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  #1  
Old 10-08-2007, 06:21 PM
moseley creek
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Here is a brief run down of the past 4 years. March 2003 started lawn care business. Things went great till May 2005 when my husbands colan exploded and he almost died. November 2005 doctor said he could go back to work but he refused. There had always been verbal abuse in our marriage but I just ignored him. He decided he was going to do nothing but sit around and try to collect a check. The abuse went from just verbal to physical, mental and emotional. He also started bringing my children into it as well. The last straw was him throwing my 8 year old daughter into a wall. October of last year I had him removed from the house with a restraining order. A year has pass now and my children and I are still in therapy. Both of the children now 9 and 10 are diagnosed with post trumatic stress disorder due to domestic violence. Now here is my problem, for the past year my ex has done nothing but run his mouth about me and my business because he thought I should have sold it and split with him but the judge said no that is her job you cannot have any part of it. I have lost customers due to this and cannot get new ones in the close area because of him. There are several areas I would like to get into but I got what I have by word of mouth and I am not sure what the best move for me would be. I know most of you are probably men but please don't just blow me off I need to get some more things going now. Single mom two children. Sugestions please.
Teresa
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:09 PM
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Hi Teresa,

Did you happen to see my response to your other post?

Do any of these ideas appeal to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
There are a couple things I can think of, depending on how into this you want to get.

First off, Halloween is coming and you have kids. Have you considered going out and trick or treating with them and handing out flyers as you do this? It would be a great way to reach out to new people and make a personal connection.

I also think you have a great story. It's great because others will be able to relate to you and they will want to see you succeed because you will then be a hero for single women trying to do this all on your own.

I would consider putting together an article for your local paper, where you talk about this. The headline could read "Being a single mom and running your own business isn't easy." It could be a very inspiring story. Put together a press release and include a picture of you and your children. And talk about all the issues you face doing this on your own but how you are determined to succeed.

In fact, we could help you put this together right here on the forum and others could offer their views as well.

Doing something like this, really puts your story out there but it also takes a bad situation and makes it a positive one by harnessing it. Others will read the article and relate to you and want to hire you. They will be able to connect with you and your struggle.

What's your take on this?

You could also go out and do flyers and door hangers but I think this would be so much more powerful!
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:12 PM
moseley creek
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I like the trick or treating idea but I am not sure about writing an artical for the paper?? Self esteem is in short supply around here. I can put on a good front face to face though. Artical ideas?
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:21 PM
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Well in a sense it is all about healing. Letting others know of your situation, as you did here by sharing with us your story, is a great way to reach out to people and get help when you need it.
A story about you being a single mom and running your own business could reach out to many people in your area and they could empathize with your situation. Everyone has down times. Everyone at times deals with trauma in their lives and when we reach out to others we realize we are not alone.

You are doing an amazing job now and you will continue to improve, the article idea is something to at least think about. There might be many people in your community that would reach out to you after reading it.

My next thought would be to come up with a flyer possibly with a picture of all three of you? Maybe market the angle of it being a woman owned business? This could position you as being different from other lawn care businesses.

A lot of times when I think of marketing ideas, I say to myself what about this situation is unique. What will stand out from others. You have a unique story which can lead you to a unique marketing position. Your strength then is in being unique! That's what will sell.

You could create a door hanger too with your pictures and then canvas the areas you want to work up.

What about the current customers you have now, have you asked them for any referrals? Create a list from them and call them? Or drop off marketing material at their house.

Have you tried craigslist.com yet?

What are some of your thoughts on all this?
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:31 PM
moseley creek
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Did not think of craigslist.com. So what you are saying is play off of the single mom woman owned local business thing? I have asked my current customers about friends and family that may be able to use my services and have got a few more customers that way. I plan on a yellow page add foe next phone book. Any ideas where I could go to get some help working up a flyer?
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Did not think of craigslist.com.
A lot of lawn care business owners absolutely rave about craigslist. It has a bunch of benefits. First off it's free. Second it allows you to target a specific geographic area. So you can put up an ad for your community on there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]So what you are saying is play off of the single mom woman owned local business thing?
I think so, yes. Because I think it is unique to you. It's your strength. I have to tell you from my point of view, I am very impressed with you for doing all this and I know many people would be very impressed with you as well.

Don't underestimate the power of the media. Did you happen to see over the summer when another one of our forum members created his business and then got international media attention? If you hadn't seen the story check this article out here.

Lee, the owner, took his business from start up lawn care in the spring of '07 to being a 5 figure a month lawn care business. All in just a few months! Why? Well a big reason is because he harnessed the media. He had a story to tell and he told it.

Getting an article in the media or a news spot on you can do more for your business in a few days than might be possible with 20 years + of marketing.

It's really something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I have asked my current customers about friends and family that may be able to use my services and have got a few more customers that way.
Also hand out flyers to the neighbors of your current customers as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I plan on a yellow page add foe next phone book.
Yellow pages tend to not bring the return most expect from them for their advertising dollar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Any ideas where I could go to get some help working up a flyer?
What marketing angle are you thinking of doing for your business? Do you want to go with door hangers or flyers? Will you want to have them printed or photocopied?
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:56 PM
moseley creek
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There was a company here trying to do bikni cuts but it did not work because they only did one spot on the radio. It is a cool idea if it is done right.
As far as flyers maybe something half sheet I can copy and pass out everywhere. Just need help designing.
Maybe I will pass on the yelow pages for the price I just got for one year I probably will not be worth it.
I do live in a town that is mostly military around. Going to Iraq then comming back. I know I could target them somehow too but not sure how. Their wives sure don't cut the grass when they are gone.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2007, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]There was a company here trying to do bikni cuts but it did not work because they only did one spot on the radio. It is a cool idea if it is done right.
If you ever wanted to get into that at all, I could put you in touch with Lee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]As far as flyers maybe something half sheet I can copy and pass out everywhere. Just need help designing.
Can you look through our flyer collection and see if any strike your fancy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I do live in a town that is mostly military around. Going to Iraq then comming back. I know I could target them somehow too but not sure how. Their wives sure don't cut the grass when they are gone.
This is another marketing angle you could go with. Maybe you could assist a member of the armed forces that is over seas. Maybe find one person in town and help the family by cutting the lawn for free once every couple of weeks.

Then you could have a great marketing angle to go to the press with and say you understand the difficulties of being a single mom raising a family and that you are running your business on your own as well.

It would make for a great story and build up a lot of goodwill between you and your community.

Let me know your thoughts on all that.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2007, 08:14 PM
moseley creek
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I may have more questions for you but you have given me alot to think about and check into. Thanks alot. If there are any writers out there feel free to write something up for my local paper I just can't do that myself.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2007, 09:43 PM
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Teresa, I'm a graphic designer / web designer / lawn care guy / pressure washer / multiple business owner / father / husband..... etc etc etc....

Listen, my wife and I deal with adversity every day, so although I have never been in the same situation as you, I do know how hard it is to run a business in the face of adversity. *

How about this... you tell me the name of your company, your phone number, the services you perform etc... anything you would want on a flyer... and then pick a flyer design or two that you like on here... I'll make them up for you and email them to you. *All you have to do from there is print them. *I'll even make you up a logo.

Good luck to you. *God bless you and your little ones. *You'll make it. *Just BELIEVE.
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