Listen Carefully: You Can’t Shoestring Budget Your Way To Success.
By Rich Harshaw
I had a conversation with my head of business development lately about a potential client who was struggling to commit to the amount of money we were asking him for our construction marketing services.
$599 a month.
The contractor, it seems, owns a smaller company… and that $599 a month represents a lot of money. If he gives it to us to perform our contractor marketing services, I was told, the contractor probably won’t have any money left over each month to spend on other marketing activities.
Given the fact that our primary service offering includes creating an Identity, building a killer website that converts, performing search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) services, and developing pre-positioning materials, the concern is valid that “it will take a while to develop that stuff and have it make a measurable impact on my business.”
It’s true. Our website building process takes about six months. It takes another six months after that to get your site ranking where you want it in organic search—if everything goes right. Our program is not a “give Monopolize Your Marketplace money and then take a huge check to the bank the next day” kind of program.
It’s more like building a foundation that your entire marketing program can be built on.
So I gave my head of business development some advice about selling our services to that struggling contractor:
DO NOT SELL OUR SERVICES TO THAT COMPANY. PERIOD.
You might think the reason is a moral one—if they don’t have the money, then we shouldn’t financially hamstring that company with a monthly payment they may or may not be able to afford.
Actually, the reason is more practical: I don’t like to do business with stupid people. It NEVER turns out well.
By stupid, I don’t mean “small” or “cash flow challenged.”
By stupid, I mean “does not fundamentally understand how business works.”
Think about it—the industry average for MARKETING BUDGET as a PERCENTAGE of SALES is about 10% to 15%. The bigger companies realized a long time ago that if they wanted to compete and grow, they had to spend the money to buy their home improvement leads. Period. There’s no way around it.
In my world, a small remodeling company does about $500,000 in sales.
At 10%, they should be spending at least $50,000 a year in marketing—that’s $5,000 a month.
Since all remodeling companies HAVE TO HAVE a great, identity-based website, paying somebody $599 a month to get one WITH search engine optimization services is a no brainer. A no brainer.
That should still leave even the TINIEST of companies $4,400 a month in marketing budget—even at the lowest end of the spectrum (10% invested, not 15%).
The $4,400 then, should ALL be invested in contractor PPC advertising. Every last penny of it. Why on earth would you not spend your money to cast your line in the river where all the hungry fish are in a feeding frenzy? Meanwhile, your SEO can slowly work it’s magic over the next three, six, nine, twelve months until it starts delivering “free” leads.
But for a measly $5,000 a month, you can have a drop-dead gorgeous home improvement website with Identity and conversion to spare AND SEO services…. AND a $4,400 monthly PPC budget to spend.
It is that simple. There is no other moving part that needs to be considered.
I don’t care if there is a home show coming up. I don’t care if the ad salesman’s pitch was compelling. Create your awesome website, start plucking away at the SEO, and BUY ALL THE LEADS YOU NEED WITH PPC.
But what if a company simply does not have the cash flow to spend that $5,000 a month on marketing, you may ask?
Step 1: Raise your prices by $1,000 per job. If you currently sell windows for $500, raise the price to $600. If you sell roofs for $8,000, raise the price to $9,000. We’ll create an Identity and website for you that will allow you to pull this off.
That’s it. Just one step. There’s your budget—it magically appears.
And if you are brand spanking new and you literally have no sales, go start knocking on doors and sell people something until you have enough money to pay for your website… and then ultimately the full budget you need to run the PPC campaign.
Other that that, I have no advice for you.
Don’t talk to me about home shows. I don’t want to hear about EDDM, or the Val-Pak or anything else.
You have to fund your business if you want to have a business. It DOES take money to make money. Quit trying to scrape by and instead raise your prices to provide you with a marketing budget.
Then think about this: Even if your marketing DOES NOT WORK RIGHT AWAY, you are still no worse off than you are right now! Right now you have no extra money AND you haven’t even tried any marketing. You don’t even know what will and won’t work!
I’m done. Thanks for listening. Now get cracking on your marketing budget.
Bonus offer: If this post resonates with you, you can do these things:
- Check out our Bonus Bundles page and see exactly what’s included for $599 a month.
- Fill out the form below for a consultation about how these services can help your business.
- Watch this webinar about Identity—the master key to powerful contractor marketing.
SPECIAL: $500 off your down payment and $10,000 of upgraded SEO services if you respond to this offer today.
Free Consultation: Let a seasoned Monopolize Your Marketplace expert give you advice and recommendations on how to make your marketing perform better. Just fill out the form below and we’ll contact you to arrange a time to talk. Be ready for candid feedback—we’ll be as nice as possible, but our real objective is to make sure you’ve got good stuff!
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© 2015 – 2016, Rich Harshaw. All rights reserved.