The Business of Domes

The Business of Domes: How a dome repair company is creating multiple sources of revenue

Believe it or not, there is a code to construction companies, and here at Da Code of Business–we want to make sure that we hit a few angles.

This particular article is going to be talking about domes. What type of domes? Big ones. The type you see at industrial fertilizer plants or cement factories. And here’s why–it shows a fundamental part of running a successful construction company, and that fundamental part is multiple streams of revenue.

See, a few years ago when the owners of DRS got together and conceived their company, they realized there was a big need in the dome industry. Right now, there’s a ridiculously small number of dome building companies worldwide. (It’s something like seven.) And here’s the thing, none of them do dome fabric repair. Typically, the structure of the dome stays good and strong for a nice long while. The domes are low maintenance. They’re pretty much natural disaster proof, even missile proof.

What they’re not is UV proof.

Domes with failed airforms

Their skin lasts around 20 years, and after around 20 years or so, the dome’s skin begins to deteriorate because of the UV damage. What then happens is water and bugs and chemicals (if its storing say fertilizer) leaks and burrows into the foam, which then becomes saturated, which then leaks into the concrete, which then leads to cracking.

Domes fail because of UV damage.

See, another name for the dome’s skin is the airform. This is put up first, pressurized with air so tightly, you can stand on it. Then the dome is sprayed with closed-cell insulation foam, and then finally shot with concrete (also known as shotcrete). And this airform failing (usually because of UV damage) is the number one cause of domes failing.

Pretty interesting stuff.

Okay, maybe not. But here’s where it gets interesting. Companies like Domtec and Monolithic don’t repair the domes.

What? Seriously?

It’s pretty common in the construction niche to just focus on one thing and do it really well. And for a small, one-man crew, that generally isn’t a bad idea. But, if you’re wanting to expand, then multiple streams of income become pretty important.

These other companies are in the perfect place to have multiple sources of revenue. And here’s why:

You’ve heard of the classic term “Build your list!” In some circles, this is spoken and repeated like a mantra.

These big dome companies have thousands of customers on their lists. But then what happens? Instead of picking the low-hanging fruit, they turn up their noses and say, “We only build domes. If you want them repaired, find someone else.”

There are domes in need of repair just about every day, and every new dome that’s built is going need repair in a few years. What could be an excellent program is to make repairs on the dome’s airform after about ten years after construction. The maintenance director (if that’s what you want to call the position) could call and schedule a year in advance to ensure that funding is available.

Even when the dome is constructed, the dome company could work in a maintenance program at the start. The customer won’t get blindsided; the contractor has more work; the dome keeps its integrity; everyone is happy.

This is where DRS realized it had the potential to make millions of dollars. So what did it do? DRS became the company the customers needed. Dome airform repair? No problem. Dome foam repair? No problem.

Here’s also something smart that they did. DRS got in touch with some of the dome building companies and developed a relationship with them. One or two of them sent over their lists to DRS–and they were happy to do so. Business is made by referrals, right? (Yes, actually!) And some of these building companies were given commission for setting up easy jobs for DRS. Easy because the customer would call the builder saying, “help, my dome is leaking!” (You’d think everyone would want customers coming to them!) And to basically just get things rolling, DRS gave a 5% commission.

Now, what about multiple streams of revenue? What did DRS do to make sure that they also had multiple streams of revenue?

They weren’t picky on their clients.

The dome niche isn’t Walmart huge, so it if someone were to further specialize and do say dome home repair and upturn their noses at a chemical plant in need of fixing their fertilizer dome, they’d have a lot more downtime. Make sense? Good.

But beyond that, every industrial roof will need repair at some point. Every one. So DRS wisely said, we’ll basically have our dome department, our concrete roof department, our metal roof department, and so on. What this has done has secured a powerful income to the business and, most importantly, to the people employed by the business.

Remember, to every business, there is a code.

And multiple sources of income is a part of that code.

–Da Code of Business

Business Marketing

State of SEO in Today’s Market

At Da Code of Business, we’re always trying to figure out some of the best tips that we can provide for you. We’ve been reading some of Timothy Ferriss again, and love him or hate him, he’s got some great ideas. Among the myriad of things he’s outsourced, he’s talked about outsourcing SEO. A lot of the “vogue” SEO strategies used to work, some still do, some never did.

So I wanted to give a scope of the state of SEO in today’s market.

Back then

About ten, maybe fifteen years ago, optimizing a website and getting ranked happened pretty fast. Companies would hire an SEO, like Search Spartan, and within a couple of weeks, boom! their site is up on the first page, sometimes even position one. It was a good day for the Optimizer. Results happened quickly, everybody was buying, and horror stories of getting de-indexed were yet to be seen.

Well, then the recession happened, and a lot of businesses cut on one of the most important areas for traffic: marketing. In fact, this led to some stupid articles I came across a couple years ago about how SEO is dead, which has even led to some memes about how SEO is now obsolete, especially in bigger cities like Bakersfield, CA. This is, of course absurd, but unfortunately true–any business with a marketing need, needs search engine optimization.

2015 Penguin

So after the recession, businesses started really getting involved again in search engine optimization and we saw an increase of firms and horror stories until around 2015 when the major Penguin update hit like a bombshell, and then the horror stories really started coming in. See, Google got smart and changed their algorithm so that many of the old tactics wouldn’t work anymore. No longer could you set up a site just to throw a hundred links and nothing else on.

It frustrated a lot of SEOs and got sites de-indexed right and left.

Want to know the power of Google? They control about eighty-percent of the internet’s searches. Just see what happens to your business’s traffic if all of a sudden no one can find you on the web. Yikes. See-ya sales.

But really, Penguin was a good move on Google’s part because their goal is to give their users the best experience possible–and that means some of the best and most relevant information. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across a site that really doesn’t seem like a real site–it looks awful, there’s no navigation, information’s shoddy, etc–but it’s awful. Well, Google’s wanted to change that. And good for them.

Now

There have been some other significant changes to the algorithm, such as the YLYM update, or the most recent Fred update. Right now, a lot of businesses are seeing their listings bounce around. So even though Jane and Fred’s Emporium may have been on page one for the past few months, all of a sudden they might find themselves on page two. Well, pretty much no one goes there. And how is the average business owner supposed to know about these updates, what they mean, or how to work with them? Really, you’re not.

Today’s SEO is pretty complex. It’s not like the common lists you see floating around where there are 200 things to focus on in order to have good SEO, but there are a ton of things to learn and stay on top of. If you don’t understand what’s happening, then what’s most likely going to happen is you’re going to get lost in the sea of trillions of web pages that are out there. And, if you don’t have a web presence, and by that I’m also including getting found on the internet, you’re giving money away to your competitors.

But hey, maybe you’re more charitable than me.

The fact is, is that a good SEO firm can help you navigate the proverbial sea and get you found.

What to Look For

Let’s take the Search Spartan example again. Here’s their Facebook – Search Spartan.  If you were needing a Bakersfield SEO expert for example, then what you would do is go to their site, check out what they have to say, maybe even look at their references, and then contact them. Your initial strategy session is super important because it’s going to tell you a lot about whether or not this particular firm is right for you and your business.

Now you’re not going to understand all the nuances of SEO, and you’re not supposed to unless you’re an uber geek, which is fine. But here are some things to talk about. Do you need help getting your website built? A lot of search engine optimization experts and beginners include some website building. But remember–just because someone can build a website does not make them an SEO. Does your potential agency include a social profile strategy? What about business citations? What about names and anchor text? How do they link out to other sites and stay white hat? These are all things to consider. And if your potential SEO firm doesn’t discuss these things with you–be wary.

Da Code of Business