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Archive for the 'Facebook' Category

How to Profitably Scale Your Business Using a Salary Cap

Integrating and Implementing a Salary Cap in Your Business

Sports fans understand the concept of a salary cap because most of the major professional sports leagues have some version of a salary cap. In business the term salary cap is used to define a determined payroll limit that restricts the amount of money to be spent on wages and salaries for a specific period of time. Some restoration business owners do not think about how their business could benefit from establishing a salary cap.

As a restoration business owner your single biggest expense is likely labor– the salary/wages that you pay to your employees (including yourself) and the money paid out to subcontractors or vendors for labor. If you want to impact your overall success and your profitability, then you need to start by looking at your labor productivity as the biggest component in your business.

In a growing business, labor costs can quickly balloon out of control. When small businesses are making the transition to medium-sized businesses it is possible to fall into a dangerous feedback loop of borrowing and spending. As you scale your business, your costs will grow, and it is tempting to see break-even (your previous measure of success) as sufficiently safe growth.

Greg Crabtree is the author of Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits, and one of the great ideas in his book is the recommendation that every business should self-impose a salary cap just like the one that NFL teams deal with every year.

How to Calculate Your Salary Cap:

To keep the math easy we will use an example of a business that generates $1,000,000 in revenue. In this example the business owner has determined that they want a 10% pre-tax profit from the business after paying themselves a reasonable market wage.

The non-salary costs were calculated by adding up all the fixed costs like materials and subcontractors, and operating expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, communications, and advertising, etc.  This would also include the cost of goods (less labor and management labor) for $1,000,000 in revenue. In this example the non-salary costs are $400,000. As you can see, that means the salary cap is $500,000, which includes all labor costs.

A simple calculation can help you determine the total labor costs allowable with your current revenues.

Labor CAP Formula:

LC = (total revenue) – [(0.1 x total revenue)] – (non-labor costs)

($1,000,000) – [($100,000)] – ($400,000) = $500,000

Here is an example:

If the current payroll expense is more than $500,000 (and the other numbers are correct) then this business is not going to hit the profit target and the business is at risk. That gets us back to the labor productivity idea- the key is to generate $1M in revenue from that $500,000 of labor, and if you want to be more profitable than 10%, then you either need to cut your salary expenses without impacting your productivity (do more with less) or grow your revenue without increasing your salary (again do more with less…or technically the same in this case).

At BDA, we believe that every restoration business owner has the right to expect that their company can deliver to them what they want out of life- freedom and the ability to create wealth.

Make it a prosperous month!  Stay tuned for next month’s article.

Insight Into The Customer Lifetime Value of Your Digital Customers

A recent study from marketing company Custora, who analyzes customer retention and acquisition, provided insight into the lifetime value of customers, based on the digital medium from which the customer came.

The study shows shows the varying Customer Lifetime Value of digital customers, with PPC (Pay Per Click), referral and even e-mail topping the list, beating out Facebook and Twitter in regards to obtaining a higher quality customer.

alt="Customer Lifetime Value Chart"

For customers seeking a product or service via the search engines directly (IE: Google) or click on ad specifically of what they are looking for, these results are easy to account for because those channels utilize the intent graph (the consumer is looking for something specific). Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter will have to use their graph searches to redirect the customer to the product or service they seek.

Another result that came out of this study is that rural area customers tend to be more valuable and loyal over time, as their choices of vendors are more limited due to their living area. The Wyoming customer, for example, is 28% more valuable than the average American.

Tips for the Restoration Contractor:

While this study proves to have compelling information to help you see where valuable customers through digital efforts can come from, it’s important to incorporate a variety of digital and non-digital tactics to not only prospect for new business, but also, to make sure that they will be the kind of customer you want. The study makes a strong point for digital marketers to not put all their eggs in one or two baskets, in particular, Facebook and Twitter, who have made great strides to provide advertising, targeting tools and other strides in order to build a stronger (and more profitable) user community.

