by InterNACHI® Founder Nick Gromicko, CMI®
with Kate Tarasenko
A code official for a nearby county came to me for help. He told me he was employed full-time by his local building department performing new-construction inspections. He had been a contractor in the past, so his background dovetailed nicely with his current job. But he wasn't completely satisfied. Although he enjoyed his county job and all of its benefits, a part of him missed being his own boss. So, after a few years of working exclusively for the county, he decided to start his own home inspection business on the side. He joined InterNACHI® and took all of its free training. But he wasn't ready to cut the cord from his reliable county job just yet.
He was a single man and a real go-getter. His county job kept him busy Monday through Friday, so he hoped to do home inspections on the weekends. As he was determined to grow his home inspection business, working seven days a week was something he was motivated to do.
The problem was that he didn't get many inspection requests, and he had to turn down many appointments, since he was only available on Saturdays and Sundays. He asked me for help to see how he could make his home inspection company flourish, given its limitations.
I looked over his website and marketing materials, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was all very well done. Well... except for one thing: his company tagline. It was simply "Prompt and Thorough." "Prompt and Thorough"? That isn't anything to brag about. It didn't say anything that set him apart from his competitors. Every inspector should be prompt and thorough. Actually, everyone in every profession should be prompt and thorough in everything they do.
So, I recommended that we get rid of his existing tagline and replace it with a new one. We'd put this new tagline under his logo, and everywhere else in his marketing, including his truck signage, business cards, website... everywhere. And it would turn what he thought was a negative into a positive. The new tagline would be: "Available Weekends."
Marketing isn't necessarily about getting more work. It's sometimes about getting the right clients for your particular business and lifestyle.
Getting back to our code officer... He reported back after three months to say that his weekends were booked solid with home inspections, and that he's become known in his service area as the home inspector who works weekends. And busy consumers love it!
Is your business stuck? Are you having trouble overcoming the competition? If so, you might want to evaluate how you do things, and take the ones you think are holding you back and make them work for you, and for your prospective clients. Sometimes, you have to take a perceived negative and turn it into a positive. You'll never know what seemingly little thing in your business practices can actually make a huge difference and put you over the top, if you only look at it from the client's point of view.