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bizcare
06-03-2009, 01:06 PM
Hello everyone,

My name is Ely and I am with Bizcard. We are an online printing company and we offer several marketing products such as business cards, letterheads, postcards etc...One of the industries we serve is Lawn Care which is why we wanted to joined this forum. We offer several designs templates and some are free.

We would like to thank you for allowing us to be a member of this forum.

Cheers,

Steve
06-03-2009, 01:33 PM
Hi Ely,

Thanks for joining.

Since we talk a lot about business here. Do you have any history of your business you could share with us on how you got started?

bizcare
06-03-2009, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the opportunity.

Bizcard was launched in 2006 as a way to expand our printing business to the online world. Our company, ABC, was started 15 years ago. Originally we were mainly providing services to dentists and medical doctors. In the late 90s we started to realize the web will play a big role in the printing industry and we started to develop Bizcard. Instead of focusing on dentists, we opened up to more industries including accounting, law, landscaping, arts etc....Our goal was to help the small one to 5 person teams create quality products without having to spend much, and we believed one way to prove them they could was to offer them free products knowing that they would come back for more and refer us to their friends.

If you see, our model is similar to most landscaping businesses (and a few other trades for that matter) whether it is a one man shop or a large company with several employees. Customers always need to see what you can do. So you either offer your product/service for free to those who have never seen it, or you get great referrals.

We also believe that just because a company is small it does not mean it act small. If your landscaping business is one man and one lawn mower, no one should be able to tell when they look at your job. Image matters and part of what we do is to make sure every business gets a chance at having a professional image. Telling someone what you do is great, handing them a business card with a nice logo takes it to the next level, doing a great job and exceeding their expectations seals the deal.

Steve
06-03-2009, 04:24 PM
With all your experience dealing with different small businesses where do you think most businesses go wrong? Possibly even with their marketing. What are some of the top things that they do wrong and what should they be doing to change that.

bizcare
06-03-2009, 05:18 PM
Although there are a few mistakes that are common to most businesses, every company is different and what makes one fail does not necessarily apply to the other. Here we have had our fair share of successes and failures with the different industries we serve. Instead of giving reasons why, I believe, most businesses fail, I would rather give advices that could help avoid being in such a situation:

- Do one thing, extremely well, then you can move onto more tasks. It is a really hard to be the best landscaping company and the best construction company in town. Focus on what you can do best and do it better than your competitors. There is a reason all wine makers do not produce beer.


- If your service or product is not truly different from others, you can beat competitors in areas such as customer service. Sad to say that most of us are used to bad customer service to the point where if you go a little extra your customers will greatly appreciate it. All things being equal, I would rather buy anything from the people who ask me how my weekend went, than the ones who do not.


- Talk more about your business, and find smart ways to promote it. Most small businesses cannot spend a lot of money to market themselves. You don't need to pay anyone to talk. Besides, people need what you provide and you should be excited to tell them. If you cannot buy business cards get free ones. If you cannot pay for a website, get one for free. If you cannot pay for radio ads, call your local station and offer them your services instead. There is always a way and you need to find it.


- Spend wisely, and hire smartly. Just because business is booming today, does not mean it will be tomorrow. Treat every penny as if it is your last. When time comes to hire help, you may feel an urge to go out and recruit your best friends to help them out. In the beginning hire people who can truly help the business. When you have enough money in the bank, you can hire people without experience and train them.

- Last but not least, "cheap is the most expensive item ever invented". You do not need to buy a $2000 computer to start making websites for small businesses, and you do not need to buy a brand new truck to start your landscaping business, but you had better make sure you do not buy the cheapest tools or truck just to save money. Being frugal does not mean take a huge risk.

Steve
06-03-2009, 07:44 PM
Very interesting!

Now when you reflect on the businesses you have helped, have you found a certain formula for creating, business cards/postcards/door hangers, has worked best? How many should a business print? How should they be distributed? What kind of message should they present and what should they try to avoid?

