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Steve
04-17-2009, 06:20 PM
I wanted to list a bunch of the lawn care marketing offers I am receiving through direct mail.

Maybe you can use these in your marketing campaign.

Also if you see different offers in your mail, post them so we can see what else is out there.


$50 off Spring Clean Up with an clean up over $350.
Spring Cleanups 20% off with an annual agreement.
Mulch 20% off all dyed 15 yards or more
Double hammer mill mulch $19 per yard delivered. 6-10 yard min.
Dyed Mulch now $28 per yard delivered. 6-10 yard min.
Screen topsoil $26 per yard delivered. 6-10 yard min.
Free 2 weeks lawn cutting with annual contract
Spring Sprinkler Start-up only $60 plus parts for 1st hour.
Springtime planting $500 off any planting job of $3500 or more.
Weekly lawn maintenance starting at $99 per month cut & edge.
Give us a try. Free first lawn mowing with annual agreement.
Free Spring Fertilizer with maintenance agreement.
Free Lawn Evaluation
Beautify your lawn today $29.99 for your first service up to 5,000 sq ft
Get an additional 5% off when you prepay for your annual lawn care program before 5/31
$200 off any job of $2,000 or more.
10% off any job up to $10,000.
10% any job of $2,000 or more.
10% off jobs $250-$2500 with signed contract.
$500 off any landscape design or hardscape job of $5,000 or more.
$300 off any job of $1,500 or more.
$1,000 off any job $5,000 or more.
$1,500 off any job $7,500 or more.
$600 off $5,000 new landscape job.
$300 off $2,500 new landscape job.
$100 off $1,000 new landscape job.
10% off all brick paver, patio, sidewalks or retaining wall system.
10% french drains.

swstout
04-17-2009, 06:43 PM
I wanted to list a bunch of the lawn care marketing offers I am receiving through direct mail.

Maybe you can use these in your marketing campaign.

Also if you see different offers in your mail, post them so we can see what else is out there.


$50 off Spring Clean Up with an clean up over $350.
Spring Cleanups 20% off with an annual agreement.
Mulch 20% off all dyed 15 yards or more
Double hammer mill mulch $19 per yard delivered. 6-10 yard min.
Dyed Mulch now $28 per yard delivered. 6-10 yard min.
Screen topsoil $26 per yard delivered. 6-10 yard min.
Free 2 weeks lawn cutting with annual contract
Spring Sprinkler Start-up only $60 plus parts for 1st hour.
Springtime planting $500 off any planting job of $3500 or more.
Weekly lawn maintenance starting at $99 per month cut & edge.
Give us a try. Free first lawn mowing with annual agreement.
Free Spring Fertilizer with maintenance agreement.
Free Lawn Evaluation
Beautify your lawn today $29.99 for your first service up to 5,000 sq ft
Get an additional 5% off when you prepay for your annual lawn care program before 5/31
$200 off any job of $2,000 or more.
10% off any job up to $10,000.
10% any job of $2,000 or more.
10% off jobs $250-$2500 with signed contract.
$500 off any landscape design or hardscape job of $5,000 or more.
$300 off any job of $1,500 or more.
$1,000 off any job $5,000 or more.
$1,500 off any job $7,500 or more.
$600 off $5,000 new landscape job.
$300 off $2,500 new landscape job.
$100 off $1,000 new landscape job.
10% off all brick paver, patio, sidewalks or retaining wall system.
10% french drains.



I looked into direct mail marketing and decided against it. The average response is 1-2%. If I send out 100 in a mailing my postage alone would be $420.00 not counting the envelope and flyer costs. If I got only 1 response I would be in the whole until I took in about $1,000.00 (my marketing costs + labor costs + overhead).

I feel a more direct - talk to the people is much more ecconomical. For $1,000.00 I can talk directly to a lot of potential customers.

Steve

Steve
04-17-2009, 07:10 PM
From discussions we have had in the past, if you want to experiment with direct mail you should consider a mailing list of 1,000 to 1,500 addresses to allow you the potential of getting some response without breaking the bank.

Direct mail may be more useful when you have more money than time. However when you have more time than money, you want to leverage your time instead.

But there are many options to go with depending on your situation.

