Effective Business Planning

Over the past 4 years or so the business world has been turned on its head. No one could have predicted the Covid pandemic and the implications that flowed from it. More recently supply lines have been majorly affected and migration flows have gone from famine to feast. In this type of environment putting a business plan together seems in many ways like a waste of time. When I look at some of the traditional business planning models used, I would tend to agree.

In my opinion it comes down to the type of business plan that is produced and the length of time taken to produce it.  Many business plans are a waste of time because they are too long, too “corporate”, don’t motivate staff and are not connected to the day-to-day operations of the business. Learn how to put a simple and effective business plan together here.

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Circle of Influence

The fact that these are some of the most challenging times for builders in the past 10 years comes as no surprise. We have come through labour shortages, supply line disruptions and Covid lockdowns just to be faced with huge increases in interest rates and a drop in demand. Furthermore, the banks have factored in many of these events into their risk equation and made lending tighter for home buyers, further adding to the uncertainty.
The effect can be for people to worry about things they have no influence over and miss opportunities to improve those things they DO have influence over.

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Lead generation in construction – Step 1

There is a growing problem in the building trade.  Consumer confidence has declined, the cost of living “crisis” is making some people close their wallets and interest rates are more than double what they were 2 years ago. Suddenly lead generation is top of mind for owners of construction related businesses. It can cause a bit of a downward spiral if you don’t take action. A typical story goes like this…

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Lead generation for construction businesses

A comment I hear from a lot of people in the construction industry at the moment is that the market is significantly quieter than last year and they need to increase the flow of sales leads. Those business owners who have invested time and money into their marketing over the years are a lot better off, but many people rely too heavily on word-of-mouth marketing for their opportunities. 

While a solid, long-term marketing plan is best, for those who need more leads quickly, I have outlined a few options in this article to broaden your marketing reach and support word-of-mouth referrals.

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Using stories to sell your services

If you operate in the residential construction space you need to be aware that emotions play an important role in how your customers connect with you. You need to connect first at the emotional level and using stories is a great way to do this.

Best of all your past customers become your extra sales team and will have much better credibility in the eyes of prospective customers than you will.

Click on the picture below to start the video

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Risk management – Getting the balance right

The construction game is a risky one. Probably don’t have to tell you that but it needs saying and it also needs to be proactively managed. On the other hand it can be a very rewarding industry and you can have a great life if done well…..and a bit of luck. No business however is risk-free. 

Part of your role as a business owner is to think about the risks in your particular part of the market, prioritise what risks to reduce first and put processes in place to manage those risks. Also decide on what level of risk you are comfortable with and not try to reduce all risks to zero. Here are the seven most important areas of risk for a construction company and some strategies for managing them effectively

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An end to free quotes

If you are in the residential market and still providing free quotes, you should stop. It’s called free consulting, and you won’t be successful giving away your time. Doctors don’t. If you have had the unfortunate need to visit a specialist medical consultant to discuss a problem and consider a potential course of treatment, they will probably charge you between $500 and $1,000 an hour for the privilege of their advice. It is unlikely your hourly rate is that high, but you are still providing a similar advisory service to your potential customer.

In providing a quote to a potential customer, you may be doing everything from putting together some initial numbers to providing some preliminary design work and saving the customer significant money through your experience. Learn how to start charging for your quotes and increase your sense of worth.

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The Ant or Grasshopper Marketing Strategy

Like the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, it is the ant that survives the winter because he spent the nice summer weather gathering food in preparation, while the grasshopper spent his time singing.

That’s the same problem if you have no marketing strategy in place. 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”. 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 you are busy, or the market is stronger and the perceived need to generate leads is less. Before the economic winter arrives you should review your marketing strategy and make some changes.

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Marketing in a softer market

The market in New Zealand for construction services is definitely softer than it has been in recent years. With the rapid increase in interest rates and people spending their money on other things, like international travel, the demand for new home builds and renovations has reduced.

It is likely that this will continue for the next 12 months and so it has become more important to review your marketing and improve your lead generation performance. This video goes into what you can do in the short term and make the best of what you have, at the lowest cost possible.

Click on the picture below to start the video

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Importance of good website design

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is vital for the success of any business. A well-designed and user-friendly website can be a powerful tool for attracting customers, boosting brand credibility, and driving conversions. While DIY website builders like Wix and Squarespace offer convenience and affordability, there are compelling reasons why companies should opt for the services of a professional web design company. In this article, we will explore the key advantages of choosing a proper web design company over these DIY platforms. Read more……

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