Contractors have a 4% survival rate

In 2011, the U.S. Residential Construction and Remodeling business was a $253 Billion industry. The industry is now trending to hit $1 Trillion by 2025.

But according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, building contractors in the U.S. have a 96% failure rate. Higher than any other U.S. business tracked by the agency.

Think about that for a moment.

The residential construction industry expanded by 400% but only 4% of the construction businesses driving that growth will survive.

So why do 96 construction businesses fail and only 4 survive during such unprecedented growth?

The Pirates and the Entrepreneurs

We all know the construction pirate.

He jumped into the contracting business when he was between jobs, and managed to steal some work from legitimate contractors.

The construction pirate could be one of your best employees who jumped ship after watching you win a few contracts thinking the money and the business was easy.

Eventually, the construction pirates are killed off by their own greed and lack of experience.

They run out of cash, can’t pay their bills, and skip town with customer deposits on unfinished work.

If this is you, STOP READING.

Go back to drinking your beer and watching NASCAR.

What I'm going to describe is not for you.

The construction entrepreneur is a different type of contractor.

He knows the construction business requires a lot of work to make a living, support his family, and make a consistent year-on-year profit.

It’s a persistent struggle to find a balance between labor, sales, cash, and profit. Most entrepreneurs never find balance.

And the lack of balance results in health issues, and stress levels that are off the charts,

Their kids and family see them as a stranger and your spouse or significant other has been giving them that “look”.

You know... the “look” that doesn't lead to anything good.

But the construction entrepreneur keeps fighting the good fight in hopes that someday everything will finally get into balance.


The Secret the 4% Know Gives Them a Powerful Competitive Advantage

If I gave you my Home Depot credit card and told you to build me a house…

…what’s the first thing you’d need before you could start stocking the job?

I would hope your answer is a set of blueprints, signed and stamped by a civil engineer, and ready to pull permits.

If you wouldn’t build a house without a set of blueprints…

…why should building your business be any different?


The secret the 4% of construction entrepreneurs who survive and thrive in this industry know and understand, is the value of having a business blueprint.

A set of plans that answer the questions...

  • How to find affordable, skilled labor on demand?
  • How do I get high-performing loyal employees to keep showing up to work?
  • How to find great customers who appreciate your craftsmanship?
  • How to squeeze more profit out of bids and still stay competitive?
  • How to navigate material shortages and still keep a schedule?
  • How to use sales opportunities and backlog to keep employees working?
  • How to avoid the cycle of feast or famine?
  • How to always have enough cash on hand?
  • How to write iron-clad contracts that customers are eager to sign?
  • How to track KPI’s early and make the right decisions?
  • How to find answers to the important problems of your business?

Getting the RIGHT Answers...

Hi, my name is Lee Clements…

Since 1995, I’ve been an active real estate investor, property manager, residential in-fill real estate developer, and home improvement contractor.

I got involved in the residential construction business to support my real estate investment and property management firm in Los Angeles. By 2002, the construction business pivoted to offering maintenance and residential construction services to the general public. Within a few years, it had grown to 4 offices, serving 5 Southern California counties and on its way to becoming a national franchise.

On the path to franchising, I became an expert in analyzing regional markets for the SMB home improvement sector. I founded Dream Sherpa Labs, LLC (DSL), a business development advisory for SMB home improvement contractors in the U.S.

DSL provides finance, call center, sales training, marketing, human resources, manpower recruiting, safety programs, and advisory services.


How the Contractor’s Blueprint Could Save You From Joining the 96% of Contractors Who Fail

First, you should know this is NOT a cookie-cutter PDF document I sell to every home improvement contractor in the U.S.

This is a unique, one-of-kind blueprint for your business.

Its a dynamic, confidential analysis of your regional market and is driven by two essential questions:

If I'm Your Ideal Customer, Why Should I Do Business With You Instead or Your Competitors?

As a contractor, what adjustments are needed to find the proper stress-free balance between acquiring steady sales, skilled manpower, and consistent profit?

The Contractor’s Blueprint explores in-depth what your competitors are doing to win customers, what your customers are thinking, saying, and really want, and the adjustments needed in your business to become a profitable market leader.

Here’s a brief look at what goes into your personalized Contractor’s Blueprint.

