The summer time is usually a busy time for contractors: the weather is nice, people have emerged from winter hibernation and are thinking about improving their home and spending more time entertaining friends in a beautiful backyard.
This can mean a busy time for a contracting business like yours. For some businesses, it’s the best time of year as you get swamped with calls and enjoy being fully booked. Perhaps you’re making more money than you do the rest of the year.
But most business owners will miss something. They’ll think they are getting the most they can out of the busy summer months but what they won’t realize is this: there are opportunities to squeeze the lemon and enjoy an even more prosperous summer!
- More work, for longer throughout the summer months
- More profitable when you sell any service
- More work for the rest of the year
- … And all without adding to your stress and overwhelm
Yes, it’s entirely possibly to have an even better summer! Here’s how…
#1. Rally Your Troops
Everyone knows this is coming up to the busy time for your business. But that doesn’t mean you should let your team just do what they’ve always done. Instead, rally them. Hold an all-company meeting and get them excited about the coming months.
Why excited? Because there’s a chance that some of your team is dreading the busyness. Or maybe they don’t like the heat. Or maybe they feel overwhelmed at this time. So, get them excited and let them know that you value their hard work and you’ll support them as they work harder than ever.
As a leader, it’s your job to lead your team. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get back into the truck to do it, but it does mean that you need to step up in front of them and show them that the busy summer months are nothing to dread.
#2. Learn To Sell 1+1
When your team is working with customers, and selling your services to them, you can easily add more income to your business by using the 1+1 selling system: whenever a customer buys one thing, offer them one other related thing.
- HVAC duct cleaning customer may also want filters
- A new water heater customer may also want a water filtration system
- A whole home generator customer may also want GFIC receptacles
Train your team to always offer one other thing. Yes, your summer is already busy but this sale occurs with an existing customer, which means you’re not selling two things to two customers; you’re selling two things to one customer—so you’re making the same number of sales as with two customers but you’re saving the legwork of marketing, traveling to the second customer’s house, etc. This is a simple way to add profit to your business.
#3. Pre-sell Your Slow Season
If the summer is your busy season, that means you probably have a slow season too, right? Maybe the fall? Maybe the spring? Identify when the slow season is for your business and pre-sell appointments for customers to that season.
For example, if you’re at a customer’s home for one project in the early summer but you offer another service, product, or project, offer a discount if the customer pays and schedules now to receive it in October or November.
You’ll make more money now but you also get the advantage of leveraging your busy season now to turn a slow season later into a busier season!
#4. Pay Attention to What’s Broken
Do you hit your head against the wall because it feels like you face the same problems summer after summer? Maybe your employees do the same dumb thing over and over. Or maybe there’s always a shortage of something critical. Or maybe the heat of summer creates a lot more truck breakdowns.
Whatever the case may be, write it down on a “summer problems list.” Write down anything that is a hassle this year, and especially if it’s been a hassle in previous years.
Then, at the end of summer, look at that list and use it as a problem-solving list for the fall, winter, and spring. Build systems, invest in training and equipment, and fix whatever is causing those problems. You’ll discover next summer that you’ll have eliminated many of the stop-you-in-your-tracks problems that held you back this summer.
It won’t make THIS summer better but it’s the first step to making every other summer better than ever.
#5. Ask For Referrals
How often does your team ask for referrals? Although people may think they “ask everyone,” they often only ever ask one out of ten… or worse.
Train your team to ask for referrals every single time, even whether or not you win the job. (Yes, even prospects who don’t hire you can refer people to you!)
Get referrals and contact them to do work for them. Again, schedule them into your slower seasons if you can. Referrals are a simple way to get more customers who are already very warm (not a lot of selling required!) and who are likely to buy from you.
Since you’re talking to more customers than ever this season, it’s the perfect time to get into the habit of asking for referrals.
Most contractors are looking forward to the summer because it’s a busy season and there’s the high likelihood that you can make a lot of money.
But what if you could make more? Use these five strategies that I shared with you here to squeeze the lemon and make this great summer even better than ever.
Mike Agugliaro is a Business Warrior on a mission to change the lives and businesses of service business owners. Mike and his business partner started and grew a struggling home service company into a multi-million dollar empire before selling the company in 2017. Today Mike is an author, speaker, and mentor; and he's the co-founder of CEO Warrior, a high level coaching and training organization for home service businesses. Learn more about Mike and CEO Warrior at www.CEOWARRIOR.com.