Thursday

2008 Contractor Marketing Outlook

In most parts of the country there has been a downturn in the economy. Many contractors are feeling the pinch because the phone is not ringing and job leads are drying up. Fears of a recession have people holding off on major projects. At times like this, the first step many business owners want to take is to cut back on costs.

This could be a mistake for most companies.

The answer to surviving any economic downturn is not to hide the presence of your business. It's important to increase your marketing spending when times are tough. The outlook for 2008 is not good. This means there will be fewer and fewer leads to go around to all the contractors in this country. Fewer leads means fewer chances to land that job.

A major factor in increasing our rates for subscribed members is that we want to increase spending on our advertising campaigns. We need to spend more to bring in more job possibilities for our contractor network. And you should do the same thing when it comes to your advertising budget.

It could mean cutting costs in other areas of your business, but closely examine how you can spend more to market your services. If you don't, there's a good chance potential customers will choose your competitors over you. They'll be visible and your business won't be.

Interesting Economic News for Contractors:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Black & Decker Corp and Stanley Works on Monday gave dim forecasts for 2008 as a slowdown in the U.S. housing market has stifled demand for building equipment."

"Black & Decker, which makes DeWalt power tools and Price Pfister faucets, offered a first-quarter profit outlook that was lower than Wall Street forecasts, and Stanley Works cited a 'possible mild and short-lived U.S. recession,' for its full-year sales growth forecast of flat to up 1 percent."

"Investors were worried about Black & Decker due to indications that home remodeling projects were declining more than expected, but less disappointed by Stanley Works' outlook after the company had earlier tempered investors' expectations for 2008, said analyst Nicholas Heymann of investment firm Sterne, Agee & Leach."

"'We recognize that the U.S. economy is slowing, and we do not expect a housing recovery in 2008,' Chief Executive Nolan Archibald said in a statement. 'While our international momentum and new product pipeline remain strong, we are forecasting that organic sales will decline at a low single-digit rate in 2008.'"

"Analyst Heymann said investors were concerned about the home remodeling outlook. When the economy slows, remodeling picks up as people renovate their homes rather than build new ones, he said. But the credit crunch is making it more difficult for homeowners to get loans."

"'Remodeling isn't going to be as helpful during this downturn,' he said. 'It's basically a bit of a shock.'"

RECESSION TALK

"Stanley Works, which makes carpenter's hand tools, door hardware and hydraulic tools, stated 'We're anticipating a very mild and short-lived recession... by definition that would mean two quarters of negative GDP growth in the U.S.,' James Loree, chief executive officer, said in a conference call with analysts and investors."

"Deutsche Bank analyst Nigel Coe called Stanley Works' 2008 outlook 'clearly challenging,' but said the company was still executing 'very solidly' in a tough environment. "

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