I looked into direct mail marketing and decided against it. The average response is 1-2%. If I send out 100 in a mailing my postage alone would be $420.00 not counting the envelope and flyer costs. If I got only 1 response I would be in the whole until I took in about $1,000.00 (my marketing costs + labor costs + overhead).

Did you consider things like the valupak mailers? Or their equivalent?

swstout
04-17-2009, 07:39 PM
From discussions we have had in the past, if you want to experiment with direct mail you should consider a mailing list of 1,000 to 1,500 addresses to allow you the potential of getting some response without breaking the bank.

Direct mail may be more useful when you have more money than time. However when you have more time than money, you want to leverage your time instead.

But there are many options to go with depending on your situation.



Did you consider things like the valupak mailers? Or their equivalent?

The Valupak mailers are more cost effective but I still think I can put my business card directly in the hand of a prospect for much, much less. This way I meet the prospect eye to eye.

I get the value packs all the time and basically ignore them. My wife, on the other hand digests them. She however thinks it's my job to take care of the yard and discards it. The Valupak ads arn't seen by the peoson it would benefit!

When I hand out a business card and flyer, they go to the person who would benefit most. How he handles his 'significant other' is another story. I start a dialog, a mailer doesn't!

Steve

picframer
04-17-2009, 09:35 PM
I have noticed a few in the mail box recently, a lot offering mowing for $25.00 for up to 3,500 square feet...what a joke.

Personally our focus is on landscaping, driveway grading, removing rocks, drainage, stumps, wood chipping etc. I just added an excavator to the company yesterday (JD50 John Deere) as I have three crews on tractors with all the attachments including backhoe's and we can't keep up. 80% of my days are providing quotes and we are getting obout 92% of the business.

I still have all the lawn gear equipment and when my son finished University next week he can take that over, we have two crews at the moment spraying, we went totally Organic and it has been a major selling feature for us.

Lawn mowing itself won't start here for at least three more weeks, still not great growing weather.

Steve
04-17-2009, 09:52 PM
I just added an excavator to the company yesterday (JD50 John Deere)

Oh! Do you have a picture of that! Tell us a little about it.

picframer
04-18-2009, 04:58 AM
This was a really tough decision due to the cost, John Deere has an amazing financing program on however I also had to buy a truck and opted for a new 2008 Dodge 3500 with a dump then there is a trailer, we kind of jumped from lawn care to excavation/landscaping.

Reason is there are too many what I can trunk slammers starting a business and doing it for nothing, no knowledge, what I think will happen is customers will see in a few months the quality of the work and then look elsewhere so we have to ride this one out.

Now what has happened here on the excavation side, we are getting 85%++ of our work in an area 35 to 40 min from my house, middle to upper middle class, about 25,000 homes, fairly new area about 10 years old that took off a few years ago.

The RCMP station is in the centre and responsible for a massive area, there are probable 120+ officers that work there, I am friends with the staff Sgt and many of the officers due to my previous job as we worked close together on some operations, my marketing started with one coffee.

I was informed there are 5 landscaping companies in their community, four do poor quality work, one is too expensive and too busy. The guys that I compete with in the city don't bother with this area for some reason, probably transportation but I leave some equipment parked at another friends place as it's massive and high security which I installed, everything I own has a GPS unit on it anyhow so if it's stolen, I will know where it is and it's all motion activated, for example if a machine is to shut down at 6 pm and it somehow moves at 8 pm, I get an email on my blackberry as does the monitoring station I still own part of, we can log in and see if there is actual movement and if so dispatch the police. I even have it on the trailers, cut the line, immediate alarm.

So we ran a small ad in a community newspaper that cost around $17.00, from that I received over 160 emails or calls, we are tracking everything and we are landing the business, a lot of it is fixing mistakes, some is digging rocks out but mainly drainage pipe that either wasn't installed or it wasn't installed right.

So people see the name on the equipment and word travels fast in a small area, they started calling asking about the organic spray, I hired and trained a lady who lives near my home, work at home mom that has personality plus, so she handles all the calls, I do the follow up and quotes.

I also follow up after every job with the client and introduce the lawn care side, talk about the work just completed, in short they must be satisfied.

Anyhow for now my fingers are crossed, we have lots of work when many of the companies I know still have their equipment sitting in the yard as times are a bit tough, anyhow I had to invest and borrow $105,000 for this set up, may sound nuts but like I said, it was a tough call but this unit will bring in $680.00 a day, most jobs are 6 hours or less, we can do a lot in 6 hours, some are a few days but on average I would guess 6 hours so you have some transport time but we have that down to a science, takes about 20 min to load any of the tractors and get going.

