5 Ways to Increase Powersweeping Service Sales in Q4 2020

At first look, it may seem like a naïve notion that sales can be somehow pumped up while COVID-19 continues to ravage all of the best-laid plans for 2020 revenue generation. But, it’s not an uninformed idea that’s not at all out-of-touch with current realities on the ground for many power sweeping companies.
Some savvy competitors in some service markets in various areas of the country have figured out some highly effective strategies for sustaining income levels, or at least for making some gains toward recovery from the downturn since March 2020. Plus, there are some standard steps for small business revenue generation that you may not yet have thought about during this challenging time.

When Just Slashing Spending is Not Enough

Simply cutting all spending to the bone and wait out the recovery of the larger economy is unlikely to be sufficient as the only strategy to sustain many small businesses through the duration of a major economic crisis such as the 2020 national and global shutdown.
For many small companies, it may prove to be less financially risky to put some funds into revenue generation. This requires a relatively strong glass-half-full perspective, to recognize opportunities to recover at least some of a business’s potential losses over this final sales quarter.
Even if you have zero budget for outside help to position your marketing and sales program to compete effectively during the worst of economic times, there is much you and your team can do with a lot of that unexpected and nonproductive downtime that can be devastating to your 2020 growth goals.

5 Ways to Increase Your Q4 2020 Revenues

After absorbing the shock of the economic shutdown due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, applying all the subsidies and relief resources available to you through federal and state governments, vendors, lenders, and other sources, and after cutting operating costs as much as possible, there are more options to help sustain your business through the crisis and move it toward growth as the larger economy is recovering.
Here are some key methods you can employ, even if you have little or no budget for marketing and sales initiatives at this time, to increase new and repeat sales of your power sweeping services:

1. Multiply your team’s site inspection and reporting activities.

This is an underutilized advanced custom direct marketing initiative for generating power sweeping sales leads from both new and current customers wherever you’re operating in the country. Or, arguably it can be understood as an enhanced cold-calling sales method. Either way, many pavement sweeping company owners do encourage their field service employees and quality inspection representatives to be aware of and report large abandoned items on customers’ properties.
Items typically reported during these on-site and drive-by inspections include things like large abandoned items, nonfunctioning exterior lights, debris, broken signage, and so on. But, too many have not maximized these efforts by organizing them into a robust formal marketing operation.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, one power sweeping company owner we met this year has made the practice of reporting needs on customers’ and noncustomers’ sites the centerpiece of his company’s marketing program. The business owner has gone so far as to have a software program designed and implemented that features tools for field employees to use for inspecting and reporting on what they find in need of attention on properties they’re passing. The program includes a fillable digital form containing:
• A field for identifying a property and its location
• Fields for listing and describing each problem they find on the site
• Easy-to-use functions for conveniently uploading photos of the reported condition(s) to make the report crystal clear
Employees are rewarded with an incentive payment of $5 for every report they transmit to the business office.
The company owner reports that his business has realized a 5 percent increase in revenues due to the vigorous employee response to this inspection and reporting program. Plus, his software program is so popular with his peers that currently over a dozen other power sweeping operators are utilizing his program for their teams and paying him a small monthly fee for it!
If you don’t have one already, make it a top priority to compose a comprehensive list of exterior property inspection items, and provide one to each of your employees, both field and administrative workers, all management workers, and all business partners.
Consider offering an incentive payment for each report, or perhaps for each one that results in a new service
order.

2. Step up your email marketing activities.

You already have valuable email marketing tools and opportunities at your disposal. But, you may not be aware that email marketing is, by far, the most cost-effective and easiest way to ensure that your business stays front of mind for your current and prospective customers. It’s the ideal vehicle for building and fostering business relationships and strengthening your brand.
Did you know that over 90 percent of adults in the United States use email? Or, that email marketing generates up to 1,000 percent of the response volume than any other kind of digital marketing? Or, that email produces an average of 40 times the ROI than any other form of marketing?
There’s just nothing more effective than being in direct communication with your target audience. Email enables the scalability of that kind of unique opportunity for owners of even the smallest businesses. Some highly productive email marketing strategies include:
• General distribution: Email to lists of prospects and current customers, for example, about new services you want to introduce, awards your business has received, introductory pricing, etc.
• Special event promotion: Send invitations to nonprofit or community activities your business is sponsoring, etc., or announce major events at regional venues that your team will be servicing.
• Custom campaigns: Email specific individuals with notifications about changes to processes, schedules, etc., or about special offers tailored for them, etc.

