Goal Setting and Marketing? Who Has Time For That?
The 3-part series called Marketing Mistakes Window Cleaners Make has come to an end. If you missed any part, reach out to me at email@example.com and I’ll send it you. As part of the WindowWashingWealth.com’s continued Business Builder series, we are going to change gears this issue and talk about how you SHOULD be approaching your goals and marketing now that we are in full swing for 2018…
But first, how about this year’s IWCA Conference? Absolutely spectacular. An event not to miss: full house, great topics, and for me, always great mingling with the industry’s best to bring home new ideas. If you missed my class: How To’s and Strategies to Become #1 in Your Market and would like a summary re-cap, just send me an email and I will happily forward you the slide presentation.
The beginning of this year like every year is when everyone is setting their new year’s resolutions. This year is no exception. They want to lose weight, make more money, pay off debt, etc. They set their goals and sometimes develop actions plans to achieve those goals. However, and unfortunately for many window cleaners, this is a critical step missed.
So, now that we are a couple of months into the new year, how are you doing? Did you set your goals, still working hard to achieve them or are they long forgotten and you are back to the same old grind?
If your 2017 didn’t go as planned–or you fell short of the goals you set—let me tell you an ironclad way to make 2018 the Best Year Ever.
Regular goal setting calls for the goal setter to think up a big audacious goal and write it down so it motivates them to action. After all, as they say, a goal not written is only a wish.
But in reality, a goal that’s written down is seldom more than a wish. You need a plan behind it. If the idea is to write something down, look at it in the mirror every morning, then try as hard as you can to “achieve it,” failure is almost certain. The psychology of why that’s true is more complex than I want to get into in this article, but here’s the short version: if your brain doesn’t believe it can actually achieve the big audacious goal, it pretty much shuts down right away, robbing you of any chance to even start, let alone achieve the goal.
Focusing on big goals freezes the brain. They render you action-less, because it’s too hard to know where to even start. For example, picking up 500 new commercial accounts this year, nobody believes it, and nobody runs after it. Same thing goes for “making a million dollars” or “losing fifty pounds” or “running a marathon.” The mind can’t wrap itself around that kind of goal.
Another reason big goals fail to motivate is because there are too many factors between point A (setting the goal) and point Z (achieving the big goal) that you simply can’t control.
Break It Down Into the Simplest of Components
Which is where Reverse Goal Setting comes into play. Reverse goal setting arrives at a “big number” through the back door—but spends zero time actually thinking about or worrying about that big number. Instead, reverse goal setting focuses on the small steps that lead to the bigger prize… and here’s the kicker: it only concerns itself with the bite-sized things that can easily be measured… and that you absolutely have 100% control over. Now, the daunting 500 new commercial accounts this year becomes 42 per month or 2 per day. See the difference?
Failing to plan is planning to fail. To accomplish anything, you need a game plan. And the most important part of having a plan is the thinking and planning you put into it when you created it. Business plans are no different. It will keep you focused; show you where you want to go and how to get there. So, let’s break this down into some step-by-step strategies:
…in that order. Many that venture into the window cleaning business, have a limited idea of what they want to achieve and where they want to be in 6 months or a year down the road. Unless, you can translate those ideas into specific measurable S.M.A.R.T. goals, you may not be able to realize the full potential of your business.
If your goal looks like this…
“I would like to be financially free, be able to quit my job and stay at home while living in a million dollar house and driving a Bentley.”
Set up measurable S.M.A.R.T. goals for what you want to achieve in your window cleaning business: a 5 year, then 1 year, 6 months, 90 days and then a 1 month goal.
Apply the reverse goal principle, starting with your long-term goal first (5 year) first and then work backwards, identifying what you would need to do to get to your big goal. Identifying your long-term goal will help you set and achieve your short-term goals. When we bring a new licensee on board, this is one of the first questions we ask:
“What do you want your company to look like in 5 years?”
Dream and put yourself in that state of mind. See yourself already there. What’s it look like, feel like, etc. Then, we go backwards breaking these goals down to eventual baby steps.
Let’s say your 5 year goal is a 1 million dollar window cleaning operation providing you with a $150,000 annual income, off the glass, working a couple days a week. Now, you have something to measure.
Below are a few examples of goals you can itemize for yourself and your business.
5 Year Goal – 5 years from now (date), I have a team of 25. I have 1 million in revenue. $150,000 gross income and I have two divisions: residential and commercial.
1 Year Goal – 1 year from now (date), I have a team of 5 (including me). I’m no longer on the glass. One commercial route is built and I have two technicians on residential, with one office person. My income is . Monthly revenue is $25,000.
6 Month Goal – 6 months from now (date), I have a team of 3 full-time and one part-time. Two residential technicians will be full time. One commercial tech will be part-time. My income is . Monthly revenue is .
90-Day Goal – 90 days from now (date), I have one full-time residential technician trained on windows, gutters, and pressure washing. I have one part-time commercial technician cleaning 75 stores. I have one part-time administration person in the office. My income is . Monthly revenue is .
