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moseley creek
10-08-2007, 06:21 PM
Here is a brief run down of the past 4 years. March 2003 started lawn care business. Things went great till May 2005 when my husbands colan exploded and he almost died. November 2005 doctor said he could go back to work but he refused. There had always been verbal abuse in our marriage but I just ignored him. He decided he was going to do nothing but sit around and try to collect a check. The abuse went from just verbal to physical, mental and emotional. He also started bringing my children into it as well. The last straw was him throwing my 8 year old daughter into a wall. October of last year I had him removed from the house with a restraining order. A year has pass now and my children and I are still in therapy. Both of the children now 9 and 10 are diagnosed with post trumatic stress disorder due to domestic violence. Now here is my problem, for the past year my ex has done nothing but run his mouth about me and my business because he thought I should have sold it and split with him but the judge said no that is her job you cannot have any part of it. I have lost customers due to this and cannot get new ones in the close area because of him. There are several areas I would like to get into but I got what I have by word of mouth and I am not sure what the best move for me would be. I know most of you are probably men but please don't just blow me off I need to get some more things going now. Single mom two children. Sugestions please.
Teresa

Steve
10-08-2007, 07:09 PM
Hi Teresa,

Did you happen to see my response to your other post?

Do any of these ideas appeal to you?

Quote[/b] ]
There are a couple things I can think of, depending on how into this you want to get.

First off, Halloween is coming and you have kids. Have you considered going out and trick or treating with them and handing out flyers as you do this? It would be a great way to reach out to new people and make a personal connection.

I also think you have a great story. It's great because others will be able to relate to you and they will want to see you succeed because you will then be a hero for single women trying to do this all on your own.

I would consider putting together an article for your local paper, where you talk about this. The headline could read "Being a single mom and running your own business isn't easy." It could be a very inspiring story. Put together a press release and include a picture of you and your children. And talk about all the issues you face doing this on your own but how you are determined to succeed.

In fact, we could help you put this together right here on the forum and others could offer their views as well.

Doing something like this, really puts your story out there but it also takes a bad situation and makes it a positive one by harnessing it. Others will read the article and relate to you and want to hire you. They will be able to connect with you and your struggle.

What's your take on this?

You could also go out and do flyers and door hangers but I think this would be so much more powerful!

moseley creek
10-08-2007, 07:12 PM
I like the trick or treating idea but I am not sure about writing an artical for the paper?? Self esteem is in short supply around here. I can put on a good front face to face though. Artical ideas?

Steve
10-08-2007, 07:21 PM
Well in a sense it is all about healing. Letting others know of your situation, as you did here by sharing with us your story, is a great way to reach out to people and get help when you need it.
A story about you being a single mom and running your own business could reach out to many people in your area and they could empathize with your situation. Everyone has down times. Everyone at times deals with trauma in their lives and when we reach out to others we realize we are not alone.

You are doing an amazing job now and you will continue to improve, the article idea is something to at least think about. There might be many people in your community that would reach out to you after reading it.

My next thought would be to come up with a flyer possibly with a picture of all three of you? Maybe market the angle of it being a woman owned business? This could position you as being different from other lawn care businesses.

A lot of times when I think of marketing ideas, I say to myself what about this situation is unique. What will stand out from others. You have a unique story which can lead you to a unique marketing position. Your strength then is in being unique! That's what will sell.

You could create a door hanger too with your pictures and then canvas the areas you want to work up.

What about the current customers you have now, have you asked them for any referrals? Create a list from them and call them? Or drop off marketing material at their house.

Have you tried craigslist.com yet?

What are some of your thoughts on all this?

moseley creek
10-08-2007, 07:31 PM
Did not think of craigslist.com. So what you are saying is play off of the single mom woman owned local business thing? I have asked my current customers about friends and family that may be able to use my services and have got a few more customers that way. I plan on a yellow page add foe next phone book. Any ideas where I could go to get some help working up a flyer?

Steve
10-08-2007, 07:43 PM
Quote[/b] ]Did not think of craigslist.com.

A lot of lawn care business owners absolutely rave about craigslist. It has a bunch of benefits. First off it's free. Second it allows you to target a specific geographic area. So you can put up an ad for your community on there.


Quote[/b] ]So what you are saying is play off of the single mom woman owned local business thing?

I think so, yes. Because I think it is unique to you. It's your strength. I have to tell you from my point of view, I am very impressed with you for doing all this and I know many people would be very impressed with you as well.

Don't underestimate the power of the media. Did you happen to see over the summer when another one of our forum members created his business and then got international media attention? If you hadn't seen the story check this article out here (http://www.wmcstations.com/Global/story.asp?S=6808391&nav=menu59_1).

