When you’re thinking about how to grow a service based business, it’s important to think outside the boxes on your balance sheet. Service-based businesses are people-based businesses. Some of your biggest challenges with a service-based business can be solved by developing your relationships with your clients, creating a strong team, making connections, building trust, and instilling confidence.
If your team members don’t feel connected to the company, they’ll leave. If clients don’t trust the salesperson, they won’t buy. When potential team members don’t have confidence in you and/or the company, they won’t come to work for you. Likewise, if potential clients don’t have confidence in your company and services, they won’t do business with you.
Understanding your clients and their struggles is the key to providing a useful service. Providing excellent customer service will lead to happy clients, which will lead to referrals, which are vital to growing your business, especially in the early days.
Not only do you want repeat customers but you want to have the ability to anticipate their future needs so you can sell that brand new system or product to them. But it all starts with training in-house before you start adding on to your marketing plan.
How To Grow Your Service Based Business
Growing a service based business is more than having a solid marketing plan. Even if you had all the leads in the world it doesn’t matter if you can’t close deals and retain customers. So, the first step to growing your service based business is having a rock-solid team and sales process.
Recruit the Best Team
Finding good people is a cornerstone in growing your service-based business. Obviously, you want to retain the great team members you have now, but if you want to grow or need to replace someone, recruiting is a way of life. Effectively communicating your brand and developing a “magnetic culture” is the best recruiting tool you can have. Be clear about who you are and what makes you different, then use that to create a company people want to work for. Sell the benefits of working for your company.
What makes your company unique? What do you offer that your competition doesn’t? What does your brand communicate? Do you have a clear mission statement displayed in your office? Also, remember that your current team members should be your biggest cheerleaders (and probably have friends in the industry), so make sure to offer an incentive-based referral program.
Strong Relationships Start From The Inside
If you have a team of “Rockstar” producers and are holding on to them effectively right now, congratulations, but don’t get complacent. You still need to develop relationships and sell yourself (and the company) to your team members on a consistent basis. A sales-based culture is fine, but make it fun and personal.
Show you care and your team member isn’t just a number. Make sure to do team-building events, not just for team members to get to know each other better, but also for you to get to know them and show you care about them and their families. Don’t give them a reason to leave (at least not one that’s within your control). While some turnover is natural in any business, you can minimize that percentage by consistently showing your current team that your business is something they want to be part of. A happy team that feels appreciated will be more productive and better equipped to foster relationships with clients, effectively growing your business. When employees know they have your support and respect, it helps them deliver their best to our customers.
Want another reason to keep your team happy at work? Turnover is expensive. In fact, poor retention rates can put a real drain on a company’s financial and labor resources. And while strong internal relationships can help build up your business, frequent turnover can have the opposite impact.
Solidify Your Sales Process & Effectively Train Your Team
When we start working with a new business, conversion rates usually come up as an area of struggle/opportunity for them. This is almost always the result of:
1. Lack of sales process.
2. An ineffective sales process, or
3. A breakdown in the sales process (a small part isn’t being done correctly or it’s not being used by everyone consistently).
The moral of the story is: train, train, and re-train your sales process (assuming you are using a proven process, that is). If you don’t have a proven, step-by-step sales process in place, work with a coaching company that is proficient at tech/sales training and use theirs.
Training your team members to understand your sales process and how your business addresses your client’s needs is key to developing external relationships. Well-trained employees are more confident, and a confident salesperson sells more and is better equipped to provide excellent customer service. It’s pretty simple in theory, but creating capability takes a real commitment. Consistent training meetings are a commitment. Following up on live training is a commitment. But it takes commitment to do something to improve your sales process. Commitment to these processes can pay huge dividends and provide opportunities for exponential growth of your business.
The key behind how to grow a service based business is the people. Developing your relationships from the inside out will lead to a positive impact on your bottom line, but success isn’t just measured by your balance sheet. Recruiting, retention, and conversion rates will improve when you focus on interpersonal skills like building connections, trust, and confidence. This applies internally with your team members and externally with how they present themselves and interact with both potential and current clients. Success in these areas will lead to long term relationships, new clients, and more room to grow your business.
The Blue Collar Success Group provides training to businesses on how to grow their service based businesses including plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. From HVAC business management strategies to set you up for success to how to market an electrical contracting business, The Blue Collar Success Group helps hundreds of businesses achieve growth through training, systems and processes. Download our free breakeven calculator here to see exactly where your business needs to start focusing so you can grow.