Thursday, May 7, 2015

Failure is Always Lurking Nearby

Failure doesn't play favorites. It likes to see every new builder fail. 

Failure doesn't hide in dark corners waiting to pounce. No, it lurks inside the way you run your business and it is easily visible to anyone that takes the time to be honest with themselves and look at it.

Failure also doesn't care if you build a hundred homes or just a couple a year. Here are some things Failure uses to succeed in helping you close your doors:

FAILURE doesn't want you to have a marketing plan.
  If you don’t have a marketing plan that states just who your customer is and why they should spend their money on one of your houses, your business could be ripe for failure. Builders that survive both good times and tough times are always going after the new home buyers with a vengeance and without knowing who your customer is, it will be tough to compete.

FAILURE doesn't want you to know your market.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your message out.  Make sure your offices, trucks and showroom is clean and neat.  Hand out your business cards to everyone you meet and tell people what type of home you build…green, Energy Star, system built or whatever is your niche.  Go after your ideal customer with free targeted social media marketing programs.  Just do something.

FAILURE doesn't want you to have adequate cash on hand.  If you don't have enough cash to carry you through the sales cycles and downward trends, your prospects for success are not good. Start hoarding money in these good days by saving on things you can do without and save money by getting rid of things you have that are dragging you down such as that backhoe that you haven’t used in 4 months or extra staff or advertising in the newspaper.

FAILURE wants you to be everything to every buyer.  Trying to be everything for every new home buyer is tough.  Oh I know, sticks, steel and glass can be made to look like anything the customer wants but can you really do it?  If you are a luxury home builder, how will you relate to the “affordable” home buyer?  Will you suggest things out of their budget and then watch as they run away.  Or if you build modest houses, do you really think that you and your workers are prepared for all the luxury items the affluent buyer wants and can afford.  Produce homes that you are comfortable building. Being a modular home builder gives you a huge advantage as you are always up to date on new products and procedures.

FAILURE doesn't want you to be a good manager. Management of a business encompasses a number of activities: planning, organizing, controlling, directing and communicating. The cardinal rule of small business management is to know exactly where you stand at all times. A common problem faced by successful companies was learning to grow beyond their old management resources or skills.

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