JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance


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Your Business in 2016: Start it Right!

Many of our customer are business owners – Landscapers, Snow Removal Experts, Construction and Remodeling Professionals, to name a few. And we know that they know that the points in a recent article by Global Resources make a lot of sense. So we have two questions for you, Cleveland-area small (or not-so-small) business owners.

First, are you following this great advice? and second, what kind of positive changes do you anticipate in your business, and in the Cleveland business landscape, in 2016?

We’d love to hear from you. (In fact, if your business depends on trailers, we’d love to feature you in a future blog post.)

Please, leave your comments below.

Here’s to a great New Year!


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsPeople who depend on their trailers depend on JTI. Since 1935, we’ve been Cleveland’s Trailer & Hitch experts. Call us at 440.232.4311 or stop in to see why our customers have stuck with us for 80 years.


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Focus on Innovations in NE OHIO

We’re proud to say we’ve played a part in Cleveland’s history, at least since 1935. But today we highlight the innovations of another Cleveland company and North Coast “neighbor.”

Innovation in Cleveland

innovation is on a roll – in Cleveland! Photo credit: Parker Hannifin/Forbes Magazine

Read the article in Forbes to learn more about some of Parker Hannifin’s latest innovations – including exoskeletal supports to help injured veterans and others walk again. The company isn’t new to innovations, of course.  From a role in getting the Spirit of St. Louis off the ground to a hydraulic system for sanitation trucks that cuts fuel costs by 30-50%, Parker has been pumping out some seriously cool products since 1918.

Interested in finding out about some of the newest innovations and improvements in trailers and hitches? You know who to call! _______________________________________________________________

JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Need a trailer to keep your innovative business rolling? Contact us. We’ve been Cleveland’s Trailer & Hitch Experts since 1935. Call 440.232.4311, or connect on Twitter or Facebook.

Know some NE Ohio innovators we should highlight? Please tell us.

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www.JTIinc.com

CAM Superline dump trailer at JTI


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So You Wanna Finance a Trailer

When you need trailers to run your business, financing a new trailer probably makes sense. Many Cleveland-area landscapers, contractors, and even municipalities have found financing trailers helps them manage their cash flow and expenses.

Good Reasons to Finance Trailers or Equipment

  • Free Up Cash Flow – especially important in a seasonal business like landscaping, snowplowing, or pool maintenance, freeing up cash flow allows you to hire the employees you need to get the work done in Cleveland’s rapidly-changing weather.
  • Start Up Sooner, Not Later – Obviously, starting a business when you have no loans and several months’ worth of expenses in the bank is like a dream. Nice, but – hello Reality! When you’re ready to go into business and the market is ready for you, financing a new trailer or key piece of equipment may be the smartest move you can make.
  • Expand when Opportunity Knocks – seasonal work comes in waves, and like any surfer knows, you can’t tell a wave to wait for you. Financing a trailer, commercial salt spreader, or other equipment can allow you to be ready to handle new business when it’s knocking on your door.

New Trailers – Financing Options

JTI offers several options for financing new (and used) trailers and other equipment. In addition to traditional options, some JTI customers choose the EZ Pay/No Credit Check

Can You Finance a Used Trailer?

In a word, yes. Sometimes it makes sense to look for a used trailer, but often new is your best choice. That, however, is a topic we’ll cover at another time.

Can You Finance a Trailer for Fun?

Pop-up Tent Trailer with ATV

Jumping Jack Trailers = FunWithAHitch in Northeast Ohio

Of course! You can finance a lot of fun – and enjoy your toys sooner rather than later.  In fact, maybe the Jumping Jack Tent Trailer in the photo is giving you an idea right now…

Some of our favorite customer stories involve “Fun with a Hitch.” Ready to take your motocross hobby to the next level? Does camping with the family sound better than going to Disney? Would you like to spend weekends taking your boat to explore some of Northeast Ohio’s lakes and rivers?

if you’re dreaming of a seriously fun summer, but you could use a little financing to make those dreams reality, it’s time to find out about the options we offer.

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JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Whether you’re starting or expanding a business in Cleveland or looking for ways to enjoy your hobbies even more, if financing a trailer would help, we hope you’ll call on us. Contact us at 440.232.4311, or connect on Twitter or Facebook.

