Marketing mastery: How to escape the feast-or-famine roller coaster

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July 31/Aug. 7: Volume 31, Issue 4

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

 

(First of three parts)

How many of these statements sound familiar?

  • “Business is slow, so I scramble to get more customers. The next month things pick up and I stress out and work long hours trying to stay caught up; then things slow down and the cycle starts all over again.”
  • “I feel like I’m stuck at the same level no matter how hard I work.”
  • “I’m working too many hours and I’m burned out.”
  • “I make a living, but I’ve been unable to accumulate real wealth or save for retirement.”
  • “I feel discouraged that things will never change for the better.”

If any of these ring a bell, you’re not alone. The good news is by implementing the right strategies you can make a higher salary than the average family doctor, while working less than 35 hours per week.

Craig Bendele, a Florida dealer, is a great example. Like many dealers he was working 60-plus hours each week, including weekends. The stress was terrible and business was not fun anymore. Finally, he had enough and began implementing changes. Things have completely turned around for him. Now he only works Monday through Thursday. He takes vacations and time off when he wants. At the same time, his business grew by 50% two years in a row.

Jerome Nowowiejski is a dealer from Texas who underwent a similar transformation. When I met him he was working six days per week. His residential margins were below 30%, and he was struggling to grow his business. Once he began implementing the correct strategies the change happened fast. Within 90 days his margins were at 45% to 50%. He is consistently booked out for weeks at a time, and he’s been able to use the additional profits to buy multiple rental properties. Furthermore, he dramatically cut his work hours. He no longer works weekends and frequently takes vacations.

How were these storeowners able to do what so many dealers only dream about? They transformed their businesses from being owner-dependent to system-dependent. Owner-dependent means that if the owner isn’t there to personally babysit the operation, things quickly begin to fall apart. (Sound familiar?) System-dependent means the business runs on standard operating procedures whether the owner is present or away.

A good example is the dealer who owns 15 stores. There is absolutely no way he can possibly be at each location 60 hours per week or even 10 hours per week. He could never grow beyond one or two locations if his stores were dependent upon him personally being there. His stores must be system-dependent.

You can create a system-dependent business even if you only have one store. What you need to do is cut the rope. Here’s what I mean:

Picture a hot air balloon lifting off the ground, but it can’t go higher than 60 feet because of a rope holding it down. The balloon is your business and the rope is how many hours you can physically work each week. Your business wants to soar but eventually you reach the end of your rope. In the following parts you’re going to learn how to cut the rope so your business can thrive, allowing you to live your ideal lifestyle.

 

Jim Augustus Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring dealers. For a complimentary copy of Jim’s book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes and Escape the Cheap-Price Rat-Race of Doom Forever,” visit beattheboxestoday.com.

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