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Houston Award Winners 2020 Prism

– Posted in: Client News Ideal News

Congratulations to our clients, Houston award winners and finalists in this years Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) Houston's Best Prism Awards program. Our Houston clients were awarded the following: CRAFTSMANSHIP BY JOHN  Winner: Whole House Renovation $500,000 to $750,000 Finalist: Remodeled Kitchen $50,000 to $100,000 DIVINE RENOVATION Finalist: Whole House Renovation $250,000 to $500,000  REMODELERS

Marketing Your Differences

– Posted in: Communication Marketing

Your customers know you and your work. Prospects, however, may not because they have not yet worked with you.    Every remodeler is different, and those differences should be marketed and communicated to your prospective customers. One way to market your differences is through your project photos. This would be through use of your website, Facebook, Instagram

Master Design Award Client Legal Eagle Contractors

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Houston client, Dan Bawden of Legal Eagle Contractors Co., who won a 2020 Silver Master Design Award in the category of Universal Design. Qualified Remodeler Magazine's Master Design Awards receives hundreds of entries to its Master Design Awards competition from companies across the United States. Projects highlight creative solutions in the construction of extraordinary home

Business Plan for 2020 and Beyond

– Posted in: Economy Management Planning

In these uncertain times, now more than ever we need to set a game plan for our business for the upcoming year.  The goals you made in the past may need to be adjusted for the current and future situations. Focus on increasing your marketing to make up for the decrease in sales you may

Our Clients Won 2020 Star Awards

– Posted in: Client News Ideal News

Congratulations to our clients, winners of 2020 Texas Association of Builders (TAB) Star Awards for their projects. Divine Renovation for Best Whole House Renovation $300,000- $400,000 Remodelers of Houston for Best Bathroom Renovation $25,000 – $50,000 and Best Email which Ideal Consulting did for them. In 1992, the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) launched the

Do You Know Where Your Leads Are Coming From?

– Posted in: Marketing Organization Sales

Many of us get leads from various source including referrals from clients, colleagues, friends, or from the internet, advertising, or your website “contact us” form or other marketing efforts. Knowing and keeping track of the origination of these leads is very important.  You would think this would be a very basic function that business owners

Why SEO Matters

– Posted in: Web Marketing

SEO otherwise known as” search engine optimization” pertains to Google rankings. No company has control over how Google Ranks websites. But these rankings affect your ability to be found on the internet.   A great time to hire someone to do SEO is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That

2020 Award Finalists

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our clients who received 2020 Texas Association of Builders (TAB) Star Finalist Awards for their projects. Abbott Contracting  Craftsmanship By John  Divine Renovation Remodelers of Houston  In 1992, the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) launched the Texas Star Awards, the only statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry. The Star Awards

Navigating remodeling during a difficult time

– Posted in: Ideal News

Navigating Remodeling during a difficult time Written by Lorraine Hart of Ideal Consulting Services, published in the Sunday, April 5, 2020 edition of the Houston Chronicle. This is a challenging time for all of us. Our actions, decisions and behavior matters.  Given our current situations, we may find ourselves with less time or more time.

Dan’s Best of the Best Winners 2019

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our East End Long Island, NY clients on the North and South Forks for winning awards in the annual Dan's Papers Best of the Best awards! The list encompasses restaurants, wineries, luxury hotels or the hottest nightspots, top-tier arts and entertainment or reliable and honest providers of home and professional services.  G.B. Construction

Remodelers Council Luncheon with Speaker Mattress Mack

– Posted in: Ideal News

Pictured with Lorraine Hart, philanthropist Mattress Mack receives recognition for his contribution to HomeAid Houston’s charitable project at last week’s Greater Houston Builders Association Remodelers Council meeting. Mack is known for his motivational and inspirational speeches. Mack announced he would be opening two schools; one vocational school and a charter school for adults that did

GB Construction Wins Multiple Awards

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our client GB Construction & Development who won 3 prestigious Platinum National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards in the following categories: Residential Bath $50,000-$75,000 Residential Bath $75,000-$100,000 Residential Addition $100,000-$250,000 The NARI CotY awards is a local competition that acknowledges the high quality of work being

Ideal Consulting Exhibits at 2019 GHBA Product Expo

– Posted in: Ideal News

Our booth on October 17th at the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) Product Expo. A members only trade show for Remodelers, Builders and Developers, featured the latest products and services. There were over 100 EXPO exhibitors, great food & prizes to win! The day also included a host of classes and seminars. A fun time

Houston Chronicle article Should You Remodel or Just Move?

– Posted in: Client News

Written by Nora Kleczka- published in the October 13th 2019 edition of the Houston Chronicle It’s not easy to decide whether you should remodel your home or if it makes more sense to move. As you contemplate the advantages and disadvantages of moving vs. remodeling, there are definite factors to consider.  These factors will depend on

Remodelers of Houston Wins PRISM Award

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our client, the team at Remodelers of Houston! Their master bath project in Bellaire won a Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) 2019 Houston Best PRISM Award in the category of Remodeled Bath over $50,000.  The Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) Houston’s Best PRISM Awards are an annual event designed to recognize excellence within

Local Contractors win Star Awards

– Posted in: Client News

Written by Lorraine Hart, Ideal Consulting Services published in the Sept 1st edition of the Houston Chronicle.Read it online The GHBA Remodelers Council congratulates our members for winning Star Awards at the recent Sunbelt Builders Show.   Building industry experts joined the 25th anniversary of the Texas Association of Builders Star Awards Ceremony on August

2019 AIA Sandcastle Event

– Posted in: Ideal News

The AIA SandCastle Competition is an annual fund-raising event for American Institute of Architects Houston and Architecture Center Houston Foundation as well as one of the top five revenue generating events for the City of Galveston.  The winner of the competition receives the American Institute of Architects' Sandcastle Competition Golden Bucket Award. Firms begin months

The Finest Remodeling Projects in the U.S.A.

– Posted in: Client News

By Lorraine Hart of Ideal Consulting Services Appeared in the Sunday, June 30th 2019 edition of the Houston Chronicle   The Greater Houston Builders Association’s Remodelers Council congratulates our members for winning prestigious 2019 Chrysalis Awards.   The Chrysalis Awards for Remodeling Excellence began in 1994. The Chrysalis Awards are open to every professional remodeler

Remodelers and Designers at RMC Meeting

– Posted in: Ideal News

Members of the Remodelers Council discussed the benefits of Remodelers and Designers working together at their May luncheon meeting. Thank you to Kevin Vick of Vick Construction & Remodeling, Rob Hellyer of Premier Remodeling and Construction. Sophia Vassiliou of Sophia Designs and Stephanie Vaughan of Eklektik Interiors for a very interesting discussion about building, design

Award Winning Clients

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our clients who have been recognized for recent awards! 2019 Chrysalis Award (Southern Region) 77 companies from across the United States were named winners at the 2019 Chrysalis Awards for Remodeling Excellence. The entries were judged on overall design, the creative use of space and materials, and the degree to which the project

Kevin Vick CADRE Award 2018

– Posted in: Client News

The National Home Builders Association (NAHB) awarded a 2018 Council Award for Demonstrating Remodeling Excellence (CADRE) for Outstanding Council Chair to Kevin C. Vick of Vick Construction & Remodeling at the International Builders Show held in Las Vegas. Kevin received this prestigious honor because he was instrumental in working with the GHBA during and after Hurricane

Larry Abbott Remodeler of the Year

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our client Larry Abbott of Abbott Contracting for being awarded Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) 2018 Remodeler of the Year!  The GHBA Remodelers Council is known as the largest remodelers’ council in the nation. Larry served as the 2018 Remodelers Council president. This year, the Remodelers Council membership grew once again, outpacing its

Total Texas Event Remodelers Council

– Posted in: Ideal News

We had such a great time last weekend at the GHBA Installation Dinner at the Houston Stampede Event Center! Lots of fun having the "Total Texas Experience". Congratulations to Larry Abbott of Abbott Contracting for receiving the 2018 Remodeler of the Year Award! Group photo with GHBA Remodelers Council President Sherry Pruitt, and board members;

Larry Abbott NAHB Remodeler of the Month

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our client Larry Abbott, of Abbott Contracting in Houston! Has has been selected as the January 2019 NAHB Remodeler of the Month.  Larry will be profiled in the 2019 January issue of Qualified Remodeler magazine. The purpose of the NAHB Remodeler of the Month award program is to celebrate local, active remodelers who stand out

Remodelers Council 2018 Holiday Gala

– Posted in: Ideal News

The Remodelers Council had their annual holiday gala and installation of the 2019 board members. A great time was had by all! Larry Abbott presented me with a 2018 Presidential Citation for Outstanding Contributions - I am so honored to have received this!

