Ryan Paul Adams - Featured On

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The Producer and the Entrepreneur

The Producer and the EntrepreneurRemodeling is all about delivering a great service, right? Maybe, but it technically isn’t the real business you are in. I know this will come as a shock to most of you but you are NOT in the remodeling business, you are in the marketing and selling business. Your business will continue to struggle immensely if you have this backwards.

Most people in the remodeling business have this running through their minds: “If I do great work, people will notice and I will be so busy I cannot keep up. The money will really start to come in. I just need to make sure I perfect my services.” Unfortunately, this business just doesn’t work this way anymore (maybe it didn’t ever work like this in the first place).

The remodeler whose sole focus is on the production (the end product of their business) can spend years generating top-notch work without seeing a significant increase in business. Why? They’re missing a crucial piece of the puzzle—marketing.

Perfected service means nothing if you can’t get your service in front of enough of the right prospects at the right time, and yet I know many business owners who will sacrifice investments into marketing for the sake of providing what they feel is a higher level of service. There are dozens of excuses to delay, or avoid marketing; “I don’t have the money or the time to advertise...” “It’s never paid off for me in the past…” “My books are a mess!” “I’m already overloaded…” But, none of these excuses are good enough--they need to stop now.

Think of it this way, you cannot sell a job you don’t have a lead for, and you cannot produce high quality work if you don’t have the job itself. Getting jobs hinges on changing the way you think about your business. While there’s no doubt that you are providing remodeling services, as a business owner, you must also be an entrepreneur first. An entrepreneur focuses on more than just the services; they also create a multi layered marketing strategy with comprehensive lead generation that creates the jobs that sustain a thriving business.

Once you make a commitment to put marketing first, you’ll quickly find that you have the revenue to deliver top-notch service. A consistent and growing influx of leads allows you to generate the revenue to attract high performing workers, and you know better than anyone how much the right tools can affect the job. So, how do you make the switch from being a producer to the entrepreneur? It starts by simply prioritizing marketing in your business model, and keeping the lines of communication open with prospective clients. Never lose sight of the services you deliver because you won’t get far with a lousy product, but give marketing its due and embrace the potential of an entrepreneurial mindset FIRST.

Getting this reversed will lead to constant frustration and ultimately failure in your remodeling business.

About Ryan: Ryan Paul Adams is the CEO of PME 360, former remodeling professional, author of 7 Secrets to Achieving Rapid Growth in Your Remodeling Business, and host of Remodelers On The Rise.

Focusing on Production and Ignoring Your Marketing is Dangerous

I was consulting with a potential client today on one of our Free Strategy Sessions. Things were going really well and we were able to identify some key areas of his business that needed attention. At one point in the call he actually stopped and went silent for like 10 seconds and I wasn't sure if he was still on the call....finally he comes back on and says in kind of a solemn voice

"Ryan - no one has ever revealed to me the things that you just did. No one. I have been doing this for a long time and have hired a few consultants along the way to help me and they never mentioned any of this. This makes perfect sense to me and I can see the potential now. I really wish I had known this 10 years ago." 

It is for those simple "ah ha" moments that I do what I do. I firmly believe that I can change my little piece of the world by helping remodeling contractors figure out complex marketing and business problems. And it is not just about making more money it's about living a better lifestyle. With more marketing comes more awareness and infiltration in your market which drives leads, then jobs. More jobs means money, which in turn hopefully cash, and with cash comes the ability to hire, and hiring (employees, contractors, outsourcers, freelancers) frees you up to systemize your business and get more freedom to live your life. 

But like most remodeling businesses, my potential client is wearing too many hats. I could tell he was getting overwhelmed and all the gears in his head were spinning a bit. He couldn't fathom adding anything else to his plate right now even though he did not have enough jobs lined up and he was not making anywhere near the kind of money he wanted to be making after all these years in the business. While he probably needs to charge more for his services, he also desperately needs more business. 

Running a remodeling business is tough. I know this and you know this. But you aren't ever going to improve your situation without first figuring out your marketing and new client acquisition strategy. I typically do not send lengthy email replies like the one I am about to share, but I really felt a connection with this prospect and I sincerely want him to succeed (with or without me involved).

Why Marketing is The Key to Getting Out of the Chaos of Your Business - My Letter to My Prospect

I understand you are struggling on the production end of things and we can certainly help you figure some of this out. While we cannot solve all of your biggest problems on the production end, but having us involved solving some of your other big marketing and business problems will certainly help you in a big way. 

As part of our systems we include consulting and we can help you get in place the missing pieces you need to take your business to the next level. Some of these things are included, some of them you will pay extra for depending on what you need.  You don't just need more advice and consulting, you need people that can actually get stuff done for you and help you drive new business each and every day. 

This is priority #1 and I know it feels like putting out the other fires should be your top priority but it isn't and until you have complete control over your marketing and new business generation side of things, you will continue to run yourself in a lot of different directions. 

Why? Because if you are not marketing and driving new business, and focused on new client generation, you are not using your entrepreneurial hat. You are still operating as a technician. When you get control over your marketing and make this a priority your business will change and so will your life. But without this focus and a good team behind you that can hold you accountable, I am afraid you will be in the same position you are in 2 or 3 months from now. What is really going to change for you in the next 3 months? 

