by Lorraine Hart
As a business owner you want to maximize your profits without sacrificing the quality of your products and services. Unfortunately, there are as many factors to keep you from being profitable as there are to help you achieve maximum profits. To increase profits it is important to have the basic tools to understand the different areas in your business that can affect profitability.
Recognize and Choose your Potential Clients
It is important to recognize who your potential client is and who your client is not. You want to work with clients who also want to work with professionals. That means you do not want to take on a client who is willing to hire uninsured, unlicensed contractors. You don’t want the client who cares more about the price than having the project done correctly.
Prior to considering taking on a particular client, you must establish your criteria for your clients and then create screening procedures. Make a list of those client qualities that are important to you. In addition, also list the types of projects you want to do.
Determine the types of jobs that are most profitable versus those not worth doing. Establish and have your staff follow the pre-screening procedures you have set up. Make sure that you understand your prospect’s expectations and they understand yours. Keep the line of communication open. Keep in mind however, that just because the prospect has been pre-screened does not mean that they will make the correct choice and choose you for their next project. The same goes for you: if this project does not appear to be a profitable one, don’t hurt your bottom line by taking it.
Make Smart Marketing Decisions
Communication is one of the most cost effective marketing that is out there. Make sure your past clients and prospects know all of the services you provide. Regular communication through emails will let them know you are still in business.
There are many methods of marketing that are not costly and provide results. I would suggest setting up your marketing plan with a budget you can afford, and a way to track results. It is very easy to get caught up in a “good deal” and get stuck in a contract that you end up paying lots of money for and getting nothing in return.
Take advantage of free listings on remodeling websites where potential customers may go to get inspirational ideas and to find remodelers. Keep interest going by setting up a blog. Facebook Account, Twitter etc. Remember to update and post on a regular basis.
Don’t forget about your website – it is the most important sales and marketing tool your business has. It is the economic engine of your business and should be well maintained and redesigned every few years.
In addition to the recommendations mentioned above, you need to make sure that your jobs are running efficiently so they don’t eat away at your projected profits. By following these suggestions you will be on the way to creating a more profitable business.
Lorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting Services who have been providing business consulting, coaching and training to small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. She is a national member of NARI and contributor to its national blog. Lorraine is also a regular contributor to the Texas Home and Garden blog and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. Lorraine can be reached at 832-569-5079 or http://www.idealconsulting.net.