Negative Reviews – What to do about them

– Posted in: Marketing

You work hard running your business and you pride yourself on your excellent customer service. Then one day, out of the blue you see, or someone mentions that your company has a bad review on Google. You read it and are outraged.  How did this happen?  Who is that person?  What should I do now?First,

SEO Marketers

– Posted in: Web Marketing

There are many SEO marketers or digital marketing “gurus” out there.  Before you choose one to work with, there are basic questions you should ask. In addition, it is always important to check references and sites like BBB, Ripoff Report or Google the company’s name and the words reviews, complaints and scam after it.  

2018 Star Award Winner

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to Craftsmanship By John John Gillette and the team at Craftsmanship By John are proud winners of a 2018 Texas Association of Builders Star Award in the category of Best Specialty Room under $50,000. The winning project, bar/lounge, was part of a whole house addition/remodel of a 1930's home. View the winning project

Remodeling Project – Your Dream

– Posted in: Other Articles

Most people who have done a remodeling project and have not been totally satisfied with the results have something in common.  They focused on the wrong thing.  Unfortunately when the focus has been the price rather than the dream, the project just doesn’t measure up.   In preparing for your remodeling project, I suggest that you

Why Should You Remodel?

– Posted in: Other Articles

There are many reasons to remodel. Maybe you want more enjoyment from your home or to make your home safer, improve your home’s function, increase the home’s energy efficiency or to increase your home’s value. Springtime is often the time of year when homeowners begin to think about needed updates and improvements for their homes.

Consider the 3 C’s When Designing Your Website

– Posted in: Web Marketing

  Consider the 3 C's When Designing Your Website Character The personality of your website should attract your ideal customer. The messaging should align with your business's purpose. The colors and writing should elicit the impression you want your business to make and how you want your visitors to feel. It is what you are saying and

Tips When Taking Project Photos

– Posted in: Marketing

Here are some suggestions when planning a photo strategy for your marketing plan: Schedule professional photography shoot as soon as possible after the completion of the project. Properly stage the area which is to be photographed. Remove any eyesores or items that do not belong in the picture. Make sure everything is clean. If everything

In Bound Marketing

– Posted in: Marketing

At Ideal Consulting, we've been helping our clients make informed decisions when marketing their businesses for over 20 years. With so many new options being presented, we decided to offer our clients some good solid information about effective Inbound Marketing. SEO, Social, Ratings and Reviews along with responsive web design and good solid content all

Houston Remodelers Win Awards

– Posted in: Client News

Kevin Vick of Vick Construction & Remodeling was named 2017 Remodeler of the Year by the Greater Houston Builders Association. Kevin is an active member of the GHBA Remodelers Council and was President of the Remodelers Council in 2017 and Vice President in 2016. Under his presidential leadership, the Remodelers Council received a national award, the Council Award for

What is the Hiring Funnel?

– Posted in: Employees

Up until a few years ago the hiring funnel consisted of 2 elements- the upper cone and a narrow stem. Sourcing candidates filled the cone and after completing a simple application and quick interview, many employees were hired.  Companies filled the cone by publicizing job openings in classified ads and word of mouth. Since job

2017 Star Awards Finalists

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Houston clients whose projects are 2017 Star Awards Finalists! The Texas Association of Builders Star Awards is the only statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry. Vick Construction & Remodeling Remodeler - Best Bathroom Renovation $25K- $50K Remodeler - Best Kitchen Renovation $25K- $50K Remodeler - Best Bathroom Renovation $50K-

Award Winning Remodelers

– Posted in: Client News

Award Winning Remodelers, to our clients congratulations! 2017 Remodeling 550 List Remodelers of Houston Full Service Remodelers as #125.  This is an annual listing of the biggest full-service remodeling and replacement contractor firms in the nation. BBB 2017 Excellence Award - Winner of Distinction This award recognizes businesses for their achievements and commitment to quality

New Year’s Remodeling Resolutions Abound

– Posted in: Contractor Resources

Written by Lorraine Hart, Ideal Consulting Services Published in the January 1st, Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle  Happy New Year! Now is the time for us to make our home remodeling resolutions come true. No matter where you are in the home remodeling planning process, it’s important that you set your expectations for your home

Dan’s Papers 2016 Best of the Best Awards

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our New York clients who won Dan's Papers 2016 Best of the Best Awards. Of the thousands of nominees who vied for recognition in some 400 categories, the Dan's Papers readers picked who leads the pack in the Hamptons and the North Fork. Nature's Guardian Inc. Landscaper - Platinum Award Tree Services - Bronze Award RB Irrigation, LLC Irrigation - Gold Award  

2016 Houston’s Best Prism Awards

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Houston clients who won a 2016 Houston's Best Prism Award. The Greater Houston Builders Association Houston's Best PRISM Awards recognizes excellence within Houston's home-building industry. Remodelers of Houston Home Addition over $150K -Master Suite Addition Third Coast Builders Whole House Renovation under $250,000

Freedom of Choice

– Posted in: Health Care

Do you sometimes feel tied to your practice? Would you like to have the flexibility to pursue other interests? Although you probably decided to become a health care provider because you wanted to help others, you may also want to pursue other interests in life.  By having a well run practice, with the right systems

Practice Quality

– Posted in: Health Care

Do you sometimes wonder why patients never return? Do you wish your staff were more effective at getting the job done?As you realize, the quality of your practice is a reflection of most of the areas of your organization including treatment, patient communications, staff training and your administrative systems.  Just as you and your treatment

Collections

– Posted in: Health Care

Do you have difficulty collecting for services rendered? Are you busy, but not making enough money?When you and your staff work hard and render the promised treatment, you deserve to get paid.  Unfortunately, there are often obstacles to collecting your fees.  Sometimes patients either won’t or don’t pay.  Does it often seems like you have

Treatment Plan Acceptance

– Posted in: Health Care

Would you like to increase treatment plan acceptance? Would you like to decrease the number of missed appointments?Unfortunately it is not enough for a patient to need treatment.  They need to understand why they need the treatment and they need to want the treatment you know they need.  As most health care professionals have experienced,

Staff Productivity

– Posted in: Health Care

Increasing staff productivity: Are your existing staff not as productive as you would like them to be? Are you finding it difficult to hire great staff?  Is training taking up more time than it should only to yield less than ideal results?Taking control of the hiring process is one of the most important things you

New Patients

– Posted in: Health Care

Do you feel there is a wealth of potential patients and wonder how to reach them? Do you feel you spend too much time and money on promotion and get no return? As you know, new patients are the life-blood of any practice.  Not only do you need a steady flow of new patients, you

Houston Remodeler Doubled Revenue

– Posted in: Testimonials

"We have used Ideal Consulting Services for 3 years and nearly doubled revenue and staff. We increased cash flow and kept our business model in check. They provided hiring help and helped us to be organized.   They give us tasks and hold us accountable. Their business model fits our needs perfectly. Lorraine and staff are

Great Resource for Remodelers

– Posted in: Testimonials

"Ideal Consulting knows industry specific issues ,has experience and knowledge and is highly recommended. I have someone to ask questions to about any part of my business. They are a tremendous hiring asset and helps us with bad practices, a great resource for small businesses. Helped with employee issues, financials and structure of the company."