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www.JTIinc.com

Trailers featured here include a CAM Superline Dump and the uber-fun Jumping Jack Tent Trailer (available in 4×6′ and 6×8′). What do you want to haul? We’ll help you get rolling.

White Atlas Cargo Trailer


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Sales Tips for Contractors, Landscapers, and Remodelers

These business/sales tips from The Remodeler’s Edge were written specifically for remodelers, but we think they’re perfect for Cleveland-area building contractors and landscapers, too. In any business, of course, understanding your customers’ needs, goals, and budget is the key to creating a long-term relationship. Let us know how these tips from Remodeler’s Edge work for you. And if you expect to be busy in the spring, contact us now to schedule pre-season trailer maintenance!

Shortening the Sales Cycle: 5 Tips to Help Remodelers Reduce the Time from Lead to Sale

By Matt White, owner, Jolt/Remodeler’s Edge

Are you frustrated with the typically long selling cycle in the remodeling industry? Would you like to stop wasting your time with unqualified prospects? Would you like to improve your overall close rate?  In this article, you’ll learn five simple ideas to increase conversion rates, decrease wasted effort and reduce the time it takes to go from lead to sale.

PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO BE SOLD

Before we get into the five marketing ideas for remodelers, I want to make sure we’re clear on one core belief: people do not like to be sold.

Consumers are bombarded with marketing (sales) messages thousands of times every day. We are overwhelmed with ads on Facebook, commercials on TV, billboards as we drive, advertising on the radio…everywhere we go, we’re “sold” on something.

The remodeling industry is no different than the general population when it comes to this phenomenon. The individual looking to upgrade her kitchen is exposed to the same selling attitude everywhere she goes. In order to stand out from the sea of sameness – to rise above the marketing smack-down that most other remodelers follow – you have to act differently.

YOU HAVE TO HELP INSTEAD OF SELL

What people want is to be helped. They want to have their questions answered, their problems solved, their concerns dealt with.  And this is where these five helpful marketing tips for remodelers come into play.

1. Talk about money

talk about moneyPeople care about money. It is almost always on the top of their mind – even if budget isn’t the number one concern, your customer will still need to know how much the project is going to cost.

So, why wait to talk about it? Why not address it early on in the conversation?

Most of us were brought up to believe it’s not polite to talk about money, and we’ve carried that belief with us into adulthood. But, money is a big part of what you do; and whether you’re the most expensive guy in your market or you’re priced pretty competitively, money is going to come up.  We’ll talk more about money in following tips, too!

2. Use Online Quoting Tools

quoting toolsAlong with talking about money, as recommended in the first tip, this second suggestion is closely related. I realize for most this is a very scary topic, and putting pricing online is often considered a no-no in the industry. But, stick with me a minute…

I’m not asking you to quote a full project online without ever talking to a prospect. What I’m suggesting is that you provide more opportunities for your prospects to “self-qualify” prior to you having to spend time with them.

This can be as basic as a spreadsheet that shares average investment levels for kitchens of a certain size, including ranges for good, better, best. Or it can be as detailed as a fully automated calculator the prospect fills out in order to calculate a range based on her specific needs and wants.

The point here is to make it easy for your prospect to understand what’s involved when it comes to your price. There’s nothing more frustrating – either for you or your prospect – than to go through the entire quote/proposal process and find you’re not even close when it comes to budget.

3. Pre-Appointment Content

pre meeting content

Before your first appointment with the prospect, you have the perfect opportunity to set the stage – to define your process, to share your expectations, to define outcomes, etc. You are the expert, and this is where you have the biggest chance to stand out.

We call this pre-appointment content “homework” and it can make all the difference in the world. What we’ve found is that most remodelers have a similar “lead sheet” process, but it’s usually filled out DURING the first appointment, not before.

We suggest sending a set of questions to your prospect BEFORE your first meeting. Let’s pretend your homework form asked the following questions:

  • What made you decide to consider renovating your kitchen/bath/basement?
  • How long have you been thinking about this project?
  • What’s your budget?
  • When would you like to have the project completed?
  • Do you already have a design in mind?
  • What’s your biggest concern going into this project?
  • Who else, besides yourself, will be involved in making decisions?

Armed with this information, you will be able to make a few decisions prior to the call – 1) is this a good fit for your company, 2) should you reach out to the prospect to address a few concerns, or 3) is it in your and the prospect’s best interest if you cancel the meeting?