I have GPS in every unit for navigation so we are not looking for a house and my system knows where a piece of equipment is so my office lady tells them where to go next generally the closest, it's a balance as you can't make people wait so I started right up front as if we were to busy saying we will be here within two weeks and will call the night before.

For now it's working and yes it is a risk but like I said, you would starve on lawn care alone until things settle out.

SuperiorPower
04-18-2009, 11:47 AM
Picframer,

I admire what you are doing. being able to grow in adverse condictions is a sign of a strong company. I like your marketing ideas and like the idea of a personality plus person taking the calls. That can be a instant sell. How your employees are deemed to treat your customer is very important. First impressions are everything.

I love the security you have on your equipment. Can you tell us about how much that costs per item to keep in place?

I did some real quick figuring and found that without figuring your fuel costs, labor costs, maintenance, etc. you will have the new equipment (all $105,000) paid off in less than 155 workings days if you can average your estimated $680 daily income from it. That is a very good return on investment in my opinion.

Good luck,
Eli

picframer
04-18-2009, 06:34 PM
Eli, Thank you for your kind comments, much appreciated, I give a lot of credit to my working at the bank for so many years and financing so many companies and learning what works and what didnt. On top of that the bank was always sending me on courses, I will never forget one in atlanta put on by these two doctors, don't remember their names but I put their advise to practise and it has worked in every situation, my son who is now 19 has had his own business for 7 years and make a pile of cash doing it.

Anyhow they tought us how to read and mirror a persons personality, it's desperate hard to explain but it involves tone, body language, posture etc. sounds corney but I am here to tell you it has always worked at least for me.

Anyhow it's hard to say what the GPS would cost you as I still own part of the Security Company so I get the products at cost and we buy direct from the manufacturer in Europe, the products can only be sold and monitored in Canada.

That being said I use Garmin in the trucks for finding clients homes, Garmin makes the best GPS mapping for vehicles hands down, I say this as the company I still own part of is the largest GPS tracking company in Canada and the 2nd largest in North america, we track a lot of offenders using a bracelet also.

Anyhow I can google and find a product I would suggest, you need motion activated GPS units, they draw little power, I have seen them on my ATV's and maybe we would not use them for a couple of months and there is no effect on the battery as the shut down until movement is detected.

Something else that I do that shocks prospects, when they send an email from a search or through my website, I get it on my blackberry instaltly and respond within 15 min, this has won me a pile of business. All my employees carry Blackberries, to me it's a cost of doing business but pays off big time.

For example I was set up at the farmers market as we are keeping our woodworking going also, a client emailed with a drainage problem, I replied right away I would have to see it and could I perhaps drop by, they said sure but in their reply sent images, I saw the problem and responded but said I would be over at 3 this afternoon for a personal view. They asked if I was in my office if I could respond and see the images that fast, I said no I am actually at the farmers market but your images come through on my blackberry, their reply was well if your company treats their clients like that then you are a winner, I have had this same type of comment dozens of times. I went to see the property at 3 and got the contract, it's worth close to three grand to us and any contract over 1,000 requires a 50% deposit, they offered to pay in advance the entire amount, I just laughed and said no, 50% and we will not process the payment until the day we arrive on site to start the work.

I could go on and on over funny situations that have landed massive contracts for us, it's working for now and I am a bit tired as my University staff do not start for two more weeks due to exams but we are keeping up.

I actually have to run, I have a deal with a well company if one of their clients has an issue I will go with a backhoe and dig the lines up, received a call while typing this, PITA as I wanted the evening off and I won't call my staff in on a Saturday night.

Anyhow cheers for now

Andy

Steve
04-19-2009, 04:42 PM
Andy,

With all the experimenting you have been doing with your business, do you have advice for others now how to deal with a local landscape market that might have too many competitors?

picframer
04-19-2009, 10:26 PM
Honestly I do not have an answer, I am sitting here with probably $35,000 tied up in a cargo trailer loaded with new equipment that will be used at this stage a few hours a week, it's hardly worth taking out unless things change which I can't see for the next few months. Lawn care is very cheap to get into and there are too many trunk slammers on the street at least here, the customer at this stage is looking at price not quality, it is a very tough sell.