Remodeling Business Improvement

– Posted in: Testimonials

"Ideal Consulting Services has helped my business tremendously. They gave me a tool I use every day which proved invaluable and a huge time saver." Increased confidence level, professionalism - huge improvement because of Ideal's services. Ideal Consulting has significantly changed the way I do business. I have more time to do estimates and more

Houston Remodeler Increased Revenue

– Posted in: Testimonials

"I choose Ideal Consulting because many of my successful associates were using them. They changed every facet of my business and we are more organized in the office and in the field. I needed help in all of the different departments to run a business and they were there for me. Revenue increased 40% the

Remodeler Houston Marketing Assistance

– Posted in: Testimonials

"Ideal Consulting helped us in numerous way with marketing and consulting of the business and in trying to come up with job description for positions in the company. Helped us with hiring employees forservice areas and in the office. Happy with them ever since and have recommended Ideal Consulting numerous times because of the results I

Business Consulting Assistance

– Posted in: Testimonials

"As a new company starting out, we needed guidelines and formulas on how to handle the business and its related problems. Ideal Consulting Services has given us that. We now have answers to questions that actually work. We are thrilled with the results! We can actually, at a glance, evaluate how the business and employees

Remodeler Increased Sales

– Posted in: Testimonials

“I started my consulting services with you one year ago.  I was a small contractor doing all office work on my own.  You helped me develop an office staff, organize my estimating techniques and most important aided me with my personal time management.  Since the onset of my consulting my carpenter staff has doubled, my

Contractor Volume Increase

– Posted in: Testimonials

“When my company started working with Ideal Consulting, our volume was a few million dollars.  Since then our volume has grown 330%.   It was the organizing board that provided us with the foundation for growth.  Without this foundation we would not have been able to attract the competent employees we needed to support our growth. 

Contractor Better Production

– Posted in: Testimonials

"The most important piece of data that I learned was finding out what was getting in the way of production. That's really important for an organization to know. Surveys are extremely valuable to handle what is needed and wanted and can easily uncover hidden layers of data.” K. R., Contractor

Landscape Contractor Better Management

– Posted in: Testimonials

"I have obtained an understanding of measuring products and production. I have also learned how to correct or enhance things going on with my business using proven formulas. I no longer feel as if I'm guessing at what is the right or wrong thing to do. I can study situations at hand and implement what

Contractor Management Success

– Posted in: Testimonials

"Ideal Consulting has provided me with some very valuable tools for management. It first taught me what I'm doing as a manager and that I have a purpose and direction for managing.  I now have some excellent management techniques that I have been able to apply as well as the data I need to be

Successful Business Strategies

– Posted in: Testimonials

"Thank you for teaching an old dog some new tricks. The methodologies you taught me are fantastically simple and dynamically effective. I have had some incredible insights into why I have been able to create a variety of successful businesses only to see them collapse. I really never knew what I was doing right, so

Remodeler Financial Success

– Posted in: Testimonials

"I called Ideal Consulting and said "HELP!" Wow, I got more than I bargained for. You taught me an easy to understand and doable system to control the finances of my company.  Money flows in when I correctly apply the data. Production is improving and so on... An incredible win for me and my company."

Landscape Company Success

– Posted in: Testimonials

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And I still don't think that is enough!!! I would highly recommend you to anyone running their own business in today's world. I benefited greatly and can actually feel my business progressing by my knowledge of how to handle certain conditions. Your consulting and training has changed both of

Remodeler Increased Sales

– Posted in: Testimonials

“I started my consulting services with you one year ago.  I was a small contractor doing all office work on my own.  You helped me develop an office staff, organize my estimating techniques and most important aided me with my personal time management.  Since the onset of my consulting my carpenter staff has doubled, my

Business Reorganization

– Posted in: Testimonials

"I would like to formally acknowledge your contribution to the reorganization of my business. Your help and guidance was invaluable. The management system helped me to pinpoint my problems and shortcomings as a business owner. As a result of your efforts, I feel my business has become both more profitable and more efficient. I found

Startup Business Success

– Posted in: Testimonials

"As a new company starting out, we needed guidelines and formulas on how to handle the business and its related problems. Ideal Consulting Services has given us that. We now have answers to questions that actually work. We are thrilled with the results! We can actually, at a glance, evaluate how the business and employees

Architect Firm Better Organization

– Posted in: Testimonials

“I have recently reflected as to what I have achieved thanks to you and your staff.  Therefore, I am sending you a little status report along with my deepest thanks and gratitude.  We now have a fully diversified staff that includes separate divisions for: sales, public relations, finance, quality, production, communications and executive.  We are

Business Planning Success

– Posted in: Testimonials

"I'm writing to tell you that I just sold my company for enough money to provide for myself, my three siblings, and my elderly parents, so as to live happily ever after without ever having to worry about money again! That's a lot of money. Your advice was exactly right. ALL the things you suggested

More Efficient Contractor

– Posted in: Testimonials

“Ideal Consulting Services has completely changed the way I run my business.  Prior to working with them I thought I was managing my company but I could not reconcile one glaring inconsistent fact.  I knew we provided the best quality product but we did not have a demand for our services.  The cost that we

Tree Care Business

– Posted in: Testimonials

“Ideal Consulting taught me an easily implemented, powerful approach to management used by businesses throughout the world. It helps put order and logical good sense into all those "other" aspects of running a business such as financial planning, getting in more business, and making sure your business is operating efficiently and effectively.” R. A., Tree

To Web or Not to Web

– Posted in: Web Marketing

I am often asked about websites.  These questions range from "should I?", "must I?", "should it be fancy?", "should it be simple?", "is it cheap?", "is it expensive?", "can I live without it?"  The answer to all those questions is yes, and it depends.  If you haven't stopped reading by now, you deserve some real

Web Cautions

– Posted in: Web Marketing

With the advent and growth of the World Wide Web many companies and services have been jumping on the band wagon.  There is undoubtedly opportunity on the web, but there are also significant landmines out there.  Before you jump in or if you are already in, before you commit to some of the promises being

Who Do You Know?

– Posted in: Web Marketing

When you looked at this question what did you think?  Were you reminded of the insurance salesman who asked that question as soon as they signed you up or did you think of someone else wanting to sell to all your friends and acquaintances?  What I am going to ask is "who do you know

Don’t Let it Happen to You

– Posted in: Web Marketing

Recently I have heard about too many "too good to be true" deals or opportunities being promoted by unscrupulous companies.  In this article I am going to specifically address websites and internet marketing.  Let's start with the promises.  They range from "we can get you to the top of the page on Google" to "just

Web Gotcha’s

– Posted in: Web Marketing

I am writing about this because it seems to be happening too often.  I believe that the reason it is happening so often is because many of us consider the internet and web marketing to be both mysterious and critical to our businesses.  That makes us vulnerable.  The offers sound so good and we are

Sharpening your Skills

– Posted in: Quality

Following is a story a friend sent me.  Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. His salary was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.His boss gave him an ax

Striving for Excellence

– Posted in: Quality

Since this is the month that NARI honors excellence in contracting [through their CotY award program], I thought it might be a good time to address the topic of quality and excellence  from a broader point of view. When you think of excellence, what comes to mind?  Is it the final product, the service, the

The Little Things

– Posted in: Quality

We have all heard stories about bad business practices and we wonder how a business can last with such poor policies in place.  Although we all are quick to recognize blatantly bad practices, we sometimes become blind to the little things.  And often it's those little things that can make such a difference. I was

Contractor Etiquette

– Posted in: Sales

You have done everything right.  You made sure the potential client was qualified, you found out what they wanted, you measured, you wrote up a great proposal, it was priced right and you didn't get the job.  Possibly you didn't even get as far as presenting a proposal.  Maybe you met with the potential client,

It’s Not Fair

– Posted in: Sales

How often have you been tempted to say this? I hear those words a lot, mostly when it comes to competition.  In fact I'm often told that it's impossible to compete.  The question is compete with who?  Before looking at who your competition is, let's look at who your potential client is and who your

Outsell Your Competition

– Posted in: Sales

In recent surveys we have been told that competition is becoming more and more of a problem.  Business owners and those in sales have been telling us that competition is a factor in a number of ways.  These concerns include unqualified or dishonest contractors low-balling prices, and clients who don't know how to evaluate proposals. 

