Another obvious benefit is the extra money selling sealer brings into the company. Schmitt says there aren't any close places to go buy sealer and products in his area, so his competition is often buying from him.
Reputation pays off
Kettle Moraine advertises its business in the phone book, and Schmitt says he has recently created a website to get a bigger client base and allow customers to see his work. He also places company signs near all of his work so passersby can see the job and know who performed the work. But the majority of business comes from word of mouth and referrals, he says. That's how he knows the company's good reputation is paying off.
Schmitt says he has good relationships with non-sealing pavement maintenance companies around the area. Some of the larger paving companies, for example, will refer customers to Kettle Moraine for sealcoating services. He even gets referrals to do small paving jobs that other big companies don't want to take on, Schmitt says.
The reason Schmitt says these companies refer clients to him is because they know he will follow through, get the job done, and get it done right. And for Schmitt it's a two-way street. He will also refer his customers to other companies who offer services he doesn't. For example, Schmitt says he has a close relationship with a striping company that he will refer customers to. And he'll also refer clients who have larger paving requirements to the paving companies that refer him.
There's no doubt that word of mouth referrals indicate Schmitt's focus on reputation has paid off. But probably the best example of what a good reputation can do for a business comes from a client Schmitt got without referral.
Last year, Kettle Moraine sealed a driveway for a member of the Better Business Bureau. Schmitt asked the customer why he chose his company. He answered that he saw Kettle Moraine had been in business for 25 years and had no complaints or problems on its record. The customer went looking for a good, reliable company, and he found Kettle Moraine.
Yet another reason a good reputation can pay off: You never know who your next customer will be.