It sounds backward, but you NEED to focus on your marketing and make this a priority whether you do this yourself, hire someone in-house, or hire me and my team. Production is really secondary…or at least the effort spent on both need to match up somewhat. Production is important but it is not the most important thing (believe me I know what you are going through as I have struggled with this for years!). You will figure out the production end as you continue to work through the jobs and we can help you build some systems that will make things easier in the short term and the long term. 

Right now you are so bottom heavy with production issues and lack the lead flow and cash flow to hire the right people. If you don't get more jobs and more revenue, how are you going to solve your production end issues?   Typically you need cash to solve this problem and I don't typically recommend that you go out and borrow a lot of money to do this unless you have a great plan in place and really need this to grow fast. Your cash increase from marketing is what is going to solve your production issues, not the other way around. 

If you can simplify your service, I know you can find good people who can follow instructions to get the production end of things done. And with a couple more $50k or even $200k jobs, you would be able to hire some additional great people and develop better systems. 

Think about it...how can you solve your production issues without new revenue? You need to do what you feel is best and that is part of being the boss. Making tough decisions isn't easy but its part of our job as leaders to do this. You have some options here, but whatever you do, please don't ignore your marketing any longer. Do something today to make it better and over time your business will change forever. 

I am here if you need some help and I see a lot of potential for your business. If you want my help, I know I can get you to where you want to go if you are willing to put in some effort and stay in the fight.



I am not perfect and I make mistakes and there are infinite things to learn in this industry. But I know the above to be true because I have personally done it both ways in both my remodeling business and in my marketing consulting business. When I was failing and really struggling it was because I was not focusing on marketing and getting new jobs lined up. 

Need some help figuring out your strengths and weaknesses in your remodeling business? 

You are probably losing over a million dollars per year or more from bad marketing or NO marketing. Let me help you figure out what to do next with my Free Marketing Strategy Session. I also have a couple of additional bonuses I want to put in your hands as well. I am not sure how long we can offer this so sign up today to get on my schedule. Click here to find out more....

The Old Ways of Doing Business Are Dead…and Why You Need to Shift to Survive

The opportunity to absolutely dominate your local remodeling market is still wide open in every major geographic area across the US and Canada, yet so many remodeling businesses struggle immensely each and every year. This is partly due to the fact that up until this point, most of the sales and marketing "gurus" have completely ignored this industry and have focused primarily on other markets. It is partly due to the fact that most remodeling businesses focus (or get lost in) on production and largely ignore marketing.

Is this a result of a lack of good information or is it a result of poor mindset? 

After spending over 15 years in this industry and meeting countless remodelers, home builders, and contractors, I think I know why so many other consultants have ignored this industry. Somewhere around 95% (my estimate) of remodeling and home improvement oriented businesses refuse to focus on marketing and instead focus on production. Therefore, the vast majority of smart marketing and sales experts have given up on this industry or didn't even attempt to help. Is the remodeling industry too stubborn to change? Or is it something else that is leading to a bottom heavy industry?  

It starts with every remodeling business shifting from a production related mindset (getting the jobs done) to a client generation and business building mindset. A shift needs to happen NOW and this will begin with focusing on marketing first, instead of on selling and production. You can't sell a job that you don't have a lead for, and you can't produce the work if you don't have the job. It all leads back to getting your marketing strategy and marketing funnel in place first. This does not mean you ignore your existing clients and jobs; however, you must free up some of your time, effort, and money to focus on marketing moving forward or you put your business at risk.

Seems backwards huh? I thought so too and struggled with this for years and years in both my marketing business and my remodeling and home building business. I spent so much time being the technician and worrying about production that my sales revenue had serious ups and downs. This type of business was not a business at all - it was a frustrating "job" disguised as a business. 

Every time I focused my efforts on marketing and being more entrepreneurial, I could increase sales 25%, 50%, and even more in a very short period of time. Something had to change and that change had to come from a better mindset. You MUST shift to focusing on marketing with everything else being secondary if you want to survive and grow a real business. When you have a marketing funnel and sytem that produces real jobs, you have cash, and when you have cash you can hire good people to solve other problems. 

Big Players Are Entering the Remodeling Market and Are Gobbling Up Market Share

My biggest concern for the small-medium sized remodeling and home improvement business is that there are bigger and better companies entering the remodeling space each and every year who are marketing focused and go after each market very aggressively. They are entrepreneurial and marketing focused companies that can quickly put you out of business if you do not make some changes. And you can't sell a prospect that doesn't exist so focusing on selling ahead of marketing doesn't make any sense either.

Scott DeGarmo said it best in an issue of "Success Magazine"

"The big money goes to those companies with superior marketing operations. Entrepreneurial companies of today must evolve from being sales oriented to being marketing oriented in order to now win the consumer."

Now, I don't want to be all doom and gloom here and this isn't meant to scare you, but you really do need to put a plan into action sooner than later and shift your focus now. The days of being the only one in town that does what you do is over. More choices exist than ever before and with search engines making it so easy to research, qualify, and validate a business faster than ever before, you must have exceptional marketing above all else. Relying solely on architects, designers, and referrals for business is extremely dangerous for the future of your business, but this should be part of an overall marketing system.