3. Make basic improvements to your existing online marketing efforts.

Here are some essential marketing initiatives to which you may be able to turn your attention during slow periods, to boost your fourth quarter 2020 lead generation and website traffic.
Work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Think about the words and phrases people outside the power sweeping industry are likely to use when searching on the internet for the kind of service your business offers. vs. the industry-insider language you and your employees and peers use. To optimize your website to attract maximum visitor traffic, carefully examine each page and replace any industry vernacular with the kinds of words your potential customers are more likely to use for searching to find power sweeping businesses in your area.
Go farther by finding additional places in your text on your site where you can place some of those keywords and phrases organically. Google ranks websites based on the presence of keywords, as well as other SEO criteria, such as numbers of section headers containing keywords, strong backlinks, the strength of your site’s domain name in your URL, how well your website generally functions, and how long the site has been running (ideally over three years).
You can gain the basic skills to achieve most of these and other critical website improvements to raise your ranking, by watching a few YouTube tutorials to pick up some very basic website modification skills, and instructions for using preformatted WordPress website design templates.

Create some valuable content for your readers.

If you’re experiencing a slow period, consider taking some of your time to write one or more articles offering some good information that would be useful to visitors of your website, or have an insightful staff member to write for you.
The content can be about anything you think people will find helpful from you, like announcements of upcoming events involving your business or industry, or “how-to” technical instructions for do-it-yourself pavement care projects, etc.
Evergreen content (material that will remain useful for a long time) is a good investment of time because you don’t have to replace it often. Alternatively, date-sensitive content can be very attention-getting and exciting, because it informs about things like events and other activities that people may want to attend, or about other current matters of which they may want to be aware.
It’s easy to see why such marketing content is so popular with all types and sizes of businesses these days. It positions you as a local industry expert and your company as the place to go in your industry for important information. That makes content marketing a great brand building and lead generation tool.

Add some appealing elements to your website.

Your website is your online business operation. It’s where visitors come into your site and get their first impression of your company. It’s where everybody who is looking to compare businesses of your kind comes to see what your company is all about.
So, regardless of how small, or nonexistent, your budget may be for website upgrades, if you want to maximize your growth opportunities, you need to make the most of this online center of your marketing and communications.
So, make the most of your website. Ensure that it functions properly and that page speed is adequate, that SEO basics have been applied, and that the site is visually appealing and packed with useful information that visitors want.
Examine each page of your website. Make sure it contains all the important features of a marketing site that inspires visitors to act by reaching out to contact you for a price, an appointment, or for more information. For example, ensure that your site has:
• Fillable forms for site visitors to use to request information about your services and pricing, to request service, submit referrals, etc.
• Working links to internal and external web pages, social platform pages, blog posts, etc., and working task command and other function buttons.
• An About page that tells the story of your business.
• Photos of your equipment, shop, offices, staff, or anything else that showcases the best of your business and helps people get to know your company.
• Easy-to-find Contact Information on each page.
• Well-working backlinks to other websites that are of strong relevance to your visitors’ interests.
• Highly relevant video clip(s).
• Discount offer(s) or free trial coupons (optional).
• Web plugins for optimum site security, SEO, and page speed, among others.

4. Increase your business’s web presence in your local market.

Use these low- or no-cost marketing options to increase your exposure to your target audience during the final quarter of 2020, and to build the strongest presence possible going into 2021:

Google My Business

Be sure your company is included in Google My Business limited set of local operators in your industry class. This placement costs very little, and the exposure is spectacularly valuable.
It promotes your power sweeping service as one of only three in Google’s local pack for your city. It isolates the three from all the regular search results and features them in a special frame that includes all your company’s contact information. It’s a premium marketing vehicle for a nominal placement fee.
Online Reviews Word-of-mouth continues to be the most powerful form of advertising for any business of any type. The close relative of word-of-mouth is word-of-web-review. Modern consumers seek out online reviews before making their purchasing decisions.

Consumer research data shows an astounding 90 percent of people who use the internet are influenced by the consumer reviews, and over 71 percent say they have a greater trust for local businesses that people have given positive reviews.

