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Steve
04-02-2007, 09:42 PM
Bob has some good insight as to who his customer base is and how to give them what they want. He seems to really have found a way to break out from the pack.

Maybe some of this information will help you and your business.

Interview with Bob Franey. Owner of Total Landscape, Inc (http://www.umsl.edu/~econed/artist/artist-interview-franey.htm) - Q. This is a really competitive business. I see landscape companies all over the place. What do you suppose is your edge that allows you to be so successful?

A. We are really focused on our clients. Part of landscaping and lawn care was easy. I understood it, and it was not a problem. One thing I've had to learn is what business is, and part of learning what business is, is learning who your client is and focusing on your client.

There are a lot of companies, and this business is very competitive, but I think what we've done is unique. We continue to attract business because we understand who we want our client to be and who our client is. When we talk with somebody, if he or she doesn't fit our client profile, we are able to walk away from it. When we determine that you are our client, we are able to service you like no other company can. It creates a very loyal client who tends to stay with us for a long time.

Q. What is your client profile?

A. Our typical client is someone who needs multiple services. They don't just need maintenance, they need someone who can do "design and build" services. Our ideal client is someone who supports every one of our core businesses, and we have four basic cores - lawn, landscape, design/build, and snow removal. Our ideal client supports those four functions. They’re not just looking for a mow company, they’re not just looking for a landscape or design/build company. We serve commercial and residential clients, and there are not many companies on the residential side that bring that whole package to a client. Our upper-end client is living is a home worth $700,000 and up, with a whole lot of disposable income. This is the residential client who tends to be very attracted to our services.

http://www.umsl.edu/~econed/images/BFIMAGE004.jpg

Steve
04-02-2007, 10:11 PM
How did Bob go about figuring out who his ideal customer really is?

Two years ago, when we identified who our client was, we went through the research and development of our idea. In the course of that process, we looked at our competition, we looked at their websites, we looked at the services they provided. We tried to find a market that wasn’t being serviced. We feel like our growth potential right now is unlimited because the core companies out there are not providing the service. We have come across numerous situations where a client may be totally happy with the guy who’s done his landscape maintenance, he may be totally happy with the guy who put in his bushes, he may be totally happy with the guy who did his lighting, but what he’s not happy with is the fact that he’s had to call five different people to make that happen. What we provide is an opportunity to consolidate those services and make sure that they only have to make one phone call. Often, our clients terminate their existing contracts with other companies for the benefit of having only one company to call. I don’t make light of our competition. I don’t think that we’re the only game in town, but I think the game that we’re playing gives us a clear advantage over the competition.