Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Help from EXPERIENCED PROS...

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Good to hear you are growing. Don't lose track of marketing your business. We all get tied up in the equipment & stuff, and forget that marketing is JOB #1.

    If you can pick up 10-15 new customers, those deposits will help you with your repairs (I always get a 1 month deposit at contract). Then, figure out how many more customers it takes to hire someone to take your spot on the crew. I'm at a place now that if I continue working on the crew, I lose focus of my business and I lose sales & control.

    You mentioned you like to increase efficiency, but don't do it just so you can lower your pricing. That is well earned profit. It's like the guy who buys a $12,000 mower and cuts his mowing time by half, and then drops his mowing price because it takes less time. That defeats the reason to spend capital to increase your efficiency.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #17
      you may also inquire about a line of credit with your bank for a few thousand,that way you can use the money as you need it and only pay on what you use,same as a credit card, but cheaper interest rates for sure...

      Comment


      • #18
        Good to hear you are growing. Don't lose track of marketing your business. We all get tied up in the equipment & stuff, and forget that marketing is JOB #1.

        If you can pick up 10-15 new customers, those deposits will help you with your repairs (I always get a 1 month deposit at contract). Then, figure out how many more customers it takes to hire someone to take your spot on the crew. I'm at a place now that if I continue working on the crew, I lose focus of my business and I lose sales & control.

        You mentioned you like to increase efficiency, but don't do it just so you can lower your pricing. That is well earned profit. It's like the guy who buys a $12,000 mower and cuts his mowing time by half, and then drops his mowing price because it takes less time. That defeats the reason to spend capital to increase your efficiency.

        Good luck!

        Thanks for the insight. I had to step back and take in to account what you said, because it is 100% true. Strategic marketing was how I developed this business in the first place. I have began to devote more of my time to working on my marketing plan for 2013, and put the equipment on the back burner for a couple of weeks. I am preparing my 2013 flyer for new customers and newsletter for my current customer describing the new features that I will be offering this season. Any ideas you have for marketing strategy would be appreciated. I will be mainly using flyers as it has worked very well for me in the past. I am mapping out major subdivisions, rental properties, real estate agents, and other places that I believe will me good targets. I have always kept my customers once I get them I just have to get my foot in the door with their being so many people in the business today. I treat all my customers with the utmost respect and they really appreciate someone doing good business.

        Comment


        • #19
          in an earlier post you mention your costs are only your gas because your boss is supplying the equipment ,I just wanted to say that because your getting equipment free now,doesnt mean it will always be that way ,so for pricing work,be sure to include the costs associated with the purchase and upkeep of equipment .And if I was your boss ,even if it wasent mentioned in our deal ,I would really appreciate a few bucks now and then for the use of my equipment .

          Comment


          • #20
            One of the most successful smaller ad campaigns we did was to go to a golf course community (where they build a subdivision around a golf course). The properties are small (5,000 SF). You could do it on any subdivision where the properties are relatively the same size throughout.

            What we did was we made a 8.5 x 5.5"post card with an annual package price for the season and sold it as a monthly payment. We took an average price for mowing X 28 wks, added in spring & fall cleanups, and a fertilizer program, and priced it at $99.00/mo for 10 months. We ended up with 15% of the community the first season.

            Price it as if you are going to get 10 or more. Pass on SOME of the savings for less travel time. We averaged 7 properties per hour with 3 men (1-48", 1-36", and 1 -trim/blow).

            I think with the pricing right on the postcard, there was no mystery for them. Either they wanted it or not. My mistake is that I didn't repeat it. I should have re-did it 2 more times 2-3 weeks apart.

            Another tip: Know your overhead. Price out everything you will spend and divide it over your season. We have 35 or so weeks here. I cut only 4 days/ week. I break my overhead down to the hour so I know what it costs us.
            (ie: $35,000 per year/ 35 weeks = $1,000 per week/ 4 days = $250 per day/8.5 hrs per day = $29.64/ hr for overhead) Now add your labor & taxes and you know your cost per hour and what you need to charge. Too many guys don't know their real costs. Make sure you bank $$ for winter bills. Sorry for long post.

            Comment


            • #21
              One of the most successful smaller ad campaigns we did was to go to a golf course community (where they build a subdivision around a golf course). The properties are small (5,000 SF). You could do it on any subdivision where the properties are relatively the same size throughout.

              What we did was we made a 8.5 x 5.5"post card with an annual package price for the season and sold it as a monthly payment. We took an average price for mowing X 28 wks, added in spring & fall cleanups, and a fertilizer program, and priced it at $99.00/mo for 10 months. We ended up with 15% of the community the first season.

              Price it as if you are going to get 10 or more. Pass on SOME of the savings for less travel time. We averaged 7 properties per hour with 3 men (1-48", 1-36", and 1 -trim/blow).

              I think with the pricing right on the postcard, there was no mystery for them. Either they wanted it or not. My mistake is that I didn't repeat it. I should have re-did it 2 more times 2-3 weeks apart.

              Another tip: Know your overhead. Price out everything you will spend and divide it over your season. We have 35 or so weeks here. I cut only 4 days/ week. I break my overhead down to the hour so I know what it costs us.
              (ie: $35,000 per year/ 35 weeks = $1,000 per week/ 4 days = $250 per day/8.5 hrs per day = $29.64/ hr for overhead) Now add your labor & taxes and you know your cost per hour and what you need to charge. Too many guys don't know their real costs. Make sure you bank $$ for winter bills. Sorry for long post.

              Man its no problem at all thanks for the advice, I have been working for my uncle for a while now doing landscaping and learned a lot from it. So any help with expansion is greatly appreciated from people who have been there starting out. I am running a 1 man crew right now and have about 30 accounts. I have retained all of my accounts from my first year, my customers like me because I show them respect and provide a high quality service to them.I am looking at one more marketing campaign aimed for this year to attempt to get 15-20 new accounts. I have a postcard created that I think will do really well. With many upper class neighborhoods in my area will it be more cost effective to create my own mailing list or to target specific yards that look like they need maintenance, or simply purchase a mailing list, which seems expensive. Everything I have done has been done by myself through flyers/business cards, and word of mouth as I do a really good job in order to receive referrals. Any tips/advice moving forward would be huge?

              Comment


              • #22
                The bank won't give you a loan based on your business income. They will ask for 3 years of tax returns to verify your income.

                You would have better luck trying to get a personal loan based off your employment with your uncle.

                You could possibly get a business startup loan. But the interest is astronomical and typically not worth it. And being in the landscape business, I doubt you get one. Everybody and their uncle can start a landscape business, no pun intended.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Any tips/advice moving forward would be huge?
                  Instead of one lawn care postcard, you could consider having multiple cards designed that promote different services. One for lawn care, one for hedge trimming, one for stump grinding, etc.

                  Then when you are out driving around, you will see different properties that have different issues. Hand them a targeted card that focuses on their specific issue and you may find you get more customers, quicker.

                  Lawn care postcards and why they are a good form of marketing.
                  - 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.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X