Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

July 26, 2016

Shawn McCadden

Recently I presented a half-day marketing workshop titled, “Choosing and Targeting the Right Customers and Projects Types for Your Business.” At the workshop I shared new ways contractors can think about and do their marketing so they can attract their desired customer and job types. It’s what I call strategic marketing. For those of you who missed the workshop, here are some of the key points we discussed.

Take advantage of the timing

The economy and residential construction are both picking up. At the same time the majority of attendees agreed with me in that we are not yet confident that the pace of the current surge will be sustainable considering the uncertainties businesses and consumers still have about the economy. With that in mind this is however a good time to take advantage of the surge to concentrate on developing market share in a strategic way.

It’s my opinion that most contractors would benefit from becoming a specialist in what they do and how they do it. After all, specialists typically command higher prices than generalists. And, true specialists are always in demand, even in down economic times. Now is a good time to specialize, as long as you also work on branding to establish and maintain your position as a specialist in your desired market areas.

Here are some specific tactics contractors can consider and use to strategically build market share.

Pick your customers, don't let them pick you

Stop taking just any customers and jobs. Be selective about who you will let become your customers. For example, why not work only with people who would say they are working with you, not those who would say you are working for them? Also, be selective about the project types you go after. For example, why not attract people who want high quality products? If you sell using one mark-up across all cost categories, the gross profit dollars earned on material intensive projects due to higher price point products is an easier way to meet overhead and net profit goals, both now and in the future, particularly when compared to selling and producing labour intensive projects.

Stop competing, differentiate

I don't understand why contractors think they have to compete and or be competitive. For most construction business owners, competing means bidding. Homeowners who seek bids are typically like auctioneers, except they are looking for the lowest price, not the highest. And, rather than try to be better than your competition, why not seek to be different from your competition. Being different attracts attention, and consumers who want different also know they have to pay more to get different.

One key to being different and attracting positive recognition for it is to concentrate on how you do what you do to demonstrate your difference, rather than work on what you do to differentiate. One example of potential differentiation could include helping prospects develop project specifications with the agreement that you will come back to present your proposal and solutions, but you will not leave them behind unless they sign your proposal and give you the required deposit.

Being different comes with pros and cons

If you decide to use these example strategies, many prospects will go away. However, the ones that see value in your differences will become cogs in your new referral generating machine and will pre-sell the value of your differences to their referrals so you won't have to. I call those types of referrals “layups.”

Think of how you do marketing in a new way

The old traditional marketing methods of trying to find prospects who want your services now and interrupting them to get their attention no longer work. Today consumers are the ones deciding how they will find and qualify their project ideas as well as the contractor they will work with. Instead, use inbound marketing tactics that help consumers find your business.

This should be one of the two primary purposes of your marketing and can be accomplished on your website using SEO tactics and good content on your site’s pages as well as your blog. The other primary purpose of your marketing, particularly at your website, should be to help prospects decide if what you offer and how you do business are right for them. In other words, your marketing should help them prequalify themselves so they either want to contact you or know they shouldn't.

Final thought: marketing shouldn't just be limited to creating leads

At the workshop I also shared one more new way to use your marketing: to advance the sales process. Consumers want to gather information and ideas about their project, but they want to be sure they are getting accurate and useful information. Savvy contractors are now using the content on their websites to educate consumers before they call to set up an appointment with a contractor. This saves both the prospect and the contractor a lot of valuable time. In addition to offering project and product related information, you can also educate them about how and why you do business the way you do.

This can not only speed up the sales process, it can also help clearly differentiate your business and therefore improve the quality of your leads.


Shawn McCadden is a consultant, educator and speaker who offers business consulting and coaching services for remodelling business owners who want more for and from their businesses and their lives. He also consults with construction-related product manufacturers and suppliers, helping them understand, find, educate and better serve remodelers. Check out Shawn’s website http://www.shawnmccadden.com/ and blog www.shawnmccadden.com/Subscribe-to-The-Design-Builders-Blog.

 

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ABB RoboticsABB Robotics is driving automation in the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key challenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry, including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. 



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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Smart GridHarnessing Canada’s immense clean energy resources requires transformational investments to modernize our electricity grid. The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy and upgrading the electricity grid to make clean, affordable electricity options more accessible in communities across Canada.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today launched a $964-million program to support smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, like wind, solar, storage, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

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It also has a strong focus on innovation and efficiency — as demonstrated by decisions such as the one it made in 2017 to use beet juice to help combat icy winter roads, allowing the City to reduce the amount of salt it was using, thereby saving money and decreasing the impact on the environment. 

 

 

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Keith SonesBy Keith Sones

The writing was on the wall.  The closures would happen. But a lot of people were upset, and I was one of them. 

In the early 2000s, my family and I were living in a mainly rural (at least by city dweller standards) valley in south central British Columbia.  The West Kootenay region is known for its diverse outdoor recreation activities and as a great place to raise a family.  It has a proud industrial history, evidenced through the longstanding pulp mill, a massive lead zinc smelter a few miles away and several hydroelectric dams, all of it within spitting distance of the mighty Columbia River. 

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The grips feature a slip guard handle design for added protection at the front-end and raised rear-finger steps for easy opening at the back-end. Wiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters consist of premium quality tool steel for strength and durability and induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity. 

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As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service. On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — 

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