Profitable Sales

– Posted in: Sales

In recent surveys we have been told that competition is becoming more and more of a problem.  We have also been told that you want to make more money.  That means that you not only want to outsell your competition, but you want to do it profitably.  As we all know there isn't any benefit

Sticks and Bricks

– Posted in: Sales

Have you ever wondered why your beautiful, well documented, detailed proposal doesn't lead to the sale of the job?  Contrary to popular belief, it is not always the price.  And no, it is not necessary to give them even more detail.  In fact it's often the details that kill the sale. In reviewing contractor proposals

What’s The Difference?

– Posted in: Sales

Helping prospects see the difference to close the saleHow many times have you heard that question?  It is often used in an off-hand, matter of fact way and it is sometimes used in a sarcastic manner.  This is the question that everyone who is making a decision to purchase something does or should ask.  It

When Selling Isn’t Selling

– Posted in: Sales

In these somewhat tough times, we often look for ways to sell better, close better, outsell the competition or handle the unfair competition.  We are often afraid to be viewed as a salesman or as so many clients have said to me: "I don't want to seem desperate."  So instead of desperation, instead of feeling

Where Did All the Prospects Go

– Posted in: Sales

How often have you met someone or had a prospect for your business and found that the promising prospect or lead just went nowhere?  I believe this has happened to most of us, whether it was a possible new client, a new position in a company, a new company itself or even launching a new

The Worst Salesmen

– Posted in: Sales

Recently, my husband and I were shopping for appliances.  Following are a few examples of what we experienced.  After we went into the first store, the salesman immediately told us that he could help us finance our purchase.  That was interesting, but it was the furthest thing from our minds considering that we planned to

Decisions – Decisions

– Posted in: Sales

How often have we all heard this expression!  Although making decisions is part of our normal every day life, some of us have more difficulty with decision making than others.  And yet decision making is critical to all our lives and businesses. As business owners, managers or salesmen, we are faced with decisions regarding marketing,

Wondering Where All the Time Went

– Posted in: Time Management

In this article we will be taking a different approach to time management.  If you are like me, you don't want to hear how much each wasted minute or hour is costing you.  It's bad enough that you don't feel like you have enough time, it's even worse to be told that you are wasting

Changing the Clock

– Posted in: Time Management

How often have you said to yourself, I'll do this some day, but there is just no time now, or if only I can the make time.  Or maybe you wish you could somehow change the clock.  If only you could add minutes to hours or hours to the day.  Instead of lamenting about the

Manufacturing Time

– Posted in: Time Management

How often have you wondered why it takes so long to get something done?  You plan out your day or the project, you figure out what you or your staff will accomplish, but somehow it takes much longer than you expected.  If it's your own project you may simply get mad at yourself or wonder

So Much to Do, So Little Time

– Posted in: Time Management

If you looked at the title of this article and immediately agreed with it you are not alone.  I am often asked, how do you find the time … , or more importantly "how do I find the time to … ".  You can complete the sentence.  It doesn't matter what you don't have the

Getting It All Done

– Posted in: Time Management

How often have you just not been able to get it all done?  A few years ago, I consistently would hear cries of "I can't find the staff I need."  Now, in spite of the changes in the economic scene I'm still hearing complaints of no time to get it all done.  If you are

Creating Your Future

– Posted in: Organization

As we start a new year we often look back to see where we have been, and look forward and wonder where we can go. As we reflect on what has been, let's also look at where we might go.  Although it is good to be satisfied with our accomplishments, we don't want to become

Remodeling to Achieve Your Goals

– Posted in: Organization

What comes to mind when we say remodel?  A new kitchen or bathroom perhaps or maybe an extension on someone's house? Why remodel?  People remodel for a number of reasons: greater functionality or efficiency, more space, aesthetics, and so on.  Often it's to make room for a growing family, but sometimes it's to support a

Fun in the Workplace

– Posted in: Employees

When you think of employee games what instantly comes to mind? Are these thoughts negative or did you think of something positive? Yes, there is the negative side of employee games, where the game seems to be getting you. In this case it seems that you are the adversary, as opposed to a team member.

Predicting Staff Success

– Posted in: Employees

How often have you asked yourself how you can find, build or keep good staff?  I am often told that it is simply impossible to find or keep good staff and yet I consistently see just the opposite.  No, I am not saying that the problem doesn't exist, but what I am saying is that

Preparing For Staff

– Posted in: Employees

To make sure that a new employee actually becomes part of the solution instead of just adding to the existing problem, you've got to make sure that you are prepared for them when they show up for their first day on the job.  On-the-job training is all well and good, but without a good plan,

Shining Stars

– Posted in: Employees

I am often asked, how do I get my staff to care?  How do I get them to be more productive?  Before answering these questions, let's step back a bit and look at some facts with regard to productivity, morale and motivation.  Let's also turn this around and ask "How can I make my employees

Sinking or Swimming

– Posted in: Employees

One of the most troublesome areas of many businesses is employees - finding them, hiring them, getting them to do what is needed and keeping them.  In spite of this, one of the most neglected areas of employee relations is training.  We recognize that hiring is important and we may even take the time to

But I Thought You Meant

– Posted in: Communication

The importance of good communication"But I though you meant … ."  How often have you heard this?  I'm sure we can all relate to the familiar refrains of "I didn't know that" or "You didn't tell me that".  How often have you thought something was going to happen only to find out later that the

Reaching Agreements

– Posted in: Communication

How often have you asked yourself why it is so difficult to reach agreements?  Whether it is getting staff to do what you want or getting clients to say yes to your sales proposals it sometimes seems so hard.  The good news is there are things you can do to improve your percentages.  In addition

Reasons

– Posted in: Communication

As I was thinking about the topic for this month's article a number of thoughts seemed to be competing for my attention.  This is the time of year to enjoy the holidays, to reflect on those things we have to be thankful for, a time to celebrate and especially a time to communicate.  Rather than

What’s Fair?

– Posted in: Communication

We've all heard the complaint or maybe even had the experience of getting ripped off.  Important questions are how, when and why does this happen.  In other words, what are the ingredients and warning signs of rip-off? In our society we all strive for and want fairness.  Ever since we were children we wanted things

No Excuses

– Posted in: Stress

I hear it all the time: I have no work; I am so busy; I have no work; I have no time, I'm really busy; I have no money. What really gets to me are the complaints of no work followed by the statement that "I didn't have time to get the proposal done." I

The Executive Balancing Act

– Posted in: Stress

Some call it putting out the daily fires; others call it walking a tight rope.  To handle the stress that goes with being an executive, we need to do both, but more importantly we also need to put plans in place to ensure our success. How often have you felt like your life or job

Reducing Your Stress

– Posted in: Stress

How often have you wondered why it takes so long to get something done? You plan out your day or the project, you figure out what you or your staff will accomplish, but somehow it takes much longer than you expected. If it's your own project you may simply get mad at yourself or wonder

A New Year – A New Start

– Posted in: Planning

We have all established goals, decided that we would venture forth on some new road to only later realize that we didn't quite make it. So now that we clearly see that we didn't achieve this new dream what do we do? The tendency is all too often to find blame. It may be that

You Survived the Year – Now What?

