Ryan Paul Adams - Featured On

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Remodeling Sales Slowing? Try 5 New Ideas to Dramatically Improve Sales

This may be one of those critical times that we all reach in our remodeling business where the market changes, revenue slows, and competition increases. So what do we do about it?

The great business leaders of our times have all been faced with these tough situations and those that adopt and change will thrive and those that continue to look to the past and wonder where all the business went will continue to hurt. 

In times where things are great we typically don't pay attention to the waste that is occurring in our process because we are still able to land enough business from a heaping pile of prospects. We only really notice when things really tighten up.

So they question becomes what do we cut when times get tough?
One of the first things most businesses do is they go right for marketing or getting rid of the weakest person on the team, or they look for other areas they can cut to ease the hurt. In times like this, if you can work on making changes and ramping up, you actually will come out in a better position because you will squeeze out the other firms that are in the same place as you are. You aren't the only one feeling the pressure if the market changes. But those businesses that cut without innovating will end up in a much worse position then they were before. 

Let's look at 5 new ideas to help you dramatically improve your remodeling sales today

These ideas are based advice on building a "business" as an asset (where you can get out of the chaos and build a real business) vs. having a job/career inside of a business (still comes with a lot of headaches and it's hard to ever get out of the chaos with this model).

Ultimately, it really depends on what you want long term from your business. But even if you want the lifestyle type of business, you cannot get out of the middle of doing the actual services without becoming more strategic in your thinking.  Your time is immensely valuable and the more time you can devote to $1,000+/hour strategic tasks, the business revenue will multiple.

So here are some ideas you can implement into your business that will help you turn around your slow sales or stagnant business:

  1. Nurture Every Prospect... Even If They Don't Do Anything Right Now
    Most businesses are doing ZERO for lead "nurturing" and have no referral marketing strategy to past or current clients. Here is what should happen sooner than later to not only position your business as the best of the best, but to make sure that your prospects are aware of all of your legal services. 

    Information Kit and a Welcome Kit
    Prospects - handing a free consultation or estimate prospect an "information kit" that is informative and professionally done would go a long way. It doesn't have to be a novel, but having something printed that talks about your process and what makes you different and unique is immensely important. These can be mailed or handed out in person in your office. Whether you call this an information kit or standards guide or whatever, get something in place today. 

    New Clients - handing a new client a "welcome kit" that explains your process now that they are a client and what is expected of them along with all the forms and everything else you will need to handle the project would be extremely valuable. Not only does it help educate the client, it will help you avoid a lot of questions and free up your time. 

  2. Get a Book Published
    Having someone in your office an author of a published book would be a huge value add for your business. It immediately sky rockets you to the top of your field because most of your competition is too lazy to take this kind of effort, and frankly they never really even thought about doing it anyway.  

    A written physical book that you can give away or charge for is the best business card in the entire world. You could also use this as part of your information kit or discovery consultation process. If you don't have the time to write one, hire a ghost writer and self publish the book on CreateSpace.com. Arriving at your next consultation or estimate, and giving away a copy of your new book will immediately differentiate you as the more serious candidate to get the job. 

    There are all kinds of topics you can create a book about for your niche service or industry. Focus on delivering high quality "insider" information related to your remodeling niche. 30 pages are about all you need to start with 50-60 pages being the max target. You can also use this book as a free giveaway on your site and help boost your conversion rate. 

  3. Tighten Up Your Process On The Backend 
    Hire a 24/7 Answering Service - how many calls are you getting after hours? Would it improve conversion rate and client sign up to offer 24/7 live operator and have your phones answered around the clock? I think it would and it has been proven to work yet so many remodeling businesses continue to answer your own phones. Insanity! This topic I have written about numerous times and yet few of you take action on this and fail to recognize the importance of getting this in place sooner than later.

    Answering your own phone is absolutely killing your positioning as "hard to get" premium, cream of the crop professional in your field. The prospect automatically assumes that if you are answering your phone you are either extremely attentive (which is not good if you are trying to get out of the middle of your production/projects) or you aren't busy enough or doing well enough to have someone else answer your phone.

