If you were the owner of a NFL football team, your number one goal would be to fill all the seats every week. To fill seats takes a multiple approach. You must put a winning product on the field and you must sell seats. Seats don’t sell themselves. It takes a huge effort to create sellouts at profitable ticket prices.
Over the last ten years, you didn’t have to sell very hard to keep profitable revenue flowing into your company’s coffers. If you put a mediocre team on the field, called the usual plays, and used an average business strategy, your customers would keep coming back for more, if your price was somewhat competitive. And because business was plentiful, you didn’t have to try to win over many new customers. You stayed focused on doing the same type of work for the same type of customers and your business grew. Because there was enough work, you also didn’t have to try different types of projects, customers, or contract delivery methods. In fact, you even prided yourself as a specialist in a very focused type of business niche.
Fast forward. Today it is hard to fill the seats, revenue is scarce, and customers are hard to find. Having a winning team doesn’t matter if they can’t find a game to play in. You’ve cut your overhead and reduced your expenses as low as you can to survive. You continue to bid more and more work against too many competitors at lower and lower prices. Now you are even calling on new and potential customers you really never wanted to work for. You’re trying to get on any bid list you can including public works, which you always avoided because of the paperwork and prevailing wage issues. You’ve assigned your office manager or estimator to cold-calling and emailing any lead they can find in hopes of a miracle. Nothing is working and getting new business at a reasonable price is next to impossible.
Now what? You’re thinking you’ve got to fill the seats with paying customers or go broke. If the sudden slowdown in the economy taught everyone one thing: ‘Putting all your eggs in one basket won’t work forever.’ Many contractors and business owners focused their efforts on doing only one kind of project and service for one type of customer. For example, to keep revenue and jobs flowing in, many focused on only building housing tracts, or shopping centers, or industrial parks, or custom homes, or office building interiors. Some focused on building for general contractors, developers, or home builders. Some expanded and did more than one type of project. But, most didn’t crossover into totally different or diverse types of work. And offering a service component to their revenue stream wasn’t even considered as they were too busy to mess with little jobs.
Multiple streams of income sells more seats!
A diverse business plan includes three types of revenue streams with many different types of projects per stream. For example, here is a partial list of the unlimited revenue and business opportunities contractors have to choose from:
Multiple Revenue Streams & Opportunities
1. Contracts & Bids
Retail shopping centers
National chain stores
Manufacturing & factories
Utility Company Projects
Residential home upgrades
Residential replacement work
Public Works Construction
Roads & highways
Sewer & water projects
Storm drain systems
2. Service Work & Ongoing Accounts
Ongoing Monthly Or Annual Accounts
Site service & management
Spring & winterization
Light bulb replacement
Road and drainage repair work
Energy management & controls
Repairs & Service To Fix Broken Components
Plumbing & mechanical repairs & upgrades
Carpet and flooring service
Building damage repair
Clean-up and debris removal
3. Wealth Building & Passive Income
Own income producing real estate
Shops and yards
Own income producing businesses
Rental equipment companies
Who do you want to sell tickets to?
In order for a professional football team to sell tickets, they start with a list of customer targets they want to go after. Taking out advertisements in the newspaper is a shotgun approach, expensive, and will yield a low return. You also won’t be successful in your business by bidding any customer that offers you a set of plans. To create an effective marketing program starts with determining what you want to accomplish. A football team wants to first sell their expensive private boxes, then to high-end season ticket holders, groups, individual season ticket holders, multiple game plans, and lastly – individual game tickets.
Start with a focused and diverse approach. You already have a list of past customers and project types you were successful with. In a tough economy, those targets are not enough. You MUST decide to attack and seek business in all three revenue streams to weather the long anticipated slowdown. From each revenue stream, select at least one or two new customer and project types you want to attack. From the ‘Revenue Targets’ list above, choose new revenue streams, project types, and customer types you will attack over the next several years to grow your business and keep your seats filled with paying customers.