By George Hedley
Who said the economy is slowing down? My speaking business is booming. Our construction company backlog is double what it was last year at this time. My income properties are all at 95% plus occupancy levels with record high lease rates. As president of our National Speakers Association chapter this year, membership has grown 40%. Attendance at every convention I speak to has set attendance records. Every company I work with had record revenues and profits over the last several years. This makes me ask: “What slow down?”
If you read the headlines, you’d think we are in big trouble. Far from the truth! If you study the national economic indicators, the growth is slowing, not the economy. There is still positive growth. Business is slowing down to a reasonable pace. This requires companies to make healthy adjustments. Most businesses and industries in America have too much capacity and too much competition. Production capability has outpaced sales and inventories have grown. The stock market is finally demanding profits from the high-tech internet companies. All these factors combined have caused major concerns among industry leaders.
These uncertain economic factors create an unbelievable opportunity for your business to provide unique and innovative services that provide real customer value. Your customers have will have less resources to manage their business. They are now, more than ever, open to cutting edge approaches. It’s not business as usual. It’s business that’s unusual that will add to your bottom line as things slow down. You can be their answer!
How can you help your customers as they face tighter markets? How can you help your clients do more with less? How can you help your clients get more out of their people? How can you enhance your customer’s profitability in a shrinking market? How can you reduce their risk?
Consider these innovative value added services:
Paving contractor – Offer new construction grading and paving plus total site management, 20 year unlimited guarantee, ongoing maintenance for all on-site materials including concrete and asphalt. Invoice the client monthly for the service.
Electrical contractor – Offer complete new electrical construction services plusengineering and design, phone and computer cabling, sound system wiring, hookup of all equipment, annual inspection, monthly maintenance, light bulb service and holiday lighting installation.
General Contractor – Offer general construction services plus pre-construction project and development management, permit processing and expediting, preparation of project real estate proforma, find sources for project equity and investors, secure project financing, be a guarantor on the construction loan, provide subdivision bonds, provide property and asset management services and offer 10 year maintenance program after completion.
Building Concrete Contractor – Offer complete building concrete labor, equipment and materials for foundations, slab and tilt-up walls plus rebar, structural imbeds, welding, slab dowels, caulking, crane and erection, inspection services, layout and surveying, temporary power and water, removal of trash, removal of excess footing dirt, etc. In addition, offer a 100% guarantee that the slab will not crack and is installed to the flatness specified.
Site Concrete Contractor – Offer every type of concrete required to complete the site work including the normal curbs, gutters and sidewalks plus stairs, v-drains, culverts, wall footings, special finishes, stamped concrete, sandblasting, interlocking pavers, poured in place walls, landscape concrete, etc.
The more you can offer your customer, the more of a service you provide. The easier you make it for your customer, the easier it is for them to give you more work. The more service you provide, the more your services are valued. Selling the minimum only gets you the job, if you are cheap. It’s hard to get rich selling the minimum required at the lowest price.
Keep Doing What Works
What made you successful over the last few years, still works in a growing or slowing economy. Don’t get panicked. Stay focused on what you do best. But, change your approach and consider providing added value services that will solve your customer’s problems. Don’t just sell the specified nuts and bolts installed, sell nuts and bolts solutions to your customers problems!
Pick one or two new services to offer. Or, try one new idea, one new customer and one new approach. Help your customers and they will help you. Seek opportunities that guarantee your growth as the economy slows. Think and do different! Be more than a service provider. Be a resource. Be a partner in your customer’s future. When you offer more than the lowest price and the minimum required per plans and specifications, you won’t notice your business slow down.
George Hedley owns a $75 million construction and development company and Hardhat Presentations. He speaks to companies on building profitable businesses, leadership, and loyal customers. He holds 3-day in-depth “Profit-Builder Circles” open to construction company owners in an interactive roundtable format every 3 months. His “Profit-Builder System” includes proven tools to always make a profit, build equity, create wealth, win profitable jobs, motivate your people, and enjoy the benefits of owning a profitable company.