    New Client Getting Process that is Focused around Sales and Marketing- This is really centered around marketing (which you may or may not be doing) and a solid sales process with basic sales training. I know you probably never thought about being in sales when you wanted to get into your business, but it is very much a part of the business.

    Someone in your business needs to be the strategic (sales/marketing/operations) and someone should be focused on the production and getting the projects done. You can't do both for very long and you probably never should have even tried. How is your arrangement setup now? It is easy as a business owner to get caught up in delivery of the services because that is ultimately what you really know, but if you can be more strategic and be the face of the franchise and let others do the actual production work, it is the only way to multiply your revenue 3x-5x's.  

  4. Attract New Clients Offline
    The internet is great for those who are actively seeking your remodeling services and a great web presence should be the center of your marketing. But what about all those prospects out there who aren't really sure what they need at this point but have just started thinking about getting some help or hiring someone to do some work? How do we get in front of those people offline and give them a compelling reason to reach out to you? Free information works well combined with a captivating sales letter delivered via direct mail. Direct mail may not have worked in the past for you, but it definitely works if done correctly and you stay consistent with it. The key is consistency, having the right message, and mailing to the right target. 
  5. Refine or Improve the Service or the Way it is Packaged
    Packaging and presentation is everything in business and if we can find a way to package or present your services in a better way there is more opportunity to get new clients. Is there a way to offer a "good, better, best" service package? People want easy to understand, easy to digest pricing, and I do believe there is a way every remodeling business can at least offer an initial service package of some kind that is priced aggressively and does not require a lot of your time. Or even if it does, make the service easy to understand and streamline the presentation and delivery of those services. 

    Is there a 90% automated service with maybe an initial consultation that you can offer and charge for? A thinly disguised service that is really more of a product designed for those who don't have a lot of money, maybe want to do it themselves, or want a little bit of assistance and guidance from an experienced business like yours?

These are just 5 ideas that you can implement each month and over time will lead to steady gains in your business. You offer a great service to your community and now it is just a matter of improving some of the areas where you are weakest.

There are millions of dollars in remodeling services to be generated in your area each year. That won't change but what does change is where the money shifts within the services. Right now a particular service maybe slow for some reason, so where is that money shifting to? Real estate markets are ramping up and baby boomers are retiring at a rapid rate. What can you offer in those markets to attract a heaping pile of prospects and new projects?

It has taken me a long time to figure a lot of this stuff out and a lot of money. I certainly don't know it all and that's why I continue to invest a lot in learning and innovating and making sure my library is stocked with the brightest and best minds in the business world at all times. I am offering to help you get to that next level if you want to and I will leave it up to you to take me up on my previous offers to schedule a regular call. I know you are busy and feeling some pressure, but I find that having someone you can bounce things off of and help you through some things is really helpful. Contact me today for a 30-Min Free Strategy Session and let me help you uncover 5 key areas of your business that you can fix to grow. 

You Should be Delegating NOT Abdicating Your Remodeling Marketing to the RIGHT People

First, let's start with the definition of abdicating and delegating so we are all on the same page when it comes to how to market your remodeling business correctly. 

Abdicating - to renounce or relinquish a throne, right, power, claim, responsibility, or the like, especially in a formal manner: (source - Dictionary

When you are abdicating you are giving up responsibility and trying to wash your hands of the whole thing. 

Delegating - to send or appoint (a person) as deputy or representative. (source - Dictionary)

With delegating you are appointing someone with your company or externally to help with something. You are not giving up responsibility and you are still involved in the process just not as much. 

Too many businesses aren't marketing their businesses at all and just waiting for leads and new clients to magically appear on their doorstep. This is one of the strangest things to me and most frustrating. Business owner who wait for things to happen instead of making things happen using proven methods and systems. At least try to do something to make your situation better. Sometimes that requires taking a risk and making a mistake. Other times it involves actively finding the right people in your industry who understand how to help you.

Marketing your business and keeping the engine going is your #1 responsibility, nothing else comes close. 

