How to Grow Your Shredding Business with Relative Ease
By David R. Powelson
Re-thinking how your shredding business can grow in our current industry climate can be one of the most profitable uses of your time. Because there are essentially two schools of thought, you can:
- Make it easy for customers to buy from you – This method is in alignment with what customers prefer. They prefer to be “in control.” It’s also in perfect alignment with what small companies can afford.
- Develop a comprehensive market and selling program – This includes various methods focused on convincing prospects to buy from your company when their timing compels them to make a purchase decision.
This method “fights the current” and is unnatural because customers are typically suspicious of sellers. They fear being manipulated and making a wrong decision- thus “buyer’s remorse” is something they dread. Proponents of this school of thought are quick to point out that a great sales program overcomes these objections. It’s an uphill battle, hugely expensive and, in fact, the outcome is uncertain. In addition, tracking your costs vs. rewards can be challenging.
The bottom line for small companies is that successful expenditures must provide an immediate return. It’s why being easy to buy from makes sense. In contrast, big companies who can afford extremely large advertising budgets (blimp advertising) and other image producing methods can afford to “roll the dice” and wait to see what method works best.
Big companies advertise and conduct public relations programs to develop their brand. Eventually a customer wants their product or service and makes a connection to the “blimp” and heads to their “branded” store to make a purchase. Big companies also are eager to finance “face-to face” prospecting with highly paid salespeople. Their investment in building a relationship is easily measured in the thousands of dollars. There are no guaranteed results. Why? Because a paradigm shift has occurred.
- Today, 90% of buyers turn to the internet first. When it’s time to buy, buyers prefer the internet since it gives them unbiased information and a level playing field. Customers want to be in control of their decisions. They perceive sales techniques as “manipulative.” The role of conventional marketing, advertising and direct selling are, by design, a way to change perceptions.
Buying versus Marketing & Sales – an Economist’s View
In the buying method, an economist views the cost for information for an “immediate buyer” as a finder’s fee. We here at Shred Nations like this method because the majority of our partners are local, independently owned document destruction providers. Because 80% closing rates are common with Shred Nations, the actual financing source of the finder’s fee is the buyer – not from the cash flow reserves of the business itself. If accountants and economists could agree they would classify the finder’s fee as a “cost of sales.” Both do agree the cash flow advantage from using the buying method is superior.
The timing of when an operating expense is taken is the major distinction between a “finder’s fee” and marketing and sales costs. Finder’s fees are incurred concurrent with the sales transaction. Marketing and sales costs are front-end loaded, more expensive and slower in producing quantifiable results. For example, the costs of the “blimp” or prospecting with high-priced sales people occurs months or even years before any economic benefit is received. The cash flow drain is normally huge for an extended “sales process” of this nature. If you are a big enough organization, these costs are expected and planned for annually.
Hence, this way of advertising suits a big business – but it is potentially disastrous to a small business’s cash flow. The reason is simple: the playing field is not level when it comes to available resources. It also explains why big businesses are fond of starting out a contractual relationship with a customer with extremely attractive terms, essentially losing money in the early months – to create the illusion of a lower overall price. Direct marketing and inexpensive referral services can drastically alter the playing field for the smaller business. Shred Nations can be a great resource for this.
About Shred Nations
Shred Nations is, hands-down, the best continuing source of real-time information about immediate buyers for shredding services. Shred Nations does not provide sales leads. We supply something far better. We supply “sales-ready” referrals which include the name, contact information, and type of shredding service needed by a buyer with an immediate need for a shredding service in your specific company’s service area.
Prices start at $10.99 for sales-ready referrals. Average shredding service providers invest about $200 per month. The average return on investment is 4 to 1. Referrals can be focused around your base of operations, along transportation corridors or in clusters to help augment profit by creating route density. After becoming a network member you may drop our service without cost at any time, and you are entitled to a free replacement of any defective “sales-ready” referral. Your key to business success is your willingness and ability to be “extremely responsive” to the needs of every immediate buyer. There is no better time to join this network.