Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Let's help kc2006 more


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-31-2006, 03:31 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,688
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Hi kc2006,

Let's look more into your current situation.

How many competitors do you find you have in the area?

How do you compare them to yourself?

Do they charge more or less?

What do you feel is your competitive edge over them?
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-31-2006, 10:15 AM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 424
Rep Power: 10
kc2006
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Currently if you look in the phone book I believe I counted roughly 70 companies, now then I know about 5 went out of business from last year and theres also a few that don't have an ad in the phonebook at all (these were just the one line ad's and actual picture ad's). This is for the whole county also, the 4 cities I work in I would say has about 30 guys tops running around.

I wouldn't compair much to them. Most of the companies around here don't do most of the practices I do. For example: uniform, at least a clean truck, professional letterheads/business cards/advertising. I'd say probably 5-8 companies have everything set up nice with a clean looking company. I don't say they're trying to show off with all new stuff, but they're clean companies.

Theres alot that sets me apart from the competition. I try to keep my business in touch with the clients. I send out newsletters, this year I'll be giving out little gifts like potted plants for certain holidays, little things like that to keep in touch. I noticed at the company I started at, the company was around for 25+ years, when I was there we knew everyone, but the company was not in touch with if there were problems in service. Alot of times people would just cancel out of the blue and never complain until that point. I want to also do "quality control" calls. New customers will get a call when their first invoice goes out, just to see that everything is ok and they're happy with the service, I think that will help get a good first step with new customers.

For the most part, companies around here are all in the same price bracket, there is the few companies that aren't legit and charge half of what everyone else does, but we seem to take care of them fast. I know alot of guys around here report them to the IRS if they find out.

Right now, my competitive edge is following through with everything. Alot of people that I talk to say they called other companies for estimates and they never showed. Last year I'd set a time with everyone but this year I'm saying "I'll be out sometime today or tomorrow" no one has had a problem with this and I show up when I said I would. So thats a big plus, because those companies that don't show up, the client ends up telling the other few that do show up their names and I'd imagine they tell their friends about it too if they discuss their lawn.
__________________
\"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run\"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-31-2006, 11:52 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,688
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Have you been able to put together some letters to your current client base asking for referrals? Offering a discount to them and the person they refer? Here is a letter example.

Second off, are you asking your current customers if they have any side jobs they need you to do?

Right now any money you can make from them is very important, especially since you are considering getting a p/t job.

Also, how do you feel your expenses compare with your competitors? Are yours higher or lower or about the same?
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-31-2006, 04:19 PM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 424
Rep Power: 10
kc2006
Default

The spring newsletter explained the referal program so I know I have a formal example of it out there, but I also explain it to all the customers when they first sign on with us. I also "reminded" the customers of the other services I offer in the newsletter and whenever I talk to them I mention little things that need done.

My expenses are much lower then most competitors I think. When I started the business I had money for equipment and I already had my f250 diesel. Right now I am a little in debt but only about $1000 (without looking at the books I couldn't give a deffinite figure). That's one of the area's I'm glad I stuck to. I hear all these stories of people that went head strong into the business and took out a huge loan and went out of business 2 months later. As long as I have some work, I'll still be around because the business doesn't require much to stay alive. However it's taking a serious hit to me personally, I'm making personal sacrifices to keep the business going.

TG, you saw the doorhangers I'm putting out right? Is there anything I should change to them, possibly start putting a price on them?
__________________
\"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run\"
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-31-2006, 05:25 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,688
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] Is there anything I should change to them, possibly start putting a price on them?
I think it would be something to try yes. As long as your prices are in the zone or a little below what others in your area are charging.

If you do try this, do it with a certain geographic area, so you can track when they call you, if they got the door hanger with the price or not.

Can you think of any promotional ideas you have been considering? Anything out of the ordinary you want to try to attract new customers?
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-31-2006, 09:07 PM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 424
Rep Power: 10
kc2006
Default

This next batch of doorhangers I'll have made up with a little box to enter a quote. I normally try to find out where the calls are coming from so that shouldn't be a problem tracking the doorhangers.

As for promotions, I always offered 15 percent off mulch installs, last year I offered 2 free cuts with a one year service agreement. Of all the calls I got and landed I never had anyone mention the 15% off, it seemed like no one cared. Then after reading about alot of people stopped putting offers and found better results because possibly people think your so good you don't have to offer a discount to get business?

After answering the other post about the fertilizer license, I had a thought. What if I offered 1 free fertilizer application for new customers? It wouldn't be a pre-emergent, just a regular fert. The cost of the product would most likely be about the same as 1 free mowing and would be a double benefit because now the yards may grow alittle healthier and I might be able to sign application work up...

