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General remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so here is my problem, let me start by saying I have been going through the previous threads for the past couple of hours and I have yet to find exactly what I'm looking for. So if it has already been covered then maybe you can point me in the right direction. Due to the Recession I have continually been struggling to generate new leads. Some history about me: I have been in business since oct. 18 2006 with a B-03 in Az. I really have no lump sum of money to sow into my company, when I was still in High school I saved my money and was able to get a truck, trailer and the tools to get started. I then saved some more money and became licensed and went into business for myself. I can't get a loan due to lack of credit history. I have done flyers probably close to 6,000 and targeted certain areas around town I was familiar with that was old enough where I knew HO would more than likely be ready for remodeling and updating. I maybe got 3 leads from that, but landed 1. I have tried advertising in a pretty notable magazine locally and again nothing. I have done small trade shows, nothing. I have been to real estate offices, nothing. Alot guys tell me they get mostly referral work, ok I have done work for clients and they speak nothing but highly of me I have returned to do more work for them in most cases. I have yet to be referred by any of those people since I have been in business. I understand it is not easy starting literally from scratch and I am by no means lazy and I understand the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. I am just a little stressed and running out of ideas. I try to stay positive everyday, I know negativity gets you no where. I just want to know I guess how do you target residential HO without guerrilla marketing because I find that to be no help. I'm thinking about going through the phone book starting with A's and telling them we are running a special through the month and then put a package together, I just don't want to come across like I'm forcing myself on them. Sorry if this comes across as a rant and rave, I'm just seeking a little guidance from anyone who has been in this situation.
 

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Do you have a website?
By the sounds of his post, he doesn't have the budget for one at the moment.

BUT... You can still claim your Google Local Business listing... It's Free, costs you nothing.

Add some pictures of your work and a thorough description of the services you offer. Then go back to some of your previous customers, and say "Hey... Can I ask you a small favor...?"

When they say Yes... Have them write a positive review on your Google Business listing. Get any friends or family you've done work for to do the same.

If you don't have a lot of competition you may find yourself with a web presence after a few weeks.

I have done flyers probably close to 6,000 and targeted certain areas around town I was familiar with that was old enough where I knew HO would more than likely be ready for remodeling and updating. I maybe got 3 leads from that, but landed 1.
If the above activity landed you 1 job out of 3 leads that's a 30+% close ratio... Not too bad. Why don't you do more of that?

Generally, when something works... you want to do MORE of it.

Carl
 

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David Festa
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Angies’s List

Tell your previous clients to post a review on Angies’s List
I finished an addition and had the homeowner post on angies list for me.
A bit of a headache setting up. Real important you cannot pay for their $30 subscription in any shape or kind or the referral is no good. You have to tell them it’s important for the growth of your company, or what every feels right at the time???
The referral was just posted 4 weeks ago so it’s too soon to tell if there system works. Aim going to link Angies list to my site for better recognition
Also the Angies list rep. told me that I can post reviews on my subcontractors. The subcontractors must have worked for you in the past. Which again is great for better web site recognition when linking your site to your subs site
There is no time frame of when work was completed to post, I have a few very satisfied customers from a few years back that are working on submitting reviews, good to know
 

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General remodeling
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help guys, I have been looking at google business but I am not to sure how it worked so I have ben researching it. I have also heard of Angies list but I have no knowledge of how that works, I will definetely look into it. I do have a website, which still needs some work I'm actaully looking to switch carriers as of now. My website is on my profile page, feel free to critique if you'd like. What do you guys think of putting a base price kitchen remodel package together and going through the phone book? Has anyone tried anything like that? I also have my profile on here setup with some info on me and some pics of some work we have done. Plus I have alot more. I do have some reference letters from past clients of mine. I don't know how to implement them online.
 

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Back to Basics

Do you have your logo on your truck in a visible size and location?

Do you have job signs posted on your sites?

Do you belong to a service club or do volunteer work?
 

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General remodeling
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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have posted on CL and from I have read on here, I feel same way as most of you. It seems here in Az, it is very cut throat, the people on CL are looking to get work done for free, I can't compete, and I have cut my rates considerably. I do have a standard price I will never drop past. I do appreciate the help though, and I do every once in a while post on CL. As for kiji I have ever heard of that and will look it up later tonight. Thanks fr the info. guys I'm writing this all down.
 