How does canceling a meeting help speed up the sales cycle? Well, if you don’t have to waste time on what would have been a bad meeting anyway, isn’t that getting you to a decision faster? And, for those you keep, there’s less chance of miscommunication and misunderstanding from the get-go, meaning less time between consideration and decision.

4. Promote Familiarity

familiarityI recently heard about a doctor who calls all his new patients the weekend before their initial visit. True story. The doctor will take a list home of the first-time patients who are on the schedule for the following week. He’ll take a few minutes on Saturday or Sunday to make a call to introduce himself, tell them he’s looking forward to meeting them, and ask if they have any questions before they come in.

Can you imagine getting that call? Talk about standing out from the crowd!

If you’re like most remodelers, you are likely one of a few companies your prospect is meeting with. How might you build familiarity with the prospect to show her you’re different than the others?

  • Place a call a day or two prior to the appointment
  • Send a link to a website page with your salesperson’s (or your) photo and quick story of why he loves the remodeling industry
  • Send an email with a link to a video of the salesperson (or yourself), making a brief introduction and sharing a little about himself

Create a connection before that first meeting by familiarizing the prospect with you and/or your team. It’ll go a long way.

5. Resolve Concerns Before & After the First Appointment

resolve concernsIf I had to guess, I’d say you could give me a list of common questions/concerns that come up almost every time you meet with someone new. How much will it cost? How long does it take? What’s your process? How do you manage subcontractors? Etc.

As with the money question in tip #1, why not address these questions/concerns before they even come up?

Come up with – or have your sales team come up with – the top ten questions you hear regularly during the sales process. Then, write a blog or create a short video addressing each one and post them on your website. Once these are created, you can use them throughout the sales process – send prior to a meeting as part of the homework or send as a follow up based on something that came up in the conversation.

When you answer her questions/concerns, you build trust with your prospect. Others may be able to answer on the fly, but when you can point to an existing piece of content, it shows your prospect she’s not alone…you’ve dealt with her concern before.

WHAT NEXT?

Did these tips resonate with you? If so, I hope you’ll take one or more and implement it in your own business.  If you’d like to learn more about effectively marketing your remodeling company, contact The Remodeler’s Edge. To make sure your trailers are ready to roll for spring season, contact us to schedule a pre-season maintenance and safety check. _______________________________________________________________________

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMWe thank Matt White of Remodeler’s Edge for permission to repost these helpful tips. If your business is blossoming and you need a new trailer, please let us know what would make your job easier. We’re here to keep you hauling! Stop in or call 440.232.4311 – and if you want, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.  _____________________________________________________________________


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Top 5 Ways To Use Down Time At Work

When you do have small gaps in business during the day? As a manager, those times are excellent opportunities to engage with your employees.

Here are 5 things you can do to motivate your staff:

  • Genuinely ask how they are: If they feel you care; they will care. By understanding what what is important to your employees, you can learn what motivates their work. There is a fine line between personal and TOO personal, but you as a manager CAN manage that. (Note: Ask to know enough, don’t ask to get involved.)
  • Buy them lunch: Don’t just give them lunch; sit with them, talk to them, listen to them. Lunch is supposed to be a fun time, though – so, make sure you don’t “cramp” their style in a way that makes anyone uncomfortable because you are there.  Be genuine. Even though yours is a manager/employee relationship, you’re co-workers. Remember that.
  • Give them a break: Make it a productive break from work. Say you’ll step in for 5 minutes. This gives employees on the frontline a break, so they won’t have to produce and/or interact with customers, but they’ll still be present to learn something new. It’s a perfect opportunity to role-model, and to gain insight into how you might improve operations.
  • Give them another break: A real break! Let an employee take a walk, get outside, breathe some fresh air, sit in the office and stare at the wall… whatever it is, it’s time to re-group, re-charge, and re-energize in a positive way.
  • Be ready: For those down times, you can be pro-active and have a list of small things that you NEED to review with your employees.  You may need to mention something important, train for an upcoming marketing campaign, or plant a seed of advice. Whatever it is, keep it positive.

When it comes down to it, all time should be productive, and down time spent re-charging is productive. It ultimately impacts overall productivity in a positive way. Stay positive, be a good leader of your team, and always strive to be better as a team.

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At JTI, wScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMe try to follow this advice every day. Would you like to work here? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out when we’re hiring, or check our website for openings.)


