I remember hearing a friend talk about an Olympic Swimmer who had just won a gold medal in every event say, “There’s no competition! He’s in a class all of his own!” This is not Turbo Renovations, but I run my business with the motto that there is no such thing as competition.
I took business courses that teach you how to gain a market advantage and position yourself and your products to fit a specific market niche. I have learned how to make an economical business structure that grows organically and over time. I have learned how to leverage capital to grow rapidly and yet conservatively.
I studied many case studies of start-up organizations. I have witnessed zealous individuals who imagine they have something wonderful that will change the world, and they don’t test the market and consumer preference before throwing everything they have into their idea.
I began very small using mostly my dad’s tools and working out of the RED FORD AEROSTAR after my mission. I eventually bought an old 76 Chevy C-10 pickup and used it to work out of. I had maybe $3000 invested into my company that made me about $2000 a week. And took 40-60 hours of my time.
For many years I worked when I needed money, and spent my time attending college and learning. I would work for a weekend and make $2000-$6000, then take a month off to study and focus on schooling.
After college I began to work full-time from word-of-mouth advertising. It was easy to get the next job by being personable and friendly for my current client. I worked for some amazing people who were VERY grateful for quality work at half the cost of their other options.
As I worked, other people would recommend that I make a more concerted effort to grow or expand. I was referred to networking companies, marketing agencies, and it wasn’t until I had a friend who was an excellent photographer who was between jobs that I decided to pay someone to help me market.
I told him that my company name was Turbo Renovations, and that I wanted my logo to be a hammer. He designed the company logo, make my first (and still only) marketing video, and designed my business cards. He did it for WAY LESS than he should have charged. His name is Braxton Wilhelmsen and he is one of the most phenomenal photographers...scratch that. He is one of the most phenomenal ARTISTS I have known. Go look him up on Facebook. He currently has a contract for Lifetime. He has made an amazing name for himself, and I was insanely blessed to have the opportunity to purchase his skills.
From the Logo and video he shared, I booked 7 months of work from sharing the video he had made for me. Look at our Facebook page www.facebook.com/turboreno for the video, and prepare to be amazed. We hadn’t really taken many good pictures for him to use at that time, but he did a phenomenal job making a stunning video.
(SIDE NOTE: hire a professional ...a real artist… to make your company video and to take your company photos. I now have a full-time laborer who is also an independent photographer. She documents all of our projects in her area. Look up her work (some of which are our previous projects) at Alissa Morgan Photography)
When we made the video, I had to commit more time to keep up with demand. When we expanded into Arizona, we started up a marketing campaign using a third party company which helped us to have instant work and start growing. We couldn’t grow fast enough, and after 23 employees and still not enough people to keep up with the demand for work, I quadrupled my prices. (SHHH don’t tell any of my clients in Arizona…)
Work still didn’t slow down, but I decided it was too much work and too fast to grow as I couldn’t personally train new hires and be a part of every decision.
This is the time when we had the mismanagement of funds which almost caused the bankruptcy.
Stop. A few valuable lessons here must be explained.
That said, we grew. We met a lot of other companies and one day working I noticed in one single subdivision over 13 different contractors. I thought, in this sprawling suburb, if this small subdivision (built over 30 years ago and in general good repair) can have so many contractors occupied in working...how many other companies could there be...and hence, so much competition...so I googled it.
In my city alone, there were over 1.2 million contractors licensed and currently operating legally...not to mention unlicensed work being done. Yet, I never lost a job to another contractor. I have always been a great salesman and can read a potential client to know what they really want and to give them the service they need...but even if I didn’t, with all these other contractors, what was it that made these people choose me?
Don’t know. Don’t care…
No. Just kidding.
Super curious, and I often asked my clients.
It’s always a friend of theirs who had some work done by us, or is connected on social media somehow, or we came up in a google search and they looked at our business page.
When we opened our first satellite location, we used a third party to generate leads precursor to the word-of-mouth campaign.
I have tried 4-5 different agencies to host/build a website for us. I used a freelance web developer, a large corporation to design and build, a package provider who does invoices/CRM (customer relationship management)/website/marketing...what I found is that you can make your own page (thank you Weebly), use Quickbooks-or not, and google suites. Very low-cost and still secure and capable of any massive marketing campaign.
Opening a new location requires setting up the license and bond and insurance, along with understanding new state governing agencies and regulations. Aside from that, we turn on a month or two of marketing in the area and try to fill up my schedule as I go to start the first 3-4 projects and build the reputation. After that, we turn off the marketing, and continue growing organically as I train and teach the new laborers.
I very much enjoy meeting up with new contractors and supply yards. I always start by asking who is the best, and asking them to go out to lunch or meet so I can learn from them or share insights and get the local information on best/worst supply yards. Once work starts to pick up and I become too busy, these contractors become a great network to help potential clients find the best contractor for the job.
YES. Sometimes I’m not the best...but I’ll always make sure that potential clients get the best services. I’m not shy to refer others.
In short, we really are in business to make the world a better place. We are professional and sincere in providing the best to others, even when that means referring them to someone else and giving up certain jobs to our “competitors” whom we like to refer to as our friends.
If you know someone we should network with who would be a great network or skilled “competitor” please share their contact information and we’ll get connected.
Our great 16th president Abraham Lincoln knew very well that we give the best services when we unite different views and understandings. It also removes the fear and anxiety in life when we know and understand the “competition”.
But, don’t worry. I’ll never share my pricing or estimate guidelines because the last thing we want is for contractors to collude on costs and start giving inflated and exorbitant pricing on projects.
Thank you capitalism for allowing us to define our own costs and allow others to select the values they want to pay for like: speed, perfection, types of qualities of materials, insurance, warranties, tool brands purchased, or whatever defines the cost or service offered.
To prepare for Easter, tomorrow will be a little different topic...