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It was at a Business Networks Conference (Gathering of Eagles) for 90+ fire restoration and remodelers who had gathered for the purposes of discussing industry changes and sharing in the uniqueness as to what keeps their businesses going. A major topic, marketing, came to life with a dramatic presentation from one fire restoration owner's creative thrust in the marketing world. He created an ad that was run in local movie theaters of a scene showing the owner at the top of a set of stairs in his vacant family home with two 50 gallon cans of water turned over, coupled with the volunteer fire department hosing the living space in the room below. No, he wasn't putting out a fire, but was using this dramatization to market his business! Fast forward to that same person standing in the same home a few days later cleaned and dried, exclaiming "this is what we can do for your flood damaged home! Call us when you need us! Obviously, we're not all going to flood our own homes, but the message that this ad carried was: be unique in your marketplace today. From this conference I brought away with me a list of other short topical insights, which are worth considering.
The industry is not changing ~ it has changed!

Lead or get out of the way.

The highest paid non-productive staff should be the first to go. Do not wait!

Analyze reducing benefits, vacation times, holidays; place insurance needs out to bid.

Be fully transparent with your employees and share the company numbers.

Know your break even point.

A noticeable shift has been seen in using less in-house labor.

Owners working more hours now, cutting back on the many benefits previously enjoyed in strong economy.

It may take 90 days to recognize a problem and worse yet another 90 days to turn it around


Don't rehire too quickly when the work starts to come back; stay lean and mean.

Despite a reduced working staff, more production is expected from employees.

We must be ON TIME and ON BUDGET.

Do not cut marketing!

Repair your company prior to a problem. You can't overhaul your 'race car' during the race.

Paying for 'click' marketing seems to be gaining a foothold.

Finally, the word 'unique' was adopted as the operative word for this conference. We can no longer run our businesses as in the past by just picking off the low lying fruit but rather we must set ourselves aside from our competition. TO STAY IN BUSINESS, WE NEED TO MEAN BUSINESS!