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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
ITO Offline
ZERO, but we did put up a webpage 2 years ago. Its good for transferring files, and contact info but that is about it. Last year yellow pages left our name out of the phone book on “accident”, it did not affect our business at all.

All or our business is word of mouth. Most jobs can be found on i-Squared Foot, or being put on bidder’s lists. Good labor and contractors are really hard to find, and if you do a good job word gets around.

We stay away from residential, churches, and schools. Everything else we chase. Service is not our bread and butter and we only do it for people we have already done work for, and our service guys also pick up our punch lists and warranty work.

[This message has been edited by ITO (edited 11-27-2006).]

101° Rx = + /_\
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 83
I too am interested in how much other contractors are investing (% wise).

However, I have a question that I believe eludes to what wilkie was saying. Does anyone track the results of their advertising... ie. does one form or another work better based on tracking the results?

When advertising, does one sector create better results than another? ie. Service work, New Construction, Renovations?

Just curious, if anyone is tracking the results to make sure that the money invested is turning the max profit possible?

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
10% should be your minimum. Invest in a decent ad in the real phone books (not these little community ones). Newspaper advertising attracts the cheapest of the cheap. Direct mail is shredded money. Coupons eat what little you would have left after you grant the discount on your coupons.

All major Yellow Pages offer the option to link your ad to their Internet advertising. An example that is well known is We switched to this option with our Verizon Yellow Pages ads and response took off like crazy. Granted, they also generated more calls from junk salesmen, but those calls are usually pretty easy to screen.

You have to spend money to make money. Granted, up to 20% is the best, a small shop can't support that kind of volume generated. Unless you have a full office staff of knowledgable people who know what they are talking about and can give estimates over the phone, stick with 10% for now. The last thing you want to do is blow 20% which generates more activity than you can handle. You also don't want bad press from people who had to leave messages and never heard back from you. There's only so much you can do in a day. Spend accordingly and expand gradually.

[This message has been edited by EV607797 (edited 11-28-2006).]


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
ITO Offline
I guess this could be considered marketing money, but it is also a source for plans:

It's an online plan room, and we make and maintain contact with lots of out of town GCs, for most of our retail construction.

You can brows the jobs in your area, down load the plans, and get a list of GCs bidding the jobs to send proposals too.

101° Rx = + /_\
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 206
I've gotten some decent response from The Bag, if anyone is familiar with that.

Does anyone use the Blue Book? I get ITBs from it non-stop. I imagine I'm being shopped alot of the time but I have gotten work from it.

Here's my question...10% of what? Advertising should be a % of what? Your operating costs? Percentages really throw me for a curve. I need whole numbers! [Linked Image]

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 20
I am currently spending 6% of gross sales on marketing. I'm a 1 truck outfit and I have 2 helpers. I plan on raising this to 10%.

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
Last year we fluctuated between 12% to 19% seasonally. I track every ad we have out using a variety of sources. Each direct mail piece uses a different tracked number, and I also use to track all of our YP ads, including some that are three years old. We track everything.

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