Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301.275.0208.
A friend of mine once told a group of remodelers, “If a business isn’t changing, it will become irrelevant.” As simple as that sounds, it was a moment of truth for me. Becoming irrelevant is the ultimate insult, not just to you, but to your clients and your team. And it may be the kiss of death for your business.
Change is not optional, and while it’s not always possible to predict exactly how things will change, it’s important to make the inevitability of change an integral part of your thinking and strategies.
To put change in perspective, I created the table shown below. It looks at how the marketplace has changed since the recession nearly eight years ago and what that means for the way remodelers market and sell their services.
While most of these comparisons aren’t surprising, the important question to ask yourself is: Are you operating in the right column? Keep in mind that not all of these juxtapositions are exclusive. For example, remodelers no longer have prospects waiting in line. Instead, they now have to go out and find them. But in both cases, the clients need to be a good match. Similarly, while high-tech marketing is essential for survival today, high-touch marketing still has an important role to play.
A good way to gauge how well you’re adjusting to change is to answer the following questions about how your current situation compares with a few years ago:
- Are clients taking more or less time to move through the sales process?
- Is your close rate better or worse?
- Has your client base improved or deteriorated?
- Are you happy with the number of leads generated by high-tech marketing efforts?
- Are your month-to-month sales results more consistent or less consistent than
- in the past?
- Do you feel you have more control of the remodeling sales process or do your clients have more control?
If the answers to these questions are positive, then keep doing what you’re doing—but check again in six months. If, on the other hand, you are like most remodelers and find yourself increasingly stressed, frustrated, and confused, and falling short of your goals, then it’s time to commit to change.