Why do people think of a franchise first or pick them when doing a Google search? Well, let’s look at it from the viewpoint of the consumer. Growing up these businesses have always been around. Maybe one day mom wanted to have her carpets cleaned and so she called Stanley Steemer. Decades have passed and Stanley Steemer still seems to be kicking around. So now when that consumer thinks of carpet cleaning they think of who mom called, Stanley Steemer. So now this business has become the Kleenex of their industry.
Know what I mean? All tissues are Kleenex, all copies are Xeroxed, etc. Those are in actual fact Brand names, yet they’ve become the entire industry in the mind of the consumer. So your job now is to get them to think of you instead of the well known franchise name. I won’t lie to you, this is not an easy task, but it can absolutely be done and our clients are killing it.
Now let’s look at the water damage industry. I won’t be listing off the franchises for your industry, but you know who they are…so let’s look at what they have:
-Been around for decades
-All the same colors, logos, uniforms, etc—this is Brand Recognition
-Clean trucks in good condition
-Steady and consistent Marketing both on and off the internet
-How to’s that come along with buying in to the franchise, etc
Alright, so you may not have a lot of the above, but that doesn’t matter one bit. First things first, let’s look at the basics.
Look around your business. Really look. Are the walls dirty? Desks in disrepair? Are your trucks dirty or rusty? Are your techs going to homes with filthy hands and holes in their work shirts? Are the logos or words on your trucks legible or faded and missing letters? Are you reading your online reviews?
This is all PR, Public Relations. It’s how you are perceived by the consumer…you know, the ones you want to call you! Bottomline, if these basics are not up to snuff, in the mind of the consumer, you are already out of the running. It’s literally that simple.
You have to put your best foot forward both in and out of the office as a basic foundation if you want to compete with the big dogs. If you’ve got some work to do on that front, get to it!
Next, we don’t actively seek out franchises in our business. They generally have teams dedicated to all of their marketing. So most of our clients are family owned businesses. These guys know all the growing pains and obstacles outside of the franchise side of life and we help them continue to grow. Not that we don’t have franchise clients. In fact, having the luxury of having clients that are both franchise and non-franchise owned is of great value to us. We listen to all of our clients about how they got to where they are and where they are going. Believe it or not, they all hit the same obstacles at some point. It’s what they do when they hit an obstacle that determines who will come out on top. That point alone is what evens out the playing field between franchise and non-franchise owners.
The winners don’t have to have corporate support, but it sure doesn’t hurt. The winners have their own team, clean respectable employees, buildings and supplies. They are also smart with their marketing and know that if they are going to not just compete but dominate in their area, they can’t back off on marketing at any time. Why? Watch this video and our CEO will explain why we need to spend marketing dollars during slow times. Click Here.
So you want those calls coming to you? Then don’t take basics like cleanliness for granted and don’t just throw marketing out like some random fishing line. Study the marketing actions of the top guys in your industry and see what you can do for your business. Notice I said study and not copy. Learn from what they are doing and create your own plan so that when someone in your area thinks of water damage service they think of you, not the other guys.