Jun 2015 How can your business be more competitive and win more work?
When was the last time you looked objectively at your business to see where you could make some simple changes to be more competitive. Truth is; most guys are so busy working in their business they forget to look where they can simply improve, so they stop struggling to be competitive.
Let’s have a look at a few areas:
Your Website: Your potential clients will always look at your website to develop an impression of your business. They form an impression of your business within in the first few seconds and decide whether they will look around. So if you think your website needs improving, just do it, don’t keep delaying, because your competitors will have updated their website with their most recent great looking jobs. And spending money on impressive pics of styled finished sites is all important, great images make all the difference in the landscape industry. What about a photo of you and your team members? You may think, I only have a team of 3 guys, there is little point. I disagree. A photo of you and your team members allows your potential clients to see the faces behind the business and is clearly what people are expecting due to the popularity of social media.
Estimating: Do you return quotes within a few days or are you taking too long to quote. You probably know that you greatly reduce your chances of winning quotes when you take too long to return quotes. And are your quotes detailed enough and been checked twice to ensure that man hours have been calculated realistically? You don’t want to submit a competitive quote only to win the job and find that you have under-quoted. Also, detailed quotes tend to have a greater success rate than quotes with minimal description of each component in the scope of works.
The sales meeting: Did you ask enough qualifying questions before you decided to visit the last few potential clients? Do you turn up on time and text or call the prospect before arriving? Do you turn up to sales meetings in a clean uniform wearing a shirt or jacket with your branding? Do you have a sales process that you go through? When was the last time you looked at your sales process and revised it? How do you build rapport with a potential client so they feel more at ease with you? Keep in mind – the contractors that can get the clients trusting them and put the client’s interests first have the best sales winning records. Don’t do all the talking, listen to your prospects needs and expectations and address those and you won’t have to sell.
There are so many other areas of your business that contribute to give you a competitive advantage like: your attitude, the way you train your guys, the way you manage and encourage your team, the way you plan your jobs, the quality of your work, the Project Management systems you use, your relationship with your suppliers – subbies and alliances, your financial systems etc.
So I suggest, before spring hits, take some time now to prepare your business so you are ahead of the pack.