How you can make your “winter work”

Winter for many contractors is spent waiting for spring so we can go back to making money. But instead of just waiting you should be doing your “winter work.” Now is the time to analyze last year very closely, checking to see where every nickel went that might be saved this year or spent more efficiently. With the dire economic predictions we keep hearing, it may be that in order to stay successful in 2008 you’ll have to stretch every one of those nickels this year.

One way to make those nickels work is to invest in an NPCA membership. If the economic predictions are true consumers will be making more careful buying choices and NPCA membership can be a way to set you well ahead of the pack. As Larry Peiser, an NPCA member since 2003, says, “Every year I get several leads that have been converted into sales - including the Chicago Bulls training facility. In the highly competitive pavement maintenance business you need every edge you can get, and being a member of a national trade association gives me just one more competitive advantage over the competition.” Brad Anderson, B&E Coating Services, MI, echoes that sentiment. “Like most contractors, we want to reach new potential clients, but I also feel the NPCA, by the high standards its requires to join, is a great way for busy potential clients to weed out some of the unscrupulous contractors we have in this industry. It makes our company feel good to belong to a national organization with high quality first.”

NPCA President Nick Howell, T&N Asphalt Services, UT, says his greatest benefit comes from “plastering the NPCA logo on everything we’ve got - job signs, letterheads, envelopes, cards, mailers - we put it everywhere and it really helps us get the business over our competition.” And Richard Dinkela, Creve Coeur Paving, who joined NPCA in the last year, adds, “The NPCA provides plenty of fellow competent contractors to network with. Members are always sharing advice and expertise on the many aspects of pavement, and job leads, incentives on equipment, and discounts on insurance far outweigh the cost of annual dues. The biggest advantage with the NPCA is that customers perceive your company like no other - a company that has met standards that sets them apart from just another contractor!”

But it’s also a time to be thinking about savings on our Ford and Dodge truck fleet program, getting discount insurance quotes, our new health insurance benefits, and discount equipment financing or leasing. Even little things like our member discounts on printing, job site signs, and other “regular expenses” can help stretch those nickels, and that will be very important the way things look for 2008. Have your started your 2008 marketing plan yet? More at www.PavementPro.com

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