5 Ways To Finish The Year Stronger
by Mike J. Agugliaro
Use these five tips to maximize revenue this year and to set yourself up for an amazing 2019.
As 2018 winds down to the close, are you worn-down and beat-up, ready to be done with the year? Or are you energized and getting ready to launch into an amazing 2019? For a lot of service business owners, December can be a time to cut your losses, just try to stay ahead of the winter busyness, and move all the unfinished projects to January. After all, who has the time in December, right?
However, when you do that, you essentially cut out one-twelfth of your already limited time… mathematically, that’s no different than if you slept an extra two hours every single day!
The better approach is to finish 2018 stronger than ever with these five tips. Yes, you will be tempted to short-cut them and put them off but the more you do, the stronger you’ll finish the year—to maximize revenue this year and to set yourself up for an amazing 2019.
#1 – Avatar Review. Whether you choose your customers by design or allow them to choose you by default, there is a specific type of customer who invests in your company. But, are they the right fit for you? The best approach is to identify your perfect customer (your “avatar”) and build all your marketing and services to connect with them. If you do this, you end up with customers who need what you are offering and are happy to pay for it. If you don’t do this, you end up clashing with your customers about prices, services, and timelines.
Ask yourself: did you serve the customers you wanted to serve this year? What were the problems that your customers expressed, and were you able to solve them? What challenges did your customers present to you (such as price sensitivity, time sensitivity, etc.), and how did you handle their challenges? Are your customers hiring you again and again for your service?
#2 – Service Review. The services and trade-lines you offer should reflect the needs of your avatar. There should be a perfect fit between what you do and what your avatar needs. If they are constantly asking for services you don’t provide, or if they are not often satisfied with the services you do provide, there’s a mismatch and you either need to adjust who you serve or what you offer your customers.
Ask yourself: are your customers satisfied with your services? Are you constantly turning away great customers because you don’t offer something they need? How can you add new trade-lines (either in-house or in a partnership) to serve your customers the way they need to be served?
#3 – Customer Service Review. How you serve your customers will impact the profitability of your business: if you have to constantly find new customers because they only ever hire you once, you’ll spend more on marketing and free house calls; however, if you offer WOW service and focus on referrals and repeat business, you’ll become vastly more profitable since you will stay very busy with your happy customers.
Ask yourself: what marketing did we send out that got the highest response? And, what marketing did we send out that got the most profitable response?
Ask yourself: on average, how many referrals did you get from each customer? On average, how satisfied were your customers with your services? On average, how often did your customers buy from you more than once? Going forward how can you influence those repeat and referral behaviors with WOW service?
#4 – Marketing Review. Your marketing should be simple, planned in advance, stacked (for frequent exposure), as automated as possible, tracked so you can measure its success, and tested so you can see how to improve it. Unfortunately, too many service business owners do the exact opposite, marketing ineffectively at the last minute with offers that they don’t track or test. The result? Service business owners have no idea what marketing is working, what isn’t, or why… and they are just throwing money at their marketing and hoping that something works.
Ask yourself: what marketing did we send out that got the highest response? And, what marketing did we send out that got the most profitable response? (Sometimes those aren’t the same marketing messages but it’s good to pay attention to both.) How can I track my marketing more effectively going forward?
#5 – Team Review. Look, hiring and keeping a great team is hard, and sometimes service business owners end up keeping warm bodies on the payroll just because they think that a half-done job is better than not having anyone to do the job at all (or because they are afraid to transition underperforming employees outside of the company). Unfortunately, this isn’t serving anyone and it’s probably hurting your business. Take action now to hire great employees and to remove the less-than-great ones.
Ask yourself: which employees are superstars that you want to hire more of and which ones should you be removing? What is the cost of keeping less-desirable employees in your company and is that cost greater than the difficulty of sitting down with them and having a tough talk? Where did you find your superstar employees and are there more employees available through that source? Are there leadership skills you can build in yourself in 2019 to help you turn your underperforming employees into superstars?
Many service business owners are running full tilt toward the end of the year and missing out on one of the biggest opportunities of the year to reflect on the past year to finish strong and build a powerful foundation for the year to come.
Don’t coast. Don’t let the busyness of the season bog you down. This will be some of the most valuable time you spend. Even if you only get to spend a day or two on it, take the time so finish 2018 stronger than ever.
See the full article on ContractorMag HERE
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