While SEO and PPC can bring in several to handfuls of leads a week, are you finding that those customers are jobs you are wanting to take on? Recently, we spoke with a prospective client who was receiving numerous leads a week through their PPC efforts, but 90% were the types of jobs they did not want, and thus, their return on investment was not what they had hoped for either.

On the flip side, we also have restoration contractor clients who see decent work come through their digital marketing efforts. But, it’s part of their overall marketing mix, and contributes as another source of business. As we mentioned before at the beginning of this blog…don’t put all your eggs in one (or two) baskets!

The most effective way to ensure a steady and predictable stream of work is to make sure that you not only have the right tactics in place (SEO, PPC, Direct Marketing Tactics, etc.), but also, the right sales reps in place and a dynamic way to hire, train, coach and manage them. Check out this article on “How Managing Your Salespeople is Different From Your Techs” to give you a flavor of what we are talking about.

And most of all, you’ve got to have a strategy as the foundation of your marketing plan, that supports the tactics and the sales force.

If you’re a restoration contractor looking to predictably grow your business, you should take a few minutes to visit us at www.gobda.com. While we’re not the perfect fit for everyone, we are a sales and marketing consulting agency helping restorers all over the country through proven and proprietary programs that help them to generate millions in new business. Now doesn’t that sound like an egg you want to have in your basket?

Facebook Modifies Ad Offerings for Enhanced (and Simpler) Advertising for Marketers

In a press conference yesterday, Facebook announced that it will be simplifying its product offering when it comes to advertisements. The first step will be taking their current ad units from 27 to half that amount and helping marketers match the the type of Facebook ad they will need to their advertising goals such as in-store sales, online engagement and more.


Other changes include:

1) Removing the “Questions” ad product for Pages, as marketers can simply use the posting function to ask a question and receive comments.

2) Removing the “Online Offer” ad product, as marketers lean towards using the “Page Post Link” ad to drive people to promotions on their respective websites.

3) Marketers will no longer have to purchase “sponsored stories” in addition to the ad itself. Facebook will automatically include social context to a “Page Post Photo” ad which will eliminate the extra step of creating sponsored stories.

4) All ads will look more consistent as well, in efforts to have a more cohesive visual look. This not only reduces the number of types of ads, but, Facebook is also hopeful this will help marketers optimize their ad campaigns for digital and mobile.

The changes will start to appear in the coming weeks with a full roll-out over the next six months, and are a response to many marketers complaining that Facebook advertising “was too complicated for the marketers to figure out”, according to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Director of Engineering and Design for ads.

As Facebook continues to deal with the growing pains of being a publicly traded company and the ongoing balance of creating both happy Facebook’ers and investors, advertising will be one of several (if not many) challenges they will face.

Tips For Restorers:
For the restoration contractor engaging in social media, choosing whether or not to advertise on Facebook or any social medium, can be a challenge on several levels. It’s important to remember that in social media or any marketing and sales activity for that matter, that you ask yourself these primary questions:

“Who is it that I want to engage with through this activity?”
“What are my goals out of engaging in this activity?”
“Is what I am saying relevant to target?”
“Is this the best bang for my buck?”

Social media is a moving target, but, by answering the above questions (and whatever other questions necessary), and disciplining yourself to be consistent in your efforts, you are setting the path towards success (and more sales!).

If you’re a company in the restoration and cleaning industry, and looking to find a predictable way to grow your business using a proven sales and marketing process that includes social media and a host of other activities that fit your marketing mix, Business Development Associates may be a good fit for you. Contact us at info@theBDAway.com or call us at 773-777-9956.

Mobile Technology Adaption Growing in Small Businesses

A recent Constant Contact survey shows a strong trend among small business owners who are using mobile technology to not only conduct business, but also to promote their business, with conducting social media marketing (73%) and email marketing (71%) at the top of the list.