Most remodeling businesses do not have exceptional marketing. Most remodelers don't have anything that even resembles a marketing message or a plan of attack. I get it...they are busy. Busy putting out fires every day and sixty and seventy hour work weeks are the norm. They wonder why they do what they do each and every day and pray for an easier way. There are answers to these problems and the only viable way to get real freedom in your business and survive is to grow. Or make the business so simple that it can run and thrive without the owner, and the service is such high demand that people constantly seek you out every day for those services. 

Billions in remodeling and home improvement services and products are sold each year and growing a very steady rate. If you honestly believe in yourself and the service you are offering, shouldn't you be looking to get as many of the "right" NEW clients as you can possibly handle? And if you cannot afford $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 or more to invest in marketing and to make people aware of your business each month to acquire new remodeling clients, isn't that a problem you need to solve sooner than later?

Inside Your Business vs Outside Your Business

You can't spend all of your time developing the inside of your business (production, sales, and systems) and neglect the outside (marketing). At some point the inside and outside of your business have to match up and preferably the outside will grow larger than you can handle. And when it does, watch out! But right now you are probably all lopsided and bottom heavy when you need to be top heavy, working towards figuring out the bottom as you go. You can have the greatest service in the world but if no one knows about it, you are in BIG TROUBLE

Most remodeling businesses deliver a great service but struggle to delegate to others on the production end. You cannot do everything yourself and there are plenty of smart, skilled people out there that can help you get projects done. If you are making lots of mistakes and finding it difficult to hire, simplify your services so that you can succeed now. If you are struggling on the production end, your services are too complicated and you will continue to struggle. That will not change over night. Stop doing what you are doing and start making some changes.

In the meantime, get a marketing system in place that can start moving you towards steady growth and profits so that you can hire better people to help you through your problems. You cannot grow if you do not have new projects and you cannot hire the next project manager or "internal" staff unless you have steady revenue flowing in all the time. The answer is Marketing Marketing Marketing! 

You are losing over a million dollars per year or more from bad marketing or NO marketing. Let me help you figure out what to do next with my Free Marketing Strategy Session. I also have a couple of additional bonuses I want to put in your hands as well. I am not sure how long we can offer this so sign up today to get on my schedule.
Click here to find out more....

What a Mr. Electric Franchise Can Teach Us About Marketing and Building a Real Remodeling Business

When it comes to taking a typically boring, predictable, and fragmented remodeling market and turning it into a nationwide powerhouse, The Dwyer Group - specifically their Mr. Electric franchise - is a company you should be paying close attention to. Especially if you have any desire to grow your own local remodeling or home improvement business. 

In case you don't know or have been living in a cave for the past 10 years, Mr. Electric is a nationwide, franchise-based electrical service provider absolutely crushing it in just about every local market they service. With a systematic, consistent approach to marketing and business building plus a brand that literally glows (look for the yellow vans!), Mr. Electric has grown into a 200+ location enterprise. The same company that owns Mr. Electric has developed companies like Glass Doctor, Mr. Rooter, and Aire Serv.

They understand branding and marketing extremely well and I am going to share with you exactly why they have received my full attention and why you should care.

Take a Fragmented, Boring Industry...and Make It Exciting, Easy to Understand, and Unforgettable

Electricians are typically terrible marketers and most of the electrician based businesses that I see are 1 or 2 person run shops. Oftentimes, the only thing they do to market themselves is have their truck/van lettered with their name and phone number. That's it. Electricians are also typically just that - electricians. For the most part, tradespeople have not gone through any marketing or business courses but they do understand their trade and can earn a decent living because of that. 

Most electricians aren't building a business that has any value and they have zero control over their own destiny. They have to rely on general contractors and other related service providers to "throw" them some work and are at the mercy of that contractor as to what they can really charge. They may land a few direct deals with clients by default, but rarely will they be able to drive any consistent direct client business. As a result, they lack the ability to charge a premium for their services.

This is a dangerous business model. In fact, it is not real a business model at all. It is extremely risky and a big reason why electricians go through serious dry spells and eventually end up working for someone else and retire with no business of any value to anyone else. 

Here is where Mr. Electric can teach us all a thing or two about building a stable, predictable remodeling business, no matter what type of boring or obscure niche or industry you are in. If Mr. Electric can do what they have done in the electrical service industry, glass industry, and plumbing industry, there is absolutely no question the same can be done in every single remodeling niche on the planet. 

Even if you have no desire to scale to the size of Mr. Electric, just applying the following strategies that they do will help you grow fast in your local market. 

