Will your restoration company survive the next down economy? Or be a casualty of it?
Right now it’s Coronavirus. Before that it was the Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Ebola, Democrats getting control, Republicans getting control, Trump, Clinton, Bush, etc. Lots of media driven reasons to be scared or fight each other. I’m not overly interested in any of them, except one commonality they all have: The potential that any one of those things could turn down a market and create a recession.
My company has been in the internet marketing side of restoration marketing longer than just about anyone else Now, that’s not a brag, it’s stated so that you understand that I’ve been given a 40,000 ft view of your industry. It’s been an amazing opportunity to view what you do in good times and in bad. – I’ve seen who the stars who rise and the ones who bury themselves. Most importantly, I’ve seen who survives the economic downturns and who doesn’t.
I’ve made up names for my top observations of the people who didn’t make it and why. By observing what didn’t work, we all can understand failure and do the exact opposite to survive the tough times.
So here we go:
1. The Criminal – Insurance fraud, embezzling money from partners, theft, drug dealing & even corporate espionage. I know those that are in jail, some bankrupt, those on the other side of debilitating lawsuits and those whose reputations have been crippled due to criminality. I’m willing to bet you know one of two yourself. Karma is a bitch.
2. The Blamer – He’s the guy who knows everything is everyone else’s fault – His employees, his customers, the market, the government, his marketing people, the insurance companies, everyone but…well, him.
3. The Silver Bullet – He thinks there’s one “silver bullet” to creating a successful company. And he really tries every silver bullet too. There is no silver bullet to creating a successful company, ask anyone who has been around forever in this biz.
4. The Veruca Salt – Remember her? From Willy Wonka? She was the spoiled brat girl who said, “I WANT IT NOW!” Well, don’t we all. But it’s not like that. Only perseverance, intelligence, hard work and hard-won experience will get you a winning company.
5. The Part-Timer – He simply won’t put in the time or effort. Even when the work is plentiful, he stops taking calls and is home by 5pm! When times are tough, instead of getting more business, he sits on Internet forums and Facebook groups complaining about how slow it is.
6. The Industry hopper – This is the restorer who is a restorer when it’s convenient. Like in 2008-2009 when home building and remodeling died. All of the sudden they were all restorers! But…they weren’t. They didn’t learn the ropes and thought this business was just going to be easy money. Well, it’s not. It’s its own beast. You have to really specialize in it to thrive.
7. The Short-Term Thinker – He can’t plan or think past Friday. You can tell him until you’re blue in the face that rainy season is ending soon or that there are lulls in this business, but does he plan for it? So, he ends up with new lay-offs every year. I wish I could tell you how many people I’ve seen bankrupted from this mindset in the last decade. Probably more on this point than any other.
Economies go up and down, Presidents change, insurance companies get regulated. There’s always going to be some new threat to us from somewhere at some point. But these things above, these are real company killers. But there are companies I know, lots of them, that thrive through bad economies and slow seasons. How? By doing the exact opposite of those things above.
To your success!
Dan York, CEO