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Franchise Building, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, & Innovators Discussions Are you interested in starting your own lawn care franchise or are you interested in buying into one? Let's talk about different franchise opportunities and how to build your own franchise. Also we discuss different entrepreneurs who inspire us!

UK lawncare business franchise disaster


Franchise Building, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, & Innovators Discussions

Are you interested in starting your own lawn care franchise or are you interested in buying into one? Let's talk about different franchise opportunities and how to build your own franchise. Also we discuss different entrepreneurs who inspire us!
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:22 PM
lesley lesley is offline
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Thanks mate,


I am only looking forward now, new start, new life, just wanted to share my experiences with other people who may be thinking of doing the same as me a few years ago.
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  #12  
Old 02-23-2011, 02:31 PM
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As I have said I paid $38,000 or the franchise, wish I had that budget now to spend on starting up again as I could spend it more wisely on the things I actually needed and when I needed them.
This is a very good point and I think it's what many new entrepreneurs think about. Which way would there money be better spent.

Now that you have gone through this, you have a clearer perspective on this than most do.

What do you feel now, if you could start all over and had $38,000, would you spend the money on? How would you make it work for you now?
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:49 AM
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One thing I do know from all this is that you can have all the best lawn mower, the most eye catching vehicle and all the technical knowledge going, but it all counts for nothing if you don't have the customer base to use them on. How you go about getting the customers is a matter of choice for the individual and what may work for us over here may not work for you guys over there.

I am reading this forum with a view to trying out some of the marketing ideas on the British public.
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2011, 07:32 AM
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Honesty
Integrity
Quality
Reliability
These are the most important parts of your company.
All the fancy logos, Mowers or uniforms can not ever sell or keep customer like the list above.

Good luck on your New Business.

Graham
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2011, 04:36 PM
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all counts for nothing if you don't have the customer base to use them on. How you go about getting the customers is a matter of choice for the individual and what may work for us over here may not work for you guys over there.
Isn't it amazing how most people look at franchises as these business families? Where once you buy in, they will guide you all the way and their system will take care of everything?

When in reality, as we see here through your experience, in the end, the advise they offered to get customers was to go door to door.

Quote:
I am not a door to door salesman, never have been, never will be. I am a confident guy but having the door slammed in your face umpteen days a day is not for me
Have you found this to effect your view on sales? You are not alone when it comes to this view point on door to door sales. But what is a business owner to do?
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2011, 02:54 AM
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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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Old 02-26-2011, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesley View Post

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  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
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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Old 02-28-2011, 12:15 PM
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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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Old 03-01-2011, 06:13 PM
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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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