I read with alarm the headline in the NZ Herald business section on February 8: “Slump in orders hits building industry”.

Surely not, I thought.  We are supposed to be on the up, not the down! Reading a bit further I soon discovered that the article was referring to Australia, not NZ. Phew!  But it got me thinking. What if the headline DID refer to NZ and this long awaited upswing was just a temporary blip and we saw falling demand again?

There is a habit of many business owners in the trades to just take what the market dishes up and not put some proactive systems in place to generate work.  “I get all my work from word-of-mouth” is what I hear a lot.  That’s great when WoM is working, but what if it isn’t? What’s the back-up plan?  Usually there is none.  This is particularly true when the market is stronger and the perceived need to generate leads is less.  But as the title of this post suggest, I recommend to you to dig the well BEFORE you are thirsty.

Putting a pro-active marketing plan in place will help smooth out the usual ups and downs of the construction industry.  It may not eliminate them all together, but it will help.  It will also improve the QUALITY of lead.  Rather than just taking whatever is dished up, by deciding on the ideal work you want and targeting your marketing to that sector, you will be surprised what you will achieve.

By targeting your marketing you will also be able to command premium pricing and increase your margins.  Targeted marketing, consistently applied over time, will help you achieve a higher level of trust in the market and a reputation as the “go-to guys” in your chosen market segment.

So, despite how solid the market is looking, I suggest one project in 2014 should be to develop and implement a simple marketing plan for your business.  I have a Marketing Audit process that will help with this and is a low cost way to reset your marketing and sales processes for the future.  Email me by clicking here to find out more.

Andy Burrows

The Trades Coach