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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.