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What are you doing to "Prime the Pump"
What are you doing to "Prime the Pump"

Prime the Pump Chief Architect Users
Dan Baumann 12-19-2008

What the heck am I talking about? Prime the Pump! It's an old cliché that is true now more than ever. In the 1930s it was applied to government efforts to stimulate the economy and  thereafter was applied to other undertakings. What are you doing to Prime the Pump?


I've been talking with many of my clients lately and the common thread is that they are very nervous, even scared about what's going on in the economy. It's amazes me that some people are really busy and having record months of sales and others are dead in the water.


Watch the short YouTube video by Zig Ziglar and then read on.



It got me to thinking about my business and how all of this has affected me. I was staring at the website knowing the I had the huge task of redoing much of the site. It was a mess with outdated pages, dead links and lousy navigation.

For days I couldn't get anything started. I'd stare at the screen, almost in a daze. Then it happened. I "Primed the Pump". I just got started on something, anything. Now a few weeks later and many hours of effort I'm going full steam ahead and in the next few weeks will have even more major changes and addition on the site.

I'll offer some ideas on how you can prime your pump but let me explain some of the things I've done so far.

  1. Reorganized the site navigation in a more logical format.
  2. Focus of the site is now exclusively for Chief Architect users and how to make more money doing design.
  3. A new 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
  4. Added a new Events Calendar with approximately 6 Chief Architect training classes per month for the first 6 months of 2009.
  5. Added a new Monthly Membership Plan. Times are tough so you can now get really great Chief Architect training for not a lot of money.
  6. Added a 15 Part Series that meets once per week for 2 hours so you can learn the right way to use Chief Architect.
  7. I've been invited to speak at a couple of JLC Live shows this year. I'll be posting information on these events soon.
  8. Added a new Event FAQ page.
  9. Updated the Working Drawing Series department.
  10. It's time to get face to face again. I'll be setting up some classroom training in various locations in 2009. I have one set up in Hopkins MN on Jan 27th and 28th and will post the info on Monday.
  11. Updated the Members Support Forum - Current members will have a place to ask questions about Chief and their business.
  12. Chief Architect has placed a link from their website to This is way cool! I sure do like what they are working on can't wait to start telling you about all of the cool stuff coming in X2

Some things I'll be working on in the coming weeks

  1. Go through all of the current articles and tutorials and make sure they're up to date.
  2. Updates to much of the previously recorded classes to a new, faster and downloadable video format.
  3. A new "Site Intro Tour" and "How to Use the Site" video.
  4. A total reorganization of the Downloads Area with much new content.
  5. Many new short "Tips and Tutorials".
  6. New Kitchen, Bath and Deck training series for Chief Architect.
  7. An updated Testimonials Page with links to contact info and websites. (This is good for your search engine rankings gang!)
  8. More articles and other information that will help bring business into your doors.
  9. Adding many Business Events at our Sister Site

If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Okay, enough about What are you doing to "Prime Your Pump"? Here are a some suggestions for you: 

  1. Prime your Chief Architect Pump - Join this site and get involved. Now is a great time to get ahead of your competition so you can become the Designer and Contractor of Choice.
  2. Stay Positive - I know it's hard to do when the outlook is so bleak and there is no work coming in but if you let all of this negativity get to you it will be impossible to get anything going.
  3. Start Small - Do something, anything that will get your name out there! Sometimes all it takes is that first action.
  4. Call a past customer to say Hi. You might get some work out of it or a referral. Then call another one.
  5. Start updating your client list using a spreadsheet or contact manager. Call your past customers to get their email addresses.
  6. Start looking into how online email systems work. Constant Contact works great.
  7. Put together a Handyman Gift Certificate that you could offer to people. Check out the example below.
  8. Call a Realtor and ask them if they are dealing in foreclosures. Offer your services to do As-Builts for these buildings that the Realtor could use as a marketing tool. Then call another Realtor.
  9. If you're a designer call some of the respected remodelers in your area to see if you could do some As-Builts or plans for them. (maybe at a reduced rate)
  10. List your company at and other websites for free to get your name out. The first one is the hardest but get it started.
  11. List your company on Craigs List
  12. Place your business cards everywhere you go. Start by handing out one card per day.
  13. Start attending toastmasters meetings. You'll meet some great people and improve your communications skills.
  14. Check into getting vinyl lettering or magnetic signs with your company name and phone number on it and apply it to all of your vehicles.
  15. Send a card to a past client. Then do another one and so on.
  16. Attend your local Chamber of Commerce meetings. Do whatever it takes to get some networking going.
  17. If you have kids in school, open up the school directory, pick out a name of someone you've never met and invite them to lunch.
  18. Get Creative! The bottom line is it's all in the numbers and it starts with number 1. The more people that hear from you, know about you and know you the better the odds that you'll get some things going.

Got some great ideas that work for you? Send them to me and I'll post them with a link to your website. (external links to your site help search engines index you better)

Take care for now and get busy "Priming the Pump"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Dan Baumann 

Here's a great example of a way to generate some more business. Offer gift vouchers for handyman services.

Example of a Handyman Gift Certificate from Creative Contracting in Philadelphia.
Example of a Handyman Gift Certificate from Creative Contracting in Philadelphia.


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