But, growing your business can seem like a daunting task with everything else you already have on your plate.
You've got to juggle staff, keep up with new technologies, deal with supply chain issues, and make sure you're keeping your existing clients happy.
Besides that, you're always on the lookout for new ways to stay competitive. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know which investments are worth your time and money. So here are four investments that you should focus on to grow your home service business in 2022.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, you need to focus on providing an exceptional customer experience.
There are very few things more important than client satisfaction if you want to see growth.
So the question I like to ask is: If you could NEVER spend a dime on marketing again, and you had to rely 100% on word of mouth, what would your customer experience look like?
What would people say about your brand, your employees, the way you take payments or send invoices, or get them scheduled, or follow up after the job is complete?
The customer experience doesn't only come down to the actual project itself. These days, it’s essential to take care of your processes in the backend of your business because of how this can make your clients feel.
When your clients take out their wallets or tell a friend about your services, they consider way more than the actual "fulfillment" (the new flooring, the fresh coat of paint, or the new bathroom).
Of course, this is important, but in today's world, people care about how they are treated during every touchpoint with your business, from the sales process to the installation.
They want to know that you're going to be there after the job is done for any follow-up questions or emergencies that might come up down the line.
To really grow your company, you need to create a better experience for your clients than any other contractor or home service provider in town.
That could mean getting new software that makes it easier for you to quickly estimate jobs, offer better scheduling, and take payments more efficiently. Or rebrand and get new uniforms and vehicle wraps to show that you're a high-end company that delivers a professional experience.
Whatever it is, you need to create an amazing customer experience that makes people's jaws drop!
Having an outstanding customer experience takes more than just being polite or calling a client back promptly after they left a voicemail...
In today's world, you need to be on top of every detail of the experience and make sure it's consistent for EVERY SINGLE PERSON that interacts with your company.
If you want to grow, you need a rockstar team that feels valued and rewarded.
Your employees care about the way they're treated. They want to feel like they're making a difference in their job, that they're a part of the bigger picture, and that there is room for them to grow.
A lot of employers say no one wants to work anymore or there are no good employees anymore…
But the truth is, there are — they simply already have a job that they love and don't want to leave.
And whoever that employer is, they are creating an environment that attracts and retains top talent.
People who have talent are often attracted to big businesses rather than small ones.
Now people might say they love working at a mom-and-pop shop, but they probably would love the opportunities and incentives that a bigger business can provide.
So how can you create an environment for employees that emulates those perks of working for a big business?
And I don’t mean health benefits and 401ks (because most of your competitors already offer that).
Think about what you can do differently in your company so that people are attracted to apply, want to stick around, and will even refer their friends and family to come work for you too.
How can you make sure your team feels appreciated every day, not just once a year when they get their Christmas bonus?
At the end of the day, you need to invest in your team because they are your most valuable asset.
If you want to grow your company SUBSTANTIALLY this year, you need to invest time and energy into creating systems.
Since we’re on the topic of how big businesses do things differently, it’s important to take notice of how they systemize their workflows.
Big businesses are known for having processes This leads to fewer mistakes, more efficiency, and more consistency.
And the best part is that it doesn’t even take that much time to set things like this in motion!
Standard operating procedures, or "SOPs", are a set of written instructions that detail how your business should operate on a day-to-day basis. SOPs can include anything from how to handle leads to closing a sale or to what should happen in each phase of a project.
By creating and following SOPs, your business runs smoothly and consistently, no matter who is performing the tasks. Having standardized procedures in place also helps to protect your brand image and ensures that clients receive the same high-quality experience every time they interact with your company.
Systems may seem ‘boring’, or like something you don't have time for, or you may be assuming the way you've been doing things is the best way there is…
But you should always be looking for new ways to optimize and document your processes.
So start creating guidelines for how you want things to go within your company.
Get rid of any ambiguity about how things should be done and get better at what you do on a daily basis by having your systems and processes be really structured.
Not only does it create a better experience for your clients, it also makes onboarding new employees and getting them up to speed so much easier on you!
There is a clearly outlined system to follow, and there's some sort of resource that you just have to create once, and they can go to find the answers they need.
Systems make your business run smoother, they don't require a ton of resources or manpower, and are incredibly helpful.
So get to work on creating SOPs around your business! It's easier than it seems, and it will save you a ton of time and money in man-hours, which is the biggest expense in owning any contractor business.
And if it's overwhelming at first, choose one area that needs the most improvement — create a process for that, write it down, train your team on it, and see the impact this has on your business.
You can NOT grow a business without growing your customer base — without marketing; you are dead in the water.
The contractor space has become incredibly competitive, and businesses have to work really hard to get people to buy from them.
If you’ve been relying primarily on word-of-mouth marketing (like most contractors) but you really want to see growth, you are going to have to invest in other types of marketing like digital ads.
Ads DO cost money, and there can be a lot of trial and error involved, but it’s a big part of how you will get seen by the masses and become visible to people who have had no association with your company in the past.
I know it's easy to feel ripped off or like you've wasted money in past if you paid for ads and didn’t see any return on investment (ROI). But this is often because there is a great amount of competition and necessary testing when it comes to marketing in general, and especially with digital ads.
That's why it's SO important that you delegate this task to an expert, and you spend a good amount of time finding that right expert.
Ask them for case studies, talk to their clients, or even "funnel hack" businesses in your same industry in similar markets (but not your same market).
You can click on their ads, look at their landing page and process, and see what is working for them. You might even reach out to them, ask who handles their ads, and see if they're happy with the ROI. This can help you find a marketing agency that can run great ads for you.
And if you are wondering how much ads or your marketing should cost, here is some general info:
If you're looking to keep business about the same, 6-8% of your revenue is good. If you're hoping for more aggressive growth, around 12% or more is ideal.
And while Pay Per Click ads are going to be the fastest way to start getting exposure, you should certainly invest part of your marketing budget into other areas like:
Your branding (this is one of your best investments for getting seen and being memorable)
A great website (this is the hub of your marketing efforts)
Social media content (so people can get to know your business on a more personal, relatable level)
And direct mail or email marketing to your existing customer base (to reactivate them and get them to purchase from you again)
And last but not least, on the topic of marketing — the only way you'll grow and see a ROI is if you're tracking your investment carefully.
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a metric that indicates the performance of an organization, business process, or individual employee with respect to some predetermined goals or objectives. It basically gives you a snapshot of your success.
So be super specific about what you're looking to measure in your marketing as a KPI.
Then monitor those KPIs as you watch your marketing budget increase.
Some good marketing KPIs to watch are:
How many leads you get from each marketing channel
How many of those leads convert into paying clients
What the average cost per lead is
This way, you will be able to see how well your marketing is working for you, and if it's worth the money.
Those are the 4 investments you need to make if you want to grow your business in 2022: client experience, employees, your business systems and your marketing.
Now, I know this can be overwhelming at first. You will need time to research and implement those investments.