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General remodeling
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
answering you bill, yes, yes and yes. I do have all that I actually built wooden signs with solar panels so it lights up at night in front of the clients home, I have donated an exterior paint job in joint with Lowe's, and I recently donated an interior paint and drywall entertainment center to a first time home buyer. I am also going to be working with habitat for humanity dec. 5th I believe, I have to look that up. It's just rough out there.
 

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I have posted on CL and from I have read on here, I feel same way as most of you. It seems here in Az, it is very cut throat, the people on CL are looking to get work done for free, I can't compete, and I have cut my rates considerably. I do have a standard price I will never drop past. I do appreciate the help though, and I do every once in a while post on CL. As for kiji I have ever heard of that and will look it up later tonight. Thanks fr the info. guys I'm writing this all down.

I've had great luck with CL here in my neck of the woods. I know plenty of other contractors that have as well. Sure, you get some freaks, tire kickers, etc., just like you would from the phone book, newspaper ads, etc., I know of several GC's here that have booked over 100k of work from CL. Yes, results may vary depending on location, however, I do know that it won't work if only done"once in a while" Free advertising is good thing. Having your website address in your all your ads helps a lot as well.:thumbsup:


PS...Here check out post # 21:

http://www.contractortalk.com/f11/posting-cl-ads-68675/index2/#post816760
 

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You are already successful and don't know it......

You say you delivered only 6,000 flyers, got three leads, and sold one job. That sounds fairly successful to me. You can't expect to have enough business for the rest of your life after delivering only 6,000 flyers. You only have to continue with what works.

Have newspapers deliver 15,000 flyers every week and pay $450 to $600 per week. Print 100,000 flyers at a cost of about $1600 to $1800 and hire a reliable person to deliver 600 to 1000 every day.

Marketing is hard work and there is no magic. You need multiple arms reaching out that include referrals, flyers, newspapers, promotional items, etc., but the most important advertising media are those you can control the number of leads generated. The most critical advertising is the deliver of flyers door-to-door, delivering flyers through newspapers, door-to-door canvassing, and promotional items such as pens, calendars, and business cards. The internet, referrals, and networking are only slim servings of gravy, but not reliable for slow times nor growth.

There are $billions of dollars waiting to be plucked and there will always be contrators flourishing in these difficult times while others are starving. The only difference is the way they think and market.

Getting a loan is the worse thing you can do. It does not take a long time to learn what works. You already know flyers work, but you are looking for a magic that doesn't cost anything nor consume labor. It does take a long time to REALIZE and IMPLEMENT what works consistently. Most people blow all the money from a loan long before they realize and implement the best advertising.

Don't become complacent when business is good. When you start delivering flyers it takes about 8 weeks until things start to happen. You will always get a few leads immediately with a fairly large number of flyers, but after continuous delivery of flyers for about 8 weeks, you will start getting 1 to 3 leads every day (if you live in a large enough metropolis).

Find a market niche and perform the service that is the most enjoyable, most profitable, and one that gets the most leads. Many roofers, painters, and concrete contractors net more than general contractors.

The link below describes how flyers work and several successful advertising methods we have been using for 36 years.
 

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Consistency in marketing helps

Ok so here is my problem, let me start by saying I have been going through the previous threads for the past couple of hours and I have yet to find exactly what I'm looking for. So if it has already been covered then maybe you can point me in the right direction. Due to the Recession I have continually been struggling to generate new leads. Some history about me: I have been in business since oct. 18 2006 with a B-03 in Az. I really have no lump sum of money to sow into my company, when I was still in High school I saved my money and was able to get a truck, trailer and the tools to get started. I then saved some more money and became licensed and went into business for myself. I can't get a loan due to lack of credit history. I have done flyers probably close to 6,000 and targeted certain areas around town I was familiar with that was old enough where I knew HO would more than likely be ready for remodeling and updating. I maybe got 3 leads from that, but landed 1. I have tried advertising in a pretty notable magazine locally and again nothing. I have done small trade shows, nothing. I have been to real estate offices, nothing. Alot guys tell me they get mostly referral work, ok I have done work for clients and they speak nothing but highly of me I have returned to do more work for them in most cases. I have yet to be referred by any of those people since I have been in business. I understand it is not easy starting literally from scratch and I am by no means lazy and I understand the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. I am just a little stressed and running out of ideas. I try to stay positive everyday, I know negativity gets you no where. I just want to know I guess how do you target residential HO without guerrilla marketing because I find that to be no help. I'm thinking about going through the phone book starting with A's and telling them we are running a special through the month and then put a package together, I just don't want to come across like I'm forcing myself on them. Sorry if this comes across as a rant and rave, I'm just seeking a little guidance from anyone who has been in this situation.
Sorry, didn't mean to quote the entire thing but this site does that sometimes.

