If you’re new/newer to business and you don’t have a website, you’re looking to change websites, or you built your own website (on like a GoDaddy builder or something like that), let’s talk through this real quick. So yard signs and websites. First. Yard signs. In 2017, we probably put out 4,000 yard signs. That probably wasn’t even our biggest year. Our biggest year was 2016 and the design of the yard sign was the same. Service (BIG) and phone number (BIG). Didn’t have a logo, didn’t have a company name, none of that crap. Two-sided, stakes, 18×24″ – that simple.
Dave does a full color sign and he does them for the same price that you can get 1 or 2 color signs. First of all, you need to look at his stuff. He’s going to be able to not only provide customer service and get you what you’re looking for (versus all these online companies), he’s going to actually do it. If you compare the pricing, it’s pretty much the same price. Dave knows the exterior cleaning business. So if you’re in exterior cleaning (he knows most home service business too, but he knows that went really well), get your signs from him. But you need to keep it simple. We like to use the words like “house washing” and “soft washing” but those keywords aren’t searched on Google very often, they have low search volume. So what that tells you is they’re searching something else.
What are they searching? Pressure washing. So that’s what it needs to say: “pressure washing”, “gutter cleaning”, or “roof cleaning”, use those things on your sign. Make them really freaking big, like ANNOYINGLY BIG, and then put your phone number on it, ANNOYINGLY BIG. Bold, bright, and contrasting. Make it to where if I’m a 100ft, 200ft, 300ft away, I can see it. Maybe take a picture of it with my phone and capture it so I can call you. So service only, phone number only. No company name, website, logo, brand, none of that garbage. You’re trying to create phone calls. If you’re putting out 50 signs a week and you’re not getting 8-10 calls, one of two things. One, your sign is garbage, or two, you’re putting it in the wrong place.
How do you know if your sign is garbage? It might look good, but can somebody see it from far away? That’s what you got to think about. Two, where are you putting it? How do you know if your sign is being successful? If you have some money, get a tracking number, put a tracking number on signs. Do campaigns North, South, East West, and have a phone number for each group of signs. So you know: these North signs are really kicking butt, South signs don’t, East signs do, West signs are okay. Use tracking numbers and you’ll be able to understand if they’re good or not. So who should be putting out signs? Anybody that does pressure washing, you should be putting out signs weekly. “But I’m so busy with other stuff.” Good. Grow your business. Keep putting out signs. You should put a sign up for every customer and tell them “let me leave it up for so long.” When we scheduled a job we said “Hey, we’re gonna be leaving a sign in your yard. If you would please leave it there for three to five days. If you can’t, we totally understand.” I didn’t go back and get signs. I didn’t care. We were focused on doing the next customer. I wasn’t focused on trying to go back and save $4 by going back and getting a sign. That’s tripping over pennies to make dollars.
You’re not focused on what the real true issue is, which is getting revenue. So don’t worry about the sign anywhere. If you’re worried about a sign, Don’t put out signs. Get out of business if you’re worried about signs, go do something else. So who should be putting out signs? Everybody on a weekly basis? How many? 50. You should be putting out 50 signs a week minimum. I was joking around with Dave Carroll the other day. I said I’m telling these guys put out 50 signs. He’s said “50 a week? I put out 50 a day.” He is right. But 50 a week is what you should be doing. It’s about an $800-$1000/month budget in signs. I just made guys throw up. But if you’re putting that out, you should make 20-25 times your money back… If your sign looks right and you’re putting it in the right place.
Where should you buy signs? Buy signs from Dave. Number one, where should you put them? You should put them? Where population goes. I put out my signs on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Why? Cause the code enforcement are not going to be working typically on the weekend. I’m putting them at places like Costco, Lowe’s, Home Depot, large churches, etc – Where people go that are potentially homeowners. So I’m putting them in those areas off the exit, stopping at stoplights. All those places where there’s going to be traffic stopped or traffic going, my sign goes. “But Gary, I don’t want to go to jail.” I’m pretty sure no one is serving a jail sentence for putting signs out. Could you get fine? Sure. But if you’re not getting called by a government official, you’re not putting enough signs out. I don’t care what your laws are. Those laws exist in every state in the country. So if you want to bitch and moan and say “I can’t do that” then you just don’t want to be successful. That’s what that comes down to.
If you want to put money on your table, put up 50 signs a week and you’ll make money. Where should you put them? Where population centers are, where people are Friday night & Saturday. I used to put out anywhere from 40 to 50 signs (Friday night to Saturday) and then that Saturday I would get 9-10 calls. When should you start using yard signs? The day you decide to go into business, you should be putting out signs all the time. You have to, if you don’t, somebody else will. Like right now in my market, there’s some weak ass companies out there not putting out signs. I’ll get off of exits. There isn’t a sign. I’ll be by population centers. There isn’t a sign. I’ve seen probably three pressure washing related signs in the last month, THREE. One of those I just saw the other day, the other two were sporadic – that’s weak. In your market, you should have signs everywhere. Dave and I were talking, he went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago, and we would pass five signs on the way to dinner. Then coming home, he saw another three or four signs. That’s what your market should look like. You should have signs everywhere. If you don’t, then you’re not doing it right.
