March 14/21, 2016; Volume 30, Number 19
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(First of three parts)
“I used to work 6 a.m. to dark, six to seven days a week,” a dealer, Craig, told me. “I was completely stressed out and feeling pretty miserable.” A lot of dealers can relate to Craig’s situation.
I want to share Craig’s story and how he eventually made changes in his business that allowed him to experience 50% annual growth two years in a row while at the same time drastically cutting his work hours. I’ll outline the sales and marketing strategies Craig used and describe the steps he took to cut his work hours.
Craig is a dealer from Florida who, like many other flooring retailers, grew up in the family business. He worked in every aspect of the business, from sweeping floors to warehouse work to selling and estimating. A few years ago he took over the store. “I became the owner,” he told me. “It was something I really wanted, but I found myself working more and more hours, nights and weekends. My wife and I hardly saw each other. And I was still doing all the jobs of an employee like selling and bookeeping, but I had all the additional responsibilities that go with owning a business.”
Working in his office late in the evening after everyone else had gone home, Craig found himself missing the days when he was an employee with regular hours and a steady paycheck. This is the situation many dealers find themselves in: the dream of owning their own businesses becomes a nightmare of stress, frustration and seemingly endless hours of work with no letup in sight. Some question their decision to go into business for themselves. Maybe you can relate.
In my opinion, the purpose of your business is to fund and facilitate your ideal lifestyle. Its fundamental purpose is to provide you with the money, time and freedom to have a great, fulfilling life outside of business hours. You work far too hard, and take on too much personal risk, to spend your life missing out on the rewards that should come with business ownership.
However, if the idea of making lots of money while at the same time having plenty of time off makes you feel guilty or selfish, then you’ll likely never make a start in that direction. I can tell you the most effective methods for achieving those things, but if you are queasy about having them for yourself then any methods I present will be useless to you. So your very first step is to get comfortable with this concept: The purpose of my business is to fund and facilitate my ideal lifestyle.
Craig was very comfortable with this idea, which is why in the first 12 months of implementing new marketing methods into his business his revenue increased by 50%, he no longer worked weekends, and he now showed up for work at 10:00 and left by 5:00 every day. “They don’t need me there anymore,” Craig told me, laughing. “I’m there because I want to be there, not because I have to be.” Over the next 12 months his revenue increased by another 50%, but his new work schedule stayed the same. He has put himself in the position where he can experience steady business growth, and even open multiple locations, while at the same time never increasing his personal workload.
Stay tuned; in part 2 I’m going to detail the marketing strategies Craig used to create this impressive growth.
Free book! For a complimentary copy of Jim’s new book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes and Escape the Cheap-Price Rat-Race of Doom Forever,” visit BeatTheBoxesToday.com.