1800gotjunk just sold a franchise in my area, they only have 2 trucks here so far and I see them everywhere, I swear they tell them just to drive around even if they don't have work just to be seen. The other day I had about 5 of my friends call me up and say I had to go up and get a picture of them because they were doing their hour of standing in a parking lot with wig's on and signs that said "Got Junk" in front of their truck. I've thought about doing something like you showed Troy with the banner on the trailer and offer free mowing to locally owned stores that have small front strips of lawn in return that I can park the trailer out by the road for X amount of time (on busy roads). Good idea or no?

I think I've said before on here, but a friend (retired) has a company part time, the only advertising he's done is had a small 36"x36" sign in his front yard that was hand painted and stenciled, he has way more work then I do now and thats been his only form of advertising...He lives in the same neighborhood as me, but his house is at the bottom of the main road of the neighborhood so it gets alot of traffic in front of it. That's why I feel putting the big banner on the trailer and parking it out would work well.
__________________
\"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run\"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-01-2006, 04:04 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,688
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Hi kc2006,

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]What if I offered 1 free fertilizer application for new customers?
YES! Great! This is a great idea. It's better than the free mow because it is a different service you can potentially sell to them. Once you do the free application you can try and upsell the rest of the year applications. Explain to the customer why it is important and what kind of results they should expect to see.
Keep all your options on the table and experiement. You never will know what will work until you try!

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]they were doing their hour of standing in a parking lot with wig's on and signs that said "Got Junk" in front of their truck.
HAHAHAHHA Troy here is another great idea for your crazy marketing post! See how being outrageous can get attention and create buzz? We are tallking about them now and spreading the word. The same can happen for you and your company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I've thought about doing something like you showed Troy with the banner on the trailer and offer free mowing to locally owned stores that have small front strips of lawn in return that I can park the trailer out by the road for X amount of time (on busy roads). Good idea or no?
I think it would be a great idea. The only thing I would be concerned about is someone stealing your trailer. But maybe you can lock it somehow. Or simply use lawn signs instead of a trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]he has way more work then I do now and thats been his only form of advertising.
This is the benefit of constant promotion. Also free!

There are plenty of things you could do to get free constant promotion as well. All you have to do is think and experiment.
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-01-2006, 03:33 PM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
Members
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 424
Rep Power: 10
kc2006
Default

Well just got back from a small home & garden show that was going on, I didn't even know it was going on and we decided to stop (sadly I didn't have business cards or anything with the name on it, and I looked like a bum not shaved but oh well). Talked with a couple of guys that do other work, one does only landscape lighting, the other does concrete work (like borders for beds, chemical staining) and got to talk alittle with them about this area and left my name and number with them for referal work and got their business cards too.

But the best was a guy that has a promotions company that he runs part time. I met him last year, he does alot of work with the racing field and does a good job promoting it. He has a spot at the local fair and the largest car show in the area (attracts thousands of cars) and it's basicly a giant give away booth, has little glass boxes where people enter for give aways. The cost is only $55 I believe, I'll deffinitly be doing that. He showed me the one box they had at the show today, and the show was fairly small and still had what appeared to be a couple hundred entries in it. Like he said, it's a good cheap way to build up a mailing list of prospective clients.

I also got some good idea's for the landscape design I'm going to be doing in my back yard so it was a good day
__________________
\"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run\"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-01-2006, 03:58 PM
tiedeman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

