5 Tips for Differentiating Your Home Improvement Contracting Business

5 Tips for Differentiating Your Home Improvement Business

Getting a leg up on the competition in the home improvement business can be tough.  Small Business Trends spoke with Dave Yoho, the Founder and President of Dave Yoho Associates, a consulting company that’s been representing small businesses since 1962.

Differentiating Your Home Improvement Business

Yoho  shared some tips on how a small home improvement contracting business can stand out in any crowded marketplace.

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Talk with Clients

There’s more to being different than offering free estimates and the lowest price, Yoho says.  One of the ways that contractors can differentiate themselves is to establish a personal connection by talking with clients about their specific needs.

“If someone doesn’t recognize the value people put on their personal time, they’re going to do what everyone else does,” he says suggesting this kind of connection adds a personal touch that adds depth to advertising and special offers.

“Contractors need to be able to deal with the people that contact them so they can get something out of it,” Yoho says, adding the example of roofing contractors telling a prospect about the average lifespan of shingles in their area.

Listen to Clients

Of course, listening to any prospects is just as important. When they start talking about remodeling a basement and you interrupt them to talk about the high-quality drywall you use, they’ll lump you in with all the others who use high pressure sales tactics.

When you’re listening to them talk, you’ll get to understand what their needs are.

Pay Attention to Cycle Times

You need to give customers accurate estimated completion times for jobs. In the home improvement industry, there are many variables like weather that can affect this. Yoho stresses contractors need to be organized so they have accurate “cycle times” to get the job done on time. That way, the client is happy, everyone gets paid and the business gets a great reputation.

He uses the example of a window replacement project.

“It might take six weeks from the day you sell it to the day you complete it,” he says. “The work year might have 48 weeks with holidays and bad weather.”

Dividing those numbers gives you a cycle time–the number of days you need to complete the project factoring in all your operating costs.

It’s a simple formula to make your business more efficient and credible.

Find a Smaller Target Market

Narrowing down the area you work in as a home improvement contractor is a great way to separate yourself from the competition.  One way to do this is to geographically tag any of the keywords you use on your website or in social media.

For example, if you use a keyword like “bathroom renovations” you can narrow down your market by adding a location so it reads “Philadelphia bathroom renovations.” Using a technique like this helps you to build stronger client relationships in a more condensed area.

Look at Your Structure

If you’re bogged down with an inefficient supply chain or bookkeeping system that’s not right for your home improvement business, you’ll have no time to work on differentiating yourself.

That’s why Yoho suggests a smaller firm in this space standing head and shoulders above the competition always needs to be looking toward improvements across the company.

“That goes for the installation crew, the sales crew and even the people working in the office,” Yoho says, cautioning against just using tried and true methods because they work.

Keeping open minded can give you an edge. Getting employee input at a weekly meeting is a good start.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

5 Reactions
  1. You made an interesting point when you talked about how home improvement contractors need to give their clients accurate completion times for jobs so that they can become more reliable. I would think that having the proper equipment would go a long way in being able to work faster. I would say that it would be a good idea to start with the right kind of truck that can help you haul your equipment if you are wanting to be a contractor.

  2. AKN Home Improvement

    Great blog with very good information. It will be very helpful. Thank You

  3. Great tips about Home Improvements. I really appreciate your efforts put on this blog. Thanks for sharing this

  4. Exactly most of the people confused about how they’ll choose a contractor for renovations, and they aren’t sure of how they’ll start the search for a skilled remodeling contractor. I appreciate the tips that you gave on Home Improvement Contractor Brooklyn are really very informative. I’ll be sure to look for a contractor online to help us remodel.

  5. Thanks for this informative post, I really appreciate it. You look an expert , I wan to ask a question about cleaning of house, its somewhat related to home improvement, so you may help me in this favor. We all know its a difficult to maintain the cleanliness of so vacuums are used. But theses days there are so many robot vacuums which i saw do the cleaning job on their own. Did you ever use them? How are they? A guide related to this will be much appreciated.
    Thanks !

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