And those that are typically marketing (or trying to) are doing it all wrong. I realize you have a lot on your plate and running a remodeling business is not easy, but abdicating your marketing is just plain dumb. When you are abdicating you are looking for one quick fix to make you rich and this simply doesn't exist. You need to fully understand the process and the people you bring into to help you need to know what they are doing. 

When You Give Up Responsibility, You Give Up Control

Here is what happens when you give up responsibility....you completely give up control of the process and 99% of the time you are giving up control of the process to the wrong people. And guess what? Most of the so called "experts", agencies, or people that claim they can help you are really not capable of helping you at all. You end up wasting a lot of time and money and typically your mistakes are compounded. You jump from one provider/agency/person to another hoping that this time it will work.

Does this sound familiar?

  • You hire an intern or some low level person with not even a basic understanding of marketing to take over all your marketing. You don't want to do it, nor do you understand how to do it so give it to someone else. "This isn't my area of expertise so I let someone else do it. I just hired this kid out of college to handle this for me."
  • You hire some SEO company that tells you they can get you ranked on Google. "They promised me they could get me on the first page of Google for $50/month. Thought I would give it a try. What do I have to lose?"
  • You hire your 3rd company that tells you they can you ranked on Google. Been burned twice now, this time this company seems for real! "This company promised me some free advertising to go with getting my website on the first page of Google for $100/month! Can't really tell if it's working or not, but the sales person sure seems to think it is."
  • You tell one of your family members to setup a website and mail some postcards for which you will pay them $15.00/hour. This will surely work, won't it? "Son, you can set up a website can't you? Well do it and let me know how it turns out. We also need some postcards sent out, see what you can do about that."
  • You buy some book or product that promises you everything under the sun. You read it, do nothing, and it collects dust on your desk. "Boy that was some great information. If only I had time to do any of it I could generate a ton of new business."
  • You buy some advertising in your local paper because some sales person showed up at your door and told you to. "Let's see how that ad does in the paper. That sales  person sure was persistent. This has to work this time, doesn't it?"

You try some different things and you continue to abdicate to others yet you fail to understand the core of what would make any marketing actually work. For marketing to actually work, you have to craft a great powerful message. You need to start with this before you can implement any tactics (a system or a detail of tactics like SEO or direct mail). The very first thing I do when starting any client in our marketing systems is we setup two 1-hour calls to help craft a killer USP, a competition crushing guarantee, clearly identify our niche, and understand who are target client is. Not everyone is a prospect; you need to understand this first!

Only a select group of people are worthy of your services and we need to identify who those people are before we can implement a marketing system that is loaded with tactics. What makes your service better than anyone else's? Why are you unique? What do you stand for? For how long will you stand behind it? 

The Pushy Marketing Sales Person Isn't Qualified to Help You Just Yet

Delegating marketing tactics don't work unless you have the marketing foundation and messaging behind it. I have analyzed several of the big internet marketing agencies, most are doing $50,000,000.00 or more per year, and NONE of them take any time or thought into helping lay the proper foundation before you start spending money on media. NONE. ZERO. ZILCH.


Because they don't understand marketing, they only understand the tactic they are selling. For these companies to grow to that level in sales, you will never speak to anyone in the organization that is smarter than you right now. That's a big problem. You want to find people that are smarter than you in areas that you are weak. And if you are weak in marketing knowledge, the last thing you want to do is hire a big company with the low man on the todem pole handling your marketing. They will not have the knowledge to help you. I have seen this time and time again.

They aren't qualified to help you grow your business unless you have everything else figured out and you can delegate very specific tasks to them to complete.

Don't Jump to Tactics Before You Differentiate and Perfect Your Message

You can't jump to the tactic or media stage without clearly differentiating yourself from the pack. You will not get the response you are looking for and will waste a ton of money in the process. You will jump from one idea to the next making one bad decision after another. Listen, no one is going to figure this out 100% without your involvement. This is your business and you are the only one that fully understands what makes you unique and better than the competitor down the street. 

The next time you go to hire someone to "help" you with your marketing, and they aren't asking you about your messaging, ideal target, guarantee, and uniqueness...RUN! They aren't qualified to help you with anything at this point.

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. 

