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TigerTime
04-27-2007, 07:39 AM
I am new to th lawn care and property management business. I am retired military and worked for FedEx for 14 years. I guess I just got tired of working for someone else for all those years. I am going to attempt to establish a good reputation for quality work.
I am finding it difficult to break in. I have been reading and studing the market. I have done all the right things with a small budget.
If anyone has any suggestions as to how to make my business grow faster please drop me a line. Heck if you are in the Memphis Tennessee are and have to much work or need a hand let me know. To all of you that post on this forum thanks for all the great information. I enjoy the read.

Steve
04-27-2007, 07:30 PM
Hi Tiger,

Welcome to our forum!

I think a biggie is to leverage something that makes you unique and use it to stand out.

What kinds of things have you been doing as far as marketing thus far?

What kinds of future ideas were you planning on doing to get the word out?

TigerTime
04-28-2007, 06:42 AM
I have been using flyers on mail boxes so far but I am getting only a few phone calls. It feels like some days I can put out 100 flyers and get 3 or 4 calls and then I put out a 1000 and get none.

I have plans on getting signs for my truck and a website. I do youth websites now so that will not be an issue.

Just starting out I have a small budget so any help and suggestions would be helpful and welcomed.

Steve
04-28-2007, 03:52 PM
Hi TigerTime,

Quote[/b] ]I have been using flyers on mail boxes so far but I am getting only a few phone calls.
Just so you know If you put flyers in or on a mailbox without a postage stamp, you may get a call from the local post master.

Quote[/b] ]It feels like some days I can put out 100 flyers and get 3 or 4 calls and then I put out a 1000 and get none.

Most of the time it seems a 1 or 2% response is on average what you will get.

Quote[/b] ]Just starting out I have a small budget so any help and suggestions would be helpful and welcomed.

I think since you are starting with a small budget, you should leverage your time to get attention. Since you were in the military, here are some ideas.

What if you got involved with that program that helps maintains lawns in your area of military members over seas? Is that possible? You could then put together a press release on how you are retired military and tell your story and then show how you are helping military members now.

Maybe the paper could help find military households in need of your assistance.

This could be a great way to build up word of mouth and goodwill in your community.

Any thoughts on this?

Also have you been handing out business cards to everyone you know?

TigerTime
04-29-2007, 07:56 AM
That is a great idea about assisting military members.
As you might know that some could really use the help.
I think I will go out to the base Millington Naval Air Station and see if they will do a release.
I also have friends at the commercial appeal (the local paper) that could help get the word out.

The over all plan is to break even this year. Then next year have it take off. I am hoping to have about a 10,000 budget at the beginning of next season.

*http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/yourock.gif
http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thankyou.gif

Steve
04-29-2007, 01:44 PM
Think of growing your business like caring for a garden. It is very difficult to force growth.

Copy the code here into your signature to get your banner to appear. Let me know if it doesn't work.
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The more you get involved with your community, the more your name will be out there. This will help you land more accounts.

I think with you especially it's great to work with the military because of your connection. Have you attempted to create any flyers or door hangers that promote that part of you as well? Could we see some of your promotional material?

I really like your name Tiger Time Lawn Care and Property Management.

You could also build up the brand by playing with the name in your marketing material. What if you added a tiger fur colored theme to your trucks? Maybe made it safari like? Something to stand out from the pack? Maybe your dress could even be like that of zoo workers?

Something like this, with the hat too!
http://www.zoo-zoom.com/images/Zoo-Keeper%20Set%20A.jpg

Keep thinking how to create a theme and a brand. How to stand out!

Tell me your thoughts?

TigerTime
05-01-2007, 07:12 AM
I has thought about the Tiger Theme on my truck and Lawn equipment. I hadd not thought about the attire idea.
I have has to keep some of the thought down because of the budget right now.
I seen to be growing at a stady pace but it still seems slow to me. I have 16 accounts right now but I was hoping for 30 by now. I am thinking that before summer is over I will have at least 50.

As soon as my budget will allow me, I am going to paint the truck. I thought about getting signes with the theme as well however playing with it on my computer it was hard to read.

I am working on a small movie to add to the website that plays Eye of the Tiger while showing information about The Lawn Care service.

What would Zoo appearal cost? I am aboout to start hiring some people to help in the business.

Thanks

Steve
05-01-2007, 01:34 PM
Quote[/b] ]I am working on a small movie to add to the website that plays Eye of the Tiger while showing information about The Lawn Care service.

That is awesome! Let me know when you get it done!

Quote[/b] ]What would Zoo appearal cost? I am aboout to start hiring some people to help in the business.


