If you don’t already track your local news you need to start right away. I don’t mean the 5 o’clock news on TV or your local news radio. I mean news that people are talking about online in blogs and forums, offline in coffee shops and nail salons, and down at the supply house.
Because that is where the business is! Here’s what I mean, I am going to break down the following article and use the contents to help you find the nuggets in local business news to help market your contracting business better. The post I am using is from the BuffaloNews.com site, and the article is titled “Owners downsize home work”. Here’s the details. A link to the post is here.
From the article:
Dyane Townley craves new kitchen counters for her home in Greensboro. Husband Jeff, a Honda Aircraft Co. engineer, wants a bigger back deck.
This couple lives in Greensboro, NC and have probably been online doing a ton of research. I wonder if any contractor has used social media to help them make their choices?
Spending on home renovation for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 will fall 25 percent to $107.7 billion compared with the same period in 2007, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
$108 billion in a down economy means there is still a lot of business out there…are you getting your share?
“There are still consumers putting in new kitchens,” Robert Niblock, the chairman and chief executive officer of Lowe’s, said in a telephone interview. “But they’re doing it because they’re going to be in their homes longer. That’s the change from the go-go days.”
I am recommending to many of my clients to start changing their messages to promote the “your home is underwater financially and you are in it for the long haul, might as well be comfortable” reality of a down economy.
The Townleys, still trying to sell their previous house in Savannah, Ga., are typical. They recarpeted and repainted much of the inside of their blue, four-bedroom Greensboro home.
This means you need to change the message to reflect any emergency service you may do or to emphasize projects most home owners can’t do themselves.
Home Depot is holding more do-it-yourself classes for customers online and in its stores. The retailer said attendance at “do-it-herself” classes for women climbed 20 percent in June, a sign homeowners are tackling projects they once paid others to do.
The grumpy contractor looks at this as Home Depot taking business away from them. The smart contractor thanks Home Depot for taking the BS jobs off their hands opening up bigger ticket jobs for them to bid on!
Millionaire homeowners also are choosier about upgrades, said Susan Marocco, an interior designer in Bedford, N.Y., whose clients in Westchester County and Fairfield County, Conn., spend up to $250,000 on a kitchen.
“There was much more of an open checkbook, much more free spending to do the whole house,” Marocco said. “Now there’s a lot more thought about where the spending is going.”
If you market to a high-wealth clientele and don’t take information like this into account, YOU ARE LOSING BUSINESS!
In the meantime, consumers are looking for deals and willing to bargain hard. The Townleys say they paid about $4,000 for new carpet, extracting a $1,400 discount from Lowe’s after playing the retailer off against Home Depot.
There are deals still getting done if you are willing to bargain!
So, as you can see, there is a vast amount of information out there you can use to direct your contracting business in this fragile economy, you just have to be willing to invest the time in reading the tea leaves, plotting a course, and sticking to it!