Remodeling Sales Strategies and Growth Tips with Jim Gehm – Podcast

If you want to keep plugging along with an average remodeling business this podcast is NOT something you should listen to. On the PME 360 Powering Business Growth Show, Ron Rodi, Jr and Ryan Paul Adams interview Jim Gehm with Holmes Custom Renovations

Jim reveals some of their top sales strategies and how to build a great sales team in the remodeling industry, which is not easy to do. Discover how they train, compensate, and motivate an effective sales team and the systems they develop to stay on track. Also, learn how they provide a client experience that leaves them with little to no competition and the ability to charge a premium for the services they deliver. 

"Running a remodeling business is crazy hard. But if you stick with it, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do."
- Jim Gehm , VP Sales and Marketing with Holmes Custom Renovations

Listen to the Podcast

Download the MP3


Read the Full Transcript

Coming soon...

Clear the Fear! Removing Self Doubt is Easier Said Than Done

It's amazing to me what most people really think about themselves. It's not good! Most people think very small and have a negative view of themselves and what they can accomplish. Believe me, I understand. I constantly second guess myself and question if I am really worth the money my clients are paying me or if I am good enough, smart enough, strong enough, etc to work with some of the top consultants and people in my field. This is a pretty natural instinct for most and one of the biggest hinderances I see that are holding most back from achieving real success. 

The conclusion I have come to over the past few years is that I am worth every penny of what I charge my clients and really I should charge even more. I would much rather believe this and tell myself this everyday vs the alternative. I continue to dream big and put into action new ideas and approach my business from a more entrepreneurial angle than the "I have to get all of this stuff done myself" mentality. I will get to where I want to go and choose to think more positive about my future and how big I can grow my company. Why think any other way? 

Negative Thoughts? Take Out the Mental Eraser

Negative thoughts are going to creep into your consciousness and tell you that you can't do something or shouldn't do something or aren't experienced enough to do something. Well, I am here to tell you that you need to take out that mental eraser and wipe those negative thoughts away. The #1 reason most people don't take action on great advice or breakthroughs in their life is that they talk themselves right out of it. Or the people around them talk them out of it. Self doubt and negative talk comes from a super low energy place and will make you feel awful. So why do it at all? The next time you are faced with a decision or want to try something that might improve your situation, find a way to push through and do it vs talking yourself out of it.

Randy Paush said it best, you have to "be a a Tigger, not an Eeyore." And what he meant by this is that Tigger, from the Winnie and the Pooh children's book, had a ton of energy and overly optimistic view on his life and the world around him. Eeyore did not. If you have a second, watch this video from Randy Paush. Your problems won't seem as big and it might give you some inspiration to push on through some of the issues you are dealing with in your business.

Watch the Video

Dream Big When It Comes to Your Remodeling Business

You have to dream big when it comes to your business and your life. I don't care what business you are in you have to want more out of yourself and your business each day. This doesn't mean that you constantly have to be driving yourself into the ground to push your business to new heights, but dreaming big opens up new opportunities for you vs thinking small. And the longer you think small the harder it gets to change your state of mind so start right now and list the top 5 things you ultimately could envision for your business.

Whether you believe in the power of positive thinking and manifesting or not, you know that at least you feel better when you see your life in a positive way. So stop the self doubt and start looking at everything you are doing from a more energetic place just like Tigger. 

What do you want from your business?

Is it more freedom?
How are you going to get more freedom and time off from your business and make more money?

Is it more money? 
What strategies can you put in place in the next 30-60 days that can generate more revenue? 

Is it opening up more offices? Or getting a nice showroom setup? 
What steps can you take today that could make this happen?

Is it hiring more people to take critical tasks off your plate? 
What person do you need right now to make your business run smoother? 
What is stopping you from going and finding this person?

Whatever your big vision is stop and write it down right now. Post it on a wall near your desk and review this everyday. Dream big and don't lose sight of what you really want out of this business. Running a remodeling business is extremely hard but it will get easier if you continue to work on the business vs working in the business. And if you take a more entrepreneurial approach to everything you are doing your business will open up and things will get easier. Stop being the technician and start being the entrepreneur you always dreamed you could be.

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. 

