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  • #16
    Do you have to worry about a referral where it is a one time mow or something relatively small? Or is that never an issue?
    I don't know yet, in my case I have limited it to spraying as that is the side I want to go as we have ordered and received sprayers that will cut time on your lot by 60%+, so I want to increase that side of the business and with a169+ happy clients, if we can pick up another 100 which is the goal, then it's all good, there is a 300% profit in spraying overall in my case, so giving you one free spray knowing we will be back three or four more times this year, to me is a cheap cost of doing business.

    I do not offer any type of discounts in any other service we provide as they do well on their own.
    Andy
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

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    • #17
      1st year = preparation, trial & error (follow)
      2nd year = fixing mistakes, better organization, adjust strategy (compete)
      3rd year = do it right (lead)
      What do you feel were some of the big errors that were made in the first year and what are you doing to fix them?
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      • #18
        most of the discounts i offer are 1 free mowing when you sign a 2010 contract. i thought about the stamp idea. pay for 6 mowings, get the 7th free. its good and all. but what if they cash it in all at the same time. then you profit zero that week and that could make or break alot of us.

        I am planning on sending out a welcome back letter to all existing clients who stayed on with me for this year from last. In the letter i am offering a new referral system. it is as follows:

        If you refer Sparaco Lawn Care services to somebody within our current coverage area & they happen to hire us for the entire 2010 season, meaning for each consecutive month they pay for a month in advance and payment is received. The cost of your lawn service will decrease accordingly.

        1 -5 Customers - $10.00 off
        5-10 Customers - $15.00 off
        10-15 Customers - $20.00 off



        what do you think of this idea?

        Another thing i am pondering is.... Should i have all my marketing flyers printed out black/white or done in color. color copying costs are usually triple vs plain black and white whether you have a professional printer or you do it yourself at home. I havent started my door to door distribution yet. its still way to early around here. I am thinking of passing out flyers in mid february to those who recieve it. wont just toss it in the trash cause its a service they dont need yet.

        Another idea i have for marketing is this. If you went with the 6 stamp, get 1 free idea. Why not specify it can only be used during your busiest month like july or august. That way the customer saves and you aren't taking a kick in the butt with your profits.
        Last edited by psparaco; 01-21-2010, 12:00 AM.

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        • #19
          I send out emails to EVERYONE I know (even folks who are not lawn mowing customers) and everyone gets the "3 FREE CUTS FOR A REFERRAL PROGRAM".
          Anyone can refer a new customer to me. If the referral says "yep, cut my grass, I like your price, etc." the person who referred the new client to me gets 3 free cut "coupons" to use anytime they like. Could use them while they go on vacation, during the hot month of July, etc. It costs me nothing (gas and a little time) and I just picked up a new client worth another $1000+ a year and more exposure. It works.

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          • #20
            Template

            Here's a template



            Here's the link to download the template

            Office template - Buy 10 get 1 free

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            • #21
              If you refer Sparaco Lawn Care services to somebody within our current coverage area & they happen to hire us for the entire 2010 season, meaning for each consecutive month they pay for a month in advance and payment is received. The cost of your lawn service will decrease accordingly.

              1 -5 Customers - $10.00 off
              5-10 Customers - $15.00 off
              10-15 Customers - $20.00 off
              When would they get this? At the end of the season? What if they refer someone to you mid way through the season?

              Another thing i am pondering is.... Should i have all my marketing flyers printed out black/white or done in color.
              You know what you could try as a test. Print half in black and white. Distribute those flyers to one area of town and then do the other half in color. Distribute those to another side of town. Then you will see which flyers get you more customers by the location of where the customer lives.

              That could help you with your future marketing. I'd love to hear how all that worked out.
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              • #22
                When would they get this? At the end of the season? What if they refer someone to you mid way through the season?
                I was planning on sending out the letters mid february 2010 to welcome them back and offer the incentive. If they refer someone mid season. they will only recieve the discount each month following. ex: they refer jane doe. she pays for july. then the referral receives xx amount off their bill for august. and each month their after as long as who they referred pays their monthly bill. if they drop after 1 month then they only get the discount one time. I am still tinkering with the concept since this is my slow season. alot of time for research and planning.

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                • #23
                  The thing I wonder is, how important ultimately are these inducements for referrals?

                  What if when you sent out your letter, you included a few business cards and explained to the customer you are trying to grow your business this year and if they could hand these business cards out to neighbors or friends, you would really appreciate it.

                  I find that I give referrals all the time and I never look for anything from doing it. I don't know if others are like me, but I think we all tend to share our knowledge with others. So if we know of a person who does good lawn care, we will tell others about it when they are looking for someone to take care of their lawn.

                  What's your take on that?
                  - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                  Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                  • #24
                    The thing I wonder is, how important ultimately are these inducements for referrals?

                    What if when you sent out your letter, you included a few business cards and explained to the customer you are trying to grow your business this year and if they could hand these business cards out to neighbors or friends, you would really appreciate it.

                    I find that I give referrals all the time and I never look for anything from doing it. I don't know if others are like me, but I think we all tend to share our knowledge with others. So if we know of a person who does good lawn care, we will tell others about it when they are looking for someone to take care of their lawn.