I really feel bad for the guys trying to make an honest living, I was lucky in that I had most of the landscaping gear anyhow for my own property to get going that was all commercial grade, all I had to do was add a Tandem Trailer, then when I saw what was going on I added another tractor and next an excavator which we will take on Tuesday.

I am turning down rock wall building, decks and garages, we just do not have the man power or staff with that skill set and I personally would rather be sitting on the seat than building a deck, I turned down two today but picked up the excavation side.

Not sure what to suggest, what other things can you do that a customer might want you to do for them, it's a really tough market on the lawn care side, we will offer it for now but I am not marketing it, I quickly re ordered all new marketing material geared towards driveway grading, excavation, leveling fill, soil etc, it will go out Tuesday, I am hitting 4,500 homes in the areas where the gear already is, I suspect or hope the phone will ring off the hook.

We are still having cool weather, I hear snow flurries Tuesday for goodness sake so I am waiting to see what happenes when the good weather hits.

I did have two lawn tractors out today doing sweeping of lawns, actually works better than thatching and gets the rocks, twigs etc. We are getting $65.00 an hour plus $20.00 float fee, Min $50.00, I think we did 11 places today, at least it uses the gear as this is all new stuff.

Excavation for me is still booming, I have only been at this two weeks and we have two months worth of work at this stage, the new unit will cut that down but I am hopeful we will pick up a lot more.

But in short people I find are either broke or they are sitting on their cash in case something happens.

I do find it somewhat strange though that our woodworking crafts sales are up 21.8% this year, 12 year average in sales. There are no big ticket items in this average to throw things off.

Steve
04-19-2009, 10:41 PM
Thats a lot of fascinating stuff.

I did have two lawn tractors out today doing sweeping of lawns, actually works better than thatching and gets the rocks, twigs etc. We are getting $65.00 an hour plus $20.00 float fee, Min $50.00, I think we did 11 places today, at least it uses the gear as this is all new stuff.

I never thought about lawn sweeping. Did you just market it as lawn sweeping? Or was marketed as an upsell for another service? I never see any marketing for such a service.

Also, what's a float fee when should a lawn care business owner use those?

picframer
04-20-2009, 02:44 AM
I bought a pull behind lawn sweeper for my own lawn which is close to 3 acres a few years back, I could not be bothered raking rocks from snow plowing, twigs from branches, doggie doo from the winter etc. The sweepers get it all, sometimes takes two or three pass's but what would take for example 8 hours to do manually, I am finished in less than an hour. It does a better job than a dethatcher as it also removes any clippings etc. and allows you if over seeding to get right down to the root of the matter so to speak.

We can only spray just before or during a rain due to what we are doing, it calls for Heavy Rain Tuesday and Wednesday so we had homes that had to get finished so I called two operators in Sunday morning, is sweeping the lawns getting them ready as we willl overseed as we spray, I was out also but mainly doing estimates and did a few lawns.

So to answer your question I sell it the same time I sell spraying and over seeding, I thought because we will be mulching right down to about 2" or less with our gear the client might change their mind on mowing the lawn themselves, this idea hasn't really brought in many mowing contracts but we get a lot of people stopping by asking for a card, every machine has a leather pocket I had made with a company (friend makes leather shoes and she made leather weather tight pouches for us) flyer and my business card, this way the operator can respond on the spot, works perfect and we have picked up a lot of spraying and over seeding jobs, we have 137 to do , somehow in the next three days plus the excavation as this heavy rain will cause clients we haven't got to water issues, will probably bring in more business also. As mentioned in another thread my university staff doesn't start for two more weeks so we are thin, it's 3:30 a.m. here, I am heading out to start an excavation job after a few cups of coffee.... I want to finish by noon so I can help the other crews, desperate hard to balance everything right now. I thought about temp staff and will call to see if I can hire three for two days later this morning.

A Float fee is when we pull equipment from point A to point B, if you want anything other than mowing or spraying, i.e. your lawn swept for example, it comes with a float fee, I guess it's another term for Fuel Fee, just sounds better:) I explain to the prospect what it is, not one person has buckled as they understand it costs money to drive these trucks and trailers from here to there etc.

Andy

Steve
04-20-2009, 02:57 AM
I thought about temp staff and will call to see if I can hire three for two days later this morning.