Lee, the owner, took his business from start up lawn care in the spring of '07 to being a 5 figure a month lawn care business. All in just a few months! Why? Well a big reason is because he harnessed the media. He had a story to tell and he told it.

Getting an article in the media or a news spot on you can do more for your business in a few days than might be possible with 20 years + of marketing.

It's really something to think about.

Quote[/b] ]I have asked my current customers about friends and family that may be able to use my services and have got a few more customers that way.

Also hand out flyers to the neighbors of your current customers as well.

Quote[/b] ]I plan on a yellow page add foe next phone book.

Yellow pages tend to not bring the return most expect from them for their advertising dollar.

Quote[/b] ]Any ideas where I could go to get some help working up a flyer?

What marketing angle are you thinking of doing for your business? Do you want to go with door hangers or flyers? Will you want to have them printed or photocopied?

moseley creek
10-08-2007, 07:56 PM
There was a company here trying to do bikni cuts but it did not work because they only did one spot on the radio. It is a cool idea if it is done right.
As far as flyers maybe something half sheet I can copy and pass out everywhere. Just need help designing.
Maybe I will pass on the yelow pages for the price I just got for one year I probably will not be worth it.
I do live in a town that is mostly military around. Going to Iraq then comming back. I know I could target them somehow too but not sure how. Their wives sure don't cut the grass when they are gone.

Steve
10-08-2007, 08:01 PM
Quote[/b] ]There was a company here trying to do bikni cuts but it did not work because they only did one spot on the radio. It is a cool idea if it is done right.
If you ever wanted to get into that at all, I could put you in touch with Lee.

Quote[/b] ]As far as flyers maybe something half sheet I can copy and pass out everywhere. Just need help designing.
Can you look through our flyer collection (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=942) and see if any strike your fancy?

Quote[/b] ]I do live in a town that is mostly military around. Going to Iraq then comming back. I know I could target them somehow too but not sure how. Their wives sure don't cut the grass when they are gone.

This is another marketing angle you could go with. Maybe you could assist a member of the armed forces that is over seas. Maybe find one person in town and help the family by cutting the lawn for free once every couple of weeks.

Then you could have a great marketing angle to go to the press with and say you understand the difficulties of being a single mom raising a family and that you are running your business on your own as well.

It would make for a great story and build up a lot of goodwill between you and your community.

Let me know your thoughts on all that.

moseley creek
10-08-2007, 08:14 PM
I may have more questions for you but you have given me alot to think about and check into. Thanks alot. If there are any writers out there feel free to write something up for my local paper I just can't do that myself.

pmblair
10-08-2007, 09:43 PM
Teresa, I'm a graphic designer / web designer / lawn care guy / pressure washer / multiple business owner / father / husband..... etc etc etc....

Listen, my wife and I deal with adversity every day, so although I have never been in the same situation as you, I do know how hard it is to run a business in the face of adversity. *

How about this... you tell me the name of your company, your phone number, the services you perform etc... anything you would want on a flyer... and then pick a flyer design or two that you like on here... I'll make them up for you and email them to you. *All you have to do from there is print them. *I'll even make you up a logo.

Good luck to you. *God bless you and your little ones. *You'll make it. *Just BELIEVE.

pnplawn
10-09-2007, 12:58 AM
Do you have a website ? I will build you one and host it on my web server for free. Ill even help you get listed on google`s search engine and be number one in your town, when someone looks for lawn care on the website. I also get alot calls from people out state looking for lawn care here in my county. Cause they own homes here they do searches on the internet looking for lawn care. Of course my website is the first one that comes up.
If you dont have a website try to think of a name for it.
Rodman

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
10-09-2007, 09:40 AM
Your situation caught my eye as I have close up and personal experience from having to investigate and arrest those that batter spouses and family members.

In addition to the ideas posted here about promoting your business, you should put an effort at shutting up the ex. If you have evidence that his bad mouthing has cost you business, time for legal action.

I think you should fight back as all he is trying to do is keep control over you any way he can. You can't let him win. When the time comes that he realizes he can't control you anymore, he will disappear off the radar screen.

Do not be afraid to seek out help from organizations that help out women escape domestic violence and enable them to strike out on their own. The resources are out there and want to see you succeed, as do all of us.

Steve
10-10-2007, 12:39 PM
Teresa,

You should consider taking Rodman up on his website offer. That would be great!

I did a quick search for your business on google and guess what came up first?

This forum! WOW!

