Partnerships and marriage are a wonderful part of life. You find that special someone and you both decide the stars have aligned themselves in perfect order for you to form this lifelong relationship. A more likely scenario is that you pushed those stars in that perfect order to attract your partner or spouse and after it becomes reality you find yourself looking for either a way out or to make changes.
The same thing happens to people owning their own business such as a modular home building. What seemed like a perfect way in the beginning to make a living for you and your family has become a bowl of old chili that is making you sicker by the year.
There are signs that the once perfect marriage of your hard work and reality need some changes. If you are quickly more successful than you had hoped, you may find yourself being torn in many directions without the right people in place to help keep the success going forward.
Sometimes the target market you thought you were attracting are not the people that buy from you and you don’’t know how to change to accommodate them.
Many modular home builders have faced these problems over the years. Some were successful in changing directions or their target and many just sat at their desk wondering why their business is imploding waiting for the next ulcer attack from that damn chili.
But there are some telltale signs that it is time to rethink, rework and reorganize your business. Here are 10 of them.
1. Your name no longer reflects your vision
When you started your modular home business you assumed that people wanted cheap, affordable housing and you had the answer so you called you business Cheap Modular Homes. After a few years you realized that your name no longer works to attract the types of middle income, younger new home buyers that are actually able to afford new homes. Your business name is the first thing they see and now it’s time to change it.
2. You’re embarrassed to hand out your business card or website address
This happens more often than modular builders want to admit. You cringe just a little when you hand out your business cards but you spent $15 having them printed, so screw it, you hand them out until they are all gone. Your website should come with an expiration date. Not keeping it fresh is like milk turning bad. People take one look at it and quickly move on to your competitors. Spend a little on new business cards and signage and then figure out how to improve your website. Baby steps.
3. You’re failing to differentiate yourself from the competition
Lemmings and sheep come to mind when you run with the average competition. If you feel that your business is an also ran in the new home building market, why not rock the boat a little? Talk to someone that knows marketing and come up with a strategy to make your modular home business a tiger instead of a sheep.
4. Is your messaging and design scattershot or confusing?
You have a great business going. Everyone you know thinks you are the best modular home builder in your area. Unfortunately not everyone you know wants to build a new home. You move to social media to bring people to your website but when they get there they find a disorganized site filled with statistics, testimonials, disjointed links and confusing reading materials. You need to hear the truth. One way to do that is by going to a local college and volunteering your website to a class on website design and then actually listen to what these young minds say. It will be a real eye opening experience. Then go back and begin implementing a few of their suggestions and promote those changes on social media. Again, baby steps.
5. Your business or strategy has changed
Sometimes the strategic objectives on which a company is founded are not its same goals five years down the road. Whether it’s unforeseen market opportunities or changes in technology, business models change. And when your business changes, so must you. The way your company is perceived by new home buyers should always align with the way it operates behind the scenes.
6. You’ve outgrown your original business
One of the more fortunate problems to have when it comes to business changes is that of scaling. If you’ve outgrown your current business or need to account for sudden and unexpected gains, you should definitely consider rebranding yourself. To compete at a higher level with higher-tier competitors, it’s often necessary to leave your old business plan behind.
7. You’re struggling to raise your prices
If the market price for your modular homes seems hopelessly fixed, despite the rising costs of materials, there may be something you can do about it. Because business ultimately boil down to customer perception, the value of your homes is entrenched in the minds of new home buyers. By rebranding, you’re able to reshape the way potential new home buyers perceive you, and raise the asking price of your homes. Same name, different street. Many people would love to see what you have to offer on that new road.
8. You’re trying to connect with a new audience
Today it’s boomers and Gen-Xers. Tomorrow it’ll be millennials. However silly the moniker, there’s always another generation hot on the heels of those who are spending money in the current marketplace. Rethinking your business allows you to redefine yourself with the goal of reaching these new and untapped audiences. Staying on top of demographic shifts is good business. The last thing a savvy young demographic wants, after all, is to associate itself with the stodgy brands of their parents’ generation.
9. You’re not attracting top talent
The best talent wants to work the best modular home builder in your area. It’s as simple as that. If you’re having trouble recruiting the caliber of employees that is necessary for the advancement of your business, it might be because your business name is associated with subpar industry standards. Redefine yourself, not just for your customers, but for your current and future employees as well. Raise your standards and you will be able to raise your new home prices which will have a major impact on your bottom line.
10. You’re falling behind your competition
Looking at what your competitors are doing in the marketplace is beginning to make you rethink why you are in the modular home business. They seem to be on top of every phase of new home building and you are still stuck doing what you did 10-20 years ago. The answer to correcting this is at your fingertips. Start by looking at their websites and seeing what they offer that you don’t. Google everything you can think of to help you find articles, online webinars, join LinkenIn, follow people that write about business strategy, attend live in-person events and meetings, read business improvement books and anything else that will help. Become the expert in your marketplace for something that will help you stand out from the other modular home builders.
And for God’s sake, throw away that bowl of chili you’ve been gagging down for years and try something new. Not a Kale Salad, but something new….today!