You don't want to do guerrilla marketing, but you want to start at A in the phone book and just call at random?

Hate to say it, but everything you've done so far, and everything you are likely to be able to afford is guerrilla marketing. Don't look down on anything that works.

I think first thing is to define who your most likely client is. Age, income, neighborhood, etc. If it a homeowner 35 to 64 with over $50K of income and the averge job is $2,500 and seldom over $7,500, you can define your market. If you only need 2 jobs per month that is different than needing 100 jobs per month.

Closing 1 out of 3 appointments is good - you just need more appointments. Look at the thread guerrilla marketing - lots of people have some good ideas, especially canvassing. (I'd like to hear more details from people who do this.)

With mass media or other communication where you aren't face to face, it normally takes 27 (that's TWENTY-SEVEN) impressions passing in front of your prospect before they recognize your name! Talking to someone can make that 1 time. Doorhangers can cut it to maybe 1 to 3 times. Other methods that get your propects to remember your name is what we are all after.

Can you get to the level you want with say 4 jobs per month? If you get 1 out of 1,000 contacts, that's 0.1%, you need to prospect to approximately 4,000 households per month. You might want to pick enough neighborhoods that meet your demographic and do whatever contact method over and over to only those 4,000. Good luck, we all know it's tough, especially now, so try narrowing your prospecting and going deeper.
 

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What we've been doing

Kenny:

I've not done any canvassing and would like to hear from a lot of the people who have as to the particulars of HOW they do it.

I've tried a bunch of different things (see thread Guerilla Marketing) but haven't been overwhelmed with the results of any. The best return for the dollar I've had is door hangers, and it is still under what I desire by quite a bit.

Give us some details of exactly what you do and specific target demographics. The best success I've had with door hangers has actually been when I've put them out myself, but there is just too much ground to cover and run the store for me to do it all. I'm having a hell of a time finding someone to do this reliably and consistently.

One person suggested an ad on Craig's List and he got a big response, mainly women who combine making some pocket money with their exercise walk. I posted an ad like that and haven't received even one response. Other people I've hired keep telling me they want to do it to make some money (one person could make $50-$100 in their spare time in a week without working very hard), but everyone is inconsistent about showing up and doing it as scheduled.

If you can catch a nice afternoon, between 4:00 and 6:30 is great if you are doing it yourself. I've had several people stop me to talk and had me look or measure something then. With winter weather that may not be as easy, and I need to cover 12-15,000 households about 3-4 times per year.

My suggestion, from marketing stuff I've read, is go narrow and deep. In other words, if you can really define your target, find ways to get in front of as many of them as you can over and over. Doorhangers and direct mail are two. You can buy a mailing list easy enough: I want this and that neighborhood, people who own their own homes, and have household income over $X dollars. A mailing service may be able to send out pieces cheaper than you can, or you can do "customized" letters and send 10 or 20 a day. Figure out other ways to communicate with your narrow market. Ask for referrals. Do canvassing yourself for a few days. If the local neighborhood has a nice little grocery or plaza that most people go to consider a kiosk in the grocery store. I'm not sure what techniques you might come up with, but work those neighborhoods as hard as you can.

The fewer jobs you need to be successful the better you can do this. If you need only 4 jobs per month you don't need to cover as much ground as 50 or 100 jobs per month. I've thought about putting a power point presentation, or just photos, on flash drives and sending them out. Drawback is a lot of people don't want to put anything on their computer if they aren't sure where it came from because of virus problems. With canvassing, my impression is the people making the presentation should be fairly knowledgable to expert in your business, so they can answer questions and qrite the job up on the spot. So that means training those people up. I could be off base, so that's why I'd like to hear more details on the subject. Good luck.
 

