I realize that running your contracting business is a full-time job, but you need to take some time to see what the other guys are doing. Sure, you may shoot the breeze at the supply house or in passing while grabbing a cup of coffee, but do you really know what they are doing to move their businesses forward?
Here are some things to consider when reviewing what your competition is up to:
First and foremost, what exactly is your competition doing in the market and how successful are they at their marketing? Specifically, it’s good go keep an eye on:
- How they network themselves and their businesses
- Industry-wide research and who are the early adopters in your market
- Who belongs to the local associations, both professional and social, and how are they using these networks to their advantage
- Who has tight relationships with the people down at city hall? This can be crucial when trying to get permits or exceptions run through local government.
If you are like me, I trust but verify. In other words, if someone told me they were living off of referrals in today’s economy, I would take them at their word, but also make sure they really weren’t doing any marketing as well.
Why so paranoid?
In the famous words of Norm from Cheers, “It’s a dog eat dog world out there, and I’m wearing Milk-Bone underwear.” And some of the most successful people I know are the most paranoid!