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Archive for the 'Goals' Category

One Sales Success Formula

While there are some overnight sales (and business) successes, when you dig a little deeper you find that those overnight successes were more likely 20 years in the making.

And that tells us something important.

One formula for sales success is doing the right things (proper marketing strategy and sales process delivered by the right salespeople) over an extended period of time during which the message (and the service/product) is refined, tweaked and perfected.

And voilà! After months or years or decades—the breakthrough! The “overnight” success!

So, if this is the case, tremendous effort over lengthy periods of time with delayed gratification are going to be required. So how do we “stay the course” as we invest in our future success?

Now, I’m not a particularly religious guy but one client shared a Bible passage with me that I think of as words to live by for people of any faith. Here goes:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

We have to do the footwork but God will handle the heavy lifting (if we let Him!)

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.

With Great Power…Comes Great Responsibility

In the beginning of their business, the entrepreneurial restorer is involved in all aspects of their company, from the operational side to the marketing of the business and everything in between.

As the business grows, their ability to continue this intense level of owner involvement becomes more and more difficult. As the company grows from Point B to Point C, the owner becomes faced with the responsibility and challenges that come along with the onslaught of complexities found in every growing business: the need for, the decision to, and the implementation of new processes, employees, strategies and more to get them to the next stage of the company’s growth.

In the article, “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility” by Business Development Associates’s President, Tim Miller, this subject will be discussed in more detail, including what not to do as the company grows.

Click here to read the full article, which appeared in the June 2013 edition of Cleanfax Magazine.

Business Development Associates, Inc. is a full-service marketing and sales agency specializing in the restoration and cleaning industries. We are helping restorers and other businesses grow their companies using proven and proprietary programs, systems and services that are generating millions in new business. If you’re a restorer looking to grow your business, visit us here to learn more or call us at 847-386-6556.

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.

Don’t Miss These Upcoming BDA Sales & Marketing Seminars!

Don’t miss these upcoming BDA Sales & Marketing Seminars, where you can learn powerful strategies to predictably grow your business to the next level!

Contractor Connection 2013 Conference & Expo
May 21-23; San Antonio, Texas
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
Tim Miller, President of BDA, Will Be Presenting the Course:
“5 Stages of Small Business Growth for a Restoration Contractor”
https://www.contractorconnection.com/contractorconference/Breakouts.aspx

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course. Learn More About This Course By Clicking Here!

Sales Mastery For Restorers
August 7th; Columbus, Ohio
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Tim Miller, President of BDA, Will Be Presenting the Course:
“Sales Mastery for Restorers”
Hosted by: Totally Booked University/Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine

http://www.carpetcleaningrestorationmarketing.com/sales-mastery.html

This one-day course will teach show you how to increase sales by implementing a powerful, real world selling system that has been customized for the restoration salespeople and their targets! The course is hosted by Totally Booked University and Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine.

It has never been more important to maximize the ability of your sales team to deliver business. Most restorers agree that the average water loss is $3,000 with at least a 50% profit margin. That means that every sale you don’t bring in is costing you $1,500 or more! Plus, sales salaries and expenses add up quickly and you need to deliver a strong return.

Sales training isn’t new. But, sales training designed from the ground up just for restoration contractor salespeople is! There is no other program like this available anywhere! Click Here To Learn More About This Course!

If you have any questions about these upcoming courses and workshops, you can reach us at 773-777-9956 or email us at info@theBDAway.com.

We look forward to seeing you!

Restorers: How Managing Your Salespeople is Different From Your Techs

When it comes to managing salespeople, there are key differences between how to manage them versus your other staff. And this rings true in the restoration industry as well, as we see restorers who will manage their salespeople exactly like their techs and other staff.

In the article, “Managing Your Salespeople” by Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, discusses these differences and the importance of managing your salespeople differently from your other employees.

Salespeople have one of the toughest jobs out there and face challenges and obstacles everyday: daily rejection, facing their own fears and shortcomings and a constant stream of highs and lows can make most sales reps run for the hills.

