Gearing Up

Each August our family spends a week at the beach. In recent years I’ve noticed a trend. We arrive feeling the best of summer is yet to come and just a few days later, at the end of that mid-August week, we feel that summer is at an end. We begin to shift gears mentally, girding ourselves for what is to come. For my wife and kids, they know that school is coming. For me, the remodeling industry moves into a more active phase that runs through the end of the year.

September is the start of a busy phase for remodelers. Many are trying to keep projects on track for completion by Thanksgiving and the holidays. At the same time, marketing seeds must be planted in order to keep an even flow of leads throughout the winter. Keeping leads flowing during the winter is tough in a healthy remodeling market but the task is all the more difficult during recessions, when the economy is barely on its feet. All of this brings me back to the importance of those last two weeks of August, just before Labor Day.

I think these are two of the more important weeks on the calendar. Yes, production should be going strong in August, but production relates to working “in” your business as opposed to working “on” your business. The last two weeks in August should be about working “on” your business. It is the time when you can take stock of your systems and processes, review your business plan, and make any last-minute adjustments before the fall rush ultimately yields to the slowness of the New-Year’s-Day-to-Super-Bowl period.

Now is the time for you to seriously consider a marketing plan that will bear fruit when the snow flies and the rains fall. What steps are you taking to ensure your “marketing funnel” is filled with prospects? My contention is that a good start to 2011 begins now.

Here are some questions you may want to ask. Where are my marketing dollars best spent (Internet, print advertising, etc.) to have the biggest ROI at the time you need leads most? Here is a tougher question. Do you have a marketing budget for the remainder of the year? If so, would you consider doubling it? If you’ve got the right systems and processes, and you’ve got a proven strategy, why not try to turbocharge your results with a real jolt to your marketing. Some people say you cannot market your way out of an economic lull. The last two weeks of August are a good time to consider these questions and many others. It is the last stop before you gear up.

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