Imagine if your company’s average job was $1,100 and you did somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs per year. Cash flow challenges? You bet, says Tim Brown Jr., owner of Rain Gutter Specialties.
That’s why Brown, whose family has been involved with gutters for about five generations, decided to make some changes to his company’s business plan. After riding the post-recession roller coaster of sales and profits, Brown says he could see the need to increase the company’s average sale and net profit. So he added a gutter cover product and heat cables (which are attached to gutter and downspouts to prevent ice damming).
The company’s most recent product addition is siding. In addition to having more products to sell, “we started charging the right price,” Brown says, at the suggestion of Certified Contractors Network, the peer-driven consulting group that Rain Gutter Specialties joined 10 years ago.
The result? The company’s average sale increased last year by 22%—and in 2013 Rain Gutter Specialties enjoyed the most profitable year in the company’s history.
- Because of the size of its jobs, Rain Gutter Specialties has to keep lead costs at $100 per lead. For the same reason, salespeople—including Brown, at peak season—run five leads a day and 80% of the time are presenting to one or another homeowner, not the complete buying party.
- Two years ago the company signed on with GuildQuality. “We found out there were two things that made customers unhappy: the scheduling and the cleanup,” Brown says. Scheduling is difficult to control because so much is dictated by the weather. But implementing constant communication between the company and its customer has reduced homeowners’ anxiety.
- After finding that almost all its negative comments on GuildQuality came from customers with jobs of less than $500, the company raised its minimum job charge from $350 to $500. “We used to just send a salesman out without questioning it,” Brown says. “Raising the minimum job size gave our salesmen time to focus on customers who really want a job.”