Other uses include engaging in advertising through social media outlets, as well as having a mobile-friendly site. A smaller percentage of the survey participants use tablets for point-of-sale purposes and use mobile apps to manage their business. 82% using a calendar/time management app tops the list of types of apps used, with others reporting app usage in customer communications, GPS/mapping, accounting/invoicing, travel planning and industry news updates.

In regards to social media advertising, a whopping 97% of those surveyed utilize many of the “biggies” of social media for advertising dollars: YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For those that have mobile-friendly sites, 70% of participants reported that it’s not only mobile-friendly, but also social-media optimized. Other characteristics of these sites include:

-A Menu (44%)
-Individual Product Listings (40%)
-Videos (39%)

And, when it comes to what type of mobile device is choice among small business owners, iOS is still heads above the Android. (66% to 39% respectively). In tablets, iPad beats out the Android tablet, 49% to 15% respectively.

Now, not all small businesses are behind the mobile trend, and for various reasons, with the top reason (56%) being that their customers have not expressed demand for mobile communications. 28% said mobile is not relevant to their industry/business.

For the restoration contractor, there are many opportunities for both their sales and marketing force plus their operations team to benefit from the many advantages of mobile technology. Learning curves, costs of the technology itself and having very little time to learn and adapt to mobile technology are just some of the reasons why contractors, much like the non-mobile users in the owners surveyed, have not employed this trend into their own businesses. But, as any business knows, it’s vital to stay ahead of the curve for business trends that have a direct impact on best servicing their customers.

In an ever-increasing world dependent on technology, it will be critical for small business owners to adapt to mobile changes before their customers start demanding it-and for the company, to adapt to mobile technology before they get left behind while the competition roars ahead.

If you are a contractor or a company in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry, and have found that what was working to grow your company from point A to point B is not working to get you to point C, Business Development Associates, Inc. might be the solution for you. We are helping companies across the country predictably control the growth of their companies with proprietary sales and marketing programs that are generating millions in new business. Email us at info@thebdaway.com or call us at 773-777-9956 today!

Facebook Conversations Get Easier With New Feature

Facebook announced a new comments feature that will allow for easier and more direct conversation between users.

As many know, a post can render many comments from other Facebook users. The owner of the original post could comment back to a specific person’s comment, but if not immediate, the owner’s reply could appear way down the conversation thread, thus leaving confusion and impact of the reply to the individual.

With Facebook’s new feature, users can reply to each other’s posts and comments directly by hitting the “reply” button that will be placed next to individual comments, allowing for the communications to be grouped accordingly. In a B2B setting, this can add even more power to the 1:1 interaction between the company and the customer on Facebook, allowing for a targeted, specific and meaningful interaction.

In addition, those comments and replies that are the most active and engaging will surface to the top of the post. This allows people visiting your page to see the best conversations occurring on your content.

For now, only profiles with more than 10,000 followers and pages will have the feature enabled at this point. For those folks, the reply feature will be automatically enabled on July 10, 2013 on your Page, but for now, you can go to your settings in your Page admin panel to enable the new feature. Mobile users will also have to wait to enjoy this future, but plans are in the works to have this feature in place for Facebookers “on the go.”

Facebook’s New Graph Search Feature Unveiled

Facebook unveiled it’s new (still in beta) feature yesterday at their mystery event that caused many to hypothesize what the social media giant was up to since their “mystery event” invite went out a couple of weeks ago.

The new feature, called Graph Search, will be featured on the upper right corner of a user’s Facebook page (the page template will be getting reworked to include this new feature). Basically, the Facebook search functionality will still be present, but the Graph Search functionality will now allow a user to have even greater filtering capabilities. The filtering will be divided into four main types of search: People, Photos, Interests and Places. The Facebook users can search for broad or very specific, from “Photos I like” or “Restoration Contractors in Chicago, Illinois that my friends or family like.”