– Posted in: Planning

First of all, Happy New Year!  Second of all, you made it.  If you're reading this it means you managed to survive the year of 2009.  Despite the recession, despite the problems, despite everything, you're still there.  Despite the claims that "no one is doing any work," you found some people who did some work. 

Your Future – Yours to Determine

– Posted in: Planning

This seems to be the time of the year that many of us sit back and reflect on our lives, our businesses, and our future.  Although planning for the future would be more effective as a regular occurrence, we will take this opportunity to reflect and plan, and maybe even set in motion some regular

A Fresh Start

– Posted in: Planning

It's all over the news - has been and continues to be - things are slowing down.  So what does that mean?  Does it mean that you will have no work? Or does it mean that you need to rekindle some of those old client relationships and perhaps reach out to those who deserve the

New Year’s Message

– Posted in: Planning

This seems to be the time of the year that many of us sit back and reflect on our lives, our businesses, and our future.  Although planning for the future would be more effective as a regular occurrence, we will take this opportunity to reflect and plan, and maybe even set in motion some regular

The Elements of Success

– Posted in: Planning

In planning for the success of our business, or even our lives, we need to establish goals, plans to accomplish those goals, and also ways to measure our success or our progress toward reaching our goals. These goals can be grand, far-reaching dreams, simple short-term relatively easy to achieve intentions or anything in between. Although

When it’s Just Not Viable

– Posted in: Planning

If you find that your business is just not viable, then it is time to take some drastic measures. In a sense, it is like starting from scratch. Fortunately however, there is a huge difference between starting a new business and reviving an existing business. We just have to recognize that it can't be business

Reflections

– Posted in: Planning

As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, there is a lot to reflect upon - some good and some unfortunate events. For those who may have been hurt by the recent devastating storm, there may not seem like there is a lot to celebrate, but even with loss comes new beginnings

Be Proactive Not Reactive

– Posted in: Management

How often do we hear that we should be more proactive and wonder how we could possibly be more proactive than we already are? In this article I would like to explore the ways in which we are reactive and the ways in which we can turn that around to be truly proactive.   Unfortunately there

Business from Outside the Box

– Posted in: Management

How often have you been frustrated because things are just not going the way they are supposed to?  I hear this lament from clients all the time.  Another common complaint I hear is: “there isn't anything I can do about it because … ." You can fill in the blank.  I have heard reasons for

Keeping It Simple

– Posted in: Management

By focusing on the positive aspects of our businesses and all areas within our businesses, we can create an environment that fosters success and personal fulfillment. Although we recognize that there are bound to be some problems and setbacks, it's how we handle them that determines success or failure. Let's see how this would apply

Taking Measure

– Posted in: Management

With the end of the football season behind us and the start of baseball just around the corner I am reminded of some of the things these sports have in common with our businesses.  For one, they are both games with the goal of winning.  Although you may not always think of your business as

What You Don’t Do

– Posted in: Management

We often think that it's those things that we do that can hurt us; but what about those things that we forget?  We are all familiar with the saying "ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law".  This is equally true with regard to running your business.  Let's look at some of those important things

Predicting People

– Posted in: Management

The one common, underlying aspect to all areas of business and life itself is people. Whether we are trying to market, sell, run a business or handle employees, we need to understand people. How often have you produced a wonderful ad only to be disappointed in its results, or thought you had a great sales

When Danger Looms Ahead

– Posted in: Management

There come times in all of our lives or businesses when we feel drastic actions are needed.  When faced with continually declining situations or ongoing trouble, we often feel the need to do something, but the question often is what?  Sometimes an ongoing non-optimum life or business situation can be tolerable for awhile and then

What’s Normal?

– Posted in: Management

What is normal and how do you know whether or not your business is normal, below normal or above.  There are probably as many answers to this question as there are businesses, so let's look at how you can actually define what normal is for you.  Unfortunately, in the light of the economic conditions we

Affluence – When Things Go Really Well

– Posted in: Management

When things in our lives and businesses go really well, what do we do?  I have often seen people who have suddenly sold a big job or "hit the jackpot" go out and spend it all, or worse, buy something on credit.  The reasoning is if things are so good now, they will continue to

Measuring Success

– Posted in: Management

As we ushered in the New Year, I am sure many of us made the typical New Year's Resolutions, and are looking forward to a successful year for our businesses and ourselves.  Hopefully we have all established or renewed our goals and plans for this upcoming year.  This is the perfect time of year to

Recipes for Success

– Posted in: Management

Although defining and measuring business statistics is a very important tool in managing and leading a business to success, it is even more important to use these statistics for improving your business.  Rather than just looking at the numbers which represent the various areas of your business, and celebrating the ups or bemoaning downs, we

Lead or Be Led

– Posted in: Leadership

Why is it that some project managers always seem to get the really good projects, while others always seem to get the problem jobs? Is it really a matter of luck or does the answer perhaps lay within the manager himself? I think we all know the answer to this question, which leads us to

Leadership

– Posted in: Leadership

We hear about leadership all the time.  He's a good leader, a bad leader, or a natural born leader.  We like to think we are good leaders.  We look for leadership in our employees.  We complain that our staff aren't measuring up.  We sometimes yearn for the 'right someone' to come along.  But will we

It’s All About Good News

– Posted in: Leadership

With all the doom and gloom out there, one might ask "what good news?" Unfortunately everywhere we turn we hear or read or are told about how bad things are. As we all know there seems to be a media frenzy reminding us about how bad it is, and if that's not bad enough, how

Keeping It Positive

– Posted in: Leadership

We've all heard of the power of positive thinking and perhaps some of us have felt it has become a trite or overused expression.  However, I would like to explore where and how the use of a positive approach to life and work will benefit you and your business. For those of us who are

Who Do You Listen to

– Posted in: Leadership

We all seek advice from time to time, but we are often as disappointed as we are satisfied with the advice we get.  Sometimes it is a matter of the blind leading the blind as the old saying goes, and sometimes we find we actually gain some real nuggets of wisdom.  So what is the

Do They Know You Exist?

– Posted in: Marketing

Recently I have discovered that many businesses have stopped doing some of the most cost effective marketing that is out there.  What I am talking about is the simple concept of communicating to your client or customer base. There are a lot of reasons to stay in touch, or if you are out of touch,

Reaching Out

– Posted in: Marketing

For years I have heard a lot of varying comments with regard to marketing, some positive, but most of them negative.  Many of the comments have been along the lines of 'advertising doesn't work' or 'advertising is a waste of money'.  I am not going to agree or disagree with any of these beliefs, but

The Goldmine in Your Backyard

– Posted in: Marketing

Are you sitting on a goldmine? In recent years, contractors have been panning gold from a stream of plentiful business opportunity. However, now that the stream of potential customers looking for contractors has dried up a bit, it's time to shift focus and start to dig for the buried veins of gold. The question is

Doing the Impossible

– Posted in: Marketing

The message we have gotten from recent surveys is quite clear.  Most of you want to get more work, make more money or both.  That's no surprise; neither is the worry about the economy and how it will affect each of us. This is quite a contrast from what was happening a few years ago,

Don’t Break My Heart

– Posted in: Marketing

It breaks my heart when I see such waste.  It really hurts to see and feel the disappointment after so much hard work that gets put into fruitless marketing ventures.  Unfortunately I see so many failed attempts to get new business.  Even worse is the realization that so much money was spent and often wasted

The Secrets to More Work

– Posted in: Marketing

How often have you been asked "can you keep a secret?"  For most of us the answer is yes, of course I can keep a secret.   Since we often pride ourselves on being able to keep secrets, you may wonder why I am about to tell you to stop keeping secrets.  Of course I don't

Well Kept Secrets

– Posted in: Marketing

As children we were often judged by how well we could keep a secret.  And if we did a really good job of keeping secrets we would often be valued as a trusted friend.  So we all know there is value to keeping a secret, but not when it comes to promoting yourself. Over the

Do They Really Care About You

– Posted in: Marketing

In light of the current economy and everyone's desire to get more work, there are currently great 'deals' out there.  But are these really great deals or will they simply result in more disappointment?  Unfortunately, I have seen many so called deals turn into anything but.  They range from guarantees that you will be number

Who Do You Know?