Why Mr. Electric Has My Full Attention and 6 1/2 Strategies You Can Implement Into Your Remodeling Business

  1. Mr. Electric Delivered a Great Service - For any of the following strategies to actually work, you first have to deliver a great service. They did that when they did some work for my neighbor. Keep in mind that this was not a big job, but Mr. Electric fully maximized the opportunity that they had right in front of them. The potential future business they could get from this one job is tremendous.
  2. Bold Branded Van - Mr. Electric arrived in a branded van that was professionally lettered and bright yellow. You cannot miss this thing! This is an awesome display of forceful, attention grabbing marketing with great branding. This van gets noticed. The van had the Mr. Electric web site clearly displayed and the phone number was visble from a mile away. 
  3. Eye Catching Yard Sign - Immediately upon arrival at my neighbors house, the Mr. Electric contractors asked if they could display a yard sign. They were allowed to do so and they put up a professional, double-sided, attention grabbing yard sign. The sign was one of the best I have ever seen. People notice this thing and I am sure the signage is not cheap.
  4. Door Hangers - The Mr. Electric contractors canvassed the entire neighborhood that we live in - which includes over 50 houses - and placed a prominent door hanger on each front door. The door hanger  included three direct response offers (coupons). This marketing piece was not a "branding" strategy; it was a "generate new business now!" strategy. The item was double sided and explained a little bit about the company on the front; on the back were the three offers. 

    So many remodeling businesses miss this and will drop off business cards or canvass neighborhoods with door hangers or flyers with NO OFFER! "Here Mr. Homeowner, I am a remodeling contractor. If you ever need some help let me know by calling me on my cell phone." That won't get you in the door and land you a new job. That strategy will get you quickly forgotten and 99% of all contractors do this every day of the week. This is why it's so crucial that you have identified a niche for yourself so that you can establish great offers around it. 

    Because Mr. Electric is so focused and they only do electrical services, they were able to come up with three attention grabbing offers that I will definitely use when I need some electrical services. In this case, they have my full attention and when I need electrical services I am definitely going to call them and use one of their offers. They have incentived me and motivated me to keep these offers around so that when I need the service I know who to call. If I had needed electrical services and had been considering calling someone, I would have already contacted them.

  5. Direct Mail - I have been told that Mr. Electric will follow up the door hanger with a direct mail piece in about 2-4 weeks and will continue to mail to my neighborhood periodically throughout the year. Just because they have already done a great job for our neighbor and got the attention of most of the people in my neighborhood doesn't mean they can just stop marketing to us. They need to keep going and keep staying in front of these potential clients. 

    Using a service like Every Door Direct Mail by USPS, you can quickly get access to an affordable list and implement a direct mail campaign that will work really well. Start collecting street names while you are in neighborhoods on a job and start mailing great offers to the neighbors. Be consistent and persistent. If you belive in what you do this should not be a problem.

  6. Internet + 24/7Phone Service - Do you know how all of this started? My neighbor did an internet search on Google for an "electrician + city" in our local area. They had a great website that was super clean, easy to navigate and an offer that was compelling enough for my neighbor to act.

    And here is another huge differentiator that Mr. Electric captitalized on....they answered their phone when my neighbor called! I work with a lot of remodeling contractors and drive thousands of leads per year. Anywhere from 70-90% of those leads are all phone driven and about 50% of my clients still do not answer the phone everytime it rings. Or they do answer the phone in a less than professional manner. What a waste and it is such an easy problem to solve. Hire a quality answering service that can field the initial call for you as your business. That is exactly what Mr. Electric does except they probably staff their own in-house team of professional, polite receptionists that answer phone calls 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

    If you are still answering your own phone, you are absolutely killing your positioning and credibility, distracting yourself, and complicating the future sales and project process. If you are answering your own phone then you are not focusing on the right things in your business. Not to mention the fact that you are probably answering the phone on a job! It is distracting for you and distracting for the potential client who is calling. This is completely unprofessional and it needs to stop. Hiring a quality answering service that will answer your phone 24 hours per day, 7 days a week starts at $30/month and there are no shortage of good providers.

Mr. Electric Franchise is a Great Company to Learn From

Mr. Electric has systemized everything I just outlined and I am sure they have a staff much bigger than yours to implement and manage it all. But every business owner can do the same thing on a smaller scale by building some simple business and marketing systems themselves. Better yet, hire an expert who already has the systems in place to roll this out for you. You do not necessarily need a franchise to do this, you just need the desire to find the solution and find ways to implement.

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today. 

Get Control and Grow Your Remodeling Business

Ever feel like your business and life is out of control?

Does your average day feel like you are putting one fire out after another?

Are you left wondering where the next lead is going to come from? 

My grandfather once told me that "you need to be in control at all times and the best way to do that is to never give it away." I think I was 14 at the time and had just started my first business. That stuck with me until this day. He went on to say "Don't make excuses. Ever! You need to find your way through every situation and look for the opportunity that is right under your nose." Every time you make an excuse about your situation or blame something else, you give away control. My wife calls it "giving away your mancard." Same could be said for a woman and a "womancard" phrase should be developed. 

So lets talk about control and what that really means for your remodeling business and for your life and the lesson I learned from my grandfather when I was 14. He was a masterful entrepreneur and understood a few key concepts about getting control that all the great successes understand. Our society is filled with excuse makers, doubters, and negativity runs rampant. I don't read the newspaper or watch the news on television because its mostly all fear and negativity. My success depends on those 2 things never creeping into my consciousness, so I don't partake. How about you?

Stop blaming external forces like the economy or a recession. Everytime you blame the economy or the recession on the core reason you are failing you are giving away your control. When you blame something or someone else for your failure you aren't taking responsibility for your situation. 

