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Archive for the 'prospecting' 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.

Monday Marketing and Sales Tip: Treating Gatekeepers Properly(They’re Human Too!)

Dealing effectively with gatekeepers can make or break your opportunity to get to the decision maker. Remember, it’s their job to minimize disruption (I.E.: sales calls) to their boss’ day! They are dealing with screening numerous calls and sales people making in person visits every day. They have the ultimate responsibility of letting through only those people that will matter to their boss! Because of this, they also tend to deal with people who will treat them badly or poorly for not allowing access to the decision maker. It’s vital to remember that gatekeepers are human too, and need to be treated as such. And, you only have a matter of moments to sink or swim in your efforts to get to that all important decision maker.

Because we hire, train and manage sales reps across the country, we see how this lack of proper communication has caused business development reps to sink quicker than the Titanic when it comes to dealing with the brick wall that is the gatekeeper. Common sense to most? Yes–but you’d be surprised how often it bears repeating!

So, next time you’re up against a gatekeeper, remember to be polite and in your few precious moments with them, try to 1) address them by their name and 2) say please! A dash of courtesy and directly addressing them can throw even the crustier gatekeepers off their game, as you’ve now shown up differently from other sales people.

By adding this “human” touch and level of respect to the conversation, you have a greater chance of getting past them and even having them become your ally.

An example of this would be saying to the gatekeeper “Thanks Sandy, could you please let me know if Mr. Smith will be available to speak for a few moments?”

Gatekeepers are people just like everyone else–showing them that you recognize this and engaging them respectfully can go a long way by using these simple yet powerful communication techniques!

Want to learn more strategies for dealing with gatekeepers and improve your sales process overall? Click here to sign up for sales and marketing tips designed for the restoration industry!

Why Weather, Hope and Good Luck are Not Business Strategies

Come join BDA at the RIA Convention & Expo in Vegas next week, where BDA President Tim Miller will be presenting the second keynote address on Friday, May 8th, from 8:45-9:45 AM. The Keynote is entitled: ” Why Weather, Hope and Good Luck are Not Business Strategies: Five Keys to Surviving and Thriving In Today’s Ever More Challenging Restoration Industry.”

During this keynote, Tim will discuss the changes brought about by the fluctuating weather patterns, the economic collapse of 2007/2008 and the maturation of the restoration industry in relation to how they have created major challenges for restoration contractors.

The constant downward pressure on margins, increasing competition, skilled labor retention issues and a reduction in weather-related work has many restorers working harder than ever doing what they have always done to get business—except it’s no longer working.

While there are no “magic bullets” to change the current situation, a clear eyed look at the realities of the market is essential. Business owners need new ideas, information and thought processes to use as building blocks to create a new future.

Restorers that are looking to break free from these destructive circumstances and “entrepreneur” their way to a new business reality will benefit greatly from this keynote, and learn five keys that restorers must consider to make a positive change in the short, medium and long term.

Come join us for this exciting and informative keynote address, and visit the BDA team at Booth #306 during the Expo hours. See you in Vegas!

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?

Maryland Joins Other States In Banning Contractor Rebate Offers

Earlier this month, Maryland joined other states that are putting the kibosh on contractors who offer rebates to homeowners as a way to secure the repair contract. These contractors typically come with a shady motive behind the rebate, as they will perform substandard and inflated work, leaving the homeowner with a property not restored to pre-loss condition and affecting the overall value of the home.

These contractors use rebates of the homeowner’s insurance deductibles as a way to dangle the “carrot” so to speak in efforts to secure the contract. The homeowner, who sees savings of hundreds of dollars, believes they are getting the deal of a lifetime. In the end, they are disappointed to find that subpar materials and questionable or downright improper repair was performed.

In the cases of area-wide catastrophic weather damage, storm chasing contractors of the predatory nature will knock on the doors of homeowners who are under a great amount of stress and need even more urgent repairs. Once the shady contractor is able to get in and secure the contract by offering the rebate, they again perform substandard repairs, or in some cases, ask for a large amount of money up front and disappear completely with no work done, and never to be seen again.

It’s also important to note that a homeowner’s policy may not cover the repair of the fraudulent work done by the shady contractor. (To read more about Maryland joining the fight to stop scrupulous contractors in their tracks, click here.)

This type of fraudulent actions tarnishes our industry and makes it harder for honest contractors to assure their customers that they will follow the Standard of Care and follow the guidelines, ethics and practices set forth by our major industry associations and institutes. In order to help protect their reputation in the community, restoration contractors can use a variety of methods to get out their “good news stories” and spread customer testimonials, both online through their website and social media platforms. There’s also more direct marketing tactics you can use as well to spread the good word about your company.

Are you facing sales and marketing challenges that you need help with in order to grow your company? If so, reach out to us at info@theBDAway.com or, call us at 777-773-9956 and we can setup a brief time to talk about them and how BDA might be a good fit to help you get to the next level.

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!

Upcoming Sales Mastery Course For Restorers: A New Way To Deliver Outstanding Results!

Business Development Associates, Inc. will be presenting “Sales Mastery for Restorers”, a one-day course that 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!

Now,you’ve probably sent your team to sales training events and they come back enthused, but the effect quickly wears off. That’s because training as an event always fail. Training as a process, however, delivers powerful, consistent and increasing results.

If you’re looking to grow your restoration business, you need a highly effective sales program in place. There’s simply no better or faster way for your company to grow to the next level.

Details:

Sales Mastery for Restorers Course-Click Here to Register!
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
8 A.M.-4 P.M.
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Columbus, OH

This course will be taught by the creator and instructor of Sales Mastery for Restorers, Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Miller is a highly regarded sales and marketing expert in the industry, and brings 30 years of experience and a unique perspective to help businesses solve their problems and grow to the next level. He is also a published author in several trade magazines, a featured columnist in Cleanfax Magazine and speaks at multiple industry events and conferences throughout the year, where he leverages his business experience in both the restoration industry and his other entrepreneurial ventures, including his own construction company in New Mexico.

Click Here to Register-Space is Limited!

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.

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.”

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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