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Dan Frazer Gardening
03-18-2012, 04:17 AM
Hi all, I have just came across this site via youtube and thought I'd see what's going on.

I run www.danfrazergardening.co.uk , a commercial grounds/domestic/lawn care business based in Glasgow, Scotland. I have been operating since 2009 and things have gone very well. I work alone most of the time, although from March-November I use a part time helper 2-3 days per week.

This year is seeing growth and I hope to become a larger business with permanenet staff. I have got to this position by continuing to provide high standards, ongoing marketing and by being a bit obsessive in general.

My work ranges from looking after old people's gardens on a general maintenance plan, to servicing residential estates of 400 apartments, factory units and hotels. I have a particular interest in lawn care and am in a period of aeration and scarification at this time of year; trying to fit these non-regular jobs in to a tight schedule is proving very tricky!

I am curious how the business differs from here to the US. I expect the weather makes a difference - we have a lot of rainfall (2700mm per year) plus domestic gardens tend to have a lot of planted areas, filled with shrubs and perennials that require careful weed control. Lawns can be very wet at times, the soil is often clay, and there are a lot of trees providing cover from the sun so moss is common.

My plans for 2012 are to gain some large contracts, employ one person full time and possibly a part time guy on top of that, and gain enough domestic lawn care-only clients to fulfil a complete round with a small van in addition to the main business vehicle.

Hope people are doing well, here's to a busy 2012.

http://danfrazergardening.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/IMGP1438-2.jpg

Steve
03-19-2012, 02:33 PM
Hi Dan,

Welcome to our forum! That is a fantastic lawn picture you shared with us.

What kinds of marketing are you planning on doing to attract more customers?

Dan Frazer Gardening
03-21-2012, 08:56 AM
Hi Steve,

Good to hear from you. I hope you are having a good season so far.

Marketing varies and I like to spread things out into a number of different areas, as with all parts of my buiness. I don't like having all of my eggs in one basket.

Word of mouth is a very important tool. It sounds obvious and even predictable to say it, but clients generally DO want to spend money if they know they are going to get something worthwhile from it. This may not just be lawn work, but also hedges, trees, weed treatment etc. I am still surprised by the number of people who don't seem to know that I also do hedge cutting!

So, telling people, i.e. almost everyone you meet, what business you are in can work wonders and you can get jobs from places and people you would never have expected. You will become known as 'the guy that does lawns', and whenever someone is in conversation with a person who mentions they need lawn work, YOUR name will come up as a supplier.

I combine continual word of mouth and prompting with a few other means of marketing, including a targetted ad in local business directories, putting a well-designed leaflet in the letterbox of a neighbour when I have done a job, ensuring the SEO on my website works and is up to date, having the van signwritten and ALWAYS parked on the street in front of the property I am working at, and also signing up to a few lead-generating websites on a pay-per-lead basis.

All of this means nothing if you don't do a good job though, so most crucially I ALWAYS make sure I do a thorough and complete job that looks great when I leave site. Then you can be sure you will get new work.