the next contractor trade show. That's going to be expensive, but your an account. You've got money :)

Keep in mind at least once a week an accountant calls us asking us if we need their services. My reply is always the same "We already have an account, thanks for your time." They don't even know I'm not the one who could make the buying decision. If your doing telemarketing you want to speak to the cfo or business owner only. A salesman can care less what accounting firm is being used to pay the company taxes.

It might not be a bad add to offer a referral to your existing contractor customers to referr their colleagues.

You might also want to joing some kind of local builder/contractor association. SOme of these associations have special membership rates for people in your position that offer services to their other memebers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Grumpy, very good I was going to suggest the Builder/Contractor Association's
Carolina Tax and Contractors, go to your local newspaper and maybe they would do an feature article with pictures It works very good where I live
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
I have been a member of our builders assocn. for 18 yrs. and it's one of the best things that I ever did.
Your market is large enough that yours probably publishes a monthly paper which is a great place to advertise. Ours highlights new members with a small article and will publish milestones, like expansions or big contracts.
Most important is to participate, this is not difficult because you are going to meet a really great group of people who work and play hard. Treasure Coast Builders Association hosts golf, fishing and bowling tournaments, a few BBQ,s and this year a 4 day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas (don't expect to hear from me around Nov. 16). Many of these are family events and you can develop relationships quickly while you're having a good time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all very much for the suggestions. I'm definitely planning on looking into some of the local contractor's groups to join. I'm sure that the networking alone will be priceless. I'm also working on some marketing campaigns to the licensed contractors here. Even at a 1-3% hit-rate, we'll get some attention that we aren't now. Plus, the cost is fairly low.

Thank you all, again, for you assistance. It is sincerely appreciated.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Carolina, direct mail is great because for the most part it is predictable. Watch and see.


How many new clients do you want? Let's say 10.
Of all the people that call for info, how many turn into clients? Let's say 3.
If you want 10 new clients, and 33% of your inquiries turn into clients then you need about 33 people to contact you.
If direct mail has a 1% return you need to send out about 3,300 mailings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Be certain that whoever you join is a member of the National Home Builders Association.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
SIC Codes "Specific Industrial Classification" Go to your local library and ask them if they are a member of Reference USA, it is the absolute best sales tool to reach "Commerical Clients",it is free and will definately be an asset to your corporation because you are offering a "Contingency Service". Sound like a sound business model... best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Sorry. I should have clarified that statement, it was in reference to builders assocn's.
A bonafide builders association will be a member of the National Home Builders Association (NAHB).
When I was starting out I was recruited to join a number of associations only to learn later that most of them were an excuse to meet at a local pub, get half drunk and talk about golf. I found Treasure Coast Builders Association (member of NHBA) 18 yrs. ago and have turned down the offers to join the Mickey Mouse organizations ever since. The organization is based on a national model as far as recruiting, incentives and recognition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Teetor, I have to disagree but that's what I do best! If any group of people decides to officially organize them selves, are they not bonified?

What I mean is they can still be a legitimate association regardless if they have joined with the NAHB or not.

For example... The NRCA is the largest and most popular orginization of roofing contractors. There is also the CRCa, which is local just to Chicago. I don't know if the CRCA is a member of the NRCA but I really don't think it takes away from their appeal or legitimacy as a local orginization of roofers.

I will agree that there are plenty of mickey mouse orginizations out there, but it would be too broad a statement to say your mickey mouse if your not a member of the nahb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Grumpy, I just visited the NRCA site and it is apparently down. I was trying to look up 'associated'. If they are national, they must be affiliated with NHBA.
We will now enter NASA speak. Your CRCA is to NRCA what my TCBA is to NHBA the only difference being that the NHBA applies to all occupations within the home building trades while the NRCA applies only to roofing contractors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
LOL www.nrca.net Not .com I fell lfor that a few times myself. They are definetly national and the largest most well known and most powerful roofing orginization. They do also have mexican chapters to the nrca as well, so I guess you can say global.

So you are saying the NHBA is a governmental regulations department that says who gets to be an association and who doesnt? If they aren't governmental then their power is only assumed... and I still contest that any association can be reputable and legitimate weather they are a member or not.

Let's also face the facts that Carolina is looking for customers. Perhaps the mickey mouse contractor is the right niche for him. Perhaps the mickey mouse contractors are less likley to have an existing accountant than the reputable contractors. Food for thought.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top