Competitive Force Score Analysis

Competition is the rivalry between companies selling similar products and services with the goal of achieving revenue, profit, and growth in market share. This means that your direct competitors are targeting the same audience as you, selling the same (or similar) products as you, and following a similar distribution model.

Knowing and understanding your competition is a critical step in designing a successful marketing strategy. If you are not aware of who your competition is and knowledgeable about their strengths and weaknesses, they'll have a competitive advantage, such as product offerings at lower prices or value added benefits.

Identifying your competition and staying informed about their products and services is the key to remaining competitive in the market and is crucial to the survival of your business. Our Competitive Force Score algorithm analyzes your top 30 competitors and seeks to predict their competitive strength by measuring disparate data and rendering a numeric value. The higher the value or score, the higher competitive force a company has on the companies scoring below it. The analysis focuses on five competitive areas: Search, Website, Paid Ads, Social Media, and Reputation.

Traffic and Scale Analysis

Is there evidence of people in your market area searching for the home improvement services your company offers? Do those searches represent your potential customer? Are there enough potential customers to scale and validate your business? How is your competition driving up the cost to acquire the visitor traffic?

These questions help us estimate traffic potential by studying where your target customer can be found.  Scaling means achieving incrementally better results with the same inputs. Tactically this means bringing in more leads, opportunities, and revenue with less marketing budget with each successive conversion. However, the ability to achieve incrementally better results is only possible if the potential to scale exists within the market.

Market Segmentation Analysis

Behavioral segmentation is defined as the process of dividing the total market into smaller homogeneous groups (sometimes referred to as ‘buckets’ or ‘avatars’). We reveal people with similar buying behavior so you can efficiently target customers by grouping them together as a singular segment with similar behavioral characteristics. These characteristics help to identify buying patterns of customers based on demographic data, frequency of purchase, brand loyalty, and benefits needed to secure the audience as a customer..

Consumer Sentiment and Polarity Scoring

The Consumer Sentiment Analysis is an important heuristic model y looking at the topics which are most important in the minds of your customer. This score will help to understand the best messaging during customer-facing activities.

The analysis uses Lexicon-Based Polarity Scoring to support opinion, product, service, and process improvement planning. The model first recognizes nouns and verbs associated with consumer sentiment and then assigns a negative or positive polarity score associated with the intensity of the sentiment identified during public reviews and comments. Once identified, these topics are categorized by intensity, repeatedly, scale, writing level, and linguistic tone.

Customer Advocacy Analysis

Customer advocacy and reputational management are key profitability metrics. If not managed properly, they drive up advertising spend and customer acquisition cost. This is an in-depth analysis of your customer ratings and reviews on social platforms, and your Net Promoter Score. The analysis includes recommendations on actionable steps to improve this important metric.

Labor Market Analysis

The construction industry has been facing a growing skilled labor shortage for years, and COVID-19 pushed this shortfall to a far more critical level. A 2017 Builder story found that only 3% of people aged 18-25 wanted to work in construction. Combine this with the high cost of job boards and the unprecedented job applicant no-show rate, finding skilled labor has become more difficult than finding customers. This analysis dives into your local labor market and reveals hidden opportunities to find and recruit affordable, dependable, skilled labor for your construction business.

Value Proposition Analysis

The essential value proposition question is: “If I am your ideal prospect, why should I buy from you rather than your competitor?”. A value proposition refers to the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy its product. It's a declaration of intent that's woven into your marketing messages. It introduces your company's brand to consumers by telling them what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business. It convinces a potential consumer that one particular product or service the company offers will add more value or better solve a problem for them than other similar offerings from your competitors.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CPA) Sensitivity Analysis

The Customer Acquisition Cost Analysis answers the essential question, "What's the Most You Can Spend to Acquire a Customer and Still Make a Profit?"

This analysis translates ad spend, channel traffic, awareness, impressions, click-thru-rates (CTR), users, cost per marketing qualified lead, cost per sales qualified lead, sales conversion rate (CVR), average order value (AOV), and profit per order to determine the customer cost per acquisition (CPA).

Predictive Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) Analysis

Customer lifetime value is the total monetary worth of a customer over your entire business relationship. It's an important metric to track because it costs less to keep existing customers than it does to acquire new ones. Increasing the value of your existing customers is a great way to drive growth.