Little's
06-03-2009, 08:04 PM
Hi Ely welcome to the forum. Thanks for offering your services on here.

ritchiem
06-03-2009, 09:17 PM
Welcome Ely...I did a company profile post on The Lawn Blog a while back. They seem like a great company to deal with. I really liked their business ideas as well.

You can find that post here... (http://www.thelawnblog.com/2008/12/08/a-new-meaning-for-green-card/)

bizcare
06-04-2009, 02:02 PM
@Little's
Thanks for the welcome. I am looking forward to learning and sharing a lot here.

@Richard
Hi Richard, The web is really a small world. Nice to see you here. This is why every one should treat their customers, community members, bloggers... properly. Good to see you, and thanks again for the blog coverage.


@Steve

Thanks for the questions.

First, to anyone who is no designer, try not to play with Photoshop. Instead use ready-made templates. I see Steve has already shared several templates for documents (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34). Same goes for business cards and postcards, Use designer templates. List your Name, Profession, Business Address, and more importantly your Contact information. A phone number is much better than an email for some trades (And please pick up when they call). If you have space left, include a list of your main services, or use the back to do so. I would definitely recommend adding a coupon code. Everyone loves a deal. You can give a few a time to ease referral and most small businesses will not mind if you leave a few on their counter, some shops have a board where you can clip them.

How will your customers feel when they receive a postcard with the greenest grass picture along with a "thank you for choosing us"? For postcards I would suggest uploading images and adding text around it. Instead of making them seasonal, you can create generic designs so you can distribute them yearlong. You can send them to customers you already worked with. Sending to other prospects in order to get new business is great, but frankly it may take time/money before you start to see results.

Steve
06-04-2009, 03:21 PM
With all the industries you have worked with and the designs you have created, does one really stand out to you as the one you felt was your best ever? Have you had one design that really pulled in a lot of calls that you got a lot of positive feedback from your clients?

If so, what do you think made that one stand out?

bizcare
06-04-2009, 08:40 PM
Although I would love to say Design number x is the best one, I have to say the best ones are always the ones custom designed. These are unique and were designed to match your vision. But, for there also several templates that will do the job for you. I do not have enough information to tell which template is best for a business, but if you take your time and look into our catalog you will find the design that meets your needs. Pick the one that speaks to you. That sounds kind of cliche, but when you see it you will instantly know.

Steve
06-04-2009, 10:50 PM
How important do you feel it is to have some kind of attention getting offer at the top of the marketing material?

Is it very important, average importance or not so much.

It its something else, what should be the hook that catches the readers eye?

arthur712
06-07-2009, 02:40 PM
Welcome to the Forum Ely,

What is your Web address, sorry if I missed it.

Thanx!
Artie

bizcare
06-07-2009, 07:48 PM
@ Artie.
Thank you for the welcome. Here (https://www.bizcard.com/industry/landscaping) is the address.

@ Steve.

If you think about how much advertisement you come across daily and how much of that you can remember than you can safely say the message and its presentation matter. As a marketer you are always competing with others for customers' attention. You have to think outside the box to be able to grab customers. We are now trained to block advertisement, but smart marketers still find ways to reach us. Humor works almost everytime, but not everyone can pull this off. Start by doing some investigation, see what others are doing and try to beat them at it. Do not be afraid to be bold (as long as you are not being offensive).

SuperiorPower
06-08-2009, 01:06 AM
Hi Ely, My name is Eli!!!

Hey I was looking to see if you offered business cards for mechanics (small engine and power equipment is my line) but I did not see anything specific. There was a link, but no products under that link. Am I missing something?

Thanks for your time.
Eli

bizcare
06-10-2009, 05:22 PM
Hi there Eli :) ,

Nice that we share the same name.

Unfortunately we do not have any mechanic designs as of now, but we are working on adding a few.

Thank you for noticing. Bear with us a little bit, we will definitely push to have designs added ASAP.

Thanks again Eli.