The biggest problem is customer acquisition.

John Nowak says: “Our company prefers to build brand new homes. Currently almost all of our business is word of mouth. We spend zero money on marketing. We are small, about 2mm in annual sales on average.”

#2 is a gift for Luxury Remodels and FHR Construction!

Me Too Websites

Nowak’s website is nice looking – if that sounds like faint praise then remember that around 50% of businesses don’t have a website, and some look like they were built in 1996. Sort of like a Model T next to a Tesla.

Although Nowak’s is more toward the Tesla end, and you can clearly see Nowak’s work is off the chart good, it’s still what I call a “me too” website.

See, if you swapped out his name for one of his competitors, there wouldn’t be a lie told.

Which means that there is nothing to grab the visitor.  Fortunately, only one of his competitors has started to think about how to change that.

Now Buyers

Out of every hundred people who visit your website, it’s a sad fact that around 30 will never buy from you. They move out of state, lose their job, never intended to in the first place.

Out of the 70 left, maybe 3 or 4 are Now Buyers. They might give you a call, if your website looks more like a Tesla than a Model T, if your phone number is right in front of them, if, if, if.

That leaves 66-67 people who might buy from you one day. These are the Tomorrow Buyers – people who are at the start or in the middle of their buying journey. They have an itch, but no idea of how to scratch it. They know how to scratch it, but not if they should, or if they should go to their doctor, or the emergency room, or just do it.

When that “one day” arrives, they’ll start their search again. And you hope they hit your website, again, and decide to give you a call. This time. Is there anything you could do to improve on hope?

Well, plenty! And Nowak already has an idea for this. He states: “Involving the builder from the beginning of a project is surely the best way to have your dream home custom designed and built or renovated!”

So let’s imagine there is a story behind this – there probably is. Nowak got called in too late and the result was chaos and overspend. Nowak knows how painful this is. Nowak can fix this. Now if Nowak writes – or gets someone to right and getting a writer is not so expensive – an ebook called “How to stop City Officials and Architects Squandering your Money and Get Twice the Luxury for Your Investment” and puts this right in the center of his home page, how many of the Tomorrow Buyers will download this?

He could ask prospects to pay with an email, or he could just rely on them keeping this book handy – with his phone number right at the front – until they are ready to go ahead.

This will start to make Nowak the contractor people go to first.

What More Could Nowak Do?

Nowak says he relies on word-of-mouth, so here are some ideas, because even word-of-mouth prospects will look at your website, or Google My Business, to look at what other people say about you, or just to get your phone number:

  • Typical for a local business, the Nowak’s home page is missing a compelling headline. A home page is like any other marketing in that you have a few seconds to grab the reader by the eyeballs. Nowak’s headline is “Nowak Homes” and the subhead “THE Home Builder Of The Elite!” Neither of these is good headline material although at least the subhead calls out to his target market. A good pattern for a website is “problem – solution.” As we said above, it looks like Nowak has some experience of people calling in the builder too late. So perhaps something like “The five costly mistakes your builder can help you avoid.” And then, as Nowak wants to build high-end houses, his market is the affluent, and they hate “no” and they hate even the smallest problem, perhaps the subhead is “Any luxury you want in your new home – we take care of everything.”
  • Even the best small companies have $tens-of thousands of pure profit hidden in their pricing, operations, and costs. It’s much quicker, and less risky, to uncover profit in what you’re doing than in splashing out on marketing.
  • Some marketing is more cost-effective. Building your reputation and marketing it is one such. When even 45% of people referred by family and friends go online to check out your reviews, it shows that you want to make the most of every review you get. How to do this? Facebook and Instagram reward pictures, so take you text reviews and turn them into pictures and post them. Even better, turn them into videos and syndicate those too.
  • The same with ads – retargeting people who have already shown an interest in you is far more efficient than trying to reach strangers. And easy way, when you have Reputation Pictures and Videos, is to show these to people who have spent time on your website. And keep showing them for weeks and months, until they become Now Buyers – and guess who they’ll call
  • Finally Facebook, specifically Messenger. There are 20 BILLION messages from consumers to businesses every month on Messenger. That’s because people trust Messenger. Even though Facebook is suffering a bit at the moment! So putting the Messenger Icon on your website, and making sure it gets answered instantly by using a ChatBot is a far better way to get people contacting you than “call 0800-Shark-Attack for a free sales pitch today!”

I’m making this sound easy – but often it seems so until you come to do it.

Tell me the biggest problem in your small business and I’ll find some ways around it for you!