Profitability and Economic Validation Analysis

This analysis is a Pro-forma income statement and considers all the results of our analysis. It factors in your labor billing rates, fully burdened labor rates, target gross profit, expenses, and your target EBITDA percentage. The result reveals the current profitability of an average order and suggests changes that will increase the economic validation of your business.

Website Teardown Analysis

A website teardown is the practice of analyzing a website “line-by-line” for the purpose of validating technical performance, user experience (UX), and the user interface (UI). We look through the lens as if we were landing on your website for the very first time, as your target customer. We analyze how your customer-facing messaging are aligned with our understanding of your target customer. The feedback we provide is used as a guide to help you improve messaging, design, and overall usability of the website.

Bounce Rate Analysis and Website Validation

The number of seconds a web page takes to fully load correlates with the rate at which visitors will abandon the page because of slow load times. Load Time Bounce Rate is the percentage of web page visitors who abandon a web page (or bounce) due to slow loading times or broken page elements. It is the primary (and most important) technical component of the overall bounce rate and is part of Google's Core Web Vitals algorithm.


Using industry averages and the Customer Cost per Acquisition (CPA) Analysis, we can estimate the direct financial impact the Load Time Bounce Rate has on two areas: 1) Revenue opportunity cost or the amount of revenue not received from customers because they abandoned the web page and pursued another competitor or solution, and 2) The cost attributed to wasted advertising spend because visitors who clicked on a paid ad abandoned the web page because of slow page load speed.

Content Style Guide

The content style guide is a 65-page reference guide that helps UX writers and content designers to keep the voice, tone, and messaging consistent across all platforms. The guide includes both general advice about language use and specific instructions that are specific to your company, services, and brand.

Comprehensive Client Review

This is a one-hour Google Meet with your team at the conclusion of our analysis. The meeting is video recorded, including screen shares, so you can refer to the recording to revisit our discussion and recommendations. You will also receive a link to your completed Contractor’s Blueprint.

A Mini-Case Study

At the bottom of every page of our Contractor’s Blueprint includes this statement:

Our client's trust us with information that we hold sacred. For this reason, we’re prevented from revealing the identity of our client. But we can share our client’s story.

Tim is a home improvement general contractor in the Midwest. He started his company in 2016 and quickly built his annual revenue to $750K, running a small crew of highly skilled tradesmen.

By the beginning of 2019 the stress of the business was taking its toll. His business was 3 weeks into the slow season and he was concerned about having enough work to keep his crew busy. The slowdown also made him realize he had been trading dollars with customers, not realizing he wasn’t making the profit margins he needed to survive.

Tim was referred to Dream Sherpa Labs from a friend, and he signed up for our Contractor’s Blueprint in 2019.

How to Get Started with Your Own Contractor's Blueprint

Look...if you're currently satisfied with how things are going with your construction business and don't want to try something different, then keep doing what you're doing.

I would honestly tell you not to change a thing. Do what works for you and makes you happy.

But, if you want to overcome any stumbling blocks, the unwanted stress, and get a clear direction on how to turn your business into a market leader and not join the 96% of contractors who fail.

... here's what's inside...

  • 1-Hour Onboarding Call to discuss your business
  • Competitive Force Score Analysis of your TOP 30 competitors
  • Traffic and Scale Analysis
  • Market Segmentation Analysis
  • Consumer Sentiment and Polarity Scoring
  • Customer Advocacy Analysis
  • Labor Market Analysis
  • Value Proposition Analysis
  • Predictive Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) Analysis
  • Profitability and Economic Validation Analysis
  • Website Teardown Analysis
  • Bounce Rate Analysis and Website Validation
  • Content Style Guide
  • Recorded Comprehensive Client Review and Blueprint

No Risk. You-Can't Lose. 100% No-Questions-Asked. Money-Back Guarantee,

I didn't want there to be any doubt in your mind. But just in case you didn't understand what I wrote above, let me say it a different way.

If FOR ANY REASON you aren’t THRILLED and SATISFIED with your personalized Contractor’s Blueprint, just let me know and we will refund 100% of your payment.

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Yeah! Let's Do It!