Shade doesn’t have to be expensive, neither does it have to be boring, and neither is it needed 12 months a year. It’s the classic 80/20 rule. You’ll end up paying significantly more for a (beige or white) permanent aluminum roof system that can stay up for the 20% worst weather – even when you don’t use it during those months. So why pay for it if you don’t use it?
There are three categories where costs can run amuck in our industry.
Would you believe there are still home improvement companies out there who hire 7-8 people, load them into a van, and canvass entire neighborhoods pushing people into sales appointments they don’t necessarily want!? Unfortunately, it’s almost exclusively the elderly that are home during the “power hours” and are coerced into these sales appointments. Even worse, given the high costs with all the extra wages, vans, insurances, bonuses if the appointment sells, etc – these companies have to charge SIGNIFICANTLY more to turn a profit… and the elderly are the ones who pay that bill. Very sad.
Another common marketing strategy involves using traditional radio, TV, billboards, postcards, magazines, etc. While these were the go to options a couple decades ago, they no longer reach the audiences they once did, yet the costs to maintain their viewership as only increased. This means it costs more for this kind of marketing than ever before… and those costs are always passed on to the consumer.
Here, we use modern, digital marketing strategies almost exclusively (MOST OF WHICH ARE FREE!). By keeping an eagle eye on our marketing costs, we spend less than 10% of what our competitors do. This allows us to pass on savings to our customers.
This is a sore point for us. You would think in today’s digital information age, the need for hard core sales sharks would be extinct. But it seems that as long as there are people willing to make appointments at their door with strangers (for a product they hadn’t sought out more information on), then there’s a need for sales people to lock them into contracts. Ouch. That’s a harsh truth.
There are patio cover companies in town TODAY who pay double digit commissions to these sales people to make sure you buy their overpriced products and services. That means if you were to purchase a $15,000 aluminum patio cover kit, that sales person will earn $2500 or more for spending 2-3 hours with you convincing you to part with your hard earned cash. That’s $2500 that has nothing to do with your project. Why would anyone pay $2500 to be pushed into a decision before they’re ready?!
WE HAVE NO COMMISSIONED SALES PEOPLE. Again, another way that we can keep our costs directly tied to the details of your project. We treat everyone the way we would want our family to be treated when considering a shade project for their home.
There are huge companies out there who have a LOT of hands in the proverbial pie. And, in some cases, it’s warranted given the volume of customers they have to keep up with. In some rare cases they might even offer the same prices as smaller family owned business due to their bulk buying power. This is true when it comes to things like windows, or even roofs. Unfortunately, these big blue and orange companies (you know who you are) don’t offer the services that we do, and therefore just can’t put their size to use here. The good news is, you don’t have to pay for huge buildings, properties, or multi-million dollar executive bonuses. lol. Instead, you can feel good about supporting a locally owned business that cares about their community and neighbors.
By keeping the number of projects we accept under a maximum cap, we can ensure that no more fingers are in the pie than necessary. That means fewer costs, and fewer communication problems. The design consultant you work with will be your point of contact through the entire project process. We assign only one project per crew at a time, so again, we can keep things as lean and clean as possible.