So, with that being said, we're not really sure what is in store for us in the future. The key to being around to see it, whatever it is, is to be flexible and go with the flow. The jobs we take now are not the jobs we took before things headed south; the internal structure of our company has changed as well. More subcontractors, less staff installers. Follow the money, where are the profits and what changes do we need to do in order to make profits on the projects that are not making us money. We have been analyzing our business more in the past few years than we have ever done before in our four decades of existence.
So many of us have had to cut back on our marketing and advertising, which we have been told is the kiss of death. But with little to no money, the dollar can't stretch as far as we need it to and if we charge more "than the other guy" we'll lose jobs. So, our answer is to make every job our best job, we give our client more than they expect even if it ends up costing us a little. Your client service is your marketing, and that takes us a long way in this day where online reviews can make or break a company. Word of mouth is always the best bet. We may not see a ton of leads coming across our desk, but about 90% of those that we do get buy. We have received more business from our reviews on Angie's List than we've ever seen with a lead generator... and they don't cost us a cent.
New York, N.Y.
1. Our guess is that it's cyclical. We're expanding and very optimistic.
2. It took some retooling of our system but we've been growing slowly and steadily since 2009. We stayed focused on solutions, kept looking for and pursuing leads. It doesn’t hurt to be in a wealthy and highly populated vertical city.
3. Our market hasn't changed much, though there is more competition. People are still buying condos, coops and houses in NYC and want them to suit their needs and style. We make sure they know we have many references and we thoroughly detail the work scope.
4. No. We've stuck to our core competency of doing only all in one remodeling projects, in which we guide the clients in design, product selection and handle every aspect of the project for them.
5. The challenge has been less leads and more competition. The opportunities side is to further distinguish ourselves from the competition by adding more value as an all in one to the extreme, taking care of everything from design and orders to installation and a thorough cleanup. Also, getting projects approved through the building management companies. Communicating this message how convenient we are through our references and marketing.
6. We closed one location and consolidated. We let our project managers go and hired designers who are also project managers. We have a more thorough process, forms, etc.
Josh Shonkwiler, Owner
Platinum Remodeling & Handyman Services
1. I have grown up in the business being a 3rd generation construction company owner and there have allows been recessions and boom years, but I think this previous downturn was much harsher than any I’ve experienced. It was the first downturn while I was behind the wheel, but it was pretty harsh and maybe a much needed reality check on spending and inefficiencies.
In store for the future...depends on how a company positioned themselves during the downturn. If they curled up in their shell like a frightened turtle, then I would say there is a long slow upward climb for them. If they saw others curling up in a shell and recognized the opportunity that presented itself to take the “turtles” market share away from them, then they probably had a great year last year. They also are likely on pace for an even better year this year, are light years ahead of the “turtles” and probably have barely have anything in common with the companies that 4 years ago they considered competition.
2. They were not afraid to take a calculated risk and spent marketing dollars when others refused, or they evolved and adapted to their new reality better and faster than others around them.
3. We put all our marketing dollars into Angie’s List, the first resource for smart, informed, affluent, motivated consumers and we also network with others that are going after the same client for other reasons and can pass referrals to each other for nearly every client we come in contact with.