There has been a lot of comment about the economy and its impact on us as contractors. Houston's economy has continued to grow, but we have seen some signs of general uncertainty.
Through mid-June our leads were up over last year. Through July our sales were up over last year. However, the slow down in leads caught up with us in August. We've had one of our worst sales months in years.
I say the above to say this: when our leads started slowing down we increased our marketing. And now our leads are picking up again.
My point is, marketing drives leads, leads drive sales, and sales drive profits (or owner's salary, depending on your perspective). I thought that our slow down was an aberration and would not last long, but I did not want to count on that. So we kicked up our marketing to another level.
None of us have control over the economy. We do have control over how we market our business, where we do so, and how often. We need to constantly monitor our results and make adjustments. Sometimes that means spending more money, sometimes it means shifting money to other marketing.
There are a lot of ways to increase marketing in a tight economy. And a lot of them do not require a lot of money. But they do require perseverance and consistency. It may be a cliche, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. There are lots of ways to get going-- customer retention, proximity marketing, signage, and improving one's sales skills.
We all have a choice to be reactive or pro-active. The choices we make ultimately determine our results.