Oh great, keep us posted on how that goes.


A Float fee is when we pull equipment from point A to point B, if you want anything other than mowing or spraying, i.e. your lawn swept for example, it comes with a float fee, I guess it's another term for Fuel Fee, just sounds better

So does this vary based on distance the equipment must be hauled?

picframer
04-20-2009, 03:33 AM
Well kind of, here is what I did:

Halifax is a city, there are 16 major subdivisions outside the city most about 30 min out, that would be about 15 miles I guess, I determined long ago what the cost to transport would be and named each area with a code on a map, basically drew lines and numbered them.

I then wrote a program in MS Access, it includes 5 types of spray we have, 14 different services. When I show up at a prospect I have my laptop and printer in the truck I drive, I simply enter the information and a complete proposal is printed off, I wrote a micro and tied it into an excel calculator and a MS word document, client comes to the truck, we enter the information, it prints a quote, if the client signs and 92% + have I hit a button and it loads it to another program that tracts jobs to be done. I upload to my server at home at the end of the day and my office girl using GPS will determine where the crew goes but she keeps an eye on when the quote was given so that clients do not have to wait for a long time.

You see this idea of even doing this started last fall while I was still chief operating officer, I started the research, starting writing the programs, got the marketing ready etc. I did use your lawn mowing cost software to play around with a bit but decided to write my own, I fully understand this is not for everyone, it was an idea I had and I went with it.

Presentation to me is everything, every employee for example is allowed to wear a golf shirt, sweat shirt or company jacket, all supplied by me. Their pants must be a specific shade, we will supply and take out of their pay or they can buy them. To go along with this we shock clients a number of ways, my attitude is you have to be better than the competition in many ways, one shock is the program, a printed contract on the spot, I can even process payment from my laptop, for wireless connection I use a rocket chip, costs around $12.00 a month. This system is working great but we are small, only been out there for three weeks I guess but I have built many companies and this one is falling right into line.

It's now 4:30, the site I am doing myself is 45 min away so I am good to go, I warn clients we show as early as 6 am, in excavation that is pretty much the norm, I would never do this mowing, 7:30 a.m. or we would probably get shot:)

Andy

picframer
04-20-2009, 03:45 AM
Oh great, keep us posted on how that goes.


Should be fine, I do a few corporate and individual tax returns on the side, have for years as I needed the extra income when the kids were small and the wife stayed home to look after them and we home schooled until they were 9, anyhow Manpower Temp Services is a client I do taxs for, I will call the owner Faye and she will make sure it happens. I guess this brings up another marketing thing, knowing people and networking.

LawncareMarketingMagic
04-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Picframer,

It sounds like you're as successful as you are because you're simply doing a lot of things RIGHT. You've identified areas where you can stand out (most of them in the area of providing EXCEPTIONAL customer service) and have capitalized. As a result, word is getting around and the results are showing. Congratulations!

The first step to building a successful company is creating an 'inside reality' that really resonates with your prospects and clients. Speedy service. Upfront explanations. Being there when you say you will. Etc. These are all things that people are looking for these days, but sadly, it's severely lacking in most cases.

To bring the conversation full-circle and to get back to Steve's original question about offers, now that you have this killer inside reality the key to really exploding your business is to create marketing, or your 'outside perception', that informs and educates people about your 'inside reality'.

You've already proven that people will respond when you do things the right way. Now you just need to create marketing that tells people all of the things you do.

Unfortunately, most LCO's would put out marketing materials that simply state the services you offer, how long you've been in business, and maybe give a weak "% Off" offer.

Steve
04-20-2009, 03:56 PM
Chestin,

Do you ever save or keep track of lawn care marketing material that really stood out? Or that you felt was exceptional? Can you share with us why any of them did stand out?

picframer
04-20-2009, 09:15 PM
Picframer,

It sounds like you're as successful as you are because you're simply doing a lot of things RIGHT. You've identified areas where you can stand out (most of them in the area of providing EXCEPTIONAL customer service) and have capitalized. As a result, word is getting around and the results are showing. Congratulations!