– Posted in: Marketing

When you looked at this question what did you think?  Were you reminded of the insurance salesman who asked that question as soon as they signed you up or did you think of someone else wanting to sell to all your friends and acquaintances?  What I am going to ask is "who do you know

Should’ve Listened to You

– Posted in: Marketing

This could be one of my most hated phrases.  But, unfortunately I am hearing it much too often these days.  So, what is this about and why am I hearing this phrase and what can we do about it now?  Recently I have had calls or meetings start off exactly this way:  I should've listened

Consistency in Marketing

– Posted in: Marketing

Anyone who has ever advertised has most likely gotten the same message from their advertising rep.  You need consistency, or you need to repeatedly advertise.  Now before you stop reading, let me assure you, I am not writing this article to encourage you to do regular, expensive advertising.  Instead, we need to look at marketing

Creating Mystery in Marketing

– Posted in: Marketing

Anyone who has ever read a mystery novel or watched a mystery movie knows how engrossed you get.  A good mystery novel is called a page turner for good reason. Imagine reading or watching the story where you know the ending before you begin.  I am sure you will agree that it just wouldn't have

Tightening Our Belts

– Posted in: Marketing

There come times in all of our lives or in our businesses when we feel the need to tighten our belts.  This is a saying that has been around for as long as I can remember and will probably continue to be around for some time to come.  Although it is prudent to look at

Keeping a Secret

– Posted in: Marketing

As children we're often judged by how well we can keep a secret.  And if we do a really good job of keeping secrets we're valued as a trusted friend. So we all know there is great value to keeping a secret. However, there is no value to keeping a secret when it comes to

There’s a Lot of Snow Out There

– Posted in: Marketing

  Yes, I know it is August now as I am writing this article and it will only be September when it first appears.  But yes, there is a lot of snow out there and it isn't the cold white stuff that you can make into funny little men.  It is the kind of stuff

Making Lemonade in 2009

– Posted in: Economy

We have all heard the expression "when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade", but how many of us really try to apply that advice? More often than not, we tend to dwell on the bad luck or the unfortunate events or situations we find ourselves in. I am sure we can all think of

The Hot Dog Stand

– Posted in: Economy

As I listen to the worry about the economy, I am reminded of something I read many years ago.  It was the story of a man who owned a hot dog stand.  He did regular promotion and had a very successful business.  One day someone told him that he better be careful because there was

While You Were Asleep

– Posted in: Economy

Solutions to a slow economy -what we can do to make it better Oh, it's so slow; I can't do anything about it; I'm so busy, but I don't have any money; it's no use so I might as well hibernate.  I could go on and on repeating some of what we have all recently

You Want to Know What?

– Posted in: Economy

In this time of economic and consumer uncertainty it is more important than ever to market and sell effectively.  By effective I mean that you are doing the right things and getting results.  For you, that means that you attract qualified clients who are willing to pay enough for your services.  We all know that

Change

– Posted in: Economy

We often hear that change is part of life.  Similarly change is part of business and the world we live in.  The question often is how we deal with change.  Some of us welcome and embrace change, while others want the status quo. From what I have observed, most of us are willing to deal

Pro-active Job Costing

– Posted in: Profitability

For years I have been asked questions about what to charge or how to price a particular service.  If we are in business or we have ever tried to sell something we have most likely struggled with this question and the issues surrounding pricing.  There are so many factors to consider that we sometimes forget

2016 Houston Star Award Winners Announced

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Houston Clients who won  2016 Star Awards! The Texas Association of Builders Star Awards is a statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry. Craftsmanship By John- Best Kitchen Renovation $100 – $250K Remodelers of Houston- Best Addition $100 – $250K

Houston Clients are Finalists 2016 Star Awards

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Houston Clients who recently became Finalists for the 2016 Star Awards. The Texas Association of Builders Star Awards is a statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry. Remodelers of Houston – Best Addition $100K-$250K Third Coast Builders -Best Whole House Renovation under $500K Craftsmanship By John Best Whole House Renovation $500K-$1M Best Kitchen Renovation

NARI Recognizes NY Remodeler

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our New York client Robi Kirsic, owner of TimeLine Renovations Inc., for winning the John Quaregna Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The John Quaregna Award is designed to recognize NARI’s young remodeling professionals for their efforts and achievements in the remodeling industry. Established in 2001, this award recognizes the

BBB Recognizes Houston Remodelers

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to Houston clients Abbott Contracting and Legal Eagle Contractors for being named 2016 Better Business Bureau Award for Excellence – Winners of Distinction. This prestigious award is given to BBB Accredited Businesses and Charity Partners that maintain a superior commitment to ethics, overall excellence, and quality in the workplace. Congratulations on this honorable achievement!

Houston Clients win Houston’s Best Prism Awards

– Posted in: Client News

This PRISM awards honor the Greater Houston Builders Association’s finest in the building industry. Congratulations to our clients for wining 2015 Houston’s Best PRISM Awards! Craftsmanship By John received a 2015 Houston’s Best PRISM Award in the category of Whole House Renovation over $750,000 View Project Photos Remodelers of Houston received a 2015 Houston’s Best PRISM Award in the

NARI Winners 2014

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Long Island clients who were recently awarded NARI 2014 Regional Contractor of the Year Awards  (CotY) GB Construction and Development Inc. Entire house $250,000-$500,000 DG Custom Built Homes and Remodeling Residential addition over $250,000 DJ’s Home Improvements, Inc. Residential kitchen over $120,000   &  Residential Interior Element  Create a More Successful Business!

Paying For a Promise

– Posted in: Web Marketing

Pay per Click advertising also known as cost per click, is a model used to direct traffic to your website. Advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. Some Pay Per Click companies refer to each click as a lead.  But if you think about the definition of a lead,

How to Retain Existing Clients

– Posted in: Marketing

Don’t Be Invisible to Your Clients Happy clients are your best cheerleaders, they like you, trust you, refer you and as a result more likely to use your services in the future. Your existing client base is a very important marketing asset that needs to be cultivated on a regular basis. Reaching your previous clients

Good Reviews Key to Growing Your Business

– Posted in: Marketing

The home remodeling website Houzz just released their yearly Houzz and Home Report, a survey overview of U.S. Renovation, Custom Building and Decorating in 2014. Some of the findings included: Over half of homeowners on Houzz plan to continue or start renovations in 2015 (55%). Nearly half of homeowners plan to decorate (46%). Four in five plan

Houston Client Receives 2015 BBB Award for Excellence

– Posted in: Client News

On May 13th, the Better Business Bureau Education Foundation honored BBB Accredited Businesses and Charity Partners that maintain a superior commitment to ethics, overall excellence, and quality in the workplace at the 2015 Awards for Excellence event.  Abbott Contracting is a Distinction Winner of the BBB Award for Excellence.