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The 5 BEST Ways To Avoid Slow Times In Your Business

jtiSafety slow business-55

The worst thing you can have in any industry is a lull in business. Or is it? You never want to leave your employees with no work to do (not only is it financially stressful, it’s also hard on employee morale). On the other hand, knowing how to productively fill downtime is great for business and for employee satisfaction.

Here are 5 SIMPLE tips to avoid slow business times.

  1. Don’t forget the fundamentals: Customer Service should ALWAYS be your greatest priority.  Think of it this way: For every bad customer experience, you will lose 7-21 customers.  People rarely discuss good experiences (see below), but ALWAYS discuss bad experiences.
  2. Give more than what is expected: With every customer, give them more than they expect: use eye contact, try to learn and remember their name, shake their hand when appropriate, and listen for those little things that will mean a lot to them… and give it to them. Customer Service studies show that it is small things that make a difference: gift wrapping, a consistent smile; a personal phone call reminder, etc. Be creative, it will set you apart from others. Got a lull in business? Call a client you haven’t seen in awhile. “I was wondering how things are going, and wonder if there’s anything we can help you with,” are truly magic words.
  3. Think ahead: if there is a sale and/or service that you provide for your customers; schedule them at the original point of sale.  Hair salons are best at this, when the client is paying, they schedule their next appointment. At JTI, we know when your trailer will need to be serviced based on your business, so we will pre-schedule your service appointment so you do not have to remember. We’ll give you a personal call to remind you, as well, the day before.
  4. Keep your customers interested: Social media engagement, blogging, and/or a newsletter; catered specifically to your brand, posted and sent on a consistent and regular basis will nurture your customer relationships. If anything it is a friendly reminder that says, “Yes, we are still here, and ready for your business whenever you may need us.”
  5. Give Back: Schedule events and personally invite your customers.  They can be fun, educational, and possibly an exhibition of new products and/or services.  Plan to have seasonal events that are all unique. The more you have events, the greater your loyal customer base will be.

BONUS TIP >>> Always say Thank You! if your customers did not exist, your business would not exist.

Thank you for reading our blog!

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At JTI, wScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMe value our customers and employees, and try to follow this advice every day. Would you like to work here? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out when we’re hiring. (Hint: we’re hiring now!)

Meyer Snow Plow


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Building Your Snow Plow Business

11 14-107

Today: Building your Snow Plow Business

We see guys come in everyday during the long Cleveland winter looking cold, weary, and very overworked.

How can you make snow plowing both lucrative & non-stressful? In order of business development, start with number one and grow to number three. As a business owner, always have the point of view of making life easy and growing your business.

  1. Build a Team: Get two to three other guys in your truck. At each location you can rotate roles. Get a manual salt spreader and a shovel. Take turns for each location. Having other hands will also keep you company. Have someone in charge of tracking the locations. All you will have to do is drive the truck and do the large snow pushing; which we all know is the fun part. Don’t forget to assign each crew member their designated donut days.
  2. Take Charge of a Crew: Instead of you doing the driving and the plowing, build your accounts so that you can sit in your warm office and assign jobs to your crew of 1-2 trucks. Build slowly by focusing on sales, customer relations, and marketing. You will have to stop on customer sites once per day to check on your crew’s work and check in with customers as necessary.
  3. Build a Fleet:  Now you have 50-100 accounts, you have managed 1-2 trucks, it’s time to build your business. Expand to doing all of the sales and marketing for 4-6 trucks. You are now even paying someone else to do the job you were doing in #2. You are the CEO and you manage the manager who is managing the crew. Next steps would be to hire someone to do the sales and marketing, BUT, sometimes business owners stop here because they like to stay in touch with the business.

Business growth is up to you. You are more than capable of growing your business each year. This could represent a high level three year plan for you. As long as your point of view is always as the leader with a drive to grow you can achieve this. Have confidence that not everyone is taking the time to think like this so you have one leg up in the game.  Call us at JTI anytime for expert business growth advice; we are always available for that conversation. As you grow; we grow. We’ll be there for you anytime you have business growth questions.

Be safe snow plowing! Stay Warm!

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Got questioScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMns? We know plows, hitches, spreaders…and how crazy the business can be. Call 440.232.4311 or stop in to talk to our experienced team. Time to add a plow to your fleet? We sell new and used. Check out our inventory online or in person.