Home Improvement Crisis Task Force Report (Volume 6)

A Reminder: We invite organizations/companies to provide input, questions or comments.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

– Winston Churchill

MANY COMPANIES ARE REPORTING POSITIVE CHANGES

In this issue, we noticed a lot of innovative practices put into place that are having a profound impact on the culture, direction, and success of several businesses. There are creative methods you can put into place in every department of your organization. We appreciate the positivity, because it lets us know that things in the industry are starting to turn around.

STRENGTHEN AND/OR RESHAPE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE

Rick McIntire of Dave Yoho Associates reports, “We are hearing from many of our clients that they have taken steps to re-evaluate their business, including their mission, vision & values as well as policies and procedures. One of our roofing, siding and window clients told me last week – – It is not only invigorating and motivating, but in many cases it’s revealing and causing me to take a hard look at why we do what we do. Not to mention, it is filling our time with purposeful productive action instead of randomly reacting to the changing circumstances.”

Here are three things that you can do no matter what your status that will strengthen and or reshape your culture:

  1. Review your business plan and make adjustments that will put you back in the game if you’ve been sidelined or improve your position if you’re still active. Ask yourself are we staying true to our mission, vision and values or do we need to redefine them? If you don’t have these spelled out where everyone on your team can see them, learn them and know them, then DO IT NOW!
  2. Review your documented sales process for in-home consultation including scripting. Also look at your scripts for setting and confirming appointments. Ask yourself if what you see and hear is going to get you where you want to go? If not, make changes. If you don’t have these processes documented then DO IT NOW.
  3. Review your marketing strategies. Look at the data you have to determine what has been working for you based on results and ask yourself will these results get me where I want to go? If you do not keep data on every lead you get that tells you where it came from and what happened to it, then evaluating marketing results will be difficult if not impossible. If you don’t track your marketing efforts with hard data or if you don’t regularly review marketing results (at a minimum every 15 days), START NOW.

Make up your mind you right now! You’re not only going to survive this, but when you come out the other side you will be one of the companies that is thriving. In the meantime make the most of it with actionable activities that will make you stronger.

Innovative Social Safety Measures

During this challenging time for all businesses, Northern Craft Construction (Pasadena, MD) has introduced unique and innovative measures in both seeking new business and in maintaining quality control of their construction projects.

The challenge Owner Bruce Northcraft faces is how to maintain the personal relationships nurtured over two decades while still maintaining the new safety directives as a result of Covid-19. Bruce has modified his safety procedures to maintain attention to safety by setting up a mobile disinfectant station in his truck, which he displays to clients by parking in a safe proximity within the homeowner’s sight. In the back of his truck, tailgate down, there is a large container of disinfecting solution (bleach and washing solution) and a pair of rubber boots and gloves. Bruce puts on these boots and gloves before meeting with any clients and walks up to greet the homeowner, always keeping the 6-foot social distancing. Bruce comments, “I feel really awkward, but I know that I’ve demonstrated to the homeowner my personal conviction that I respect both my safety and theirs.” Following the meeting, in clear view of the homeowner, the boots and gloves are washed with the disinfectant solution and hung up in the truck awaiting the next use.

If the homeowner would rather not meet indoors, weather-permitting, Bruce erects a temporary tent outside the home, sets up a table and his laptop, and a truck-mounted 32” video display monitor, and invites the prospective client to meet for a ‘pop up’ presentation, still wearing his make-shift PPE. He asks the client to do a FaceTime (recorded by Bruce for future reference) walk-through of the home, all the while listening to Bruce as he guides them through the process of pointing their cell phone at areas of concern.

Bruce takes measurements from outside the structure and records them into his estimating program while sitting in his makeshift, but fully appointed ‘truck front seat office.’ He talks with the client during the entire process and asks for an hour or two to complete the estimate/proposal in the driveway. When the proposal is completed, he offers to give the client a hard copy and also offers to immediately email the client the proposal, while also offering financing on the project.

Bruce has also developed a communications platform for both Northern Craft and the homeowner to view project progress. For each home remodeling project, Bruce initiates a job site photo album through Google photo share, with imagery and videos for everyone to communicate with during the project. The images and video provide the opportunity for quality control by reviewing daily uploads, further discussed with employees through phone communications. His workers upload images and video for Bruce to first, inspect quality control and second, to share with the client all over the internet and phone, thereby eliminating the need for face-to-face communication. As soon as someone adds to the photo album, everyone, including the homeowner receives notifications.

Bruce has considered that his small investments in safety, both for Northern Craft Construction workers and homeowners alike are paying off. Bruce comments, “Showing respect to my homeowners and workers through these creative methods is a way for us to not only continue to conduct daily business, respect social distancing, but also demonstrate to our clients our respect for their health and well-being.”

Helping Our Community

Bill McGraw, the President of Quality Home Products of Texas has built one of the most successful businesses in the industry, and one of his core beliefs involves giving back – – and it’s more important now than ever.

Mr. McGraw states, “Here is how you and your business can make the biggest difference right now. As you have probably heard the food banks are getting wiped out right now for several reasons. Kids are unexpectedly out of school, many people are out of work and with all the hoarding going on at grocery stores, products aren’t getting any age to them, so they aren’t being donated to the local food banks. The main source for our food for all food banks is local grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Sam’s etc. At our local food bank the donations they depend on are down 70% since the hoarding started. This is coming at the worst possible time in recent history. It’s like the perfect storm.”

“Here’s something you can do to help and get great goodwill and value for your advertising dollar while helping others. We got with the food bank we partner with and set up a virtual food drive. Food banks can actually do much more with cash than they can with canned goods anyway. We started doing matching campaigns with them a couple years ago. I suggested doing one now when they needed it the most. We put up $25,000 for this campaign. People love a match. So far we have been able to collect over $180,000 and it’s just a few days old. This is done through mostly social media – – Facebook, email blasts, NextDoor, etc. – – so there is very little expense. We actually did a paid ad on Facebook to get things rolling. Our company name is on everything they send out so we can write it off as an advertisement. I was out working in the yard this evening when a lady pulled up to my house and gave me a $100 check for the food bank. I did not know her but she had seen my posting on my neighborhood app that listed my name and address. As a large home improvement company in my area this is just one way I can give back to support the community that supports my company.

“I turned that $25,000 into several hundred thousand dollars. That’s getting bang for our buck and I can write it off because of all the advertisement value I get, so I get to choose where my tax dollars are being spent.”

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