That makes me happy that you went. I think that very few people realize the importance of networking. Even going to a simple garden show can help out big time. Heck, I went to three just this past spring only to network really.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-02-2006, 05:58 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,688
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I also got some good idea's for the landscape design I'm going to be doing in my back yard so it was a good day
Take some before and after pictures. I want to see
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Repair or replace the...
lxarth
12-17-2014 05:07 PM
Today 12:02 PM
by SuperiorPower
11 340
Stander Vs. Zt
totalscape
12-20-2014 07:57 PM
Today 05:42 AM
by Billy Goat
6 150
Complete body therapy...
zermin
Yesterday 11:51 PM
Yesterday 11:51 PM
by zermin
0 29
Facebook
element009
03-23-2011 09:36 AM
Yesterday 04:33 PM
by stevef1201
38 9,927
Ideas on a large bid
Knaubone
Yesterday 11:57 AM
Yesterday 11:57 AM
by Knaubone
0 57
what do you "love" to...
calebmoss
07-06-2011 10:05 PM
Yesterday 12:52 AM
by rmccutchan
31 9,082
I'm BACK!
SuperiorPower
12-16-2014 11:08 PM
12-20-2014 11:33 PM
by SuperiorPower
7 278
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
12-19-2014 09:45 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
189 16,802
Georgia Boys!
Chilehead
12-18-2014 10:23 PM
12-19-2014 09:36 PM
by Chilehead
2 135
Employee job training...
brookline
12-15-2014 08:15 PM
12-19-2014 07:48 PM
by SuperiorPower
9 381
Hello from Md
homey
12-17-2014 06:55 PM
12-19-2014 06:00 PM
by homey
5 224
Has Obamacare helped or...
Steve
12-18-2014 04:37 PM
12-19-2014 05:43 PM
by stevef1201
3 158
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 02:56 PM
12-17-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
23 3,036
Grass hopper mower
ExtremeLawncareServices
12-05-2013 09:51 AM
12-17-2014 09:40 AM
by SuperiorPower
34 6,190
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
12-17-2014 09:13 AM
by SuperiorPower
15 1,400
New to Gopher Haul-from...
323k13l
12-12-2014 10:34 PM
12-15-2014 02:58 PM
by Steve
3 348
hi
creteland
12-12-2014 09:06 AM
12-15-2014 01:45 PM
by Steve
5 339
New addition to my small...
googus
12-12-2014 07:36 PM
12-15-2014 07:47 AM
by googus
4 416
Ferris IS700Z
rmccutchan
12-14-2014 01:10 AM
12-14-2014 11:41 PM
by rmccutchan
4 314
Charge what the market...
Billy Goat
12-09-2014 12:39 PM
12-14-2014 06:39 PM
by biglee
20 865
Hi from IL
steveinil
11-25-2014 02:07 PM
12-12-2014 07:18 AM
by steveinil
4 858
Utility Company Right of...
eastsidelandcare
12-11-2014 04:54 PM
12-11-2014 04:54 PM
by eastsidelandcare
0 328
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
12-11-2014 04:50 PM
by eastsidelandcare
33 4,168
suggestions on full lawn...
Brian3137
12-10-2014 07:18 PM
12-11-2014 03:41 PM
by Steve
6 440
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 11:20 PM
12-11-2014 09:43 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
18 3,448
Hello from SW FL!!
5StarLawnscaping
12-05-2014 02:35 PM
12-10-2014 02:45 PM
by WesleySnips
7 686
Echo pb200 blower fuel...
googus
12-06-2014 09:03 PM
12-09-2014 06:35 PM
by Steve
3 541
Are you prepared for the...
Steve
12-02-2014 04:13 PM
12-09-2014 06:22 PM
by Steve
7 952
Email Address Name
Just Cuts
12-07-2014 09:49 PM
12-08-2014 03:15 PM
by Steve
3 484
Inspection form
stevef1201
12-07-2014 10:38 AM
12-08-2014 03:10 PM
by Steve
1 476
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
12-08-2014 12:37 PM
by jrs.landscaping
108 34,314
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
12-07-2014 06:35 PM
by stevef1201
24 1,787
Innovation by mandate
bayoubandit
11-29-2014 01:33 PM
12-06-2014 03:27 PM
by SGL1
12 1,028
Trying something new,...
ExtremeLawncareServices
09-21-2014 10:07 PM
12-05-2014 11:06 AM
by Steve
9 2,317
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
12-04-2014 01:32 PM
by stevef1201
15 1,506
How many hours is too...
Just Cuts
12-04-2014 09:00 AM
12-04-2014 01:02 PM
by Just for Cuts
6 669
Does this sound like a...
googus
12-03-2014 07:47 AM
12-04-2014 12:37 PM
by Steve
5 744
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
12-04-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
14 1,279
New website
SGL1
12-02-2014 10:55 PM
12-03-2014 11:17 PM
by BLC7
19 911
Websites, how long...
Dan Tanner
03-09-2014 08:29 AM
12-03-2014 11:12 PM
by SGL1
21 3,307
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 11:04 PM
12-03-2014 10:36 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
8 1,923
GPS trackers for...
Billy Goat
12-02-2014 06:09 PM
12-03-2014 07:17 PM
by Steve
8 771
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
12-03-2014 06:31 PM
by SGL1
17 1,513
Hiring Subs over Temps
Billy Goat
12-02-2014 06:26 AM
12-03-2014 01:24 PM
by Steve
3 685
Thanksgiving cards
Steve
11-10-2008 11:57 AM
12-02-2014 11:11 PM
by SGL1
11 9,577
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
12-02-2014 02:17 PM
by jrs.landscaping
12 1,537
Pressure Washing...
WesleySnips
07-31-2014 07:13 PM
12-02-2014 08:47 AM
by SGL1
6 1,560
old contracts
bayoubandit
11-29-2014 11:10 AM
12-01-2014 11:20 AM
by Steve
3 754
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
12-01-2014 10:54 AM
by Steve
9 1,329
Lawn care truck
Steve
10-10-2009 03:40 AM
12-01-2014 10:45 AM
by Steve
32 15,246
» Popular Tags
4wd 4x4 apartment complex apartment lawn care estimate bark bid bob villa care collections commercial decorating demonstration edging employee problems estimate ferris four wheel drive gopherhaul gravely hardscapes hills hiring how much to charge how to hydraulic installation introduction jobs landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo managing a lawn care business mr dave mulch mulch estimate new buisness new mower past due patio install per hour service podcast push versus ride reo running a business scag v-ride scripts shell snow snow plowing sprayer starting a business steve toro tractor auger trailer mate pro tree truck new used landscape turfgrass consulting up sell employee won't return wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:26 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:26 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy