If you take a minute and go through the last 20 customers that have come into your business, where would they have come from?
How many sources or channels are you going through to acquire new customers? Or what channels are your customers going through to work with you? If you’ve only got one channel then this video is just for you.
If you turn off or turn on the tv you’ll see everybody is talking about the recession, some people are even calling it a depression. “Recession is coming…recession is coming!” I think if you actually look at the definition of a recession and you look at what’s going on you’ll see that recession is already here and it’s been here for a little bit.
And the last time we had this kind of recession around 2008 my family’s remodeling company was not prepared. We only had one way of acquiring new customers and that was referrals and repeat business. We had no control over that whatsoever, it was completely dependent upon our past customers either hiring us again or referring us to others. There was not a lot we could do to make this happen when we wanted to make it happen because of this when the recession hit, business dried up. We didn’t have any customers coming in, and the phone wasn’t ringing.
We were really lucky to end up being contracted by a big bank that was going around buying foreclosed homes. It wasn’t a fun job to do. I mean sometimes it was kind of fun but we were going into these houses where people had been squatting for months or years and having to clean up their mess. And let me tell you when people know that they’re going to be moving out of a house that they’re not responsible for and they don’t have to pay for they trash the place. It’s pretty disgusting some of the stuff that we had to clean up. But anyway, we did that for like one to two years and it wasn’t very profitable but it kept food on my family’s table which was what was important.
We learned a valuable lesson from that, the let one lesson is to diversify your marketing strategy. Have more than one way that customers can come in and find your business and work with you. And so back then all we had was referrals and repeat customers and we still have that today. Almost our entire schedule right now is full for like two to three years of repeat business and referrals.
But, when the economy tightens up more and times get really tough that channel might dry up and so this time we’re prepared. We have a really good website and we are on Google Maps and those two channels bring in a whole bunch of customers. Right now we even have our contact forms on our website turned off because we don’t want more customers. But let me tell you as soon as things start to slow down we’ll be turning them things back on. We might even start running advertising on Google and Facebook.
Another thing that we’ve done is we have partnerships around the city where we live. We have contractors that we work with all the time and we send each other work. So that’s another channel we have now that we didn’t have before. The reason I’m telling you all this is because I want to emphasize how important it is to diversify your marketing strategy. It’s just like an investment. If you have investments or if you go to a financial planner they’re going to tell you to diversify your assets. Maybe you have a house, you have some vehicles maybe you have some like gold and silver, you’re in the stock market, you have some bonds, whatever. They tell you to diversify your investments so that if any one of those takes a dive in value you’re somewhat protected by being so spread out. And it’s the same thing with your business and marketing.
When you invest in marketing you’re making an investment in your future. If you’re diversified in the ways that people can find you then you’re more likely to be able to keep acquiring customers when the economy tightens up and things get tougher. So like I said the things that we have in place now that we didn’t before, we have our website, we are on Google Maps, and advertising on Google and Facebook. We have partnerships around town. We still have friends and family sending us customers. We have a lot more branding around, we have shirts, we have hats, we have signs that go on the road as well as truck signs, and a whole bunch
of things that we didn’t have back then.
We fully expect to slow down but we still expect to be acquiring customers. All of those companies in our area that are not as prepared as us, they’re more likely to go out of business sooner. So even though the pool of customers is going to shrink, the pool of service providers is going to shrink as well. There’s never not going to be a need for remodeling and working on homes or yards or any of these services that we all provide they’re always going to be needed. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to diversify the way that customers come to your business so that you can survive or hopefully even thrive when this stuff hits the fan. So tell me what are you going to be doing when this economic cluster happens?