The life of an entrepreneur = awesome. The weight of responsibility, on the shoulders of an entrepreneur = heavy.
Yep, it’s true, you know it and I know it, entrepreneurship can be challenging, and the slow season can be a difficult time for any business. I have heard many contractors confess that they were one slow season away from shutting their doors. As someone who was born and bred in a contracting family, I personally understand the need for a floatation device to keep from drowning during the slow season. I remember the times when we took vacations and the times when we ate cabbage soup and rice. Eventually, the negative effects of the slow season leaked into the following seasons, weighing down my father’s tool belt and service truck.
In my heart of hearts, I want to see bridges built over the valleys of the slow seasons, for all of us.
SIX DAYS AWAY FROM BANKRUPTCY
Recently, a fellow TNFR Member shared with us that before joining TNFR, his company was six days away from closing their doors. Ugh, that hits you in the gut doesn’t it? Can you relate – have you ever been that close to done? Hearing battle stories of our peers is a great reminder to look ahead, and when looking ahead I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up Jay Abraham:
Jay Abraham, a strategist, and still today the #1 marketing coach in the world consistently goes back to the basics. Jay says there are only three foundational ways for growing any business and avoiding slow seasons. I like to look at these three ways as engines – three engines for building a bridge over the valley of the slow times to create consistent growth.
The three engines are:
#1. Increase the Number of Your Customers to Avoid Slow Seasons
That’s right – to avoid slow seasons, build a marketing engine that consistently increases your customer base. This means adding x-amount of NEW customers to your pipeline each month. The x amount can be an attainable number, but start by identifying how many new customers you want each month, then write the action steps, building that plan. Build the plan, and execute the plan.
> Couple starting place ideas, not that you don’t already know about these ideas but it’s a great reminder for all of us: yard signs, yard signs, yard signs. There’s only one company in our town that uses yard signs…and it’s my brother’s company. Everyone else is missing out. Makes it easy for him to shine. And I bet it’s similar in your town.
#2. Increase the Average Transaction Value to Avoid Slow Seasons
Always provide options.
Once you’ve optimized the ‘options presented on every job’ opportunity, begin training on other ways your team can increase the average transaction value – perhaps there are products like Total C that are used on the job and can be offered as a checkout item or ancillary services – cross promotions.
It’s overwhelming until you break it down in simple bites, starting with:
> What’s your average service ticket?
> What would you like to increase your average ticket to? Incremental steps.
> What could you offer, on every service call, that would increase the average to where you want to be?
#3. Increase the Frequency of Repurchase to Avoid Slow Seasons
Now, get them to buy again. One way to buffer not getting new customers is to sell more to the ones you have. Instead of buying from you once a year, or once every five years, what if they bought from you twice a year or twice every five years? Do you have things – services, products, items, stuff…that your customer base is interested in? Once, Rodney, my dad, bought a bright green boom lift a few years back. When he bought it, I falsely assumed he was going to use it around his woodshop for a few weeks then park it in storage for eternity. But boy was I wrong. He told me he planned to rent it out, I just figured the logistics of that would be difficult and he wouldn’t ever do it! Sorry dad for doubting you.
Today, or any day for that matter – if you were to visit my dad at his shop, you’d be mid sentence in conversation when a stranger would pull up in the driveway and Rodney would stop you with something like, “Hey wait just a minute, pause your story while I help this guy checkout my lift, he’s renting it.”
Yep, I’m shocked – but by golly he’s doing it. Rodney keeps his lift listed on Facebook Marketplace for rent at a simple $150/day and he’s got it rented out ALL THE TIME! And he’s really enjoying it, the people he meets, the consistent easy cash flow, it’s fun for him!
My point, your customers have tree branches to trim and ‘stuff’ to do around their houses too…maybe they’d like to rent a lift from you. Staying busy year round and avoiding slow seasons, getting your customers to buy from you more often…doesn’t have to be with the same purchase as the last time.
LET’S GET TO WORK – TODAY
It all starts now – together let’s go back to the basics within our businesses and look at the three core ways to grow a business and avoid the slow season – it’s as easy as one, two, three.