I think I am getting too old for 16 hour days:) it was a great day in the sun, I managed a 2 day job I quoted in 11 hours then the neighbour across the street wanted me to look at a project, I was honestly too tired but somehow we got the job even though in my mind I bid high, I was testing the waters so to speak, so I just left the machinery in his driveway, this saves me a lot of hauling and I was able to view a few jobs on the way home, this is a middle to upper class area that I was working in today so I am not real concerned about the equipment, this fellow is a figher fighter and assured me everything would be fine, it has GPS on it anyhow.

I am very thankful for the various positions I have had over the years it has tought me a lot from people skills to financing, this seems to be working but it's pretty early. I'm finding our ability to keep up a bit fustrating, I had 6 calls and 8 emails today alone from people wanting services, I hate turning business away but at this stage unless it's excavation or spraying I have to pass.

You are very correct word of mouth travels fast, I guess we are the new kid on the street and people like what they see and the quality of work.

I'm going to back off lawn care for now, I know what will happen if we grow too fast.

Andy

picframer
04-20-2009, 09:26 PM
Andy,

With all the experimenting you have been doing with your business, do you have advice for others now how to deal with a local landscape market that might have too many competitors?

Well for me it was honestly networking, I let a few people I know, know what I was going. My greatest sales people, aside from clients has been business people, the local police Sgt who is a great friend and a fire chief.

I don't know how to compete other than service and presentation, presentation in many forms and I know this set up I have that is working cost a lot to get going, it's like rolling dice sometimes as it takes money to make money yet one doesn't want to carry too much debt.

When I decided last fall to do this, I looked at the mid to marge sized companies as my competition, it never dawned on me University Students, High School Students etc could shut me down, so what I had to do was something they couldn't, buy expensive machinery and go after a slightly different market.

I have offered lawn care to every customer we deal with, I even low balled a few to test the water and came up with next to nothing, so now I don't bother, I will just ride this out.

When faced with stiff competition you have to step back and look at what it is you might be able to offer that they were not, for me it is Organic Spraying and mini excavation. I am sure in each of our areas where we live there is a need, we just have to sniff it out.

I had no idea last fall I would be in the excavation side of the business and have this much machinery on the go, I honestly thought I had the lawn care nailed but I quickly adjusted and went a slightly different route.

I do find something else strange, I have a neighbour and he is a super guy, our son's grew up together, he has a mini excavation business and his machinery has not moved this year, I have no idea why, I have hired him and he does good work, his rates are in line with ours. The only thing that is really different between our two companies is our equipment looks new and staff are in uniforms, trucks are all nicely lettered. Yes it did cost but it would seem at this point it was worth it.

Steve
04-20-2009, 09:37 PM
I do find something else strange, I have a neighbour and he is a super guy, our son's grew up together, he has a mini excavation business and his machinery has not moved this year, I have no idea why, I have hired him and he does good work, his rates are in line with ours. The only thing that is really different between our two companies is our equipment looks new and staff are in uniforms, trucks are all nicely lettered. Yes it did cost but it would seem at this point it was worth it.

This may be hard to say but is it possible that you are just natural when it comes to social networking and he isn't?

How much or all of this is a mind game too. If you feel like you can do it, you can. If you feel like you can't, you can't. Maybe he doesn't want it or has a focus on other things?

picframer
04-20-2009, 09:52 PM
This may be hard to say but is it possible that you are just natural when it comes to social networking and he isn't?

How much or all of this is a mind game too. If you feel like you can do it, you can. If you feel like you can't, you can't. Maybe he doesn't want it or has a focus on other things?

Well for a guy that has been in business for as long as he has that machinery should be moving, his neighbour across the street called me for a quote on drainage, I passed saying we were booked for weeks and he might want to consider Dave's company. I drove by this evening and see a company from the city doing the work, I have no idea other than Dave's equipment looks tired even though it's not. Customers like a piece of equipment on their property that looks professional, they don't want a truck in the driveway that has rust and I believe they want people working on their property that look professional also. We are all professional, do we look that way to the client?

Honestly I am the same way, I had to get some electrical work done recently, the guy that I hired had the best presentation, looked professional and he had a nice vehicle, he did a great job.

My neighbour could spend a few hundred bucks painting his equipment up other than that he does great work from what I know.

When I drive down the street or stop at the coffee shop in the morning on the way to a job, it's interesting to me to look around the parking lot and in the coffee shop, if someone looks professional I think we sub consciously think they are and we feel better hiring them, I could be wrong but it something I have experienced.

