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UK lawncare business franchise disaster

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  • #16
    Don't really know the answer to that one, there are hundreds of marketing ideas out there and the only way to see what works is either to ask questions on forums like this or go out and try them for yourself.

    I had an incredibly professional looking brochure delivered to over 100,000 specifically targeted addresses, it cost $7,200 and got 40 customers. the profit margin from an average customer was around of $80 and I had these customers for 2 years so roughly that works out at a loss of $800. I know the profit margin sounds small but this is not mowing its applying weedkillers, feeds and reseeding (price of fertiliser has skyrocketed here plus there were royalties, delivery charges to the franchise etc)

    I took what is known as a trade stall at 3 local horticultal shows/county fairs at a cost of $990 and picked up 51 new customers, that is an area I will be revisiting this year.

    Going back to the door to door method, whilst doing it and having a morning with zero response somebody actually agreed for me to look at their lawn but I was in such a complete downbeat mood I completely mucked up my sales pitch and didn't get the customer.

    What works best for you guys over there? I am about to advertise in a local quaterly parish magazine, the cost is really low and it is delivered to 2000 homes and the info it contains means that a lot of them will be kept for future reference.

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    • #17

      What works best for you guys over there? I am about to advertise in a local quaterly parish magazine, the cost is really low and it is delivered to 2000 homes and the info it contains means that a lot of them will be kept for future reference.
      hi the following link talks about this in short it might help
      http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13544


      also last year when i started i wanted to create a well established image around the Jewish community about 10-15 miles from where i live since this area is a bit more wealthy and i thought investing on a magazine that cater to this community of about 100,000 people would be great. I invested $4,000 and until right now since August when i placed the ad, the ad runs for one whole year, i have only received 3 calls from that magazine it might be the wrong magazine but i had bad luck.

      on the other hand i don't pay anything for my craigslist ads here is the link to one of them http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv...230480972.html

      and they give me lots of calls also lots of flyers around the neighborhoods i service good luck

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      • #18
        I took what is known as a trade stall at 3 local horticultal shows/county fairs at a cost of $990 and picked up 51 new customers, that is an area I will be revisiting this year.

        Going back to the door to door method, whilst doing it and having a morning with zero response somebody actually agreed for me to look at their lawn but I was in such a complete downbeat mood I completely mucked up my sales pitch and didn't get the customer.
        Have you found that you much prefer advertising in a way where potential customers come to you, such as with the horticulture shows, versus you going out to find them?

        Do you think that business owners need to find ways to market their businesses in manners they can work with?

        Are some people just better at sales than other because some are more extroverted rather than introverted?

        Maybe even with franchises, extroverted personalities tend to get better results?

        It seems at times, we see many members on the forum that can do the job they want to sell, but selling it is the hard part.
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        • #19
          What I find works in tight knit communities such as Jewish, Muslim or whatever else is referrals. I know of one company who advertised, knocked on doors, did whatever else they could think of on this little island off the mainland but all to no avail. This community did not like outsiders doing their work and it wasn't until this company got a local doctor as a customer that their fortunes changed.

          When I took the trade stalls I felt more comfortable with the idea of people approaching me and I felt more confident in dealing with the queries and selling my services.

          As much as I enjoy being in this industry I realise that to succeed I have to be a salesman as well and it is something I have to improve upon. My sales skills are very poor and need work and was probably another reason the franchise did not work out.

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          • #20
            As much as I enjoy being in this industry I realise that to succeed I have to be a salesman as well and it is something I have to improve upon. My sales skills are very poor and need work and was probably another reason the franchise did not work out.
            I think that is a very important issue to point out.

            We all have different types of personalities and to be successful, it seems we need to play to our advantages. Set up infrastructure that allows us to be comfortable and work within our areas of strength.

            There are many people that can do a job. They know the job, inside and out, but when it comes to running a business that sells that job, it requires a whole new set of tools, talents, and abilities.

            Knowing how to do the job is one thing, but owning a business that sells that service is a totally different animal.

            This seems to be where most new business owners fail. I don't know the percentages, but I would venture to guess more often than not, entrepreneurs who get involved with franchises do it because they want to walk into a ready made, turn key operation. They know how to do the job, but don't want to have to go through the enormous process of developing the infrastructure to operate and sell it.

            If you have trouble being a salesperson, a turnkey operation may be ideal when you won't have to personally push it. Like for instance a fast food restaurant with a name that everyone knows, so the need for you to personally sell it, will be at a bare minimum.

            However, with something that is service oriented, such as lawn care, this is a very person to person type business which requires good people skills.

            If you find that you are not comfortable with the door to door sales process, there are plenty of ways you can market your business and not have to be cold calling people.

            You pointed out a great option with your stall renting at the local horticulture show. That allows you to set the stage and the people come to you. If you are comfortable with this kind of sales, you should develop more ways to do this.

            Can you give more local speeches or seminars on lawn care or property care? Can you put information on your site that explains different issues your local community members face?

            Can you get more media attention by doing some volunteer work in your community? Are there other shows you can attend? Can you write a monthly article for your local paper?

            As you sit there and think about it, you will start finding there are many ways to promote yourself and draw local customers in, without having to go out and do the door to door marketing.
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            • #21
              Have just got back from visiting a few of my major customers, its something I do from time time to make sure I don't lose them and have been given a fair bit of advice from them.

              Apparently I am not proactive enough, the majority of them are time poor, cash rich people who depend on my expertise to keep their properties looking good. I have their trust but do not go in there and say to them this month I will be doing this, this and this, instead I wait for them to notice things need doing.

              Its another fault to deal with in my struggle with getting a profitable lawn care business up and running

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              • #22
                For those that are similar to you in such situations, what should they be doing instead? What is the ideal way to go about this?
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                • #23
                  Have taken on board what I have been told and spent the day telling customers what I will do for them. Ten customers, one definite, 2 maybe's and one new one, been a most profitable day, cost my fuel and time but that will be covered by new work. Am learning all the time and slowly getting better.

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                  • #24
                    It sounds like things are steadily improving! That is great news!
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