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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

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Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2008, 08:12 PM
jrwalker333 jrwalker333 is offline
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Steve, more good information, after reading your last post I thought of another company that I know of In our area a nursery center as well as landscape contractor and everyone is always talking ( customers frequently about him) he is on the radio I think some weekend mornings as well as tv slots. I rarely have listened to him although some of his recommendations have been accurate but yet others (way off) not sure his overall background but you are right alot of people view him as the lawn expert ( his company though not one of the larger ones here)
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2008, 09:58 PM
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Isn't it kind of amazing when you talk and think about these different things and then you realize competitors may be doing it and using it to their advantage!

What if you became the go to guy. The resident expert. The mayor or the town council could call on you to speak of give them advice on certain topics. You could write a column for the paper on different topics.

You could add all of this to your website in your press area.

Then talk about reassurance. All of this content would blow new customers away and they would be willing to get on a waiting list to be serviced by you.

Ultimately, how much of success in any field is about the leader doing that service? How much of success is about the leader actually selling the service?

Look at Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin companies. He doesn't even know how to fly and yet his Virgin Atlantic airways is very successful. Why? Because he is a great salesman!

What's your view on that?
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2008, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Ultimately, how much of success in any field is about the leader doing that service? How much of success is about the leader actually selling the service?

Look at Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin companies. He doesn't even know how to fly and yet his Virgin Atlantic airways is very successful. Why? Because he is a great salesman!

What's your view on that?
Hi steve more good thoughts, I am not sure on the first two questions. I would personally think that not to many leaders do the actual service after maybe initial start or idea, and probably dont sell the service or product either. As I am sure you know most of our successful CEO, COO, and executives do not know much about there product or service but what does make them very successful within their positions is their ability to (surround themselves with key people that all possess the talents and creativity and knowledge), to make the organizations thrive they are successful because of the talents of others, who they put in key positions that have the ability to complete the corporate mission with the team then they have the brainstorming crew to accomplish their mission and or goals.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:18 AM
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Rich,

As you were at these marketing seminars run by lawn care operators who built pretty large businesses, did they offer any suggestions on how to add to your staff? How to add talented people as well to your management staff?
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2008, 10:22 AM
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Hi Steve, they did not really focus on that, but if you listened between the lines so to speak ,you will see that is how this guy in paticular has grown his business with different sectors of key people like ( starting a marketing data base, names for sale new home owner etc mailing list services etc) key person was offered position with his firm to develop his part of the business came from Americalist companies. ( right there is the brains behind the mission with new feature added to his company) the other guy came from background with the vanity number etc. My personal experiences throughout life I have always realized that it is the people you surround yourself with can be the keys to your success or then again your dimise. The quality of people within any organization from the low paid entry level to the top executives or the key to the overall success of the business, however alot of the fortune 100 companies lose focus on that and think they are the only reason they are successful ( not what I would think) Ex: When you go to Wal-mart first initial shopping experience can be met right at front door or exiting store (if it is a negative person, gloomy etc, what type of impression does that leave you with your overall experience of the store or company or when you go to check out and there are 25 registers and only 2 open and twenty people in line. It is not the greatest concept, for the upper executives to think that it is all about them ( they are just the behind the scenes people that cordinate the mission) I am a regular shopper of Wal-mart, however I have left many times with frustrations from waiting in long lines and or having to use there stupid self scanners, (wow that is customer service check out and bag yourself) ridiculous, just an example many chain stores are all the same they have at least in my personal opinion RUINED CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARDS!!! Then again your business back to topic is all about KEY PEOPLE that includes all of your staff not just the top few. They are the ones that deal with your customers daily.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:17 AM
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Rich,

When you reflect on your previous experience, which was tougher, hiring your first employee or having to hire and manage a second crew?

Which was the bigger jump for you, do you feel?

A lot of small business owners get stuck at both points and I was wondering what advice you had on this.
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2008, 10:14 AM
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Steve, to answer your question, I do not really think that I struggled with either. If I had to pick one I would say it would have been probably , hiring and managing the second crew. Although, even hiring your first employee can be somewhat difficult. The best advise I can give is first off you will never find an employee that is going to have the standards that you personally as the owner of the business would have, the common interest is not the same. You will however find a few great employees. The hardest thing for me as I am sure with many is the hiring and managing of the second crew, primarily this is because the loss that you feel of being able to provide your customers with the superior level of service that you would personally provide. This however is going to be difficult, ( a necessary evil that you must overcome) in order for you to grow the business you will have to (trust your employees, at least to some degree) and learn to be a good delagator. The other common mistakes that I have made is never hire for an immedate spot out of pure necessity. Be cautious of hiring immediate friends, and especially family members. Sometimes those can be the worst mistakes for you to make. The key to finding good employees is to always be looking and to always be interviewing because you never know when that (perfect) employee may come around.
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
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Quote[/b] ]The key to finding good employees is to always be looking and to always be interviewing because you never know when that (perfect) employee may come around.
How do you suggest doing this? Should you always be advertising that you are hiring?

If you found someone you thought would be good and didn't really have a spot for them at the moment, would you hire them anyway and make a spot?
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2008, 11:05 AM
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Steve, about advertising, for hiring or open positions. If you have a shop (store front) you could always have a sign up to draw in potential applicants, you could also have a referral program for your employees (refer a friend). *I don't mean to necessarily advertise in news papers that obviously can be expensive. *The other thing is when out and about in my day if I see someone anywhere working that I feel would possibly be a good fit maybe offer them a business card and ask them to call you if they ever consider a different type of work field. ( I am not saying go to your competitors) go to the gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacy stores, restaurants like Wendy's, McDonalds, etc, you would be suprised. In the past some of my best workers came from restaurants and have never done lawn care ever before. * Also, when I used to be in Management Retail chain and Big Box stores I personally was recruited this way for some of the top companies in the world (ex) Wal-mart offered me a co-store manager position to start, my own store within 6 months and I was working at Kmart at the time. Recruited by a District Manager and Super Center Manager price comping and Head Hunting.

I don't think that I would hire just to get that person if I already had a great crew, but if I did not have that great of a crew you bet,I would make a spot and move into when someone else cut their own throat and dropped the ball and I would have a trained replacement on staff already.



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Old 01-31-2008, 01:49 PM
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That is pretty fascinating stuff! So you actually were offered a job while you were in Kmart working! Were you blown away by that? It makes you wonder how often this goes on!

In the past when you hired someone that was working at a restaurant, were they your waiter? And then maybe you asked them if they ever considered working in lawn care? Or how would you suggest approaching the topic?
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