2015 Star Awards Finalists

– Posted in: Client News

Goette Customs LLC Remodeler – Best Kitchen Renovation $25,000-$49,999 Craftsmanship by John Remodeler of the Year Remodeler – Best Website Best Bathroom Renovation between $50,000-$99,999 Best Outdoor Living Space between $40,000-$60,000 Best Kitchen Renovation between $50,000-$99,000 Best Kitchen Renovation between $100,000-$250,000 Posted in Awards, Star Awards | Leave a comment

TimeLine Renovations Inc. Recognized among North America’s Best Customer Service Leaders within the Residential Construction Industry

– Posted in: Client News

TimeLine Renovations Inc., remodeler in New York City, has been awarded a 2015 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service. GuildQuality, an independent customer satisfaction surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award since 2005 to celebrate service excellence in the building, remodeling, contracting, and home services professions. TimeLine Renovations Inc. was selected as one of the

Remember to Ask for Reviews

– Posted in: Web Marketing

Your company’s website is your most powerful marketing tool. Being well ranked in search engines is vital to increase customer traffic to your website and give you qualified leads that can be converted to sales. One way to make sure that you are ranked well locally, is to get lots of reviews. Have a procedure

Getting it Right – Online

– Posted in: Web Marketing

There are many social media opportunities to take advantage of to help increase your business. Twitter and blogs are great to promote conversation and engage users. Facebook and Houzz are geared more toward building your brand and driving traffic to your website. Once a visitor gets to your website it is there where they can

Regional 2015 NARI CotY Award Winners Tampa Bay

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our Florida clients for winning 2015 NARI Regional CotY Awards – Tampa Bay Area  Jamco Unlimited 1st Place Residential Interior Element $30,000 and over Residential Exterior Element 2nd Place Residential Universal Design Residential Bath under $25,000 Jeffrey M Wolf, General Contractor 2nd Place Entire House $750,000 – $1,000,000

Improve Productivity – Get Back to Basics

– Posted in: Other Articles

It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, sometimes you have to get back to basics to improve productivity. One way is to create an organization manual. If you already have one, make sure you are keeping it up to date, if you don’t, it would be a good idea to create one.

Successful Succession Planning

– Posted in: Planning

Unfortunately, it is often the case that a small remodeler or other business owner simply closes the doors, leaving with whatever savings they were able to accumulate. Although this decision works for many, it is possible, no matter where you are in the cycle of your business, to plan for its long-term continuation. Although an

Your Website as a Marketing Tool

– Posted in: Web Marketing

There are so many marketing tools available to use; emails, Facebook, Houzz, direct mail and print advertising. You can further your brand significantly by taking advantage of all of those tools. The main goal of all of those efforts should be to drive your prospects to your website. Your website is meant to educate prospects

Planning for the New Year

– Posted in: Planning

As this year draws to a close, now is a good time to plan your marketing strategy for 2015.  Take a good look at what marketing activities you did this past year, which actions were successful and what you would like to do in the upcoming year.  If your business has been slow it is

Remodeling to Achieve Your Goals

– Posted in: Other Articles

What comes to mind when we say remodel?  A new kitchen or bathroom perhaps or maybe an extension on someone’s house? Why remodel?  People remodel for a number of reasons: greater functionality or efficiency, more space, aesthetics, and so on.  Often it’s to make room for a growing family, but sometimes it’s to support a changing lifestyle. How does

Increase Customer Satisfaction

– Posted in: Other Articles

We  know that satisfied customers translate into more business.  Building customer loyalty is a continual process and studies have shown that happy employees create happy customers. Taking the time to focus on boosting employee satisfaction can help drive sales by providing a friendly, professional and engaging customer experience. If your employees are not engaged with their jobs,

Close More Sales

– Posted in: Sales

Probably the biggest topic in sales is closing the sale. Unfortunately, much of the sales advice out there amounts to tricks to close the sale. We often look for ways to sell better, close better, outsell the competition or handle the unfair competition. We are often afraid to be viewed as a salesman or as

Planning for change when it’s not business as usual

– Posted in: Planning

It not uncommon to hear the phrase “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” in the home improvement business. This can apply to any area of your business such as marketing, hiring, production, installs etc.  It’s not so unusual to think just because something has worked in the past it will still work for and

Publicize All of Your Good Works

– Posted in: Other Articles

There are so many ways that you can shine.  We all know that doing a really good job for our clients is the best way to shine, but we need to go beyond doing a good job.  And we have to make sure that we aren’t hiding our good works.  We have to get those

Is Fear Keeping Your Profits Low?

– Posted in: Profitability

Often what I find in working with clients is that there is an underlying prevalent fear when it comes to selling, and because of this the sales person drops the price.  Unfortunately when a sales person is or becomes fearful they have also lost control of the whole process.  Part of the reason for this

Communication is the Key to Sales

– Posted in: Sales

No matter how great our products and services are, they won’t do any good if we can’t sell them. I’m sure we have all experienced the frustration of knowing that we could really help a potential customer, but still somehow couldn’t convince them to use our services. I often hear salespeople complaining that in spite

You Can Be An Award Winner Too!

– Posted in: Other Articles

There are many reasons to enter award competitions; prestige of being a winner, free publicity as in press releases, social media, email marketing and that much needed boost to your website. Being a finalist or award winner not only reminds your past clients how great you are but also relays credibility to your prospects. Not

Are Small Jobs Worth Your Time?

– Posted in: Profitability

According to a recent report from NAHB, there has been an increase in smaller remodeling projects as well as in larger remodeling jobs over $25,000. It’s no surprise that many contractors prefer the larger jobs, but can your company benefit from the smaller ones too? Small jobs have the potential to bring big returns. Not

Don’t Overlook the Little Things

– Posted in: Other Articles

I’m often told by contractors that they get a lot of business through word of mouth.  As business owners we all are quick to recognize blatantly bad practices, however sometimes we become blind to the little things.  And often it’s those little things that can make a difference between getting more business or not. For

Sales Forms as a Valuable Marketing Tool

– Posted in: Sales

Most of us use some type of form to collect information about someone wanting to use our services. That form is a valuable tool not only for sales but for future marketing as well. You have the basic questions covered, name, email etc…however there are other questions that you should ask. Questions such as “What

How to make your employees feel valued and why

– Posted in: Employees

I am often asked, “How do I get my staff to care?” or “How do I get them to be more productive?” Let’s also turn this around and ask “How can I make my employees feel valued?” When employees feel valued, they will care and they will be more productive. Often I’m told that employees

Creating Proposals that Sell

– Posted in: Sales

Have you ever wondered why your beautiful, well documented, detailed proposal doesn’t lead to the sale of the job?  Contrary to popular belief, it is not always the price.  And no, it is not necessary to give them even more detail.  In fact it’s often the details that kill the sale. In reviewing contactor proposals

Keeping up with change

– Posted in: Economy

When I look back to 6 – 10 years ago, most of my clients wanted help with organization and employee issues.  Work was plentiful and no one wanted to hear about marketing, so our focus was on structure, organization and efficiency.  As changes in the economy forced many home owners to think twice about remodeling,

Create an Inviting Website

– Posted in: Web Marketing

Your website is like the front door to your home. Once people are invited in it is your website’s job to see that they are comfortable so they will stick around. Visually and textually you must be able to have an engaging conversation with your visitors.  Think about what words match the tone you would

Two Heads are Better Than One

– Posted in: Other Articles

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have a great idea, but you’re just not sure.  Maybe you’re not sure if it really is a good idea, or maybe you just don’t know how to express it or promote it.  When that happens, who do you go to? That’s where the expertise of a business

Make Things Go Right Not Wrong

– Posted in: Employees

As business owners we all want to increase productivity, efficiency and profits. As a busy business owner it’s tempting to overlook the need to communicate regularly with your staff and the benefit of staff meetings.  A properly planned and executed meeting will increase productivity, communication and efficiency. What we don’t often think about is not having

Reduce Employee Turnover

– Posted in: Employees

Your employees are one of the biggest assets of your business. Locating and retaining quality employees is an ongoing job. All businesses experience some amount of employee turnover and depending upon the employee that leaves, turnover may not be the worst thing.  However, too much turnover can affect the productivity and morale of other employees

It’s not all about a pretty face…

– Posted in: Other Articles

You are looking at your competitor’s ad in a prominent publication with beautiful photos and glowing testimonials.  But you don’t have an ad like that – should you? Believe it or not you are actually on the same playing field as your competitor when it comes to selling a job.  Homeowners research products and pricing

Business Succession Planning

– Posted in: Planning

There comes a time in everyone’s life and business to consider moving on.  Whether the decision to move on is due to the desire to explore other opportunities, to retire or is the result of other circumstances, it is best to be prepared. Preparation for the future of your business is often called succession planning. 