Facebook has been able to leverage their relationship with Microsoft Bing, thus extending the search reach to general web searches and beyond the scope of Facebook. From personal to business, Graph Search can be used for several search purposes. The possibilities with mobile technology can also increase the adaption and usage of this new function from Facebook.

Currently, There is no launch date as of yet for Graph Search.

To read more about Facebook’s new product, click here!

Do You Ignore Your Social Media Reputation?

In a recent study from the Zeno Group, research shows that many corporate executives are not making efforts to consider their social media reputation when making business decisions or including management of their online reputation in their marketing mix. Surprisingly, 10% even turn a blind eye when faced with addressing a damaging article or social media post, letting it linger without proper follow-up and efforts to remedy the situation or unhappy customer.

Whether you love it or hate it, social media is an ever-growing medium for both B2B and B2C folks to use for many purposes in today’s business world. And when it comes to products and services, social media is a place where you as a company can be praised or punished. And, while praise is something every business loves, especially in a forum that exposes that praise to an extremely vast audience, that same forum can also be extremely damaging to a company’s reputation if negative comments and reviews are made (and not dealt with!).

This recent info graphic shows that when it comes to products/services, 51% of people surveyed will hop onto their favorite social media outlet to give negative feedback and on the other end of the spectrum, 54% will give positive feedback. And who’s reading these comments? 66% of people that were surveyed use social media to read the feedback, good and bad. And why not? It’s much easier to hop online and with a few clicks or touches, find reviews from people who have experienced your product and services versus the old days of more traditional word-of-mouth reviews like asking your neighbor or friends who they used to clean up their flooded basement.

For any business, including restoration contractors, considering your social media reputation is an important part of your online and overall marketing and sales strategy. Being able to have a great presence online isn’t everything when it comes to increasing the bottom line, but it certainly plays into the “social proof” factor of people wanting to do business with you. Thus, being able to engage the online community, whether good or bad, can play a critical role in several areas. Positive or negative feedback, reviews and comments about your company can help you keep doing the right things and improve those that are not going so smooth. Plus, being able to monitor crisis situations online and respond accordingly can end up showing current or future clients that even though your company might have dropped the ball, that you know how to pick it back up and provide outstanding customer service even when the going gets tough.

Have you gotten a bad review online before? What have you done to proactively turn the boat on that negative moment? Or, if you’re fortunate to receive great online reviews, does your company have an engagement plan for those loyal cheerleaders of your product/services? We’d love to hear your comments!

What Does Facebook Have Up Its Sleeve?

Facebook is kicking off the year by holding a publicity event next week, but keeping the subject of the event a surprise.

The invite asked media to be present on January 15th at 10AM PST where Facebook will unveil what they have been “building.” In the past, HTC and other manufacturers have worked closely with Facebook to produce new phones. While some speculate that Facebook’s new creation will not be a Facebook-branded phone per say, some believe that the mystery event will unveil a phone that has specific features that are integrated with Facebook. (Even though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said brand-specific hardware is not a viable option).

Other speculations on what Facebook might have up its sleeve could include one or more of the following:

-A device that is Facebook-Friendly by way of having a special Facebook button on the phone itself. (And, better than the past HTC phone that featured a similar button)
-Facebook will reveal that they have found a way to start making a profit off the one billion Facebook members (Selling physical goods, charging for certain Facebook features, etc.)
-Facebook making a big push towards developing, integrating and dominating gaming as Zynga starts to fade
-Facebook integration with automobiles (Well, if you forgot to check in, it’s a good thing your car will remember)

And of course, we can’t forget that the mystery event might have something to do with the Instagram app…you know, that $1 billion dollar purchase Facebook made awhile back?

While one or none of these possible scenarios of Facebook’s announcement strikes a chord with you, both B2B and B2C marketers will be anxious to see if there is any leverage between the new Facebook product and their own company.

After sending out the invitation on Wednesday night this week, stocks in Facebook enjoyed a spike on the stock market yesterday.

To read the full article, click here.



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