Stop Cleaning The Shed! Build A Marketing Machine


“Cleaning the Shed”

It’s what you do or it’s what your guys and girls do if there’s no paid work. And it’s not a great thing to be doing, is it?

Thank you to Matt Russell Jones who came up with the term and told me the term ‘cleaning the shed’. I told him I was going to steal it. I told him he’d see it in a video. (Matt here it is, this is yours.)

Cleaning the shed is not fun. You don’t want to be cleaning this sh*t. You want to be working or paying your people to work, earning money, not paying them to clean the shed, which may not need pruning because there’s nothing else to do.

I’m Jon, I run Small Fish Business Coaching. I have a coaching program for trades business owners, it’s called the Tradies Toolbox because it helps you grow and scale, because it’s pack-jammed, full of beautiful tools, and apparently because I’m a tool myself.

One of the things I work on, apart from growing and scaling, is not finding yourself cleaning the shed, it’s a very stressful place to be. It tears apart your cash flow. It’s not where you want to be at all. So, part of what we’ll work on is making sure you don’t end up there. It’s easy to end up there if you don’t build yourself a proper marketing machine.

I’ll explain what I mean in a minute, but how do you end up there?

How do you end up cleaning the shed?

What usually happens is this:

  1. You get a bit busy so you don’t do any marketing. Because you’re busy, you don’t need any work.
  2. And then you stop being busy because you’ve finished some jobs or it goes a bit quiet and you’ve done no marketing.

There’s nothing to do and it’s a horrible place to find yourself and it can be this feast or famine cycle.

Do work→ do marketing→ get work→ do the work→ go quiet→ treat yourself→ do some more marketing→ get some more work→ do the work→ stop marketing→ go quiet.

It’s a bit cyclical and you shouldn’t be operating the business like that.

What you should do is always do some marketing. I do find yourself having people say things like, “I don’t need to work Jon”, “I’m too busy Jon”, “I haven’t got time to do the marketing. It would be a waste . I don’t want to let people down by not being able to do the work”.  It makes me want to shake them because I just know that in January, or February, or March or whatever, they’re going up quiet and pissed off.

Build a Marketing Machine

So you should build yourself a marketing machine that works all the time, whether you’re busy or not, and that is always bringing you work. There’s no such thing as too much work or too many leads. You can grow, and expand, and hire more people. You can build momentum and grow your business, and escape that awful stressful cycle of work and no work and cleaning the shed. So that’s what you should do.

If I’m coaching you, I’m going to encourage you and help you, and show you how to build a marketing machine that keeps going all the time, that doesn’t leave you lurching from busy to quiet all the time.

How do you do that?

What kind of machine you build depends on what kind of business you are.

If you work with consumers, your marketing machine is likely to be dominated by search marketing and I call it Find Me Marketing. People go, “I need a plumber, or a fencer” and they look it up on Google, on their phone, and they find somebody local, and then contact. And if you don’t get found, you won’t get contacted. So your marketing machine makes sure you have a website that gets found in search. You’ll spend money on the website, and on either SEO or Google AdWords or both when your marketing might be dominated by that, and if your primary market is consumers.

Recommended Reading: Search Marketing (Generating enquiries for your trades business) Are you being found?

If your primary market is not consumers, you probably won’t do so much of that. You might still need a website and you’ll certainly still do other forms of marketing. But your marketing might be dominated by relationship marketing.

If you work with builders, architects, or larger corporations, larger businesses then you should do direct contact, build relationships, and make friends until they decide to give you an opportunity to quote. These are your dominant and most useful activities, so you should be doing that. And that’s the one that’s really easy to stop doing when you’re a bit busy, so you’re the risk group. If that’s your kind of marketing, you’re the risk group. You must watch yourself.

So to build a marketing machine, if your dominant marketing is relationship marketing (making friends to generate opportunity) you need to make sure you build a system, you:

  • Write down processes
  • Use tools to help you follow them
  • Use tools and reminders to make sure you make those calls
  • Send those emails and send letters
  • Go and have coffee

Do those things because if you don’t, you’ll miss out and you’ll be quiet.

So you build a machine. You either get someone to hold you accountable, or if you can hire someone else to do that work and hold them accountable. If that’s not something you’re ready for yet, hire somebody.

Maybe I can hold you accountable, that’s part of my job. And usually, as I’m helping people grow and scale, we’re building a marketing machine, which often relies on you doing it as the boss, and as we grow, maybe in another year, you can hire somebody else to do instead of you.

But for now, it might be you, so part of my rule might be holding you accountable for making the cause, and making sure you can’t forget, and you can’t let yourself off the hook. And we’ll use a system. We’ll write scripts, we’ll have a system so you don’t forget anybody, and I’ll help you stick to your system.

That’s one of the things I can do as a business coach to help you grow and scale. And if you want to talk to me about that, book yourself a 10-minute chat, or make an enquiry, or some other way through the website.

See you later.

There are four ways you can engage with me:

1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.

2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.

3. Attend my next Tradie Profit Webinar.

4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.

See you later.

Click here to book a money maker call with Jon.