Online construction marketing consultant Brian Javeline suggests that the best time to work on your construction marketing plan is . . . yesterday.
He says that far too few contractors bother even developing a plan, and those that do generally rush it at the end of the year, and then (alas) it often gathers dust and is ignored soon into the new year.
There are many reasons for this gap between ideal practice and the reality of most of the industry.
It’s challenging to get a good plan together when you’ve never done it before. You will either have to do a fair bit of research to build your benchmarks, or you will need to work with approximate data on the objectives side, with real (hard) expenses on the payout side. Sometimes it seems easier to say: “Let’s leave this for next year.”
Secondly, and most challenging, is the issue of delayed gratification. Even if you do everything right — even if you budget for the training and start working on the systems changes to improve your search engine optimization, and after you’ve been doing everything right, there generally won’t be an instant response. It can take several months to show signs of results — and even more for the whole effort to seem profitable. And, with the expenses in cash and time outgoing you’ll be tempted to throw in the towel and revert to form.
The answer to this problem is to avoid the “New Years Resolution” syndrome. You know, the annualized behaviour that you will change something that isn’t working because you should, and you might even try a few things early in January to implement the changes. Usually, we know the end of the story.
(I see it every year at the gym, where I work out most days. The place goes dead in the late fall and gets really busy on Jan. 2, to revert to form sometime in February.)
While we are now in the traditional marketing planning season now, there is no “best time” to do this work — other than as soon as you are ready to make the real changes you need to make to allow your business to grow and become more profitable.
So the right time to start your construction marketing planning, indeed, is “yesterday.”