Better Roads

August 2013

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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maintenance | by Tom Jackson they will go at great lengths – and expense – to protect. What do they offer and how is it different from what you do?" As part of this exercise, be sure to get candid feedback from your clients on how you're doing, and how they view your competition. Don't depend on the typical war story on how a competitor didn't come through, warns Paul. If they're still getting work, then they must be doing something right. What is it? Realize a critical part of your marketing plan is how you fulfill the promises you made. "If you market your business before you create the systems and processes to get these things done, you'll hurt yourself more than you'll help," Paul says. 7 1 Websites are a basic Paul is blunt: If you don't have a website, it shows you're not a leader in your market. It will make you look little, regardless of your size. "I fought it for a long time, but I was shooting myself in the foot," says Paul Moore, president of the $5 million Moore Corporation, Trussville, Alabama. "You need to just suck it up and get it done." In Moore's case, that meant using an outside consultant, a process that took about four months. Moore's site (www. has been up about a year, and he has seen results for his industrial and commercial building firm. "I'm working on a proposal right now for an industrial client who saw our site. Because of it, I got a chance to work for them. It helped legitimize my company." "Think of a website as an electronic brochure," Paul says. "Talk about who you are, what services you offer, what markets you're in, showcase your projects, offer some customer quotes, and tell how to contact you. Don't make it complicated. You want to provoke questions, and give people a way to contact you." "Very few people come to your website to make a buying decision," says Joseph Hughes with marketing consultant Contractor Dynamics, "and yet too much emphasis is made on that decision." And websites aren't just for clients. "Vendors and financing companies want to know they are dealing with someone reputable," he says. "Owners are using websites to research your capabilities," says Ron Worth with the Society of Marketing Professional Services. Worth advises contractors to di- C O N T R A C T O R M A R K E T I N G M I S TA K E S NOT HAVING A PLAN How are you different? What are your strengths? Who is your competition? (For a marketing plan template, go to theconstructionuniveristy. com.) 2 3 4 5 6 7 NOT NOT MARKETING DISCOUNTING NOT NOT EXECUTING ANSWERING APATHY YOUR FULLFILLING OFFERING THE PLAN THE QUESWEBSITE YOUR SOMETHING WELL TION "SO PROMISES SUBSTANTIVE WHAT?" Thinking that Your website This includes the little stuff. For example, if you promote your quality, don't hand out pens that don't write. You've been in business 55 years. So what? You've got a great safety program. So what? You've got stellar people. So what? because you are a low-bid contractor, marketing doesn't apply. Marketing is about the customer experience, regardless of the type of customer. is one of your primary messages to the market. If you don't have one, or it's poorly executed, it signals that you're not a leading contractor. Create systems and processes to get them done, or you'll hurt yourself more than you'll help. Offer something substantive, instead of focusing on pretty designs. Say something. Educate your clients. Sources: Cynthia Paul, FMI; Perryn Olson, The Brand Constructors; Joseph Hughes, Contractor Dynamics Better Roads August 2013 27 ConstructionU_BR0813.indd 27 7/31/13 9:46 AM

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