                    What's your take on that?
                    #
                    Step 1

                    Know to whom you're writing. The letter should be aimed towards the recipient's needs and goals in order to be of greatest service to all involved. A good focus will let the reader know that the letter (and business) truly relates to what they want.
                    #
                    Step 2

                    Explain your relationship to the recommended business, whether it be as a client, supplier, mentor or general acquaintance. Where are you coming from, and how are you linked with the company? Transparency here builds trust and respect in the letter writer's judgment.
                    #
                    Step 3

                    Let the reader know exactly why your opinion matters. Qualifications that matter include professional affiliations, work experience and any honors received in the past.
                    #
                    Step 4

                    Point out why the business is the best option out there. Are there any points that stand out as being exceptional, such as customer service or turn-around time? Emphasize the top three or four impressive qualities of the company in question. Don't worry about length the more information, the better.
                    #
                    Step 5

                    Include pertinent contact information so that the reader may call you for further questions.

                    Found this on e-how http://www.ehow.com/how_4841298_writ...-business.html

                    I also posted a sample get 10 and get 1 free card on the bottom page 2 of this thread

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                    • #25
                      I think this hole thread teaches a great lesson or atleast makes you open your mind a little.

                      There have been so many different ways of approaching this one idea that breeze came up with.

                      They all seem to have worked or will be able to work, it just depends on you (me), your (my) company, the region we (I) provide service, and how you (I) run our company.

                      The variables are outrages, thats why i love this site and the people on it, i (you) are bombarded with so many different aspects, that you can't help but to just do what you originally planned or go nuts trying to put every other persons idea together.

                      Never second guess yourself, follow what works for you, and ROCK ON.
                      Welcome Advise, Incourage comments, and never stop Cutting. Geoff<img src="http://www.gopherforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1595&d=1253928284">

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                      • #26
                        I'm just glad we're not competing against each other, hahaha!

                        Just imagine another worst case scenario, 10 lawn service companies are starting up in your area. 5 of them have a great reputation & they are just expanding, while the others are just starting up with a low budget.

                        Those with a large amount of money have more power, though the ones with a low budget have the hunger to challenge their powerful brothers.

                        Imagine the war in each one of our towns. Have competition will rise & all sorts of tactics will present themselves.

                        Imagine if lawn service had it's own t.v commercials, daily broadcasts on the radio.

                        Now let's think about why we aren't currently going all out! Because we don't have that much competition, & we believe with patience, everything will come. It is true, baby steps are key.

                        The question is, in my scenario, what would YOU do to stay in business, & to grow your business?

                        Companies are hogging space in magazines, websites, local radio & t.v, some may even go as far out to having a plane riding through the sky with an advertising banner.

                        What happens to all of us when competition is heated, no customer lasts longer than a year & we are all forced to find new ones & upgrade our list of services constantly!

                        Other companies are gaining new competition as well, electricians, plumbers, renovators, & real estate agents, many decide to all come together to form a powerhouse.

                        It would be a nightmare, but in the calm state we are currently in, some of this stuff can be beneficial to us now.

                        Gather a group of business owners & work out a plan.

                        Renovators fix up a house for selling, & point the finger to the teams real estate agent.

                        The real estate agent sells the house, advertising to her customers a great deal on lawn maintenance.

                        The customer will bond the most with the lawn maintenance worker, & it's understood that we will be able to refer the customer to the right people for all of their household needs, plumber, electrician. As long as they keep us hired.

                        The benefits are that we all work for each other, & provide each other with benefits & it makes the wheel spin around.


                        Example (true story)

                        I was doing a job, a person came by & asked if I could clean their gutters. I said "of course!"

                        As I was on their roof, I noticed their fixtures needed to be fastened & caulking should be done.

                        I need notice a problem with one of the fixtures & I asked the customer if they had a leak anywhere? The customer checked, & sure enough they had water coming through the ceilings drywall.

                        I told them that I know a guy who can repair the damage done to the ceiling, & prevent it from happening again.

                        I also noticed the floor tiling has become unset. I the customer if he would be interested in installing hardwood floors sometime in the future.

                        I told him exactly what I was told by the guy who installs the floors & the benefits the company offers. Some sort of floor buffering service. They said that sounds neat, I gave them the card.

                        A few weeks later my friend who does the floors called & thanked me, he said he had gotten a call from one of my customers who had only good things to say about me, & they trust to do business with him in the future. As soon as their ceiling gets fixed.

                        So how can we profit from forming some sort of team? That saying, "man of all trades, master of none", we don't have to do everything, but we can certainly find someone who can do what our customers want! So let's do it!!!

                        "I do lawns, gardens, gutters, etc... Though I'm not limited to finding you the best prices on quality work for whatever else you may need done"

                        Ultimately, we are all well rounded, we just have to figure out HOW. This way, it's not at our time & expense.

                        What do you all think? I have written way to much, & need to take a whiz!

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                        • #27
                          You are always looking for ways to grow and services to add so I think that is fantastic!

                          I was thinking about your card too. Maybe you could have it where if a customer signs up for a years worth of lawn care, they get free gutter cleaning at the end of the season?
                          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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