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Archive for the 'Social Media' 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.

Labor Productivity is the Key to Profitability

As a restoration company owner you must measure productivity to know if the money you spend on labor is paying off in terms of output (revenue). A labor productivity ratio is the simplest way to find out if you are getting the production you need. When you use this ratio on a regular basis you will be able to keep a sharp eye on your employees’ productivity.

Labor productivity is the number one key to profitability and is best measured by the Labor Efficiency Ratio (LER). This ratio indicates the productivity of all labor (production, sales, and management). You will need to measure each labor segment and monitor productivity per labor dollar and make adjustments as you see the LER decreasing. With the downward pressure from the insurance industry you can no longer wait for six months or longer to see if things improve. Adjustments must be made as quickly as possible when you begin to see a decline in your LER from previous periods.

The Direct Labor Efficiency Ratio (DLER) is calculated by dividing Gross Profit (minus direct labor, benefits, and employer burden) by the direct labor cost. For example, if your company had a Gross Profit of $4 million and a direct labor cost of $1 million you would have a DLER of $4. This means that for every $1 you pay your production employees the business receives a $4 return on that investment.

Here are some tactics to improve your Labor Efficiency Ratio:

  • implement an effective scheduling process
  • provide a quality back-office support Team
  • reward your productive employees for performance
  • recruit, hire, and on-board high-performance employees
  • implement and integrate lean processes
  • boost employee morale
  • set clear and attainable goals
  • reevaluate your staff on a regular basis
  • give praise and recognition.

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.

John Capponi, CR
Operations and Management Consultant
Business Development Associates, Inc.
john@gobda.com
Cell: 407-745-7698

LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates”; Tips for Restorers on Content Marketing

alt="linkedIn content marketing for restorers"
LinkedIn recently announced the addition of “Sponsored Updates” to their product suite, allowing members the opportunity to get their content in front of other LinkedIn members that are a match for the content of the update, even if those members are not following their company profile.

In the constant battle to win the content war, LinkedIn, much like Facebook, is offering another way for members to get their content put in front of the right people, and hopefully clicked on and read (while the social media giant makes a pretty penny of course, watching companies battle for market share via their platform).

Facebook, unfortunately, learned a hard lesson about going too far with using the personal information of their members for their former “Sponsored Stories” advertising product, ending up in a lawsuit that was said to be a potential revenue loss of $103 million. Facebook would then modify and re-market the same idea of paid advertising for content, slimming their 27 ad unit options to half the amount and making other modifications.

Done correctly and consistently, like any paid social media initiatives, the LinkedIn “Sponsored Updates” could be a great boost for companies as part of a larger integrated campaign for the product or services the paid update’s content is steering the B2C or B2B audience to. And, creating content that is compelling to the audience and speaks to their needs will always draw in higher click-through and conversion metrics.

As part of “expanding their content ecosystem,” LinkedIn’s new Sponsored Updates will allow for content to appear in the homepage feeds of targeted, prospective business partners or customers. Updates can be seen on both PC and mobile applications and will be marked as “sponsored” to the viewer.

For those purchasing the product from LinkedIn, you can choose either CPC or CPM pricing and track the effectiveness of the content through analytic tools provided by LinkedIn.

Tips For the Restorer:

By now, you have probably heard about content marketing and how it can help you boost your business. Creating viable content that keeps people watching your page, sharing your posts and hopefully, recommending and using your company’s services and products, is key to content marketing success. Be sure to share more than just about your restoration company–remember, it’s not all about you !

What do people really want to read about?

About themselves of course, and the things that affect them ! There is certainly a time and place to share content about your restoration company in your content marketing strategy-but be sure to engage and share things that your reader will find interesting. Instead of talking about the fact your restoration company performs mold remediation, share information about the dangers of mold in the home, for example. You’ll see your likes, retweets, shares and more start to improve!

And when your restoration company does great things, be sure to share that too. Did your company get involved in a community event? Did individual team members do something above and beyond? Share it! This is a great way to express your reputation-online!

And of course, be sure that social media is a piece of your overall integrated marketing plan, versus your only sales and marketing method! In today’s over saturated world of communications, restorers must have an effective strategy and accompanying plan utilizing several communication outlets to break through the clutter of communication in order carry out that strategy so they can predictably grow their business not only from a mass marketing perspective, but also through their 1:1 direct selling efforts.

If you’re a restorer looking to predictably grow your business, Business Development Associates might be the solution you’re looking for. Although we’re not a perfect fit for everyone, we’re helping many restorers across the country to predictably grow their business using a proprietary and proven marketing and sales system that generates millions in new business. For more information, call 847-386-6556 or email info@theBDAway.com.

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?

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!

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!

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.”

Video Tip: Latent Memory in the Sales Process

Understanding the role of Latent Memory in the sales process, and how the brain correlates to that of a computer, can open the doors to a meaningful sales conversation. CLICK HERE to see the video, hosted by Jeff Cross of Cleanfax Magazine and Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates.



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