Do you remember the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper?
It was a story about a grasshopper who sees the ants working hard in summer gathering seeds and storing in their nest for the colder winter months. The grasshopper preferred to sing all summer and asked why the ants wouldn’t ease off a bit and join him relaxing in the sun. The ants suggested that the grasshopper should join them instead. If you remember the story in the end it is the ants that survive the winter due to their diligence and hard work. So what has this got to do with marketing strategy?
How this relates to business.
It’s the same problem if you have no marketing strategy in place. I am not saying that there is an economic winter coming, but for some business owners it’s getting a little chilly on the work pipeline front. 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 a common response I hear. 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. But as the title of this post suggest, I recommend people to be the ant and not the grasshopper.
Is it too late to act?
Certainly those businesses that have an ongoing marketing plan in place and have spent a bit of the economic summer planting some marketing seeds are better off. For the rest it is never too late to start putting some changes in place and improving your marketing strategy. Putting a pro-active marketing plan in place will help generate new leads and 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 that you receive. 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, if you identify as a grasshopper, I suggest you develop and implement a simple marketing plan for your business now. Or, if you are an ant, review what you are currently doing and see what improvements can be made. I have a simple 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 here to find out more.