Model Your Business After Those Who Have Succeeded

Tony Robbins said it best - 

"If you want to get a result -- make more money, lose weight, be more successful in business, or ANY other goal you desire-- all you have to do is find someone else already getting that result and model what they do." 

There are a lot of super successful remodeling businesses out there yet so few remodeling businesses take the time to model themselves after those that are crushing it. So many of you are trying to reinvent the wheel and making terrible decisions on where to invest your money to try and grow. 

The concept is simple, find a business that is doing really really well and find a way to integrate as many of those ideas and systems into your own business, package it slightly different (your unique angle) and you will have a nice business if not a great business. 

There are no new ideas in the world, only different angles on the same ideas. With the marketing systems I have developed, I have taken ideas from a lot of different experts, some with a lot more experience than I, and found a way to package it better, improve certain things, and integrate a full suite of software experts to do the work. And the most important thing I have done, is to replicate our efforts in the same industry as much as we can....why? Because through repetition comes improvement and enough data doing the same things many times that we actually know what works and what doesn't. Shouldn't you be doing the same? 

Expecting a Different Result from More of the Same

For starters, too many remodeling business owners have ridiculous unrealistic expectations when it comes to marketing investments. How many of you have hired an internet marketing company or local "SEO guru" for $100/month? Or $50/month? Or some ridiculously low amount and expected the world from it? 

Most marketing books and marketing courses you could take would mention investing roughly 10% of expected gross sales into marketing. Especially for newer remodeling businesses, it's a good rule of thumb and a good place to make my point. If you were to hire a marketing company at $150/month to build you a site and do some "seo", and this was really the only marketing you were doing, you would be expecting to generate from a $1,500/year marketing investment $15,000.00 in Gross Sales. That is exactly what your expectation should be unless you plan on investing a ton of your own time on top of the $150/month you are shelling out. I don't know about you, but $15,000 a year in Gross Sales doesn't sound like a business I would want to invest time into.

Ask yourself, would you take on a remodeling job for $100/month? What in the world could you possibly deliver for $100 and make anyone happy? The only thing my company could do for $100/month is local optimization. That's it, and that is not going to change your life or your business. Might be an ok place to start if you have ZERO money for marketing, but it is nothing that is going to get you excited and help take your business to the next level.

One of the leading contractor marketing companies out there offers a complete marketing program for under $150/month. I have had a few clients that used them at one point and got nothing from it, but I cannot speak to the results other clients have gotten. I know that in my local area, I can barely even get a small black and white ad in my local paper for that each month. Remember, you get what you pay for so don't expect much from cheap people and services as they simply don't work most of the time.

Risk vs Reward

Low priced services rarely work and I don't care what we are talking about here, they rarerly do unless it's mostly software driven (something where a human doesn't have to do anything). Even if companies like the one I mentioned above outsourced all the marketing work to some low cost area of the world, they still can't physically do much of anything as far as a service goes (seo, social media, reputation, design, etc) and still make any money to stay open. So that means you might get something shiny and nice on the front end (first 30-60 days) but after that, you are left to figure it out on your own or for more money. Time is money and the longer you wait to figure things out you put your business at risk. 

If you were starting a basketball team today, who would you pay top dollar for, Lebron James or Hasheem Thabeet? Both were top picks in the NBA draft a few years ago, but if I wanted to put the best team on the court, I would go get Lebron James and pay him is $25million + because I know the return I would get would be significant for my franchise and the risk/reward is really powerful. You need to identify situations like this in your own business where you can bring on top level talent, systems, services, and software.

Situations like this exist in your own business yet you continue to reinvent the wheel and try to get things done on the cheap. It's normal and natural to want to get things done inexpensively and try to do things differently than those who have experienced true success in your industry. Typically, you have 2 choices, acquire all the knowledge that you need to grow your business, or find people who are experts in the areas where you are weakest. 