I bet you could get the same look with like khaki shorts and similar colored shirt.

Keep getting the word out because you may find this is a time people will be switching their lawn care operators. Many times in mid season customers find they don't like the service their current lco is performing and they will switch.

Quote[/b] ] I thought about getting signes with the theme as well however playing with it on my computer it was hard to read.

Could you show us some of the designs you came up with?

Steve
05-01-2007, 03:58 PM
Now here is an idea of what you could do to get attention.

I bet it could be done for fairly cheap.

Get $100 truck painting in orange and then you could use tape to stencil in the stripes. Paint them with spray paint if you wanted in black.

Then put your vinyl lettering on the side and WOW would this stand out!

What's your thoughts?

TigerTime
05-02-2007, 07:01 AM
That would draw a ton of attention and laughter. However the Truck would be remembered and that is for sure. My wife told me that she would never ride in the truck and would rather stand on the side of the street with her thumb in the air if I did it. LOL
I think it would be a idea that would draw business.

Steve
05-02-2007, 02:16 PM
Isn't it interesting though? I can understand your wife's viewpoint.

But on the other side, it's interesting to think how we all have to be self-promoters. Some will take self-promotion to new levels and really stand out. Those who do will benefit from that attention.

Many other business owners will not want to go too 'crazy.' But then we risk falling into the pool of sameness as we do not differentiate ourselves from others.

What's your view on this?

Also I love your business name. Is there a story behind it?

TigerTime
05-03-2007, 05:52 AM
See, I think your right. You have to stand out from the crowd or you are the same as everyone else. You can give a quality product all day long but if you are joe bag of doughtnuts lawn care service well that is what you will be looked upon as.

The business name came to me during the Univerity of Memphis elite eight run this past basketball season. I go to alot of the games and have been a long time tigers fan. I was sitting in the stands with my daughter and she yells out toward the court It time Tigers. I chuckled at her. She is 9. Well, that night I was about to go to sleep and it hit me. Tiger Time. I kept it in the back of my head and thought about it for a long time. When the situation happen at my former employement, I said why not go for being my own boss doing something that I love.
So, Tiger Time Lawn Care and Property Management was born.

I am happy to hear that you like the name. I am getting postive responses to it. I got my first two commercial contracts yesterday. Do ya want to know why? The name Tiger Time. LOL funny how things work.

TigerTime
05-03-2007, 07:06 AM
Oh yea, Even though the wife will not ride in any of the trucks I plan on doing the truck design as soon as money will allow.
I would like to see in the next 10 years a whole fleet of trucks running around the Memphis and Mid-South area with the design.
The wife will have her thumb in the air a lot. LOL

Steve
05-03-2007, 07:34 PM
That is a great story! It sounds like you have a lot of energy and drive.

If you want to stand out and make it you will do it!

Did you see this idea I posted for you in other post?

Quote[/b] ]Here is a marketing idea for Tiger Time. Maybe others could use this as well.

What you could do is, if you painted your truck like this, create some flyers. Put them around your town. Offer a reward if someone has seen your truck and they either call you or email you.

Then come up with a reward like maybe a free lawn mowing with an annual maintenance agreement or maybe a free lawn care analysis which includes soil testing.

You could call the person back with this reward offer or email them.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it would create a buzz? What if you took out a newspaper ad that did the same thing too? I bet if you drove around town after the ad was placed you would get a ton of calls.

You could then work on converting those callers to becoming customers.

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/uploads/post-8-47042-tiger_wanted.jpg

Steve
05-06-2007, 07:36 PM
Thanks for the link from your site here http://www.ellendalebears.com/4_sell_and_services_offered.htm

TigerTime,

Did you put together a website yet for your business? I was thinking you have a great marketing angle you could use on your "About Us" page. You should talk about your coaching. Is that volunteer? If so, you could show how you have strong roots in your community and how you give back to your community.

In fact, that would make for a great newspaper article as well.

Maybe next year you could sponsor a team and call it Team Tiger Time. Then you could get the crowd all into things by yelling out to them "what time is it"? and they could respond it's TIGER TIME!

You have a lot of great content here to play with.

Keep me posted! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

TigerTime
05-07-2007, 07:26 AM
Yes, I am a coach and director and I was also the commissioner for the league. It is great fun working with the kids.
I do have an opprotunity to display the logo and company name on the teams T shirt this fall. I plan on using it for cheap advertisment. I think it cost about $25.00 for an ad.
I have 6 jobs today and must get going.
Thanks

Steve
05-07-2007, 06:55 PM
Take pictures of all that too and get them up on your website!

I think that is great. With all your networking, there is no doubt you will be able to get the word out about your business.