The leaders at IBM, a company that had the premier computer brand in the 1980s and 1990s, felt they had their company’s status locked in through market dominance and positive customer opinion. But that changed when a new technology company came along. Apple, with its sky-is-the-limit attitude and Steve Jobs’ belief that Apple’s best could always be better. Jobs wasn’t afraid to make changes to improve his company.

Not Just the Status Quo

Complacency can also affect remodelers. Running a successful company doesn’t give you the luxury to maintain the status quo. In my case, though my marketing plan was bringing in leads and winning awards, I decided I had to make a change, which required parting with our public relations company. What started as small issues grew to the point where I felt our PR rep wasn’t as attentive to our company as I had been when I handled marketing.

When it comes to remodeling projects and our clients, communication can make or break a project. I pride myself on good communication with my clients, but I wasn’t applying the same technique to our PR company.

As a company owner, it’s my job to track our progress. During my monthly meetings with our PR rep, we’d note the progress of our previous month’s goals, set goals for the coming month, and check in on communication with several media outlets. I noticed that the items we’d talked about in the previous month were not on our current list. In addition, the rep never visited one of our most noteworthy projects, which would have provided great fodder for marketing promotion.

Doing Better

But although our lead generation is strong and our brand is solid — so slacking off a bit on marketing probably wouldn’t have a dramatic effect — that doesn’t mean we can’t do better. I had to consider the direction of future marketing efforts to help us reach our $2.5 million revenue goal in 2013.

Steve Jobs didn’t stop with his first Apple computer. If he had, I wouldn’t be toting my iPad to our jobsites. Always think about what you can do better — not just in marketing — and don’t be afraid to make changes to elevate your company.

All your efforts should contribute and create a cohesive company brand. I found a new PR rep whose vision better meshes with our company’s values. And although business is booming, we will market assertively — not complacently — in 2013.—Steve Gray is the owner of Steve Gray Renovations, in Indianapolis. His vision is to bring professionalism to the home renovation industry.

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