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Why (and how) to avoid being ‘booked solid’!

103360766 – various color thumb tack pins on calendar as reminder

I see a lot of cleaning and restoration contractors bragging online, “I’m booked solid three weeks out!” Seriously?

IF (and with online posts its always a ‘big IF’) this is true I strongly suggest…

Try not to be booked full more than a week ahead.

Why not? Let me count the reasons…

  1. Cleaning (and even more so emergency water mitigation!) is an ’emotionally driven event’! Translation? People want it done NOW and if you’re booked solid they will move on! Who cares? You should and here’s why…
  2. Every dropped prospect costs you BIG TIME. For example, A) it costs marketing dollars every time your phone rings and if you don’t book the caller B) you lose the job itself plus C) you don’t get the ‘downstream income’ of this prospect becoming a long-term client and even worse- D) you’ll never make a delighted Cheerleader out of this person! WHEW!
  3. No chance to help out “I gotta have it done today” clients. Yep, I loved ‘Same Day’ customers! (Their sense of urgency made any price objections a non-issue!) And when I met their deadline these grateful customers almost always left me a five-star online review! Remember…
  4. Even the best business will suffer from ‘Customer Erosion’. (People move away, install hardwood floors or even have the nerve to die on you!) So you need a steady stream of new blood! (New clients.) How to get them? Re-read #1-#3 above!

So HOW can you safely cut your ‘booked full’ window? (And make more profit too!)

A. Raise your prices! Sure, you may lose a few cheap, ‘bottom feeder’ customers. Big deal! You’ll work less and make more profit than before! Plus your client base will be upgraded and you’ll have the time/energy to find better customers.

NOTE: You especially need to ‘charge more’ if you are a solo owner-operator. Trust me. Clients WILL cheerfully pay a premium to have the owner on the job IF you raise your prices!

B. Increase capacity by growing your company! IF you want to build a Critical Mass Business (one that will run without you) then get your Business Infrastructure in place BEFORE you add more employees/ trucks/ equipment. (Before you leap into this be very sure a a CMB will be your personal ‘Sweet Spot’ in life!

NOTE: To prosper as a Critical Mass Business you must feed the ‘Cash Flow Monster’! Let’s focus on this soon!

Steve

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