So, by all means, develop these valuable online marketing assets that mean so much to helping sustain a business’s success. Encourage customers who express appreciation for your great service to post reviews about what your team has done to exceed their service expectations.

Google and Bing Display Ad Space

An amazing 60 percent of all internet searches are done through the Google search engine, and Google’s ad platform AdWords provides broader coverage than any other on the web. Bing and Yahoo together dominate another 30 percent of web marketing volume, and display ads with those search engines cost an incredible 70 percent less than on AdWords.
Online ads are targeted to generate responses more efficiently than traditional advertising. So, display ads on the three massive networks of websites can drive a wealth of well-qualified sales leads to your site.
Pay-per-click advertising let you pay for an ad only when someone clicks on it and accesses your website through that link, making this ad option of a rarified level of value, in terms of its return on investment.
Social Media Marketing Among the very strongest marketing resources, today is social media. People spend time routinely connecting with friends, family, and personal and business acquaintances on their preferred social platforms.
So, naturally, popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat provide ideal forums for you to place your business where your target audience is spending a lot of time.
You can let people know you’re there on their favorite site, handy to provide any help, and share any information they may need or want in a way that is incomparably convenient for them to access, relaxed, informal, comfortable, and sociable.
A social site is an ideal place to build trust and confidence in your brand and route traffic to your website organically.

5. Temporarily offer free trials and/or pricing discounts.

Your business must charge enough for services to make a healthy profit, of course. However, many power sweeping companies may recognize the extreme and unique economic situation during 2020 as one that possibly requires them to take a hard look at the math and evaluate price-cutting measures. In cases, cutting some or all service prices may become necessary to offset, or at least partially offset serious losses.
If your power sweeping business is losing revenues, and equipment is not being used, and talented drivers are sitting at home, or doing busy-work for you, or quitting the job (increasing your turnover costs down the road), then some income may be better than none.
If you can make enough to cover fuel and payroll costs and other essentials, it may make sense to help some of your best at-risk customers stay with you by discounting, temporarily, to create a version of a win-win arrangement that at least preserves the relationships with them and shrinks your losses.
Of course, it may also become necessary to have an even more difficult conversation than you may already have been forced to have with some key employees about temporarily reducing salaries, even to the legal minimum, or making even deeper cuts on hours, as needed, to help some who want to stay on do so until the external economy is back in full swing.

Heading Into Q4 2020

Although there are countless marketing methods not mentioned above, such as phone outreach, direct hard mail, TV, radio, promotional events, outdoor signage, and fax ad campaigns, just to name a few, the five resources we’ve discussed above were selected because of their exceptional reach, relative convenience, and especially their accessibility for a low cost or no cost.
Emailing and social media marketing are free. A strong website is a modern marketing resource that a small business simply cannot afford to fail to utilize to the fullest extent. Internet advertising is comparatively very inexpensive and delivers an outstanding value compared to broadcast media marketing ads. Offering temporary discounts and free trials is a historically exceptionally effective pricing strategy for generating business.
Employ some free or nominally-priced web analytics to track your web marketing performance, especially if you are positioning for growth. You don’t need tech skills to use such tracking tools and analytics.
Arguably, the most exciting of all the five suggested resources discussed builds marketing and sales processes much more robustly into your team’s daily routines. That’s the suggestion to blend inspection and reporting and outreach to prospects and current customers richly into your company culture. This program has been a game-changer for at least one power sweeping business owner who has discovered gold under his feet by seizing and maximizing this opportunity.
So above all, implement this practice — which actually should already be a strong emphasis at every power sweeping company — as a top priority at this time. Meet about it, create an easy system for employees to make their reports and submit their accompanying photos, and get everyone excited about this program. Launch it as a top priority by the start of Q4 this year. Follow through with those critical contacts to each property owner or manager, to report your rep’s finding at their site and offer your team’s help to correct the situation.
Combine as many of the five options as you have available hours to pursue, with discount pricing as your last alternative, prioritizing all methods as appropriate to strengthen your marketing program in its weakest areas. The pandemic is likely to be around for a while, so the key is to protect your profitability with greater efficiency than perhaps ever before. That means pulling out all stops in revenue generation as well as in spending reduction. Seizing the opportunities suggested in any or all of the five options discussed above is an excellent place to start.

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