In this exclusive HomeAdvisor webinar, George and Niko Papaheraklis of FineCraft Contractors offer their tips for surviving a potential recession. When the 2008 recession hit, they weren’t prepared – and they nearly lost everything. These are the strategies they developed to bolster their company against future adversity.
1. Build a loyal team.
In a recession, a loyal team can keep you from going under and help you recover faster. The best way to gain loyalty is to be loyal first. Hire people who are a good fit, dedicate yourself to their development and share your industry knowledge and expertise with them. After all, some of Papaheraklis’ most loyal team members started with very little experience. They simply had a passion to learn and a solid work ethic. You might consider starting an apprenticeship program at your own company.
2. Develop effective communication strategies.
Honest and organized communication does more than inform; it builds trust. Keep your clients and employees in the loop and share as many details as possible to ensure a smooth experience. And if there’s any chance of confusion, give thorough explanations – especially when it comes to estimates.
3. Strengthen your reputation.
Your company reputation can help you stand out as times get lean. If your clients enjoy working with you, and if you set realistic expectations with them, they’re more likely to have a positive experience and recommend you to others. When you come up against unrealistic expectations, you’ll make the best impression if you problem-solve with the client instead of simply saying “no.” And you should also encourage your clients to leave a review on HomeAdvisor – and make it easy by sending your personal review link.
4. Invest when times are good.
Don’t let marketing and lead generation fall by the wayside when times are good. Cultivating leads and maintaining client relationships, regardless of how busy you are, will help protect you from the pinch in lean times. Check in on past projects, show that you genuinely care when work is in progress, and be proactive when it comes to your online presence and social media. It only takes a few minutes to add new photos to your HomeAdvisor profile, for example, and such assets can really tip the scale in your favor when it comes to winning leads!
5. Prepare for the future.
A solid financial plan and secure pipelines for sales, marketing and investments are pivotal to surviving a recession and retiring on your own terms. Be sure to cover all of your bases as far as licenses, workman’s comp and general insurance. And for optimal financial management, hire a reputable advisor and use a reliable business management software.
Do you see a strategy here that you could improve upon or implement in your own company? In the webinar, Papaheraklis dives into each of these strategies, explains why they’re important and gives actionable advice on putting them to work in your company. And you can learn even more tricks of the trade with George Papaheraklis’ book, Blueprints for the Residential Contractor.