We should be getting your site up there as the first to show up!

moseley creek
10-10-2007, 01:37 PM
I have sent a couple messages to Rodman asking what he needs from me. No response yet

Clean Lawn
10-10-2007, 09:59 PM
Well I didn't want to get this personal but I want Teresa to know that there are other women out here trying to also make a go at it so she is not alone. Teresa I can tell you I know 250% where you are coming from. I post that I was married before. It was an extremely verbally abusive relationship. That I put up with for 5 years. I left the day after the relationship turned from verbal to abusive when I told my husband I wasn't taking anymore of his sh t and he punched me in the face. I had to constantly face the women he was sleeping with and thought I was too stupid to even know about. I didn't have anything then. #### I didn't even have enough respect for myself of my child to leave until it was too late. I lost a lot from that relationship but for a long time I thought that was a normal relationship because that is what I grew up with from my stepfather and my mother. My stepfather was an alcoholic, slept around and even went so far as to molest his stepdaughters. You don't have to sit there shocked with mouthes hanging wide open or shaking off a tear. They aren't worth it and I am not the same person now that I was then. 10 years ago I wanted to start a lawn care and landscaping business. My family told me I couldn't do it, that I would never amount to anything in this world.
Since then I have left my family. My exhusband and my mother, sisters, everything. I left them behind because of everything they did and didn't do to stop any of the #### they put us through. I am married again to an incredible person. He was the one who helped me leave that life behind. I have a beautiful home, and we were blessed with a son who is now 2 years old. His whole world is growing up so he can work at "CleanLawn". Mommies business and cut grass and drive a big truck. They make it all worthwhile. Your children are your world and they are very strong. Then take more then most people will ever know. They see you being strong and surviving. Making more and more of yourself everyday. Your an incredible role model for them. Don't ever worry about your husband and his unkind words. They cannot say nice things because they have put themselves in such a world of #### they do not know how to be nice or say nice things. The customers that listen to your husband and believe the foolishness that comes out of his mouth are not people you want in your customer base. Scratch them off the list and move forward.
Its already been one year for you. One year and many many more to come. Focus on the positive. You created a great business and these guys are awesome and will help you find even more greatness in your business.
I just started my business at the beginning of June 2007. I had maybe 4 residential accounts and I just signed last month for nine residential property contract. Its nothing to you all who are veterans compaired to people like me but it was huge for me. Even after 8 years of leaving that horrible life behind me I need things like 9 residential properties at once to make me realize I am doing something right. I wish I had not listened to my family and started this 10 years ago but I didn't. I read what these gentlemen suggest. Everything I can. I am trying to work a lot of what they are telling you into "CleanLawn" because like you I know what I have and I just want the rest of the world to know how great it is too.
Right now I am working on landscaping packages that I am going to push in the spring. I think its a good idea and will work with a lot of hard work. I also think trying to get in with realtors. I think if they would purchase small contracts for homes that sell it would help push great businesses like ours and the gentlemens on here but convincing them of that isn't so easy. I also think pushing gift certificates at Christmas time for lawn care services would rock! But that won't likely happen till next year for me.
I want to create a webpage but everything takes time and money. I buy things as I can.
I guess what I am saying is stick with it and never give up your dreams and it will all fall into place. The womans touch thing for lawn care is great and would work well considering everything you have been through and you can benefit from it. Hang in there it gets better.

moseley creek
10-11-2007, 08:00 AM
Thank you very much for sharing your story with me. You are right it is hard to pick up and move on. I have been more inspired this week than I have been in a long time. Right now I need to focus on two things MY CHILDREN and promoting the heck out of MY BUSINESS. Hopefully one day like you I will find a wonderful man who will want to share life with me. There is one really interested, I can't go there yet. I need to be independant and stand on my own two feet for awhile.

Clean Lawn
10-11-2007, 09:11 PM
I agree 100% with you. You need to show yourself how strong you really are by standing on your own two feet. Your two beautiful children will be a source that you will use to find strength for yourself when you least expect to find it but it will be there. Your children, your lawn care business and yourself will all be all right. You are a lot stronger then you think. You came forward and shared with all of us. That is strength. Take up these wonderful guys on the webpage and help with marketing ideas, newspaper articles, everything and keep your eyes out for more ideas in these forums. Everyone has ideas and we all share them and just because one idea might not work for you another one might. Your welcome to try to push any idea I throw out in any thread in these forums and I love feedback. Its what helps me make great decisions for my lawn care and landscaping business. It is only a couple months old but I look forward to the day when I can look back and see how much I have grown and how much even in a few months everyone has helped me.
If you ever just need to talk I am a great listener and I have been there before. If I can help, I will.
Whether you know it yet or not, your very strong and independent and your children have a great role model to look up to. You deserve a big pat on the back hun, your doing great! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif