PDA

View Full Version : Landscape trailer marketing


Steve
09-21-2009, 05:15 PM
I saw a trailer today that was a flatbed with wood sides that were painted bright yellow. It was being pulled by a landscape truck.

On the trailer it said YOU FILL - WE HAUL

Then it had the phone number underneath it.

I thought that was an interesting way to promote trash hauling services.

picframer
09-22-2009, 05:39 AM
I saw a trailer today that was a flatbed with wood sides that were painted bright yellow. It was being pulled by a landscape truck.

On the trailer it said YOU FILL - WE HAUL

Then it had the phone number underneath it.

I thought that was an interesting way to promote trash hauling services.

There is really good money in this, I have a neighbour that drives for Coke, super nice fellow, single income, four kids and they struggle. Anyhow I told him one day if he bought a dump trailer we could give him work, I think that was in June, he already had a 3/4 ton truck....long story short he now has three Junk removal trailers.

You see we are now allowed to bury stumps so we have to get them hauled away, the fine for burying is steep and these inspectors are around all the time, anyhow the only game in town around here was Junk Removers but the screwed me twice on quotes so I had to find an option.

I pay him $150.00 a load and we have been giving him 5 to 6 loads a week, I also give his name to customers that want to clean up yards, especially on new construction.

Steve
09-22-2009, 01:59 PM
That is fantastic!

Has he asked you for much business advice since then or has he seemed to do well picking it all up on his own?

What other things do you feel he could do to expand his operations?

picframer
09-22-2009, 07:26 PM
That is fantastic!

Has he asked you for much business advice since then or has he seemed to do well picking it all up on his own?

What other things do you feel he could do to expand his operations?

Yes, I offer the advice freely, well most of the time. I did a job for a school teacher and her son wants to open a Chriopactic (sp??) clinic, anyhow I said I would help him with his business plan etc....and gave him a quote which he accepted, I have done this many times and it's very good money and something different for the Jan to March season.

I told Sean to go after roofers which he did and he has more work than he can handle at the moment, I have a job starting tomorrow and we need two trailers for two weeks, dumping each one every day, it's a hudge job for us, anyhow he wants to go at it full time and I suggested he stay with coke until spring, we alone can keep a trailer busy every day of the week.

He will do well, he has the work ethic and the personality, I helped him a bit financially and he has now paid me back and he is following my profit to the expansion account and I understand it's growing well.

Steve
09-23-2009, 12:16 PM
he is following my profit to the expansion account and I understand it's growing well.

We had talked about this in another post but I think it is very important. Could you explain to us what the expansion account is again? And at what point in their business life should they be thinking about implementing one?

bonanza_pilot
10-18-2009, 12:30 AM
If you are thinking of starting a hauling business like that, you can pick up a good new trailer here for the same or less money that people on craig's list are selling used trailers for.

www.trailershowroom.com

Steve
10-18-2009, 02:00 AM
What kind of trailer do you recommend for such a business?

Is that your site?

bonanza_pilot
10-21-2009, 04:57 PM
Yes sir that is my website. I own 7 businesses located in 5 states. As you can tell from my user name, I love to fly my Beechcraft Bonanza airplane. Having businesses scattered across 5 states makes that a good hobby to have.


As for the trailer type that you need for such a business, there are a great many considerations to think about when making that decision.

- What type of hauling are you going to be doing?

- What will be the maximum cargo load that you will ever put onto the trailer?

- What type hitch assembly do you prefer (ball hitch, gooseneck, 5th wheel, pintle, adjustable)?

- Would you prefer a deck-over design, an equipment trailer design, a dump trailer design, or an enclosed trailer?

- If you want a dump trailer or a tilt deck trailer, do you need an electric over hydraulic system, or will a manual hydraulic system be good enough?

- Is there any special options that you need added to the trailer?


If you would like to speak with me, not necessarily to buy anything, but just to get some ideas or some questions answered, just give me a call on my personal cellular at 910-619-2875.

I normally answer that number from around Noon until at least midnight.


Rick

Steve
10-22-2009, 02:35 AM
Rick,

It sounds like you got a lot going on!

You must interact with a lot of newer start up businesses through all your interactions, do you see common reasons why some businesses fail while others are able to succeed?

Do you have any advice for the newer start up businesses on what they should do and what they should avoid?

bonanza_pilot
10-25-2009, 07:46 PM
I do indeed have a lot on my plate.

I do interact with a great many start up businesses. The biggest reason that I normally see for start up business failures is the business owner trying to treat a start up business like an established multi-million dollar corporation. By that I mean that some owners think that they absolutely must have all the trappings of a corporate executive. They go out and rent or buy a building to locate their office in. They then buy a high dollar desk and enough electronics to run NASA just so that they look important when people visit. While all of that looks nice, it doesn't contribute one dime to the bottom line. For my part of their spending, some will buy a completely decked out trailer and spend $15K to $30K on it when they could have gotten by just as well with a $4K trailer until their company was healthy enough for something bigger and flashier. Though I love the business, I don't need the money badly enough to try to talk a customer into buying more trailer than they really need.

When I started my first business, I was on a shoe string budget. I never bought anything that I didn't absolutely have to have for the business. Don't get me wrong, I didn't scrimp to the point that the customers looked at the business and thought "This guy will just waste my time", but I didn't try to look like the CEO of Microsoft either.

The single biggest pitfall in my opinion is getting to the point that you hire people to take care of every aspect of your business. As they say, nobody will run your business like you will run your business. Nobody else, no matter how much you pay them, has the same amount of incentive to make your business flourish. Never let go of the reins. Always pay attention to the way that your company funds are being spent. Don't trust your managers to do it all.

Customer service is another HUGE thing to keep up with......especially in the "good times". People tend to be less customer service oriented in the "good times" because they get comfortable with the large amount of business that they are doing and think to themselves, "what the hell.....I don't need to bother myself with this problem customer. He's only one person. I don't really even need his business." That's the WRONG ANSWER. You may not need his business today, but the "good times" will eventually go away and you'll wish that you had that customer back. No matter how good the times are, EVERY BUSINESS experiences "bad times" too. Besides that, most people are the same when it comes to their customer experience. If you treat them well, they will probably tell a couple of people. If you treat them badly, they will tell a couple of thousand people. Do yourself a favor and treat your customers the way that you would want to be treated.

It seems that the guy buying the least expensive product will inevitably be the guy who causes you the most problems and has the most complaints. The guy who buys the $45K trailer from us will be thrilled with it and we will never hear from him again until he's ready to buy another one. The guy who buys the $850 open deck utility trailer will complain about any and everything. He will demand that you give him this or that for free. He will stand upon your very last nerve. When this happens (and it will) just keep in mind that the guy who bought the $45K trailer obviously has enough money that he doesn't worry so much about every dollar that he spends. The guy who bought the $850 trailer may have had to save for a year to buy that trailer. His dollar probably means a lot more to him than the guy who bought the $45K trailer. He will therefore be much more "picky" about every little thing. The little utility trailer that he just bought probably means infinitely more to him than the $45K trailer means to the other guy. Keep that in mind when you're dealing with the guy who bought the cheap product and then proceeded to "pick it apart". You never can tell......that guy may be the next Sam Walton and if you give his problems (whether real or perceived) the same importance as the guy who bought the $45K trailer's issues, he may one day be your biggest customer. Even if he never buys another product from you, he will probably send other business your way because you cared about his problems and concerns.

NEVER NEVER NEVER try to push your customer into buying. People HATE the high pressure sales tactic. I forbid my employees from ever being "high pressure". I also forbid them from hounding the customer. Call the customer back maybe once just so that they don't think that you're not interested in their business, but let that be all. Calling the customer every day and hounding them will hardly ever be of any benefit to your company. It will turn more customers away than it gets for you. People do not like to be harassed.

ADVERTISING...........You can have the greatest product or service in the history of man, but if nobody knows about it, they can't buy it. Advertising is the key to business growth. My advertising budget is in the neighborhood of $10K to $15K per month and I wish that I could afford to spend more on it. I will eventually pour more into it, but that will require not only spending more on the advertising itself, but also on hiring more personnel. When you expand your advertising campaign, you must have the necessary personnel in place to handle the increased calls and work load. It's always hard to let go of the money to pay for the advertising, especially when you're a start up company with limited funds, but if you are careful about where you spend your advertising dollars it will repay you a thousand times over. Beofre you say it, I know that a start up company can't spend $10K or $15K a month on advertising. I started out spending $50 or $100 per month on advertising. You need to start small and as the business picks up steam, then increase the advertising budget to match the business increases. Your hardest decision about advertising will come when those "hard times" that we talked about come (and they will). It's almost a paradox........business is down and you're making less money, but you're still spending the same anount on your advertising. You WILL want to slash your advertising budget. Try to avoid that if at all possible. As I said earlier, if nobody knows about your product or service, they can't pay you to provide it to them. If your profits are down and you cut your advertising budget, then your profits are probably going to shrink even more because your company name isn't getting to as many people who want your service. In times like this, we are forced to spend a great deal of time studying where our advertising dollars are going, and trying to formulate a more cost effective way to get our company name out to more people for the same dollar.

Those are just a few of the literally hundreds of things that people need to think about when trying to get their company off the ground.

I hope that at least a line or two of this post helps a little.


Have a great week,

Rick McKeithan
President,
A1A2Z, Inc.
910-619-2875
www.trailershowroom.com

Steve
10-26-2009, 03:56 AM
Rick, that is great insight thank you for it.

Another big issue we see with small businesses is when they try to make the jump from working on their own or working with a small crew, to branching out and trying to operate with a second crew.

You can only be in one place at a time so you can never know for sure if everyone is doing the best they can and representing the company in the best light.

How does a business owner rise above these issues and difficulties? How important is it for the business owner to go from working in their business to working on their business?

What's the best way to make this transition from one man show to multiple employees and then manage it all?

bonanza_pilot
11-08-2009, 03:13 PM
Sorry that it took me so long to answer, but as you can imagine, I don't have time to read the forums every day.

The way that I try to combat the problem of not being able to be in two places at once is to make myself available to my customers as much as is possible. At the bottom of every page on my website is the following quote:


"If our sales staff is on the telephone with other customers and you are having trouble getting through to them, or if you have a question and can't find the answer elsewhere, please feel free to call me ( Rick ) on my personal line at 910-619-2875, seven days a week, from Noon until midnight, EDT.

I own TrailerShowroom.com and your satisfaction is my number one priority."


If you call our toll free number 877-458-7245 (877-45TRAILER) and listen to our automated PBX system's greeting, you will hear that one of the extensions is directly to my cell phone. It states that I can be reached any day of the week, including weekends and holidays. There is also an extension for customers to leave messages regarding our website as well as our employees performance. You can never trust the employee to tell you the truth about their interactions with the customers. That sounds cold, but it's true, like it or not.

If you have an employee who is not treating the customers as they should, give them one chance (maybe 2) and then get rid of them. They will do nothing but hurt your business and your businesses reputation in the long run. Keep in mind that NOBODY is irreplaceable. Don't ever get the feeling that one of your employees is so knowledgeable about your business that you can't get by without them. The worst that will happen when you shed your company of them is that you will have to spend the time to train a new employee. I assure you that will be less expensive than allowing an employee with a bad attitude to hang around. I speak from experience. I actually fired one of my step daughters because of poor job performance. As you can imagine, after that happened, everybody else straightened right up. I guess they all thought, "Damn.....he would fire his own daughter, what would he do to us?" :eek:

The fact is that I would not fire a person for something trivial, but regardless who the employee is, I have to look out for the welfare of the business FIRST. Without the business, neither I or the employees get paid.


As for making the transition from a one man show to a multi employee operation goes, just don't get ahead of yourself. Only hire enough people to cover the contracts that you have. Don't hire based on "expected" contracts. The hardest decision is whether to ramp up the advertising and then hire people, or to hire people to prepare for the ramped up advertising campaign. I always advertise first, and hire after I see the results of the advertising. You may miss out on a contract or two because you can't get to the job as quickly as the customer would have liked, but that's better than hiring a bunch of employees and then finding that the advertising isn't going as well as you had expected, and now you still have to pay these new employees for their time.


Thank you,

Rick McKeithan
President,
A1A2Z, In.
910-619-2875
www.trailershowroom.com

Steve
11-09-2009, 09:11 AM
Very interesting!

Do you ever find yourself in a situation with that policy where certain customers decide they will bypass everyone and make a call to you all the time? If so, do you try and get them to call your staff first to free you up to do other things or do you just deal with them when they call?

bonanza_pilot
11-10-2009, 10:06 PM
Customers call me quite often. I had two or three call me today.

If they want something that I can help them with and I have the time, I'll help them myself. If I'm tied up I usually ask them if it would be OK for me to have a salesperson call them, or if I can call them back later. They usually opt to have the salesperson call them. There are the people who want to talk to the owner and nobody else will do......that's OK too. I had one of those tonight. At around 10:30 tonight, and in about 7 minutes on the phone I netted over a thousand dollars. Some people refuse to talk to customers after business hours, but I'll talk to the customers every day as if I were a salesperson for that kind of return.....;)

Steve
11-11-2009, 09:42 AM
Rick you sound like you are really on top of your game. I bet you could run any business successfully!

How did you ever get involved with trailers? Did you ever consider other businesses? Is there anything that is on your list of things you'd love to experiment with in the future that you haven't gotten to yet?

arthur712
11-11-2009, 11:34 AM
Rick, I have wholesale pricing for our vehicle business card holders, if you wanted add more on your Plate!!!


Thanks!

MAKLawnCutter
06-08-2010, 10:35 PM
ADVERTISING...........You can have the greatest product or service in the history of man, but if nobody knows about it, they can't buy it.

AMEN!

Matt