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NadiaC
03-02-2011, 12:43 PM
New to the landscaping industry. Doing admin for my husband and seems this site would have the information and tips that would make life a lot easier. Great Job !!!

Steve
03-02-2011, 08:05 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of issues are you looking to improve upon with your business?

FloridaBoy
03-02-2011, 08:09 PM
Welcome Nadia. Glad to have you.

NadiaC
03-03-2011, 10:26 AM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of issues are you looking to improve upon with your business?

Well I am trying to get my head around the whole marketing thing...not my strongest point but I dont want to head in the wrong direction. I have a ad in the local newspaper and now thinking about Craigslist and DirectMail with PostCards to specific areas. What is your opinion on those ?

Steve
03-04-2011, 02:31 AM
Well being that craigslist is free, many will place ads on there daily. Sometimes up to three times per day, depending on the season, to try and keep themselves at the top of the list.

Newspaper ads can depend on many things.

Are you tracking where people hear about your company from when they call you up? Are you finding that you are getting more calls from one marketing method while not so many on another?

If you don't track, you won't know what is or what isn't working.

NadiaC
03-08-2011, 01:05 PM
At the moment we are not receiving any phone calls or emails from the Newspaper ad .... yet. I do believe that my husband says that he always receives a lot of work from the newspaper ad. I am just trying to broaden our horizon with new clients, which is why I am trying out Craigslist....yeah way to much competition although I am not going to give up with that avenue.

Another question I have : do you suggest annual agreements along with estimates be entered between client and landscaper?

Steve
03-08-2011, 09:19 PM
do you suggest annual agreements along with estimates be entered between client and landscaper?

If it won't scare the customer away, sure! Why not!

Are you also marketing through your family and friends?

Do you have signs on your vehicles? What about those 'take a card' dispensers for your vehicles as well?

Everyday you have to be doing something to promote yourself and if you are not, you need to read more on here to come up with more ideas.

jymie
03-08-2011, 09:49 PM
At the moment we are not receiving any phone calls or emails from the Newspaper ad .... yet. I do believe that my husband says that he always receives a lot of work from the newspaper ad. I am just trying to broaden our horizon with new clients, which is why I am trying out Craigslist....yeah way to much competition although I am not going to give up with that avenue.

Another question I have : do you suggest annual agreements along with estimates be entered between client and landscaper?

There is alot of ideas about where to advertise etc in the following thread:

See this thread for more:

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13299

Hope this helps you get started! Best of luck!

NadiaC
03-09-2011, 12:44 PM
Hi Steve,
I am a bit worried now after reading your response regarding the annual agreements.... I thought that by having a agreement in place with a client would protect both parties? This is my reason.... there has been way too many clients that have selective memory regarding services preformed and what discussions were held about cost. By having this agreement I would think that they have something that outlines exactly what they have contracted us to do for them and what is expected from them as far as payment goes. Trust me I have had some really REALLY mean customers that because there was no agreement they just send whatever they feel they wanna pay instead of the allocated invoice amount...OR they dispute the invoice even though the work had been done.

jymie
03-09-2011, 02:32 PM
This is why I do not do invoices for residential customers. I mow, knock on the door get payment that day. That way if they want to play games, they can have someone else do the work. I use an estimate form that details the work to be done and payment amount, I have them sign it and then you have in writing the agreement that way. You can do an estimate for everyone, but you should collect same day. I usually also when I go do an estimate for mowing, fill out an estimate form and then if they want us to do the work they sign it.

Steve
03-09-2011, 11:14 PM
I am a bit worried now after reading your response regarding the annual agreements.... I thought that by having a agreement in place with a client would protect both parties? This is my reason.... there has been way too many clients that have selective memory regarding services preformed and what discussions were held about cost. By having this agreement I would think that they have something that outlines exactly what they have contracted us to do for them and what is expected from them as far as payment goes. Trust me I have had some really REALLY mean customers that because there was no agreement they just send whatever they feel they wanna pay instead of the allocated invoice amount...OR they dispute the invoice even though the work had been done.

Ideally, you are correct. This is the way it should work.

But what tends to happen, especially early on when you are just getting started is that you take any customer you can without filtering them out. Because you take any customer you can get your hands on, you get a % of people that are going to be terrible customers. These customers will probably balk at signing any agreement because they know, they tend to do screwy things and try to get away with it.

As you grow, you will want to get away from such customers and look for those who are less problematic.

Early on, small businesses tend to be desperate to get any money coming in that they can, even from customers that they think will pay, but have put off paying for months.

As you start getting money in your bank account, you tend to be less desperate and more careful in who you sign up as a customer.

Also customers may balk at signing an agreement with a company that has yet to be around for a year or so.

But this doesn't mean you should try. Just keep all this in mind as you are out there and don't let any of them get you down. As you grow, you have to filter out the potential bad apple customers. This is your business and you need to enjoy it or what is the point?

NadiaC
03-18-2011, 11:41 AM
I am trying to figure out how to word fuel surcharge on the landscape agreements ..... ANY suggestions ?

Steve
03-19-2011, 05:19 AM
There are a bunch of discussions on here about that you can see through the search feature.

Check these out.

Question about gas price increases (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13633)

How to charge a fuel surcharge (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7285)