While wintertime is usually considered the off-season in pavement maintenance as temperatures drop too low to safely complete sealcoating projects, it can also be the best time to focus on business strategy and proactively lay the groundwork for a strong year to come. The Pavement Coatings Technology Council (PCTC) recommends several tips for investing in growth planning during colder months to increase overall profitability once the warmer weather returns.
Reflect on the Previous Year and Adjust for the Future
Take advantage of the slower period to reflect on the work you completed the prior year. Sort customer records by size, type and profitability and consider what worked well for your business and what wasn’t as successful, so you can adjust moving forward.
Suppliers and manufactures can also be a great resource for building future plans. Consider setting up meetings with these partners to aid in your business assessment and identify new opportunities. Facilitating an open dialogue about recent shortcomings can prompt discussion, giving professionals a better sense of products and solutions available at the manufacturer level. By consulting with a trusted supplier, contractors are likely to receive ideas and support for growth based on the business’s current resources.
With reflections on the past year and ideas from partners in hand, take the opportunity to look for new types of work that fit your existing business model. Infrared patching, thermoplastic marking, patch paving and tennis court refinishing all serve as potential options for professionals looking to expand their services. Identify offerings that can be introduced into the company with minimal investment in equipment and without increasing fixed costs.
Connect with Customers
The slower season is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with previous customers and gain perspectives that can inform overall business strategy. Start by asking your best clients for honest and constructive feedback. Doing so will provide insight into company strengths and weaknesses as they relate to customer service and project satisfaction. If the discussion goes well, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral. Testimonials add value by creating word-of-mouth momentum behind a growing company. Contractors can expand their digital footprints as well by encouraging reviews on directory services like Yelp or social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Revisit the Company Content Strategy
Social media, email marketing, direct mail and other sales resources play an important role in increasing brand visibility. During the busy months, it’s often challenging to make improvements to consumer-facing content. Avoid sharing outdated resources by mapping out a content strategy and revising marketing collateral before the start of the spring sealcoating season. Take advantage of the down period to update email and mailing lists as well, as accurately targeting property owners in the region can lead to a higher conversion rate in the coming year.