When I hear someone complaining about the economy as to why they are "slow" I ask them one simple question. "If I am a potential client, what is the #1 reason I should hire you vs another company?" They don't have an answer because they haven't even thought about it, which means they aren't differentiating themselves in the market. If they aren't differentiating, I know right then and there that they aren't marketing themselves well, or at all. I am speaking with someone who has no control. 

And if they had an answer, the next question would be, "how are you going about "attracting" new business vs chasing it?." Most remodelers chase the next deal but if you are positioned correctly, you should be in the drivers seat with full control over your own destiny. And most of the time, what that looks like is a steady stream of qualified people lining up to do business with you. You are in control. You aren't chasing. 

Money Doesn't Disappear. It Moves. 

Money rarely just completely stops flowing out of a remodeling sector, nor does it disappear. It simply changes hands or moves. In a recession, the middle class might cut back on remodeling their kitchen, but the affluent rarely do. Is that a market opportunity or should we just go back to complaining? You need to see opportunity in everything.

The best year I ever had in the remodeling business was the year that real estate and the economy took a nose dive. Competitors went out of business or sat idoly...but we kept marketing and positioning our uniqueness and had a really strong year. I had just discovered the power of building a killer USP and guarantee that crushed anything my competitors were offering. I was looking for opportunity when everyone else was watching the news and feeling sorry for themselves. 

And if the middle class cuts back on installing their dream kitchen, they still might go for something a step below their dream, especially if you can make it easy on them by lining up the financing or providing attractive payment terms. Can you create a targeted marketing campaign to the middle class market offering a streamlined kitchen package with easy terms that make them say YES? You bet you can. Control and Action. 

Very few people have control in their business (and life) and even less take action. There is a lot of money to be made in every remodeling market, but people need to know you exist and what you can do for them that is different from every other contractor. If you can't guarantee anything and don't do anything special or unique, its probably time you did something else. 

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today. 

Buying 3rd Party Remodeling Leads is a Fools Game

Buying leads from 3rd party providers like Service Magic is just plain insanity, especially if these are the only consistent leads you are getting. I have seen countless remodeling contractors chase around weak 3rd party leads, waste tons of time, and lose lots of money only to be left frustrated and confused by these types of lead services. It seems like a good idea, but the the real question is why doesn't it work?

Smart People Don't Use 3rd Party Sites to Find Remodeling Contractors

Yes, I said it. This isn't meant to be a jab at anyone but it's true. Smart people do NOT use 3rd party websites to request estimates from local remodeling contractors or to find any contractor for that matter. Think about it...would you rely on someone else to pick the next 3 or 4 contractors you were going to hire?

Most people understand how to search online. I would go so far as to say that most people are experts at using search engines these days. We have become so good at searching that we can quickly determine paid search ads from organic searches. We can make super fast buying decisions based on search results, how they appear, what they say, and how well the search aligns with our intent. All in a matter of seconds. We know when we land on a site like Service Magic that this is not what we are looking for to make a final decision on who to contact.

Your best prospects are NOT on Service Magic or any other 3rd party lead site. If you want a lousy lead and a sub par prospect at best, continue buying leads from a 3rd party. Great prospects know how to find the best local businesses to contact directly. They understand how to read reviews, blog content, and to quickly determine if the local remodeling company they just found is legit or not. This doesn't take that long to do so why would I use some 3rd party site to narrow this down for me?

Smart people know that those local businesses that have a great website, lots of positive reviews, good content, social presence (even a small one works!), solid guarantee, and are on page 1 of Google are typically legit. Now it's just a matter of contacting 1,2, or 3 of them and feeling them out.

You Are NOT Positioned as the Expert

Before you go and buy another lead from someone you need to understand the mentality of someone who uses a 3rd party service site. They want the cheapest service and they want you to be at their mercy. In their minds, why else would a contractor use a service like Service Magic? The contractor must be cheap and you are giving the prospect all the control. They simply submit a button and 3-5 contractors magically kill each other for a crappy project for no money. Doesn't sound like a business I want to be in yet so many of you continue to give away your money for so called "leads" and aren't investing anything into your own brand and market leadership.

You have no leverage and no positioning when you try and turn a 3rd party lead into sale. The prospect doesn't know you at all. They haven't watched any of your videos, they haven't read your reviews, they just plain don't know you.  

Marketing is all about creating that emotional connection with your prospect. Just about every product or service you buy is trying to accomplish this at some level. You could be featured on the cover of Remodeling Magazine this month and your 3rd party lead won't know nor would they care. You are just another name in a long line of people that called them that day and they would be hard pressed to remember or distinguish any of the remodeling businesses that called them from the lead request form they filled out. They have NO emotional connection to you and aren't looking for that. If you take anything away from this article, that might be the most important thing to remember. 

Every time you give away money for a lead is another dollar you failed to invest in yourself, your brand, your reputation, and your own leads that you control. 3rd party leads are something you should try as a small part of your marketing to fill your funnel, but NEVER EVER EVER should it be the only thing you are doing unless you want to simply swap your time for less money than you are worth...if you can even get them to say yes.