And if their managers do not have the proper systems and processes for accountability, management and success in place, the sales rep will most likely leave the company seeking a better opportunity, or, the owner will let the rep go only to repeat the same mistake with the next rep. It’s important to note that having the right rep hired in the first place is of the utmost importance, and then backing that person up with all of the fore mentioned “best practices!”

That’s why it’s critical to implement proper management techniques in order to have a highly successful rep who in turn, will produce outstanding results for your bottom line.

Read more on this topic by clicking here to access the full length article!

And, if you’re a company in the restoration, cleaning and contents industry who is looking to create a unique and dynamic sales and marketing presence in your marketplace that will generate millions of dollars in new business, Business Development Associates may be the right fit for you. You can reach us at info@theBDAway.com or calling us at 773-777-9956.

Upcoming Seminar: “5 Stages of Small Business Growth for Restoration Contractors”

Join us at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, for this exciting seminar presented by the President of Business Development Associates, Tim Miller.

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course.

Upon Completion Of This Course, Attendees Will Be Able To Gain:
• The Ability To Identify Which Stage Your Business Is At In The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth
• What Obstacles Are In Their Way Of Growing Their Business At The Current Stage The Business Is In
• Suggested Steps To Be Taken In Order To Move Their Business To The Next Stage Of Growth
• What The Future Stages Of Growth Are To Come, and The Challenges, Stressors and Potential Outcomes of Each Stage

This course will be presented twice at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, from 1PM-2PM and again from 2:15-3:15PM.

You can learn more about the upcoming Contractor Connection conference in San Antonio, Texas, by clicking here.

Unable to make it to San Antonio? Check out another upcoming workshop held in Columbus in August: “Sales Mastery for Restorers.” You can learn more by clicking here!

Property Claims Report: Severity and Frequency of Property Damage Increases, Yet Overall Customer Satisfaction Remains High

J.D. Power and Associates recently published their 2013 Property Claims Satisfaction Study, which measures the satisfaction level of 5,500 customers who have reported claims for property damage under their homeowner’s policy between May 2011 and January 2013.

Of the approximate 8% of homeowners that reported a property claim in the U.S. during that time period, the average settlement amount increased to $8,517 as compared to the prior year where the average claim averaged in at $7,937. Contents settlements have increased approximately $250 from year to year while the average repair settlement in 2013 came in at $7,844 compared to $7,151 in 2012.

Out-of-pocket expenses for homeowners nearly doubled, as the average amount in $1,945 increased to an average of $3,888 in 2013.

The survey covers five factors of their experience filing the claim: settlement, first notice of loss, estimation process, service interaction and repair process.

While customer satisfaction with the overall claims process remained high (despite 2011 and 2012 marking a historic number of claims due to catastrophic events) one aspect of the claims process represented a 9 point decrease in customer satisfaction as compared to previous years: the service interaction process.

This drop is being explained as being caused by the homeowner reporting claims through call centers (direct channels) versus directly through their agents. 68% of customers used direct channels in 2013 to report claims, up 11% from 2012.

For those that reported claims directly through their agents, satisfaction ratings were 50 points higher than those that reported claims through call centers. The decrease in or lack of personal interaction, attention and service helped contribute to the dissatisfaction amongst those that reported claims directly to the call center versus reporting the claim through their agent. (It should be noted that the study did find a few direct carriers that did have scores that were complimentary to those who made claims directly to their company).

Although the industry is showing a shift towards direct channels, can insurance companies bring the same personalized attention to the policyholder that will not only create overall satisfaction during the property claim process, but also enough to to retain those policyholders?

And, as the restoration contractor performing the work to bring the customer’s property back to pre-loss condition, you also play an important part in the claims process. Doing good work and being nice to the customers is important for any restoration contracting business. But, it’s not enough for people to decide to choose you as their restoration contractor, whether it’s the agent referring you or the policyholder deciding to choose you over the other two contractors that have given estimates.

