So how do you grow your business 35% a year during a recession?
I got a call a couple days ago from a small business owner who wanted some help growing his business.
So, naturally, I started by asking him what kind of business did he have? He said, “Well, I’ve got four”.
“I have a pest control business, I have a house painting business, a yard service & landscaping business and a pool service”. So I said, “Whoa, you must be really busy”
And he said, “No, not so much.” (He’s in Arizona so all his businesses are active throughout the year.)
He’s a good manager, he doesn’t spend a lot of time in any of those businesses; other people do all the work.
There’s one lesson for all of us right there.
So he said he was growing at about 35% a year and was doing that this year, but he wanted to grow more. He wasn’t happy with that. So my first thought was,
“Well, if you have a business growing at whatever percent, if the base sales level is very small it doesn’t matter, the total dollar volume is still insignificant.”
So I asked him about how much volume he was doing.
And here’s where I got blown away….
He said – on average – each of these little businesses does about half a million a year. So 4 times $500,000 that’s around 2 million dollars a year!
So I asked him then, “What are you doing to grow 35% a year in our current economy?”
And he said,
“All my business comes from referrals, I don’t spend any money on any kind of advertising or anything like that, but there are a few things I do do.
Every year I give every one of my customers a gift.
For example, all of my yard service customers last year got a lawn chair. Every customer for every company gets an annual gift.
But that’s not all, after he does the work – or his people do the work, they make a follow up call to see how they did.
Then, they stay in touch.
They send little gifts, make calls or send cards at least four times a year in addition to the annual gift.
Now, can you remember the last time you did business with any home service company like this? Did you have the problems, like I’ve had, just getting them to show up on the right day?
Getting them to show up is hard enough, but this guy is staying in touch, he’s sending little gifts, he’s sending a nice annual gift.
His customers never leave.
They actually tell him they couldn’t ever leave him because they’re always looking forward to see what’s the gift going to be this year?
And, they send him referrals.
He has other people sending him referrals too, so he’s growing at 35% a year in today’s economy just by using stay-in-touch customer marketing and promotional products.
So, what’s the lesson here?
It is – show your customers that you really do appreciate them and their business and it will come back to you many times over.