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Hey Everyone,

This has been our first 6 months in business, and I must say, it went amazing. We have made more money and contacts then I ever expected to in 6 months, and our website has driven us a lot of traffic. (In saying that, I also am in a booming market, and I realize times will not always be this good. These 6 months were a fortunate 6 months to start a business).

Now here's my question: Its now mid October and I can drastically see the emails and phone calls slowing down. I know a Winter slow down is inevitable, but is Winter the time to ramp up our advertising budget to stay busy? Or should I ride out the slow winter, relax, and just prepare for the busy months again?

What's your advice?

Love the threads guys, keep up the great feedback. This place is an encyclopedia.
 

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IMO, the time to be advertising for winter is when you were super busy in the summer. But of course, better now than not at all.
 

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I agree with RH. I do most of my "winter selling" in the summer months. When working on any exteriors or even some summer interiors, I'm on the prowl for potential winter work. You know, you go in to collect payment and see some drywall that needs repaired and you mention that you can do that as well as paint the walls. "I'd love to put you on the schedule. Do you mind if I put you down for some winter work?" I feel that waiting til fall is bad because most people have their minds on the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. Folks hate scheduling when they're busy with holiday stuff, however, if you line them up months in advance, they're more likely to follow through with you doing the work.........
 

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I don't bother advertising anymore. I guess I still get tshirts made up with my name/email/phone# on them and business cards, but that's it. Strictly word of mouth. I tried the first year I moved here, but after a year and getting one phone call I realized it was effectively pointless.

But yes, after one of the best summers I've ever had and almost all of it being interior I am starting to notice the phone calls slowing down. I knew it wouldn't last forever.
 

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I don't bother advertising anymore. I guess I still get tshirts made up with my name/email/phone# on them and business cards, but that's it. Strictly word of mouth. I tried the first year I moved here, but after a year and getting one phone call I realized it was effectively pointless.

But yes, after one of the best summers I've ever had and almost all of it being interior I am starting to notice the phone calls slowing down. I knew it wouldn't last forever.
It’s been a few years now since I even put up a yard sign on the job site, one of the cheapest and easiest forms of advertising there is IMO. We too now get all our work through referrals. Added to that, we are scaling back big time in preparation for closing up shop for good so we are now saying “no” more than “yes”.

For the OP, there have been several past discussions about the value of various types of advertising. A scan of the business sub-forum should allow you to locate them along with some really good info.
 
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Lynn Jackson
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Winter Advertizing Payoff

SweetLu,

Congratulations on the great start! You have been given some good food for thought by some experienced members here. Please keep in mind though that different situations at different times can have varying results. I would suggest, as you try to grow your business, that you take small steps. That way you don't risk too much, but you will have an opportunity to see what works. I wouldn't hesitate to float a winter special because it's October - I just started one myself. As someone else suggested, doing nothing will definitely produce no results.

Another option I would encourage you to consider is that your time and money may be much better spent, in the slow months, cultivating new business. For example, I was in the Commercial market for 35 years, and spent my winters searching out the most successful (and reliable) general contractors in the area, contacted them and began building relationships for future work - not just winters.

Best wishes to you!
Lynn Jackson
www.paintprecise.com
 
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