I think we have to be careful in our words and marketing, don't give the prospect an almost guilt trip by saying we are not the cheapest but we keep our clients etc. I personally do not care for companies that attack the competition, even when I see mistakes at a clients home we are about to work on, I never say a bad word about who did the job, I simply say it's not the way I would do it and here is what I would suggest.

And it is a mind game, I go at every quote knowing we will get it. If I am having an off day for some reason and we all have them, the prospect will never see it, as hard as it is to do at times.

Steve
04-20-2009, 10:09 PM
One day if you get a chance, maybe you could just ask your neighbor what is up? I bet it would be really interesting in hearing what is going on.

The answer could be almost anything. To maintain your drive to do anything, can be very exhausting and anything can get in the way of it.

picframer
04-21-2009, 07:03 AM
One day if you get a chance, maybe you could just ask your neighbor what is up? I bet it would be really interesting in hearing what is going on.

The answer could be almost anything. To maintain your drive to do anything, can be very exhausting and anything can get in the way of it.

Funny, I am taking the morning to do stuff and get ready for a major project we start tomorrow that I will be doing, this one requires not only the tractor and backhoe but one of my ATV's and trailer and it will be making $65.00 an hour plus the cost of the employee, we are moving top soil up a pretty big hill, I don't want to tie the tractor up doing it so the ATV is perfect, I laughed to myself as they just sit in my garage as I have no play time. Anyhow this is another example of having a strange piece of equipment or offering a service that many could not, a truck could never get to this area, a four wheel drive would destroy the lawn and a regular tractor would never get up the hill.

Anyhow I took my best friend for a walk this morning and ran into Dave, he said I see your trucks going every day, they look great you must be busy. I replied we are doing good starting out. I said Dave, I haven't seen your excavators moving, have you guys started? He said I am waiting for clients to call and then I will hire my staff back, I said oh, did you do any marketing this year? He said no I have been in business 10 years people know who I am, I said I haven't seen your website could I have a card, he said we don't need one to be honest I am in the yellow pages for our area. He asked what area we were working, in a very light hearted way I said Dave looks like the trailers and equipment could use a coat of paint to protect them, he said ye probably but a waste of money they work the same anyhow.

So in short, IMHO, he is doing everything wrong including his attitude.

We closed by him saving if you guys have too much on the go give me a call, I said ya sure and thanks bud and walked on with my dog. There is NO WAY I would send him to a job site with equipment that looks like that, he has a beautiful new truck but it isn't lettered.

So that is why his equipment is sitting there, if I were to drive by and I do every day, I would honestly wonder to myself if they were still in business, there is no activity at all and you are right, people talk. My stuff is on the road every day and Halifax is not a massive city, 300,000 people probably, people may not notice your gear driving by the first couple of time or at the gas station or getting coffee etc however when they see it almost every day, people like hiring companies that look busy because they must be good, perhaps the wrong thought but I used to think that way also.

So there is the feedback and in my mind the answer.

Off to relax and build picture frames for a client this morning in the shop.

Andy

Steve
04-21-2009, 07:12 AM
Andy,

Now I know nothing about this person or the size of his business but to wrap up the moral of the story for all reading.

What would you say would be a low, medium and high mark of how much he could make a year with the equipment he has if he was focused?

I think your guestimate numbers might make all our eyeballs pop out.

picframer
04-21-2009, 07:39 AM
Andy,

Now I know nothing about this person or the size of his business but to wrap up the moral of the story for all reading.

What would you say would be a low, medium and high mark of how much he could make a year with the equipment he has if he was focused?

I think your guestimate numbers might make all our eyeballs pop out.

Interesting question:

He has around $400,000 worth of gear sitting there
A machine should being in net $650. a day - go with a 4 day work week due to weather but work it every day you can, we have a 24 week period on average you can work the machines, now all of this is assuming you have the business so I guess we are looking at about $187,200 in potential profit and that is a gross under estimate that is a min.

So I will add to your question:

What would it cost for him to do this right based on my short experience:

$ 3,500 for painting
$1,500 for lettering
$8,000 for marketing although marketing should be at least 10% of your budget in a company of this size.

Andy

Steve
04-21-2009, 05:45 PM
Andy, that is just amazing.

It's incredible to think that we might all have this incredible potential, yet we might just not be getting it.