Will you allow your local competitors to outsmart you? or outwork you?
Will you allow the owners of another company to provide a better work experience for their staff than you do?
You should win in EVERY
single category that exists period.
Becoming a nightmare to compete with starts now.
There is a guy in my hometown who has a young window cleaning business. His name is Matt, and he’s a great guy. I remember the first time I found out about his business, I offered to buy him lunch so we could talk and get to know each other, he accepted and now we’re buddies.
However, most of the time when I have approached competitors in the past, I got nothing but dirty looks and bad attitudes. As my business grows bigger and bigger here in my small hometown the looks are getting more and more sinister, and I think for good reason. My business is an absolute nightmare to compete with, and every single year we are in business it gets worse and worse for the businesses around me.
Now I am not claiming we are perfect, nor do we have all of the answers. I am not the leader of some Utopian business cult. What we have going for us is my obsession with the little things in my business. Every
single thing matters to me. EVERY single thing is looked at and analyzed. Now that my company has grown, I have more freedom than ever to spit shine the way we handle things. When you are a small one-man show it is impossible to try and do all of the things that Birds Beware does today.
That is not even counting myself, or my business partner Chris. These resources allow us to move WAY faster on major opportunities than our local competitors.
We are a family
This business is like a child to me and I will do anything to protect it. I protect it from internal and external sources of damage. It needs food to grow and I make sure it gets plenty. If an employee has a negative attitude I make sure they are cut out of this business like the cancerous tumor they are. We are very protective of our business and you should be too. Your competition is literally trying to take money from your wallet and put it into theirs. Will you let them?
Will you allow them to outsmart you, or outwork you? Will you allow the employees of the other company to provide a better work experience than you do? A better pay rate than you do? You should win in EVERY single category that exists period. Become a nightmare by protecting your family business.
- We have extensive phone etiquette training.
- We have over the top friendliness and a fine tuned script. We make sure we don’t leave anything undone or unchecked.
We have cheesy hold music and a space age phone system while our competition has a standard Verizon voicemail greeting.
- We have consistency.
- We ALWAYS answer the phone
- We give in-person estimates
- We follow up
- We do the job efficiently and at a high level
- Our estimate sheet is better
- We print a real picture of the customer’s house on the front of our sheets on- site
- We offer packages for everything.
- We give prices for EVERYTHING we offer, even if they didn’t ask for it.
- Our estimate sheet is easy to read and understand.
- Our estimate sheet is printed on really expensive, high gloss paper.
- Our trucks are better. They have obnoxiously large vinyl graphics on them with huge colorful lettering and our competitors despise seeing them all over town.
- Our uniforms are better.
Our uniforms say “Birds Hate Us. Customers Love Us.” People love it and they help us engage strangers in conversations every single day of the week. Our shirts are lead generating machines.
- Our employees wear high-quality ID badges with QR codes on them. It makes us look official.
- Our name is better. Please don’t name your business AAA Window Cleaning.
- Our phone number is better. Our local number here ends in “2000” everyone remembers it easily.
- Our website is better.
We give instant quotes using Responsibid, have fresh coupons, and throw in some before and after pictures to boot. I have spent years getting our SEO to rank us very very high in all of our surrounding markets search results.
Our communication is better.
Our communication systems of estimating, work logs, various office tasks, and the use of the smartphone app “Voxer” helps us make sure nothing slips through the cracks. We have pictures and detailed notes on every customer we have. That way we don’t forget to wipe the sills extra great at Mrs. Jones’ house or forget to close the back gate at Jim Rogers’ house. Equipment gets ordered on time and everyone is on the same page. We even have weekly phone conferences on Sunday nights with crew leaders and monthly meetings with all of our staff.
Our training is better.
We have a step-by-step five-day training program that includes company history, culture, window, gutter, house, roof cleaning training, pressure cleaner operation, maintenance, ladder safety and even a full day on sales and up-selling training. All of our staff understand our master company objectives and goals.
Our leadership is better.
Paid vacations and elaborate Christmas celebrations along with unexpected gift cards, gas cards, baseball, football, and movie tickets as well as other various tokens of appreciation towards our staff help us lead people better than our competition. We pay our crew leaders $700 a week and in our Michigan job market the going rate for this type of work is almost half that. We have free water, pop, chips, beef jerky, and other snacks every single day in our office. Most importantly our staff knows that we care about them as people first and employees second. We pray for our business and we pray for our co-workers because they deserve to be prayed for. This type of activity builds a strong foundation that is hard to crack when things get stressful.
Our equipment is better.
Water fed poles along with fancy roof and house washing equipment help us work faster and more efficiently than others could.
-Our scheduling process is better. We send email confirmations FROM the crew leader assigned the job with a picture of their face in the email.
Our Facebook page is better.
The fact that we even have one is a win in itself. Most companies don’t. We have over 1,000 real likes so when we speak people actually hear what we say. That Facebook page with 13 likes (most of which are your aunts and uncles) is not going to help you dominate your local market.
Our crew leaders are better.
Hire slowly and fire quickly.I have a real relationship with my key people.
I invest time into knowing and caring about them as people and it translates into a better business for all of us.
- We execute a “three touch” process on every job so the customer feels very “communicated to” and taken care of.
- Our follow up is better.
- We run towards mistakes and problems instead of away. We give a follow-up phone call on every job, follow up email with every job, and a Thank You card sent to every customer.
This is actually only a small part of the little nuances we do better than the others. We are not smarter. We are not better at cleaning. We just out-hustle and out-work our opponents in every single aspect of the game. Remember how much the little things matter because when they are all added up, it translates into a monstrous advantage for your business over the other local companies. Take advantage of other people’s laziness and build yourself a healthy and strong business!
I understand if a lot of the information given in this blog seems overwhelming, because it is overwhelming! Take notes and start somewhere and remember that the best way to succeed is to begin. Do something better tomorrow than you did it today and you will be well on your way. I did not put these things in place all at once because it takes a tremendous amount of work to pull this stuff off, and it must be done one thing at a time. My operations manager, Daniel, and I took almost the entire winter putting together our new employee handbook and three-day training material.
Doing so many little things well is a lot of work up front, but it unleashes a nuclear bomb of awesomeness once they are in place inside your business. Our five-step referral program alone has created so much “deal flow” for us we can barely keep up. As I am writing this blog, we have over $106,000 on our schedule for this month alone. That is in large part due to our referral program.
Don’t let people tell you it’s impossible because it is not
impossible. I went to community college for a grand total of about five minutes, and let me tell you my business is an absolute nightmare to compete with. It’s not because I reinvented the wheel, but because I was hungry
and motivated! I am assuming you are as well since you are taking the time to read this blog.
Being a nightmare to compete with has a lot to do with creating a clear path and vision for your company. The Bible says “without a vision my people perish” and that holds true with business.
This does not mean you are arrogant or rude to your colleagues in the industry, but it does mean you are trying to beat them every day in all aspects of your business.
Be humble. Be patient. Be thankful. Pursue excellence. Don’t ever badmouth other businesses. Think long term. Set the bar so high that it scares you. Most importantly make sure you never quit and don’t despise small beginnings. My mother always told me that, and considering I started with a ladder strapped to the roof of a 1993 Chevy Cavalier, I think I can relate. When you really are bad to the bone at what you do, your local customers will start to figure it out naturally over time.
Take care and may God bless the work of your hands!