1 Month Goal – 1 month from now (date), I have one full-time residential technician working with me. I have my office in order, software implemented, goals set. I have my marketing plan laid out. Marketing plan details are as follows: .
As you can see, these are only examples, but a guideline nonetheless and are specific and written in present tense. Writing goals in present tense, as they will happen, increases your belief and likelihood of achieving them.
The first and most important element in marketing is the Articulated Sales Argument or ASA. In a nutshell, the ASA is the argument you build, the case you design, and the reasons you give why a prospect should do business with you. Your ASA should distinguish your business from all the competitors in your area. It will make you the obvious choice and lead prospects to the conclusion, "I would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone but you…regardless of price."
Your Articulated Sales Argument clearly identifies what makes you and your company different from the competition, why employees should join you and why prospects should gravitate to you.
An ASA Will Raise Your Business Above The Noise
Search business listings in google (and still even your yellow pages) and you will find ads for nearly every given product or service. Each ad seems to shout the same thing: "best, cheapest, honest, friendly service" and many other empty words.
I call this NOISE and it is one of the primary reasons for the Consumer Lack of Confidence. This condition is in every aspect of marketing and advertising. How then can a prospect determine which, if any, of the offers is the greatest deal? Generally speaking, they cannot. The result is a prospect calling the first few listings then going with the lowest price.
You may be aware that in our industry of window cleaning, lowest price does not always reflect the best deal. You can probably name a competitor or two that offers a lower price than you. You can probably also identify how buying from your competition would result in less value for the same money spent. The most important question is does your marketing make your value clear to the prospect?
Build A Case For Your Product Or Service Like An Attorney Would
Envision your marketing as if it is a court case - your prospects are the jury, you are the defendant and you must prove to them without a doubt that your window cleaning service is the most practical alternative amidst all the competition. Now keep in mind: this is a life or death situation. At least this is how it should be perceived.
Under these circumstances, are you going to settle with a defense that says, "we're better, we're cheaper, we're professional or we've got better service"? Of course not! You are going to probe your jury to know what they will be sympathetic to and respond to. You are going to give substantial, quantifiable evidence to back yourself up.
Once you have gathered this information about your business or developed your ASA, selling becomes much easier. You will have the entire framework for any marketing and media you will ever need to create for your business. In effect, you have defined the "Inside Reality" or the "something good to say" and the beginning of market domination will begin.
There are many ways to build your business. And identifying your “Marketing Arsenal” is important so you can begin testing them and determining which are profitable and which are not and which have the highest ROI.
Then you find out which work best for you. Pick 1 or 2 marketing strategies to start with that resonate with you the most. Picking a few strategies to start with will shorten your learning curve and allow you to take action sooner on that particular marketing ‘plate’.
Educating yourself is one key to success. Below are good steps for the education process.
- Read 1 marketing book per month
- Listen to 1 self-development audio per month
- Attend live events (supplier & industry)
- Find a mentor to model
Once you have educated yourself, and honed your skills, begin the implementation process by looking at your goals in Step 1.
Other than goals, the most important part of your business plan is your action plan. Your action plan will identify what you must do each month, week and day to grow your business.
First, set your business hours. If all you have is 7 hours a day to work on your window cleaning business, designate the 7 hours you plan to work each day and stick to it. This creates a structure for your business and a good work ethic.
Next, establish a marketing budget and a saving budget for your business. Putting money back into your business and saving for emergencies and taxes is critical to a successful business. Many window cleaning owners spend all the money they make. Just as you invest in yourself, you have to invest back into your business. When unexpected expenses or tax time comes around, or that customer didn’t pay that large bill, your savings budget can help cover the expense.
An action plan keeps you focused and on track so you focus on the most important things to grow your business. Print out your daily, weekly, and monthly action plan. Keep it by your computer and in your day planner. My staff knows my Action Plan to be my To Do List. I have it everywhere I go. I get a huge sense of accomplishment as I “X” out things I’ve completed. Call it what you want, and do what works for you, just keep it in motion.
Keep in mind that your action plan is a living, breathing document. You should review it daily and update it once a month. Planning is the foundation of which everything else will grow. If you have no plan or your plan is weak, you can expect the rest of the business process to be frail. Plans help you clarify your goals and create a step-by-step guide that you can later reference. Keep your plan as simple as possible. Measure your success one day at a time. Some call it baby steps. Yes, you’ll have peaks and valleys, but work consistently, staying committed to your goal and you’ll get there. One thing I can promise you, if you keep swinging the bat, you will hit a home run!
Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC. He is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com, which specializes in aggressive marketing tactics, the importance of internal company systems, and how to dominate your window cleaning marketplace. All things a serial window cleaning entrepreneur should know to build a huge business. Visit the site for a free marketing report. Do you have questions you’d like to see answered in this column? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-799-0313.