With the late start to cold weather in many parts of the country this year, there’s still time to develop and implement a sound strategy for dealing with the typical slow-down in business that accompanies the change of seasons for home improvement contractors. Here are a few ideas to help see you through those lean winter months.
Diversify Your Services
Sure, you have your specialties —roofing, siding, windows or other exterior improvements — but if the weather is not cooperating with those jobs, move it inside. Even if kitchen and bathroom remodeling, interior painting or other interior improvements are not your specialties, you can use this season to grow in those areas, or put some of your trusted subcontractors to work. The cash-flow doesn’t have to stop just because the mercury dips.
Take the Time to Add Value
While the number of jobs may level off some during the cold weather, you can take advantage of the fact that you’re not as busy to slow down a little and bring an even greater level of “personal touch” to the customers you do have. Offer a free walk-through inspection to assess any areas of deficiency in the home or unfulfilled remodeling dreams. The homeowner may need to consider improvements such as energy efficiency, repairs or an updated kitchen or bathroom. You can use that inspection service as an opportunity to book business later or subcontract to other contractors who specialize in the needed services.
Rely on Repeat Business
While the chilly air is suppressing new business, use the time to warm up your best source of leads: existing and past customers. Take this time to reach out to those homeowners who already like you and capitalize on that good reputation and rapport to book new jobs, get referrals, or plan for additional work later when the weather improves.
Plan for the Coming Year
Now’s an ideal time to focus on some of the back-end of the business in preparation for the return of the busy season…all those things you wish you had time for last summer. Now you have that time. Revamp your website. Invest some effort in your social media presence. Build some smart marketing promotions you can implement in the spring. Review your accounting practices and balance the books in preparation for tax season. Plan for new hires and other expansion of your business. Create training programs for your crews. And lock in place your pricing and financial programs for the coming year, because offering payment options to every potential customer is a crucial tool in your sales kit for closing more deals, getting bigger jobs, reducing the need to discount and increasing referrals.
To learn more about how EnerBank USA can help you grow your business during the winter and after the frost melts away, visit our contractor page today.