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Windows Plus
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Kenny:

I've not done any canvassing and would like to hear from a lot of the people who have as to the particulars of HOW they do it.

I've tried a bunch of different things (see thread Guerilla Marketing) but haven't been overwhelmed with the results of any. The best return for the dollar I've had is door hangers, and it is still under what I desire by quite a bit.

Give us some details of exactly what you do and specific target demographics. The best success I've had with door hangers has actually been when I've put them out myself, but there is just too much ground to cover and run the store for me to do it all. I'm having a hell of a time finding someone to do this reliably and consistently.

One person suggested an ad on Craig's List and he got a big response, mainly women who combine making some pocket money with their exercise walk. I posted an ad like that and haven't received even one response. Other people I've hired keep telling me they want to do it to make some money (one person could make $50-$100 in their spare time in a week without working very hard), but everyone is inconsistent about showing up and doing it as scheduled.

If you can catch a nice afternoon, between 4:00 and 6:30 is great if you are doing it yourself. I've had several people stop me to talk and had me look or measure something then. With winter weather that may not be as easy, and I need to cover 12-15,000 households about 3-4 times per year.

My suggestion, from marketing stuff I've read, is go narrow and deep. In other words, if you can really define your target, find ways to get in front of as many of them as you can over and over. Doorhangers and direct mail are two. You can buy a mailing list easy enough: I want this and that neighborhood, people who own their own homes, and have household income over $X dollars. A mailing service may be able to send out pieces cheaper than you can, or you can do "customized" letters and send 10 or 20 a day. Figure out other ways to communicate with your narrow market. Ask for referrals. Do canvassing yourself for a few days. If the local neighborhood has a nice little grocery or plaza that most people go to consider a kiosk in the grocery store. I'm not sure what techniques you might come up with, but work those neighborhoods as hard as you can.

The fewer jobs you need to be successful the better you can do this. If you need only 4 jobs per month you don't need to cover as much ground as 50 or 100 jobs per month. I've thought about putting a power point presentation, or just photos, on flash drives and sending them out. Drawback is a lot of people don't want to put anything on their computer if they aren't sure where it came from because of virus problems. With canvassing, my impression is the people making the presentation should be fairly knowledgable to expert in your business, so they can answer questions and qrite the job up on the spot. So that means training those people up. I could be off base, so that's why I'd like to hear more details on the subject. Good luck.
well, you always want target you audience.. Put your dollars into the right hands no matter what kind of marketing your doing. telemarketing, shows,canvassing, direct mail,etc. Unless you are walmart,Anderson,and I don't think any of us have that kind of budget.

As far a canvassing goes, the same applies. Just recruit some younger individuals college and high school and train them and train them and train....You will probably turn over 8 people to get that one. sound familliar? There are good manuals and tapes readily available on internet an consultants. But the main idea is to get them in front of your demographic, your defined customer in your business.

The average is 1 good appointment every 2 hours in winter. It really like anything takes some time and money to find personal. But as far as direct marketing and cost effective leads, this ranks among the best.
 

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The adage "The harder you work the luckier you get" seems to be true in contractor marketing. When I carve out time to focus on marketing campaigns my phone will ring with a referal. I obtain phone numbers of contractors, designers, archtects etc. I do a quick cold call asking if I can send my contact information over email. I send a quick email with links to site etc.. Then I put the mail address in to a .cvs file on constant contact. Every 6 weeks or so I send an e-card reminding them of my business.
 

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Thanks for the help guys, I have been looking at google business but I am not to sure how it worked so I have ben researching it. I have also heard of Angies list but I have no knowledge of how that works, I will definetely look into it. I do have a website, which still needs some work I'm actaully looking to switch carriers as of now. My website is on my profile page, feel free to critique if you'd like. What do you guys think of putting a base price kitchen remodel package together and going through the phone book? Has anyone tried anything like that? I also have my profile on here setup with some info on me and some pics of some work we have done. Plus I have alot more. I do have some reference letters from past clients of mine. I don't know how to implement them online.
I gotta tell you, thats the second mention of the phone book. That is probably the WORST way to spend your time. No way to target homeowners over renters. At the very least look for a directory by street, but that still won't help you much. listen to the advice given here.
 
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