Become your own Service Magic and start selling your lead overflow to other contractors and control your own destiny. It's well within the realm of possibility for those who market themselves correctly and attack the market. 

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today. 

“Contractor and Remodeling Marketing? Good Luck With That!”

The other day I was mentioning to someone that I help power growth for remodeling contractors and home improvement businesses. This person was also in the marketing industry and had done a lot of B2B consulting at some big companies. Very smart guy and you could tell he was passionate about his clients.

So when I mentioned to him why I do what I do and that I am just really passionate about the remodeling industry and helping those types of businesses, he kind of laughed at me or what I was saying (same difference right) and interrupted me...

"You work with remodeling contractors? Good luck with that! I have been burned several times by contractors and they aren't the type of people I would choose to help if I was you. In my opinion, contractors are beneath lawyers on the todem pole of professions people love to hate on."

This wasn't news to me and I handled it well and at that end of the conversation he could see why I continue to work in the remodeling industry. And if I had more time I would scour Google for some statistics to share with you on how many people distrust remodeling contractors, plumbers, HVAC contractors, general contractors, roofers, etc. It's a large amount, we all know this.

Some contractors are terrible at what they do. And some aren't even in the business to actually do the work, they use this industry as a means to scam others. It happens in every industry including mine. If I had a dollar for every horrible company that calls themselves an "SEO provider" or "guarantees first page ranking on Google", I would be retired. The point is, your so called competitors make it harder for you, but if you do the right things, it's actually pretty easy to stand above the crowd.

Bad businesses make it harder on those who aren't doing the right things, and easier on those who are.

This statement I bolded and I made it really big for you so you wouldn't miss it.  It is really important to understand this! 

Bad contractors are something I had spent a lot of time thinking about and why I feel so strongly about having a solid reputation online is so important for quality remodeling businesses to have. And the fact that most of society doesn't trust you is another reason why your prospects abuse your time, ask for all this free information and free estimates, and then hire someone else without so much as a phone call/email/thank you or box of cookies. Time isn't valuable right? Spending 1 hour with a prospect or even an entire week on something and not getting anything in return stinks.

Contractors are not held in high regard in our society. You arent on the same level as some other professions, but you are right there. Is that fair? No, its not, but you can thank all the shady contractors who rip people off and do lousy work for this.

What Are You Going to do About It? 

It is what it is and you need to work 10x's as hard in your market to overcome it, or you can just work smarter than everyone else. You cant just show up and expect to give an estimate and land the project unless you have what I call "positioning" or "credibility". Remember, your best prospects are dead scared to make the wrong hiring decision for their next project. Your image and reputation are everything and having a poor reputation is as bad as having NO reputation.

Be the clear leader in your local market. This is the only way to beat your true competitors and the scammers and win over the hearts of your prospects. And hint, hint....have an awesome reputationa and proof that you do things the right way allows you to charge more and stop chasing time wasters.

  • Develop a Unique Guarantee - show your prospects you will go to the end of the earth for them and stand behind what you do
  • Develop a List of Unique Benefits - what makes you better than your competitors. List it out for the world to see.
  • Develop an FAQ Section - your prospects are afraid to make the wrong choice. Think like they do and write out a detailed list of the top 10-15 fears and questions that are going through their mind and answer them on your website and in your marketing material. Everything from cleaning up a job, to contract, payment terms, what makes you different, and what to do if a mistake is made.
  • Develop an Awesome Website - you need a great website to really compete. It has to be well made, super fast, and mobile responsive. It needs quality content and a strong offer. Poorly thrown together Godaddy sites or a site developed by your 12 year old son aren't going to cut it anymore. Your website should be a lead producing machine and your #1 marketing asset. If its treated like an expense, you are missing the boat.
  • Reputation and Reviews - you have to have awesome information out there beyond just your site. You need to get found on at least the top 20 local and social sites for a long list of reasons I will cover later. And you need reviews. You don't need 100's but you need at least 20 solid reviews left online at sites like Google + Local, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, and even Angies List (which I am not a big fan of, another discussion for another day).

    I am also not talking about simply copying and pasting testimonials to your site. I am talking about reviews left by clients on other sites. This won't happen by itself you need to actively engage your past clients and ask them to do this. Having lots of great authentic reviews is one of the best ways to show your dead scared prospect that hiring you is the best decision they will ever make.

  • Referral List - most smart consumers will ask for a list of referrals before they hire you, especially if its a big remodeling project. Don't give it to them, at least not until you have an agreement in place to move forward. If your prospect asks for a referral list to contact, tell them you would be happy to do that but you don't allow prospects to contact your past clients until you are in agreement that you are moving forward. This shows you are dead serious about what you do and you don't bug your past clients for just anyone.
  • Stop Doing Free Estimates - this is a bit outside of what this list is really about, but instead of an Estimate, call it a consultation and outline exactly what the person will get in that consultation. Listen, if you selling a new roof or window package, you will have to give an estimate, but you can position the estimate and pre-qualify the prospect on the phone before you go driving all around town and waste your time.

