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Steve
12-22-2006, 03:31 PM
I think #5 is really important.

How many of you offer a prepaid discount?

How many years into business did you start this?

How to Find Clients When Business Isnít Brisk (http://www.morebusiness.com/running_your_business/marketing/ah_slowseason.brc) - 1. Follow up with old customers. Admit it: during the busy season, itís not likely that you are able to spend a lot of time following up with customers.

2. Create a special. Consider trimming your profit margin slightly and creating a seasonal sale to take advantage of bargain hunters.

3. Repackage your products. Sometimes, you can find your way out of an off season by changing your niche or your customerís idea of your product.

4. Test a new product. If youíve been toying with an idea to add to your product line, now might be a good time to do it.

5. Schedule future business now. Thereís a famous story of an air conditioning company that got around their off season by offering customers a discount if they pre-paid for service they would receive later.

Steve
12-22-2006, 04:19 PM
Sometimes, you can find your way out of an off season by changing your niche or your customerís idea of your product. If you sell gardening tools and your off season is fall and winter, consider packaging those gardening tools together with soap, gloves, and seeds in a gift-wrapped basket and promote your repackaged product as the perfect Christmas gift for grandma.

I thought this was a great idea as well. Can you imagine how creative you could be with repackaging your services?

Did you consider offering gift cards this year? Will you next year?

Steve
11-05-2008, 07:51 AM
What if you repackaged your snow plowing services or lawn care services like this?

You could create a gift box that included a plastic toy snow plow truck with a gift card attached to it, to show the recipient they have just received a winter's worth of free snow removal.

http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/images/winter-snow-plow-gift-package.jpg

If you do decide to offer such gift cards, make sure you promote it. Send out flyers to your current customer base and hand them out in your community. Wouldn't such a present make a great gift? Show someone special you really care with free snow removal all winter long. It could even be a collectible keep sake Christmas ornament that you make instead of a toy plow truck.

Steve
11-05-2008, 01:33 PM
I was thinking about this idea more and there could be a lot more done with it. What if you contacted your local high school or college and got in contact with the art teacher. Talk to them and see if they would like to get the students involved with making a commemorative Christmas ornament. It would be carved out of clay and then used to make a plaster of paris ornament.

Maybe you could have it locally themed. So it had to be created based on something that stood out from your area.

Then maybe all proceeds from the sale of the ornaments could be used to buy new art supplies for the school? Or something like that. On the base of the ornament it could say your lawn care business name and number and the year of it's release.

This ornament could then be sold in your gift basket along with a seasonal lawn care gift card or a winter snow plow gift card.

Maybe the ornaments could be sold through stores as well.

This site had a lot of great information on how to make a mold.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/199913

What's your view on this?

VPS Lawn Care
11-07-2008, 12:43 PM
I think #5 is really important.

How many of you offer a prepaid discount?

How many years into business did you start this?

5. Schedule future business now. There’s a famous story of an air conditioning company that got around their off season by offering customers a discount if they pre-paid for service they would receive later. [/i]

In August i had a customer call for a quote from my web site. He asked me to give him our price for the job , asked if we offered any dicounts for pre- payment. I had not even thought of that before but put togeather some prices and he went with pre-paying by the quarter with an annual contract, only gave a $10 discount per month if paid once every 3 months and he jumped on it, he save $120 a year and i get a fat check the 1st of november (when needed) and every 3rd month, i like it.

Steve
11-08-2008, 06:46 AM
only gave a $10 discount per month if paid once every 3 months and he jumped on it,

Can you say how much the contract was worth per month? This could help others figure out and compare how much of a discount they should give.

If you could do this all over again, how much would you give off as a discount?

Also are you going to promote this more to try and get more prepaid customers?