I stood on my doorstep talking to a friend who owns a small contracting business a few days ago. He shared with me how booked up he is with work. He’s at a point right now where if he doesn’t figure out how to scale his team, he’s going to have some extremely unhappy customers. Just after sharing this, he began asking my advice on how to get more sales leads. He wanted to get even more business in a new specific category of work.
When he asked me how to get more leads while being so busy already, I got the same warm and fuzzy feeling I get when the bank teller sends a sour apple lollipop through the tube even when I have no kids in the car. This feeling of elation was even greater for me because his focus was to generate leads in a new category (if you’re not aware, this is what we preach at Conklin Media in our ProfitPaths® methodology).
So many businesses choose to stay silent when things get tough financially, blaming it on lack of revenue. They then stay silent again when things are great, blaming it on too much work. Study after study after study shows this strategy to be as healthy for your business as binge eating and then binge dieting is for your personal health—something I know too much about. It creates a roller coaster in a business’s finances. But arguably even worse, it elevates and then evaporates the mindshare you have with your potential audience.
I believe the timing is right to dish out some real-world strategies and ideas that may get your mental gears spinning on how to intelligently use some cash (or your time) to begin building your business into the fall.
Invest in Your Future Revenue By Building Community Now
People are still “gathering” online as they never have before. They gather around similar causes, ideas, opinions, geographies, interests and virtually anything they can find in common with one another. One local example in my community is a group dedicated to anonymously sending one another random gifts. My wife gets so excited when someone she anonymously sent something to on one of these groups shares excitement online. This is the very definition of community.
Facebook Groups can be an amazing way to assemble your current and potential customers into one location where you can communicate with them. If you’re a business that serves a specific local area, for example, you can create a group with a cause or an interest and you become the “host.” As people join this group, you can communicate to them as you wish—and they will see the content you post in the future.
Neil Patel put together about the best post I have ever seen on creating and growing a Facebook group both with and without a budget, so I’m not going to rehash that here. Make sure you check that out.
It’s not only location-based though. Whatever common challenge or interest your potential customers have can become the feature top of the group. And think niche here.
A few weeks ago, a local dentist in my area, who also has a passion for cars, used his group to make one mention of a meetup in Lancaster for car enthusiasts. About 2,000 people showed up, and a ton of money was raised for a nonprofit organization.
Imagine being able to make one post, and because you put your time into a group, getting 2,000 people to show up. This can be superpowerful.
Offer Financing on Your Products & Services
Not for everyone, but if you have a product that people sometimes don’t buy due to the cost, you can offer financing. I have no idea what the laws are in your area, so make sure to check in with someone on this who has that knowledge before implementing this strategy. I do know, however, that companies like PersonalLoans.com, SOFI and many others offer $100-plus commissions for leads and/or sales that you send their way. It’s as simple as signing up for an account on an affiliate network such as CJ and having your customer click a link on your site to apply.
With this in place, you’ll be a resource to your customers, be able to offer higher profit products & services, increase your sales and, on top of it all, create a new revenue stream for yourself from the commissions.
Use Drop Shipping or Partnerships to Offer New Products & Services Without the Investment
I don’t understand why more businesses don’t do this because it’s literally free money. I have a few examples to illustrate my point.
At Conklin, we have an incredibly talented guy on our team who has the talent and desire to create amazing videos for our customers. The challenge is, he’s often swamped, as he oversees all the visual elements in our clients’ campaigns.
When video becomes a need in a campaign, and he simply doesn’t have the man hours to do the work, I could just delay the project’s timeline or say we can’t handle the work. Instead, we choose to partner with other talented people who can handle the work. We simply take an overage on the deal and manage its completion. General Contractors have been doing this for years. You can do the same in your business with products and services that you don’t offer or have the human capital to fulfill.
Another example comes from an experience that really frustrated me about six months ago. My wife and I selected new countertops for our kitchen from a granite installer. When they came to the house, they measured and created a template for the new countertops. On installation day, their team removed all my plumbing and gas lines, installed the new countertops and left. The problem is, they didn’t put the plumbing back or reconnect the gas lines. Call me a moron for not asking them about this, but I just assumed (I know, I know) it was a soup-to-nuts thing. I ended up calling a plumber and gas company to reconnect everything. Side note, they not only disconnected everything but actually removed it all.
I would have gladly paid extra to have that all taken care of for me. Even if they don’t have someone on staff to handle that sort of thing, they could certainly have coordinated it. They also could have made more money by charging me a bit more than they pay the sub to take care of it.
Think about it, if they install two countertops per day and charged a simple $100 more than they pay the subcontractors to do this for me, they’d make an extra $52,000 in profit per year. Then they’d be able to buy themselves about 50 life-size inflatable twister games, lay them all out on a football field, and host the largest community twister game known to man. Just make sure you wear your COVID mask and bring some hand sanitizer.
If you sell products, think of some things that go along with what you sell and offer them as upgrades. Need help brainstorming? OK, check out Worldwide Brands. They will connect you with manufacturers of products that will drop ship to your customers, charging you their wholesale rates. Most will gladly put your company name and return address on the shipping label.
There are hundreds of other ideas you can use to continue marketing and adding to your bottom line as we shift into post-COVID times, but don’t be the guy/gal who freezes right now with their spend.
If you’d like us to brainstorm with you, we’d love it. We do free growth strategy sessions every day with people like you. If you like the ideas we develop together, you can implement them yourself or have us handle it for you.
Hopefully, we’ll talk soon. But whether or not we do, make today remarkably incredible!