    Make sure they are the right fit before you do anything else and develop a detailed phone intervie consultation before taking the next step. Your prospect won't know what hit them and you will automatically be cast in a different light. And if you are selling a big ticket remodel, charge for every second of your time especially for the estimate!

Be the Clear Market Leader. Competition Doesn't Exist If You Do.

You can set the precedent in your market, stop chasing lousy prospects, earn more money in less time and actually get to take a vacation once in awhile if you invest in becoming the clear market leader. Competition does not exist when you invest in your reputation because so few remodeling businesses do any of this the right way or at all.

So I say to all those out there who have been burned by a remodeling contractor, shame on you. You didn't do your homework if you got burned. I have never been burned when hiring a contractor and I have personally managed over 50 projects myself. Invest some time online reviewing your choices, narrow it down to the top 3 and start contacting those businesses. May the best remodeling contractor win!

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today. 

3 Strategies to Generate and Measure Growth in Your Remodeling Business – Part 2

Part 2 of 3 - 3 Strategies to Generate and Measure Growth in Your Business

2) Be Everywhere Your Best Prospects Are to Attract and Faciliate Remodeling Leads

Think about how you start your research process online to find companies you potentially want to work with or products you want to buy? If you are like most people, you start off with a general idea of what you are looking for. Let’s take an example of looking for a siding contractor: Most would start a search online at Google (80% of your market on average) with “siding contractor + area they live” or “siding installer” “siding company”.

You are going to get a variety of results and different listings that appear in the search results. Some searches will generate organic search results only, and others Google + Pages results (near the top), paid listings (top and sides), local directory listings, reviews, social media results, articles, blog posts, videos, and of course - actual company sites that install siding.

The search engines #1 goal is to provide a great experience for its users. The best way to do that is to provide relevant information related to your search + a variety of content for you to gather information from. That’s why you rarely see one site dominate the entire 1st page of Google for a term like the one above, but it can happen.

Your customers are everywhere online and they don’t rely on one site to find a company or one source to make a final decision. Google is the #1 search engine on the planet and where 80% of your market will start their research, but not necessarily where they make a buying decision. Once they narrow down their list of potential companies to work with, they begin the process of making sure the business is reputable and has some information online about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of a business.

You need to have a web presence beyond just your main website.

At any stage of this research and vetting process you can lose a prospect for a multitude of reasons. Don’t give them any reasons! Be everywhere they are, provide great information and a variety of content, and make it easy for them to say YES to take the next steps with you (Free Estimate, Consultation, Project Review, etc.). Consciously or not we are all disqualifying potential businesses at a speed never before seen in the history of man-kind. You only get a few seconds to make a great first impression and even after that you better have updated content in your blog, new posts on your Facebook Fan Page, 10+ additional web properties that mention your company, and at least a couple of reviews and testimonials somewhere online.

If you don't, you can kiss about 70% of your interested visitors goodbye. Gone forever.

How much is that costing your business?

Every business  needs at least 10 sites that they are actively marketing on to build their “Rivers of Information” (source: Scott Kilosky). 

The foundational core of your marketing should come in the form of:

  • A Quality Website That Loads Fast
  • Uses CSS
  • Mobile Friendly and Responsive
  • Tracks and Measures, and Converts!
  • Has a Blog (companies who blog and auto publish get 55% more business than companies who don’t - Source: Hubspot)
  • Local Directories
  • Review Sites
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media
  • Web 2.0 Properties for Article Promotion
  • Videos
  • Quality Links from Reputable Sources

Within each of these core ideas is potentially a full-time job for someone, so pick your battles and don’t get lost in the gigantic sea of sites and resources you can market on. The #1 best return on your online marketing investment is to get ranked in Google Places/Local/Maps (whatever you want to call it!). This is where every business needs to be great and be everywhere their customers are. Providing a good mix of these marketing strategies should bring you a combination of instant traffic and long term traffic and new leads.

But what about pay per click? Instant traffic? Display? Facebook ads?

Paid search, display ads, and Facebook ads are also very important for most businesses as a piece of your overall marketing strategy, but again, without your core "rivers of information" in place, you are going to lose a large portion of your prospects who are just in the initial research phase. Once they land on your site from a paid ad, most are not quite ready to request more information or buy from you just yet. They will go back to the search engine and search for “your company name + reviews” or “your company name + complaints” and a hundred variations of this. Try this out right now and do a search for your company name.

  • What would a prospect see?
  • Is there enough good information about your business to have the prospect want to take the next steps?
  • Do you have social sites that haven’t been updated in months, years?
  • Does your company look like it could be out of business?
  • Are competitors listed on page 1 for your company name?
  • You should be dominating page 1 from lots of different sources with updated information, good content, and offers to help drive new business and absolutely NO competitors should be listed until at least page 3-4.

If you want to waste your marketing dollars, implement a paid search strategy before you have your rivers of information in place. I have seen this mistake made time and time again and this is a mistake I have made with my own clients in the past. Those who had great information online from a variety of sources, and then implemented a paid search campaign, had campaigns that out performed those who had no web presence. Part 3 of my 3 part series coming soon.... Read Part 1 of 3 - Track and Measure Growth

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today. 

