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PVMS
07-02-2012, 08:50 PM
Hi guys and gals, I am from Melbourne, Aus, and have been in business for about 16 months. Enjoying life and loving the business. We service a modest total of around 150 clients so far,mainly residential and small commercial.
We are looking foward to advancing the business in our coming Spring, which is a couple of months away.
Cheers!

Steve
07-03-2012, 03:57 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of things are you going to be doing to advance your business further in the coming season?

PVMS
07-03-2012, 04:29 PM
Welcome to our forum!

What kinds of things are you going to be doing to advance your business further in the coming season?

Hi Steve
Grow the company is what I mean't to say. Last year was a big learning curve for me, and although I had plenty of work on offer, I was unable to service it all, being a one man operation. I had help from wifey on occasions, but I found that I really needed a worker at the start of spring, to take on the extra work load.
We ended up hiring somebody in early fall.
Now that I have more confidence in my marketing skills, I can roughly predict how much work will come in with each marketing campaign. It is much easier to take on new work when you have the labor already there, because most new work is clean up status (knee high jungles), and then we sell them a regular service.
I have no immediate plans to jump into large commercial work at this stage, as I have a few buddies doing it, and I see them sweat bullets every time they look like loosing a large contract. I will include it someday though, but always keep it a mixture of both.

GrassBlaster
07-04-2012, 01:42 AM
150 clients in 16 months, thats incredible! What kinds of marketing did you do to gain that many so fast?

PVMS
07-04-2012, 03:34 AM
150 clients in 16 months, thats incredible! What kinds of marketing did you do to gain that many so fast?

Hi GrassBlaster
I spent some time on the net listening to some of your American Direct Response Marketing gurus while I was getting my gear together.
I used mainly flyers, but also door knocking with flyers, and some from a local buy,swap,sell website here, where you can list a free ad.
Of late I have used a lead providing service website too, and they only charge $5 a lead.
In short though, I rely on many other lead streams too, and always trying to find more. I have made a number of "business mates", working in parallel businesses (eg landscapers who don't mow or or do garden maintenance etc), and pro tree loppers too. I also have commercial only mowing guys who pass on residential enquiries to me, and of course I return as many favors that I can in return, (eg pass on hard landscaping jobs like major constructions and the like, when my customers ask for it. I even have made friends with a home help type person, who cares for the elderly in their homes. Every reg she directs to us, we mow her place for free.

We also have a good referral system in place with our existing clients.
As a business we have had alot more clients that started out as regulars. For every 10 we do business with, I would guess that we cull around 4,...sometimes more. We operate in a diverse area as far as classes of people go too. not all of our clients end up good ones.

It sounds like we charge very similar rates that you guys look for ($1 per minute + greenwaste disposal)
Sorry for the essay

Steve
07-04-2012, 04:26 PM
That is very interesting!

Do you have any advice for those business owners who are just getting started when they are looking for a marketing method that will give them the biggest bang for their buck?

PVMS
07-04-2012, 06:01 PM
Our free ad on the buy/swap/sell website cost us nothing, and produces a couple of leads per day. (during spring)
Next best would be knocking on doors, of people who have an obvious need for your service, just introducing yourself to the neighborhood, with flyer in hand. No need for a hard sell or anything, They initiate the quote requests on most occasions after you have introduced yourself.
If they don't ask more details about our service, we leave the introduction as just that, and hand them a flyer for future reference, but most times if you front up, gear in hand, they will be glad that you knocked.
The copy on your flyer is important too. We break down everything into fine detail in our offer, to sound like they are getting alot for their money. On our current offer, we also break down the offer to a front yard only, so the offer in the headline sounds even cheaper, when in fact its not.
I tried this approach after hearing suprised customers learning that we don't just turn up with a mower,...open catch the grass and just leave. They seemed suprised that we edged, removed the clippings, and blowed the concrete off.
It pays to let them know exactly what bang for buck is in it for them.

Steve
07-05-2012, 02:56 PM
I tried this approach after hearing suprised customers learning that we don't just turn up with a mower,...open catch the grass and just leave. They seemed suprised that we edged, removed the clippings, and blowed the concrete off.

That is fantastic! You saw a way to stand out from competitors and you built your marketing material around that! Nice job!