Marketing, Bidding And Selling Services Manual
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Marketing, Bidding And Selling Power Washing Services
Some of the most difficult issues that you will face as a business owner aren't just power washing, marketing can be quite a challenge for most new companies as well. Most companies start out part time while working another job, but if you were planning a full-time business, you would have five or six or seven days to work each week rather than one.
You might plan on a five-day work week, but allow yourself to work on week-ends to cover for time you might lose to rain during the week. In that case, you might reasonably expect to do (32 x $600 x 5=) $96,000 in business – if you can make the phone ring. How much work should you plan on doing in any given year? If you do all of your work yourself and don’t want to work too hard, you can easily do $1500 to $2000 in business each week. If you expect to work nine months of the year at this, that equates to sales between $58, 000 to $78,000 per year. If you spend 6% on marketing, you can afford to spend $390 to $520 every month in advertising. This is enough to get your phone to ring, if you spend it wisely.
If you are willing to work longer hours, or if you hire a helper, it wouldn’t be too hard to push the business to produce $2500 to $4000 each week. Getting the phone to ring for this much work takes a little more money, but you have at least $650 to $1040 to spend each month to accomplish the goal.
These decisions are ones that you have to make to the best of your ability. We cannot teach you these answers. The only guidance we can pass on as you think about all this is that most one-person services like this ‘hit the wall’ at about $100,000 in sales. Most guys just cannot get more than that amount done in a year without hiring some help.
You will hit a lot of roadblocks along the way as you market your services. Beyond time and money, there are laws and regulations that limit what you can do. The may be barriers (such as gated communities) that limit your access to potential customers. Try to anticipate these roadblocks and find creative ways to overcome them. We will discuss these problems as a group so that you get the benefit of the insights of others.
MARKETING WITH A PLAN
Your business plan should include an estimate of your planned spending for marketing your services. It is typical for a new or growing business to spend anywhere from 6% - 15% for Marketing. In the beginning, much more spending is needed to establish top-of-mind awareness in your area. Over time, it is common for even a well-established business to spend as much as 8% to promote their services.
The first step in making a good Marketing Plan is to ask yourself the basic questions: Who are you marketing to? What are you marketing? When are you going to market your company? Where are you going to market? How are you planning to execute your Marketing Plan?
Before you can market your service, you MUST know who your customer is and where (s)he is. Who will make the decision to hire you? We suggest that your typical customer is a double-income, reasonably affluent family whose disposable income exceeds its available resources (either in time or in talent). If your message addresses these people well, you stand the best chance of getting them to call you. In that setting, you still have to decide which individual in that group will actually make the decision. Will it be the husband (MHOH) or the wife (FHOH)? Each of them responds to different stimuli. The female might respond better to a message about beauty and cleanliness while the male might respond better to a message about protection or enhanced property value. There is a reason why tire stores advertise in the sports section of the paper and not the cooking section. Many contractors believe it is often the wife’s decision to hire a professional contractor. The husband may actually be your biggest competitor for a job.
Your target customer is likely a white collar worker or some other reasonably affluent segment of society. Your challenge is to reach the right person with the right message at the right time, in order to encourage them to buy – while operating with a limited budget. Remember that no matter how skilled you are at the job you do, without customers you have no business.
What are you planning to market? Your services, your specialty, your qualifications, and your results are all potential answers to that question. Trying to tell someone everything about you and your company could fill a book, and you don’t have that kind of space or budget. Your customer doesn’t have that long of an attention span either. You would be wise to settle on one or two key points that differentiate your company from others, and drive that point home over and over again. That’s what successful companies do.
When do you plan to do your marketing? If there is seasonality to consumer demand, you might want to capitalize on that during your early years. Once your company has “matured” it might be more appropriate to market during the slow times to even out your sales over the year as much as possible.
Where and when the message is seen actually determines who sees the message. If your target is a family in which mom and dad work, then a message sent through the mail that arrives during the week might be seen first by the teenage daughter who arrives home hours before mom or dad and brings in the mail. If she looks at your mail as an advertisement, she might toss it away before mom or dad can see it. In that case, a perfect message directed at mom is wasted because mom never saw it.
This is meant to be a dose of reality. Business is not an accident, but the result of careful planning, and that's what you will learn how to do in this manual on Marketing, Bidding And Selling Power Washing Services!