3 Strategies to Generate and Measure Growth in Your Remodeling Business – Part 1

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

Recently, I wrote an article about How to Prepare for Growth in Your Remodeling Business and I reviewed some key action items for all small-medium sized businesses to consider before they start generating growth. Today, I am going to focus on exactly what you need to be implementing into your business to generate and measure growth in your business online. Remember, you have to have a mentality for growth for this to work and you have to want to be the market leader not a follower. If you successfully implement the 3 strategies below, you WILL have a clearer picture of where your leads are coming from, you WILL cut out waste in your marketing budget, you WILL get more traffic and leads, and you WILL close more deals. Doubling sales in 6-12 months with these 3 core concepts is not uncommon.

1) You Have to Track!

#1 on our list is more a measurement strategy, but before you can start driving more prospects into your sales funnel and closing more deals, you need to setup tracking systems to measure all of your marketing channels. With today’s technology, tracking every single marketing investment you make is a no-brainer. But for most remodeling companies, they are doing very little if any form of tracking. From analytics, social monitoring and measuring, call tracking and lead tracking, lets review the tracking systems you need in place to then be able to generate explosive growth:

  • Google Analytics- is #1, and having analytics setup correctly on your site(s) is extremely important. You need to setup conversion Goals for all the lead forms on your site and start paying attention to the important metrics like - New Visitors, Return Visitors, Referral Sources, Pages/Visit, Traffic Sources, and Goals. You need to find out where your prospects are coming from online and offline.There are some paid analytics tools out there that are very good as well, but at a minimum you need Google Analytics if you want to rank in the search results and measure your marketing. Google is also using your analytics data to determine where you should rank...a topic for another day.
  • Social Monitoring/Measuring- social media may be one of the most overly hyped marketing channels in existence for remodeling companies. Social media should never be the 1st thing a remodeling company does to generate new business or you will surely fall short, but you do need it in your mix at some point for a few key reasons. While it can bring new business and new leads, for most of my clients, we use it in our mix to stay relevant, to share our content, and to keep people up to speed with our clients brand.If you are really creative and have a lot of extra time to invest in social, you can make it a successful way to grow your business, but you need to have a solid strategy in place.

    Also, almost all the major search engines using social metrics of some kind to help determine ranking in major search engines, so this is important to know. Having a good social media monitoring software will help you listen in to what is being said about you personally, your company, what your competitors are doing socially, and give you a clear picture of how well your time in social media is paying off.  I implemented this recently and was really surprised at how many times my name was being searched online as well as how many people were sharing my content. Exciting stuff!

  • Call Tracking- every marketing medium you use, you should be using a unique call tracking number to determine the effectiveness of that strategy. Ideally, you should be call recording all in-bound calls as well, and this can be accomplished with the same platform as your call tracking number provider. This is extremely important for every business to implement.Use a unique call tracking number on all postcards, catalogs, print ads, display ads, radio, tv, etc. Do NOTuse multiple call tracking numbers online to track local directories. All the top local search distribution services and Google are all about consistency with your Name, Address, and Phone Number, Address (NAP). Using multiple call tracking numbers will certainly screw up your NAP online and lead to below average results. It's safe to use multiple numbers pretty much anywhere else.Lastly, you should be registering and using multiple domain names to track specific marketing campaigns offline. This is a real easy way to zero in on what is working and whats not from postcard mailings, radio and tv ads, magazine, newspapers and more.
  • Lead Tracking - having some type of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is key to track leads and lead sources from as much of your marketing as possible. Most CRM’s can have steep learning curves so be careful which one you choose to start. Keep it simple wherever possible and at the very minimum use something that will allow you to track your sales opportunities/prospects and the ability to automate following up with those prospects.

Read part 2 of 3, Be Everywhere Your Customers Are!

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today. 

Are You in the Remodeling Business? Your Industry is on the Verge of Explosive Growth!

I have felt for awhile now that the home remodeling business was on the verge of exploding.  People are settling into their homes for the long haul vs building or buying a new home, baby boomers are inheriting billions and reinvesting in their homes, the lending environment is improving, and confidence is increasing in adding value back into our homes. The combination is a recipe for explosive growth and one of the reasons why we are focusing our entire internet marketing agency and our marketing and consulting products in this segment. Traditionally remodeling companies are not great marketers and most lack even basic business systems. But those remodeling companies who put in the work, focus in and become great at selling one thing, and re-invest in their businesses  (great marketing, improve business systems, automate processes, etc), are poised to become millionaires over the next few years. I guarantee it.  Consumer Reports just put out this great article that every remodeling company or person considering the remodeling industry should read. ConsumerReports.org By Mary H.J. Farrell | ConsumerReports.org – Fri, Nov 2, 2012 11:46 AM EDT An important indicator of remodeling robustness jumped five points this past quarter, climbing back to 2005 levels, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The Remodeling Market Index hit 50, meaning that more contractors are reporting higher activity than lower, compared with three months ago. The activity was particularly strong in owner-occupied homes, indicating that homeowners are regaining confidence in the value of their houses. Read the Full Article Here

Need more help growing your remodeling business? Take advantage of all the FREE resources I have on www.RyanPaulAdams.com and my download my "3 Killer Ways to Grow Your Remodeling Business" today.