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I hear it so often, especially from artisan type companies like plumbers and electricians. “I’m either rushed off my feet or standing idle and I never seem to make real money”. The answer is simple.

It all boils down to fundamentals.

1) Differentiate your company. That is, make it different to the competition. Quicker service, cleaner work, well dressed personnel, clean vehicles, prompt and professional quotations. Don’t stop there, think for yourself.

2) Tip top marketing. Google Adwords is best for this sort of service. It requires an excellent website that sells the client before they even call for a quote. When your Adwords spend gets to about R15 000 per month, get professionals to manage the campaign for you.

3) By now you’ll be getting loads of enquiries. You can start to cherry pick. The easiest way to do this is to push up your prices. Now we’re into the basics of supply and demand. The higher the price, the lower the demand. You’ve just got to use price to reduce the demand so that you can continue to give the level of service that differentiates you from the rest.

4) Cherry picking also means avoiding or dumping the clients who expect more of you than you can give, like those clients who think they are your only customer. Remember, you can only cherry pick if you’re getting more enquiries than you can handle.

5) You don’t want customers, you want clients. Repeat business is a good indicator that you have a happy client who will refer you to his or her friends.

6) Don’t make excuses about why this won’t work for you. Just get off your butt and make it work.

One plumber recently listened to all this and then said. “What do you do to get good staff?”. I replied “Love them”. He really thought I was joking. Then I had to explain that “Love them” means respect them, encourage them, help them grow, share your views with them, bring them on board. You can’t expect them to be part of the team if you don’t treat them as part of the team.

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