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Not sure yet. I will let you know after my boss and I go over all the numbers. We typically do that Jan & Feb, which is our very slow season.

I do know I put together a proposed advertising budget either to submit for next years budget or use for my own business either way my proposed budget is:
$3000 monthly with some options that add another $5200. As you can see I believe in advertising. I've done much research and for this money I cand give you an expected number of estimates for any given category.
 

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About $500. Two ads at $150 which have returned zip or problem people and about $200 on my system which supports my businesses.
 

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In the beginning it was around 30k. Now it is down to about half that. This is due to word of mouth and having signs on my van.
 

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I just blew another $150.00 on a mag that is going only to high-end developments. Remind me and I'll tell you what happens. I don't even know why I do this crap, the salesperson was a dude and I'm pretty much booked for a year and a half. I think that I dwell too much on the lean times, I have had a few.
 

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Pro Painter
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I'm not even a year into the business, and I haven't spent but maybe $500 total....but that's just signs. I'm eager to do more advertising, but with the hospital fun lately...I haven't done much of anything.

I'm always watching to see what you guys do, but in the meantime, word of mouth still works good enough to keep me busy all the time. Even when I think it's gonna run out....somebody that know's somebody else always seems to call, whew!

Good enough for me, but I'm going to need to advertise so I can expand. One step at at a time though....
 

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$30k, $70k....$80k?!?!?!? On advertising alone???
How much volume do you guys do annually.


I spent $300 on shirts last year and again this year. I am turning work away and my area has a ton of electrical contractors who are all over the yellow pages.
I personally think advertising is way overrated, ESPECIALLY the yellow pages!
 

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I'm spending $1,000 a week on service magic alone right now. Gotta feed the machine and my machine eats leads. I'm doing about $200 a month on google and overture combined. Quality Smith is somewhere around $500 a week and all the other lead services combined are about $500 a month.

It's hard for me to give a percentage of advertising cost vs sales right now since I just upped all my advertising to keep my two new salesmen busy.
 

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Yellow page adds are overrated, as long as you have word of mouth. If you don't you have to build it through power advertising. When the word of mouth starts up, then you back off the ads. Not completely, but just enough so you can put that money to better use, like...a boat or something useful. :cheesygri

Really, a nice truck or van with good signs does wonders in maintaning the customer base. Could even put signs on the boat.
 

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Grumpy said:
I'm spending $1,000 a week on service magic alone right now... Quality Smith is somewhere around $500 a week
That's incredible. $78K a year in advertising! I think I need to reevaluate my advertising plan. I'm obviously not spending near enough.
If Mike's numbers are 'typical' then 8% = $975K a year in sales -almost $19K a week. That doesn't seem like it'd take much estimating resources. Does it?
 

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PipeGuy said:
If Mike's numbers are 'typical' then 8% = $975K a year in sales -almost $19K a week. That doesn't seem like it'd take much estimating resources. Does it?
Keep in mind, I don't think my numbers are 'typical' for my situation. For a start-up like myself trying to build a referal client base, I will be getting that percentage up to 15% maybe even 20% here in the near future.

I'm just extremely selective in my marketing. I'm very stingy with spending my marketing dollars, so I test, test, test everything I do and have benchmarks set, if the marketing doesn't return at least on the level of my benchmark I eliminate it. Then - and here is the most important thing, I refine the current advertising that does work, which in turn raises the benchmark for all marketing to follow. I believe that is the true key to maximizing ROI in marketing, you continually test and analyze and refine marketing that is working and then you explore other avenues as tests along the way. That's how you find a nice niche that becomes you cash cow marketing secret. I've discovered a couple of things that are working very effectively for me by using this process, but sorry they will never be revealed and put into print here.
 

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Mike Finley said:
I've discovered a couple of things that are working very effectively for me by using this process, but sorry they will never be revealed and put into print here.
Oh, yeah? That's what you think!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thats a great pic!


I'll spend out $25,000 on advertising this year for about $350,000+ of business (7%). Some contractors can get by with little advertising but it totally depends on what type of business you run.
New construction, one or two man operations, etc... This guys can live on very little advertising, but when you do high volume and work in the remodeling market you cannot live on referral only programs.
 

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Nathan said:
What kind of business? New construction masonry?
Yep. Pretty much everything is word of mouth for me. Its nice getting to do showcase homes because those are like free advertising. And in my area on a showcase weekend you can expect around 3500-5k people on a weekend.
 

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For a startup like myself, in the last 3 years I've spent $400 on shirts, $400 on vinyl truck graphics, $550 on a website, $225 on newspaper advertising and another $100 on target demographic advertising supplies(i.e. Making nice "Need a new roof..." fliers with a business card and delivering them in person to homes that need new roofs, lol. Needless to say that last one was a stupid idea that brought zero interest. Even enraged one old man who was pissed I had the audacity to mention his caps were sitting in his gutter and on the front lawn, lol.
 
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