iMarket Solutions Blog : Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tips for Recruiting Top Talent

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

It might just be the most difficult part of the trade – how do you recruit top talent? You want the very best contractors, managers, and leaders on your team, but how do you go about finding them?

Your role as the business owner is to ‘sell’ your company – not only to potential clients, but to potential employees as well. Job candidates want to know that your company can not only provide the rewards and pay they deserve, but that it can also provide the training, support and development plans to advance their career.  

It’s About More Than the Money

Deciding to work for a company is as much an emotional decision as it is a logical one. Potential hires find it necessary to feel the culture of the business, to see that their talents will match company values and brand promises.

For this reason, it is important to have your values clearly and concisely defined. You need to be able to define “the why” of your business – why do you do what you do? Additionally, you want to be able to explain the direction you foresee the business heading – where do you see the company in 3, 5, or even 10 years?

Defining Rewards, Recognition, and Pay

While payscale is an important factor to consider, recruits want to know that their work is going to be recognized and rewarded, and therefore, it is important to outline and discuss the rewards your company offers.

When do I reward my employees?

To provide the rewards and recognition your employees deserve, you need some sort of measurement to track their progress. For example, you might find tracking sales and the ability to meet quarterly sales goals is an effective way to measure the success of an employee.

Take Recruits for a Ride

Potential hires want to know how they are going to be treated as a member of the team. They want to know that their work and talent is going to be welcomed and respected.

To give recruits a sense of how your business operates on a day-to-day basis, you might do well to consider implementing “ride alongs” into your recruitment strategy. This is where potential hires have the opportunity to join current members of your team for a day in the field. This not only gives recruits a good sense of daily operation, but it also sets the grounds for work and character expectations.

The Ability to Grow and Advance

Having clearly defined advancement and development opportunities laid out for potential hires can set your business apart from your competitors. If you desire top talent, you must also recognize that these individuals are seeking the opportunity to grow within your company, and therefore, you must have a development training outline in place.

A development training outline defines the steps and training a hire must complete in order to advance their career in your business. Though the completion of these steps doesn’t necessarily guarantee a promotion, it does qualify employees for the chance to step into the next role.

What is the next role?

In addition to a development training outline, it is important to have a company organization chart, which outlines the structure of the company, roles, and positions. This way, employees have a sense of direction in terms of career advancement.

Finding Talent

We’ve talked a lot about the ways to get people interested in applying for a position in your company, however, we have not yet mentioned where to look for the talent itself.

Fortunately, we no longer have to rely on newspapers to get our help wanted ads out into the world. Internet sites are the perfect medium to broadcast your open positions. Additionally, you may find that creating a video advertisement is a great way to reel in potential candidates. A video allows you to talk directly to recruits about what they can expect from your company.

The Takeaway

When the time comes to fill a position in your company, remember that candidates are looking for more than just good pay. They want to be sure that your company has clearly defined and outlined expectations and values. Additionally, they are going to want to see your business plan and how you plan on growing your company over the next few years.

Potential hires are also going to want to know that they have the opportunity for growth and advancement within the company and that their progress can result in the opportunity to step into another role. Finally, it is important that you provide fair compensation and implement a rewards system in which you track and measure employee success.

iMarket Solutions provides tools and tips to build successful contracting companies. Contact us today to learn more.

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Preparing for the Spring Shoulder Selling Season

Monday, January 28th, 2019

One of the most common challenges contractors face as spring approaches is pushing sales in the shoulder season. For some, the challenge is even greater since the slow selling season happens twice a year—depending on where you are geographically. It’s something that you need a solid plan to overcome, as this potential loss of revenue can impact even the most successful contracting business.

Overcoming Negative Cash Flow

For many, if not most, contractors the shoulder season means there is not enough consumption to overcome the overhead costs of business—there just isn’t enough gross profit during this time. This puts contractors in a tight spot, often with negative cash flow as they struggle to pay the bills and keep quality talent on staff without losing them to other trades.

This leads us to the question we often get, “How can I be successful in the shoulder season?”

One of the first things you’ll need to do as a contractor is recognize when your shoulder season is. At iMarket Solutions, our customers have access to a budget planning tool to help identify their shoulder season as well as how many jobs a contractor would need to overcome this—answering the question, “How many units do I need to sell and how many services do I need to provide in order to break even?”

Service calls aren’t enough—contractors need a mix of business and products sold during this period to be successful. And in order to make these sales, some specific steps need to happen. This starts with conducting a situational analysis of your current marketing plan in order to analyze the problem you’re facing. From there, you’ll need to determine:

  • Your revenue by department (as part of your budget)
  • Your growth by segment, both percentage and dollar amount
  • The mix of business and products you’ll need to sell in order to achieve desired revenue
  • A media plan that delivers the leads you require on a weekly and/or monthly basis
  • How to fix the seasonality problem
  • A promotional and pricing strategy to increase revenue

This last point is often one that contractors resist, but it’s an important one. We encourage you to run promotions during this slow-selling period! In fact, we want you to create a promotional plan so strong that a customer who doesn’t even need what you’re selling feels compelled to react on an emotional level.

Yes, this costs time and money in an already strained period of the year. But, it’s important to think of your business as not only a contracting company, but a retailer. And retailers do what it takes to fill capacity in order to bring sales up and break even sooner. Often, this means offering incentives in order to produce even minimal revenue, with the goal to create lead opportunities and future transactions.

Selling Service Agreements

One of the biggest keys to revenue growth for contractors is service agreements. We encourage you to get your service agreements to 1,500 per million for your residential business unit. Of course, this requires a lot of selling, and many contractors are concerned about this as most technicians are not trained to sell but rather to provide service.

It’s up to you to create a daily training plan in order to arm your technicians with the resources needed to provide accessory sales and service agreements.

“But, what if my technicians just aren’t motivated to sell?”

This is a valid concern. People are fueled by intrinsic motivation, and your technicians may have the limiting belief of, “I’m not a salesperson.” This is exactly why training is so important! In addition to regular training, being upfront and honest with your technicians can do a lot to encourage them. Just like any other business, employees are always looking for answers to “what’s in it for me?”

We encourage starting the conversation by sharing your company’s vision, value, and purpose. Explain in principle to your technicians what is in it for them, and why they should care. Many contractors shy away from sharing financials because they think their technicians aren’t interested. However, being upfront gives them a reason to care and empowers them to understand how they contribute to the company’s overall success.

“What Else Can I Do to Help My Business?”

The methods you implement to sell your products and services during the shoulder season will depend on a number of factors, but here are a few more steps we encourage you to take:

  • Implementing a new sales process
  • Starting a tuck-in strategy in order to add customers to your existing database
  • Implementing an annual reference guide for seasonal discounts and promotions
  • Creating a brand promise that is unique to your market
  • Considering a new vertical to add on to your products and services
  • Tracking all your lead sources and defining your cost per lead

Last, but not least, we encourage you to build your digital branding and online presence. This includes an updated website, a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) search strategy, and social media marketing. It’s important to remember that we are in a period of time when mobile search rules all other forms of internet search, so using these methods along with building organic links with a strong content strategy are essential to forming a reputable digital footprint.

Contact iMarket Solutions today to learn more about our digital solutions and how we can help you overcome the slow selling season.

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