The Remodeling Businesses That Succeed Typically Have the Following in Place

  • Entrepreneurial Mind Set (they are no longer contractors!)
  • Good Systems in Place to Get Work Done
  • Repetition (they do the same things over and over as much as humanly possible)
  • Highly Educated (not by a university, but through seminars, reading books/industry publications, hiring consultants - basically they devour as much information about their industry as possible). 
  • Have Incredible Desire to Succeed
  • Consistent Marketing Systems (typically - online, direct mail, and solid referral programs) 
  • Use Direct Response Marketing (even piece of marketing they do has a very specific offer and goal in mind)
  • Have Great People at the Top and Good People to Fill Specific Roles
  • Outsource Weak Areas and Hire the Best People They Can Possibly Afford

Find someone who has been there and done that in your industry and mimic what they do. You will get where you want to go much faster. 


Feel Like a Prisoner to Your Remodeling Business?

Do you ever feel like you are going insane trying to run your remodeling business? Stuck? Chained? A prisoner? You are certainly not alone as most business owners tend to feel more alone, isolated, and stuck then those that feel liberated. 

Being an entrepreneur is freaking hard! There are typically NO short cuts to getting it right. You have to work through some (a lot) stuff before you find your way and if you make it, it typically takes at least 5 years to really figure things out. If you want some freedom in your business, you need to start developing some systems to accomplish this to take the complexity out of what you are doing.

Ask Yourself Some Important Questions About Your Business

1) Do you work more than 40 hours per week?
2) Are you doing the jobs of more than 3 people? 
3) Do you have all the prospects you need to grow and thrive?
4) Are you able to turn those prospects into new clients?
5) Are you able to weed out the "problem" prospects before you take on the job?
6) Do you have any idea what your numbers are weekly, monthly, quarterly?
7) Are you able to keep up with the changes and regulations and stay in front of it? And communicate this with the people doing the work? 
8) Do you have a trusted group of advisors you can turn to for answers?
9) Do you find yourself repeating yourself over and over again and you and your staff make the same mistakes?
10) Do you feel that no one else on your team wants to succeed anywhere near as much as you do? 
11) Do you have trouble remembering exactly how you did something the last time and you or your team ends up doing something slightly different each project?

Odds are, if you can relate to most of these questions, you are running into some business model complexity issues. It shouldn't be this draining and this hard at this stage in the game. 

Complicated Businesses Fail. Simple Ones Thrive.

I firmly believe that complicated business fail where simple ones thrive for most entrepreneurs. If you want complicated, be prepared to raise a lot of capital getting your business going and that is not easy to do in the remodeling world. I am not against complicated, but you really need some special things to make complicated work. Complicated businesses with lots of services have lots of issues that need attention. 

Everything you do needs a system behind it if you stand any chance of getting a break and getting some freedom from your business. If you offer too many services, with too many different products, it's very difficult to create systems for all of this. It can be done, but it takes a lot of effort and extreme organization to get it right. If you can simplify and weed out those services you aren't the best in the world at and focus in on 1 or 2 core services, you stand a much better chance of systemizing and getting a break. 

Stop right now and build a checklist/system for something in your business. Develop a process for how you would strip a roof, or frame a deck, or remove a window. It's not easy to communicate very specific knowledge like this in a way that others can replicate and follow. But it is 100% necessary if you have any desire to stop repeating yourself, reduce mistakes, systemize, and scale.  

The problem with most entrepreneurs is that we make it way harder than it needs to be. We think that by trying to be everything to everyone we will make more money. That couldn't be farther from the truth and it took me a long time to figure this out even though I was given the same "keep it simple" advice early on in my career. 

My advice is to look at your business as if the ultimate goal is to sell it to someone who has NO clue about your business. If you can create a remodeling business that can be sold to a business person with desire, not specific knowledge about remodeling, that's a business that has value. 

Or, look at your business as if the ultimate goal is to "franchise" it. This doesn't have to be the actual goal but it should be how you start looking at everything you are doing. Could you package your business today or 5 years from now and sell the opportunity to 100 other entrepreneurs. My guess is that most of you probably can't right now, but with some simplifications, systems, and focus you probably could. Or at the very least, sell your business 1x and cash out. 

