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  #1  
Old 10-24-2010, 07:10 PM
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CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Default Group Idea

International Board of Outdoor Services



What would be the pros of forming a board and advertising it.

Basically, a group of individual business owners who discuss involving matters in order to improve their businesses.

Just being able to advertise, "X Service is a member of" would be kind of catchy and impressive to see.


On the forum, that is basically what we do - we keep ourselves updated with fresh ideas and tactics, I'm sure customers want to know this.

Unfortunately, this forum has become a 'private' place for me to rant and be myself - which I don't need my customers seeing.



So what do you think guys?

We could advertise the board as being a system for all business owners to take part in, nothing that will cause problems though - only things like;

Customer: Can you just trim my hedge for free the next time you come around? It wont take you to long!

You: Being a part of this board makes it impossible for me not to charge u - we as a group are strictly evaluating ourselves in order to improve our businesses. If I don't follow these procedures, I will lose my membership.

(basically, you wont be the bad guy - because 100 other business owners agree that NOTHING is done free)

You will be backed up by each board member and the customer will feel like a fool.

Though you could always do something for free, the above is just to use to get out of a sticky situation.. we could work on it...

YOU COULD also use it to your advantage... Want to make a customer like you?

"I'm supposed to charge you for *insert tiny tiny job* due to the rules of the board, but because I like you - I'll do it for free... but you can't ask me for anything more because I'm really not supposed to do this"

Makes the customer feel special... lol








So, go ahead and post... and then post some more.

As a team, we can back each-other up when dealing with customers whether we go to hell because being a part of a group actually doesn't mean we can't do this/that - or not....
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:08 PM
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i like the idea but im not sure customers would look at it the way we are. some might look at it as a bad thing, close competitions may get too close to you, and other competitors may say "were not part of this board and we WILL go the extra mile for you." even though they could play with that word how they wish and choose to use it wisely or throw themselves out of business is up to them.

i think its a good idea it would just take some considerable time and planning

customers wont really know what it means either. since not alot of people in your area may not be aware of it there wont be much advertisement of it or competitors using it.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:17 PM
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I do believe this would take quite a bit of money to start and then run.

From a website, to somone managing the site, to signs and advertisement fees. and im sure much more.

Thats about all i can think of about it.

But yes it would be nice if we had standard pricing, but areas are different.

The lawn thats worth 100 dollars a cut in Neiborhood A (like the city)

I can only get 50 dollars a cut in neighborhood B (like the low income neighborhoods)

I dont know.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2010, 01:34 PM
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Scott you are always thinking and that is a great thing.

I do wonder how much market penetration you would need to make the idea work.

Even if it was something done through facebook, could it work then? Would enough local business owners take part in it to make it work or would there always be someone willing to go and do those certain services for free because they were hurting for cash. And then would that undermine the entire process?
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2010, 01:55 PM
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So, we would become:

"Unionized"? I like the idea tho. The only issue is, we are spread out all over the world on here. We cant all charge the same and we all have to do different things to keep a customer and we could 'break' our code of conduct we would structure our business around... I do wish Steve would make a 10 Commandments of Lawn Care tho

I like this idea, this is what i would like to do locally, get a crew of business owners and sit down and just be like "this is my area, this is how i do it, any suggestions?" A crew that could help out when someone is hurt or takes a well needed vacation...

Matt
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:44 PM
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Hmmm, well we don't necessarily need to charge the same at all.

Though we follow similar guidelines to defend ourselves against deadbeat customers.

A facebook page would be amazing, can you imagine all of our names in one spot - who are apart of this.

On the bottom of flyers, we could put the facebook logo with the 'page' link (could be small, but it would increase attention on a certain level)

So we'd have to figure out what this group/party does and why it's formed.

I really like this idea, and the fact we aren't competitors makes it even better.

Pricing isn't the issue, not necessarily a contract either - but something about guidelines and procedures, and or anything you may think of?
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Though we follow similar guidelines to defend ourselves against deadbeat customers.
What kinds of guidelines would you ideally like to include?
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2010, 04:06 PM
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CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What kinds of guidelines would you ideally like to include?
Basically, we all want to incorporate a program into our business venture, so we are all on the same page by a certain date = where we can evaluate our business and plan and or modify the guidelines to help us grow and achieve success.

Not giving services away for free,

by doing this, you aren't following the guidelines. Meaning by the date where we all evaluate our progress, those who cheated wouldn't have the best results.

We could create a form, a detailed Q&A every few months - showing how our guidelines worked for us - and if they need to be modified or not.

We will all help each other out.



Guidelines;

1. No service can be sold for free, selling a service for free will void your end of season evaluation.

2. All payments must be collected on 'individual given due dates', customers who pay late will be replaced if only another potential customer decides to hire you for the same service.

3. Equipment must be cleaned a minimum once every two weeks, ensuring your customers that you are presentable. Having dirty equipment may void your end of season evaluation.

etc...


Think of all the reasons you want to say NO to a customer, but don't because it comes back on YOU personally - now they can blame the guidelines instead of you!

Saying "NO" will be THAT much easier and safer. We can only hope customers will then understand, that it's not our choice. We have to follow guidelines in order to improve our business, and being a member of 'the board' we will lose valuable performance evaluations.


If X business didn't follow X guideline, he may have a progress reading which is too high, or too low - we want exact.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2010, 05:13 PM
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I made an owl, "wise owl"
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2010, 05:56 PM
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Okay

I'm in, i like this idea. Cheese is da man...

i want a tux

matt
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