Ever feel like you’re doing too much and a lot of it isn’t even making money or sense? Getting caught up in work that doesn’t help your bottom line is a trap of owning and operating your own business.
Shawn Van Dyke is an author and business consultant that helps transform businesses looking to make big changes. Through Built to Build Academy, Shawn helps businesses discover and create the systems they need to be successful.
On this episode with Shawn, we discuss how he got his start in home improvement, how specializing in something can help you make more money, how you can save money in the office, how to price your jobs, how to overcome money objections, and tools you need to succeed.
Specialization vs. taking any job
“I know you’re good at a lot of stuff, but focus on the thing that you’re best at…it’s easier to get clients because you stand out. Like, I always say this, you know, you see a lot of contractors they say, “Hey, we do windows and gutters and siding and kitchens and baths and handiwork. Handyman.” We’re gonna say ‘we specialize in…’ and then they list 17 things, right? You don’t specialize in something, if you list 17 things. You specialize because you list one thing, and here’s the magic that happens when you do specialize. Say we specialize in bathroom remodels. You’re going to get calls from people that want a deck project because you stand out because you specialize. They’re gonna call up and say, ‘Hey, you know, we’re, we’re calling you because we noticed you, and maybe you could recommend us for somebody to do our roof.’
‘Oh, yeah, by the way, we specialize in bathrooms, but we have roofers that we work with who can do your roof.”
Saving money in the office
“I always say like that third employee should be somebody in the office, whether it’s part-time or whatever. Get a bookkeeper on board as soon as possible. Because though, again, the business side that paperwork, there’s more money to be made on the office side of the business.”
“Every time you do something out in the field, you’re putting work in place, there’s a whole bunch of paperwork… that starts to pile up, and there’s more money to be saved or made in the office. So, that’s why we say it’s like, ‘Hey, you start your business great, go out there, make some sales, you’re probably gonna have to hire some help. So you can expand a little bit, that third employee needs to be somebody in the office, or at least on the admin side.’ And these days, with everybody having the ability to work from home… it’s never been easier to hire that part-time person, and get them working for you wherever they are in the world.”
On what you need for your website
“You don’t need a website. No one cares about your website. No one cares about your about us page and your grandfather used to make his own tools and your whole history and your whole story and all your portfolio projects. No one cares about your website. What you need is a landing page that identifies a problem and solves it for people and gets them to give you their email address, so that you can follow up and build. Build up your contacts… I would say you don’t need a website if you’ve got an effective landing page.”
Learn more about Shawn at shawnvandyke.com and learn more about Built to Build at builttobuildacademy.com. Shawn has also authored two books—Profit First for Contractors and The Paperwork Punch List. Both are available through his website shawnvandyke.com.