Your business can't be a job disguised as a business. You can't be the technician (person doing the work) and have a real business. If you love doing the work that is one thing and you should keep doing it, but you probably won't ever get free of your role/job in your business. Freedom in your business will only come when you have something that runs without you. That is the ultimate goal for every remodeler and is very possible if you can simplify and streamline. 

Systems, Systems, Systems. Build one every day and soon enough you will have one for everything you do.

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. 

Cost Per Acquisition Formula for Remodeling Businesses

Knowing your Cost Per Acquisition is vital information for any remodeling business to know, and will help improve your marketing, allow you to have more realistic expectations, and help you plan overall marketing to meet your growth goals. Watch my short video as I demonstrate how to determine the CPA using Google Adwords Keyword Tool

To determine your Average Cost Per Acquisition, we use the Google Keyword Tool to get some good data. Google Adwords is all competition driven. Google does not arbitrarily set the cost per clicks in Adwords, the competition and bidding environment does. This is really important to understand what I just said. Adwords is one of the best tools in existence to test the competitiveness of your market.

A competitor of yours would not spend $100 per click in Adwords for a $200 sale and remain in business for long, but they would for a $1,500 average sale and most likely remain in business and profitable (depending on what service they were selling).
Learn this formula inside and out and you will be able to determine your CPA in your local market and have a better understanding of what you should be investing online to drive leads and new customers.

Formula for Determining Customer Acquisition Costs

This formula will help you determine what competitors are willing to spend in Adwords to acquire 1 new customer with a Visitor to Sale (Closing the Deal) Ratio of between 1%-3%. I am already taking into account industry average conversion rates (visitors to leads) with this formula, so you don't have to do anything else.

Write down (or research in Google) some of the top keyword phrases used in your local market. Use keywords with at least 2 phrases and some with up to 4 words (no more than 4 at this point). Copy and paste those into the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (make sure that Columns - Approximate CPC is selected)

Adwords Tool - Take top 4-5 keywords (2-3 non-location, and 2-3 geo-targeted)

Keywords + CPC
remodeling boston $37.75
remodeling contractor boston $38.60
remodeling company boston $53.04
remodeler boston $46.96

1% Visit to Sale Ratio
Average $44.09 x 100 (1% conversion to sale rate average = 100 clicks to get 1 new customer) = $4,408.75 (what competitors are willing to spend to acquire a new customer on average). Most likely the average sale in this market is about $44,000 ($4,408/.10(10% Marketing Costs) = $44,000.00 (I actually compared this with some industry data after I ran my CPA formula and I was off by a couple thousand bucks).

3% Conversion to sale ratio
Average $44.09 x 100 = $4,408.75/3 = $1,469.67 (3% conversion to sale rate avg = 100 clicks to get 3 customers or 33 visits).

Average the 2 numbers above $4,408.75 + $1,469.67 = $5,878.42/2 = $2,939.21/Average Cost Per Acquisition.

Want to Know What Your Average Cost Per Lead is?

With a 20% Close Ratio Expectation (1 out 5 leads turns into a customer on average for most local businesses) divide the above CPA $2,939.21/5 = $587.80/lead

Now, if a client in the personal injury attorney market told me their CPA was $500.00 to drive a $44,000.00 Client/Payout, I would say it sounds a bit off to me, but not impossible (they might have great attorneys, strong referral base, awesome systems in place, retention marketing, have weak competitors, no competition, etc). More than likely though, they would probably be in the $2,900+ range for Cost Per Acquisition costs.

What Are Your Growth Goals?

Once you know your CPA, you can determine what your marketing budget should be for the year to achieve your overall revenue growth goals.

Based on the example above:

  • If you need 10 new clients per month: 10 x $2,900 = $29,000/mth marketing budget
  • If you need 20 new clients per month: 20 x $2,900 = $58,000/mth marketing budget

The Cost Per Acquisition formula can be used for almost any industry and does not factor in an lifetime value of each customer. If you get referrals from most of your customers or you customers end up buying from you again, you could lower your Cost Per Acquisition number 10-20% or more on average.

Remember, you want to be conservative here and realistic. Start measuring exactly what it costs to acquire 1 new customer once you get your marketing going and hopefully you do much better than what Google tells you it will cost to acquire a customer.