If you’re not getting calls from government agencies telling you “don’t put a sign out here!”, then you’re not putting enough signs out. You’re just not. Why should you put signs out? Well, I alluded to it earlier, but money, money. So let’s say your average ticket is 400 bucks. Let’s say you close half of the people that contact you for a quote. Put out 50 signs a week, you should get low-end: 7, high-end: 10 inquiries, right? Let’s say it’s 7 and you get 3 jobs off of that. 3 jobs, average ticket $300, that’s 900 bucks. If I had 200 signs that I purchased and it cost me a grand, I just made 3.5x my money, and I just went on low-end numbers. But let’s take that up. Let’s say you got an average ticket of $500, which is what it should be at a minimum, and you get 10 calls and you close 5 of those. All of a sudden you did 10 grand this month. That’s why you should do signs, because of the money. If you’re not doing yard signs then you should probably just go work for somebody because there is too much money to be made for you to not be on yard signs. You have to do them.
Let’s talk about websites. Where should you get your website? Who should have a website? Where, when, why? So if you’re in business, you should have a website, especially pressure washing. There are thousands of searches in your market every single month for exterior cleaning. I don’t care where you’re at. So if you’re on Google and your website is shitty (even if you do everything necessary to rank), I go to your website and I can’t click on the phone number from my phone (65% of all searches are done from a phone), you lost that opportunity. You just did. Why would your phone number not be clickable? It’s not mobile-optimized, so they’re probably not using WordPress. If they aren’t using WordPress and your phone is clickable, you’re missing out on a lot of other SEO type issues. So you’re paying to build a website that is not going to be worth the money that you paid. And at some point, if you want to scale and grow your business, then you’re going to have to go to a WordPress website.
Where should i get a website? You should buy one from someone who makes WordPress websites that are mobile-first optimized and is going to provide the on-page SEO for that website. “My buddy does websites, I’m going to have him design one, take a look at my website.” I go to look at those and they’re garbage. They’re not mobile optimized and they aren’t WordPress. I don’t care what they look like, those are the first two things that I look at. I don’t care the colors and I don’t care the template. Can I call you from your website and is it mobile optimized? If I pull it up on the phone, does it look like a website or does it look like a three year old tried to build it? Just because your buddy lost his job at Arby’s making french fries, doesn’t mean that makes him a website designer. A lot of guys in this industry fall into that trap because they’re trying to save money. Saving money costs you more money in the long run. It’s just like equipment. We put so much time and effort into our equipment that we miss out on the things that are the most important to our business. And that’s developing these footprints for marketing. If you spend $5,000 on equipment, you should also be spending $5,000 on marketing.
And I’m not talking about in a website. The website should not cost you five grand, three grand, two grand, one grand. You should be able to find a WordPress website and it’d be economical. I don’t make websites just to make websites. If somebody is our customer and we need to rebuild it, we do that. But I’m not a website designer. I’m not a website builder. That’s not what we do. But we do build websites if it’s necessary to improve SEO, to improve click-through, whatever it may be, we will do that. So don’t message me and say, “can you build me a website?” You can become my client and then we can, but just to build a website, no. When should you get a website? This goes back to the who? When you start your business. Equipment or website. It’s kind of like, which came first? The chicken or the egg? If you don’t have customers, why do you need equipment?
You have to build a pipeline of customers to be able to get to the point to where you have a business. Without customers, it’s a hobby. Without making money, it’s a hobby. I told this to somebody yesterday, he was telling me about his business that he owned. He was asking for my advice on some things. I said: you really don’t have a business, you have a hobby. I know that’s kind of strong. He was a little butt hurt by it but it was true. So you gotta look at it. Do I have a business or do I have a hobby? Just because you work part-time, doesn’t mean it’s not a business. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying how do you look at that investment? Is it just something to make some beer money for the weekend or are you trying to reach a longer term goal? Being part time, nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t mean it’s a hobby at all. Being full time doesn’t mean it’s a business. How do you treat it? A business should be its own living, breathing entity. You should be able to remove yourself and put somebody in that place and that business keeps moving. If it’s not, then it’s just an extension of you and it’s a hobby. That’s the best way to look at it: Does it require you? “Well, yeah. It requires me because I have to do the cleaning.” Okay but somebody else could do that cleaning. “It requires me because I have to do all the quotes.” But somebody else could do those quotes, right?
You have to treat it like its own living, breathing entity. If you have a corporation, S Corp, LLC, the IRS looks at that as its own person. It has its own social security number. It’s called tax payer ID. That’s the way the IRS looks at it so that’s the way you should look at it. It should be its own person. What are you doing to feed that person? What are you doing to make that person be as successful as it can be? Why should you have a website? If you’re in business to make money and you’re expecting to get leads, the biggest source of leads possible out there is Google period. It doesn’t matter if it’s from ads, Maps, or organic, it’s the biggest possible source. That’s not to say that’s your biggest source. I’m saying that’s the biggest possible source. That’s where people are sitting on their couch, drinking a tequila tonight, maybe smoking a cigar, and they realize they need some pressure washing. They are going to hop on their phone and search for pressure washing to call you.
That’s why you need a website. In my opinion, your website (after people that work for you) is the most important asset that you could own for your business. Well, most do not treat it like that. But if they did, it would pay off in the long run for them and make them a ton of money. Look at this as a PSA, public service announcement: Use your yard signs and websites. Be smart about how you design that yard sign. If you diarrhea all over that sign, nobody’s going to be able to see anything on there. What can I see from a 100-200 feet away? It should be service, phone number, two-sided 18×24″. Make sure that you have a WordPress website that has a clickable phone number, mobile-first optimized. Hopefully you’re doing things necessary to dominate your market and crush your competition. Use signs correctly, get a website, dominate your market.