CotY Award Winners

– Posted in: Client News

Congratulations to our clients in the Tampa Bay Area who were recently awarded 2014 NARI Contractor of the Year awards in the following categories: Jamco Unlimited Residential Kitchen under $40,000 Residential Bath under $30,000 Entire House under $250,000 Remodeler of the Year J.S. Perry & Co, Inc. Residential Kitchen under $40,000 Residential Interior $100,000 and over  Residential Interior

Hiring the Right Person for your Company

– Posted in: Employees

Why, in a world where people say they want to work, is it so difficult to hire the right person? In hiring, the first test is the initial conversation you have with the candidate on the phone—before asking them to come in for a face-to-face interview. This step is very important and should not be

Get More Work By Standing Out

– Posted in: Marketing

As a small business owner I know it can be difficult to differentiate my company from other similar companies out there. But it’s the differences about you and your company that can get the sale, especially if your price point is higher than your competititor’s. The best way to differentiate yourself from your competition is

Stick to the Plan

– Posted in: Planning

As a successful remodeler you know what steps are needed to complete a project to reach your client’s goals. You know what you need to do, how you need to do it, and why, to get the result your client desires. Each project is unique and you have successfully mastered its individual processes. But just

It’s All About Service

– Posted in: Other Articles

There are many articles written about choosing a remodeler or home builder, but unfortunately there is much less information available to help homeowners choose the best company to do their service work.  Whether you need help with your electrical needs, plumbing, irrigation, landscaping or any other service, it is critical to you that you choose

Your Employees – the Frontline of Your Business

– Posted in: Employees

Have you ever shopped around for a new car and left the dealership thinking no way would you purchase a vehicle from that salesperson? Your potential customer’s relationship generally starts with some interaction with one of your employees. As they say “What goes around, comes around”, so if you take great care of your employees,

Drive Results With a Great Website

– Posted in: Web Marketing

It’s important to make a good first impression.  You know what they say, most people will judge you in the first second of meeting you and most likely that impression of you will not change.  It also holds true for your website, as it too must have “curb appeal”.  A visitor to your website will

Surveys – A valuable marketing tool

– Posted in: Marketing

According to a Consumer Reports National Research Center General Contractors were significantly more aggravating than subcontractors but not quite as annoying as the cable guy. Top complaints from homeowners included failing to show up, not taking the time needed to do the job right and not listening or understanding requests. Can you say you really

Develop Your Business Action PLan

– Posted in: Planning

We sometimes wish we had crystal balls so we could predict our futures; however we all have at our disposal a tool far better than a crystal ball. That tool is the ability to establish goals and plans for ourselves and our businesses. Unfortunately many of us do not recognize the importance or simplicity of

Modernize your Company’s Brag Book

– Posted in: Marketing

Those of us that have been in business for awhile remember your company’s “Brag Book”.  This was simply a book with information about your company including before and after photos of projects, details of projects, and testimonials from satisfied clients. This book could be left with a prospect to look at or brought with you

Be Prepared to Hire

– Posted in: Employees

Most of us have heard of disaster preparedness for example getting your bag of items ready in case of emergency.  When you are hiring new staff you also need to prepare with a “toolkit” of sorts so that you are prepared to find, select, interview and hire that new employee for your organization. It sounds

So much to do – so little time

– Posted in: Time Management

At this time of year with all the holiday happenings it is so easy to relate to this topic. If you looked at the title of this article and immediately agreed with it you are not alone.  I am often asked, “how do you find the time to…” ,   You can complete the sentence. 

Remodel Your Business For Success

– Posted in: Management

What comes to mind when we say remodel?  A new kitchen or bathroom perhaps or maybe an extension on someone’s house? Why remodel?  People remodel for a number of reasons: greater functionality or efficiency, more space, aesthetics, and so on.  Often it’s to make room for a growing family, but sometimes it’s to support a

Fun in the Workplace – Employee Games

– Posted in: Employees

When you think of employee games what instantly comes to mind?  Are these thoughts negative or did you think of something positive?  Yes, there is the negative side of employee games, where the game seems to be getting you.  In this case it seems that you are the adversary, as opposed to a team member. 

So Different yet so Similar

– Posted in: Other Articles

We all know that there are vast differences between health care practices and construction businesses, but we sometimes miss the similarities.  As an example, a Long Island family dentist and a Long Island oral surgeon have differences in that the general dentist focuses on family dentistry, whereas the oral surgeon focuses on dental surgery such as

Shining Stars

– Posted in: Employees

Increasing Staff Productivity by Lorraine Hart, Ideal Consulting Services, Inc. I am often asked, How do I get my staff to care?  How do I get them to be more productive?  Before answering these questions, let’s step back a bit and look at some facts with regard to productivity, morale and motivation. Often I’m told

Award Achieved by Ideal Consulting Clients

– Posted in: Client News

Let’s talk about awards, certifications and recognition. The one thing that they have in common is the fact that the individual and/or the company they represent have gone over and above what is normally expected.  These individuals and groups have spent time and effort to learn more, to train their staff and to produce results

Looking Back and Moving Forward

– Posted in: Other Articles

The recent celebration of Ideal Consulting Services’ 20th anniversary has prompted me to reflect on the past and look into the future.  As I reflected on the past, it was clear to me that there were so many people, companies and organizations that have been part of Ideal’s history as well as my life. In

Making Lemonade

– Posted in: Other Articles

We have all heard the expression “when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade”, but how many of us really try to apply that advice? More often than not, we tend to dwell on the bad luck or the unfortunate events or situations we find ourselves in.  I am sure we can all think of

Do They Know You Exist

– Posted in: Marketing

Recently I have discovered that many businesses have stopped doing some of the most cost effective marketing that is out there. What I am talking about is the simple concept of communicating to your client or customer base. There are a lot of reasons to stay in touch, or if you are out of touch,

To Web or not to Web?

– Posted in: Web Marketing

I am often asked about websites. These questions range from “should I?”, “must I?”, “should it be fancy?”, “should it be simple?”, “is it cheap?”, “is it expensive?”, “can I live without it? The answer to all those questions is yes, and it depends. For those of you who still may be thinking about getting

Relocate or Remodel

– Posted in: Contractor Resources

Written by Lorraine Hart, Ideal Consulting Services, Inc. The economic conditions of the past few years have thrown a monkey-wrench into plans and dreams for so many homeowners.  Unfortunately many of us have had to adjust our goals and re-plan our futures. With the real estate market in an unknown state, people are really nervous

Why Now

– Posted in: Contractor Resources

Written by Lorraine Hart, Ideal Consulting Services, Inc. Sometimes we allow forces outside of us to dictate our decisions, plans and actions.  This has never been as true as it has been in this current economic climate.  Unfortunately some of our decisions, especially those based on fear, hurt us more than they help us.  Waiting

Look Before You Pay

– Posted in: Other Articles

I often have clients ask me about “deals too good to be passed up”.  We have all gotten calls from salespeople promising that if you advertise, your company listing will be at the top, you will get lots of leads and more business than you ever dreamed of. All you need to do is sign