If you are a restorer looking to find out more about how to position yourself more uniquely, check out this BDA blog entry that we posted at the beginning of the year.

If you’ve got goals that you have set (or still looking to set) for 2013 that are not on pace to reaching fulfillment, or, you’re still waiting on weather, good luck or program works to be the driving (and unpredictable) factor for growing your business, it’s never to late to redefine your company and gain a unique competitive advantage in your marketplace. (And for goodness sake, don’t wait until 2014 to do something about it!).

For those restorers who are looking to gain that unique advantage and are ready to predictably grow their business, you might be the right fit for the “The BDA Way.” To learn more about how BDA is helping other restorers secure millions in new business, visit us here to find out more information.

How To Maximize Your Networking

As a restoration contractor, (or any business professional for that matter), networking at trade shows and events can be an important part of your sales and marketing plan. To make the most of your time (and valuable resources), we’ve compiled five brief but powerful tips to help you maximize your efforts so you can make the most impact while attending these events.

One tip, as outlined in the Cleanfax Magazine article, “5 Tips for Maximizing Your Networking Efforts,” written by Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc., advises to think about what you are going to say ahead of time.

Some people have the ability to not only be naturally outgoing and fearless of approaching new people, but they can often speak off the cuff. For a majority of people, the idea of meeting people and striking up conversation can be downright difficult. By having a polished and prepared conversation opener that is compelling and draws your listener in, you can draw the listener in and setup the conversation for one that is meaningful and engaging.

And for those that have anxiety in these types of situations, knowing what you are going to say beforehand can give you that ounce of “sales courage” you need to start the conversation or be prepared when approached by someone else. For the person who is naturally outgoing, a polished opening can give that extra edge to really engage the prospect or potential business partner into listening more about your service.

For more tips on maximizing your networking, you can view the article here.

And, if you are interested in learning about maximizing your overall sales and marketing plan, Business Development Associates may be the perfect fit for you. We are a sales and marketing agency helping restoration contractors across the country predictably grow their businesses with a proprietary blend of high-performance sales techniques, cross-media integration strategies and the ability to be a true implementation company.

For more information, visit us at www.gobda.com.

Attending RIA? Don’t Miss This Course! “The Science of Building a Super-Charged Sales Team”

Most owners of restoration companies have little, if any, direct selling or sales management experience. It’s no wonder then that building a high performance team of marketing reps is such a challenge. Many restorers report that their sales people seem busy but they’re just not sure whether their activities are actually contributing to the growth of the company. Or, if they are, how much more effective they might be.

That’s not surprising! In fact, most businesses in all industries do not have the necessary skill sets to build effective sales teams that can make a real impact on their organization’s growth and profitability.

This program will demystify the process of hiring great outside salespeople/marketing reps specifically for restoration contractors. The concepts, techniques and processes that will be shared are those that are being effectively used every day to generate millions of dollars in new business for restorers outside of program work, the weather and good luck.

• Learn The Science of Hiring Great Salespeople
• Understand Why Traditional Sales Hiring Processes Don’t Work
• Understanding of Crucial Elements for Sales Success
• Identify 5 Major Weaknesses of Salespeople
• Learn the Difference Between “Can Sell” vs. “Will Sell”
• Learn the Top 5 Responsibilities of Sales Management and Why All Sales Failures Are Failures of Sales Management
• Learn The Secrets to “Success Conditioning”
• Learn About A Superstar Sales Hiring System
• Develop Effective Job Descriptions and Set Compensation
• Managing Activities, Key Performance Indicators, Accountability & Red Flags
• Understanding the Difference Between Sales Models, Sales Processes and Sales Programs
• How to Accelerate and Build a World-Class Overachieving Sales Team

This course is presented by the President of Business Development Associates, Inc., Tim Miller. The course will be held at the annual RIA Leadership Summit & Industry Expo in Las Vegas, NV. You can see Tim speak on Wednesday, April 24th from 3:30-5PM. Click here for further details!



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