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, 02:31 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,539
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, 09:15 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, 10:52 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,539
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, 03:19 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, 04:25 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,539
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, 08:07 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, 03:04 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,539
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, 02:33 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, 02:58 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, 04:58 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,539
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
Client won't pay...
WesleySnips
Yesterday 02:53 PM
Today 12:00 PM
by Steve
6 159
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:59 PM
Today 11:56 AM
by Steve
5 566
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
Today 09:53 AM
by Max Wagner
30 2,528
Gie-review / What's new...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-25-2014 09:19 AM
Today 09:30 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
7 476
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 01:23 PM
Today 05:54 AM
by ringahding1
16 743
Business Name
sanchez5
10-28-2014 11:55 PM
Today 05:51 AM
by ringahding1
10 296
"Price...
Mr. Mow
Yesterday 03:21 PM
Today 05:48 AM
by ringahding1
3 147
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
Today 05:41 AM
by ringahding1
15 1,946
sod job
SGlawncare
Yesterday 08:21 PM
Yesterday 08:21 PM
by SGlawncare
0 1
Pavers
crieg122
10-28-2014 02:49 PM
Yesterday 02:09 PM
by Steve
5 249
Difference between lawn...
sanchez5
10-29-2014 04:20 PM
Yesterday 02:08 PM
by Steve
2 184
My Newest Toy (B.P....
Dan Tanner
10-23-2014 05:50 PM
10-29-2014 12:26 PM
by Steve
6 541
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 09:51 PM
10-28-2014 11:08 PM
by SGlawncare
4 897
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-28-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
1,193 341,116
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 12:03 PM
10-28-2014 02:37 PM
by crieg122
4 413
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 07:55 AM
10-28-2014 04:56 AM
by Billy Goat
2 354
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
10-27-2014 10:36 PM
by SGlawncare
12 1,267
new to the forum
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 02:52 PM
10-27-2014 12:14 PM
by Steve
1 370
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:41 PM
10-26-2014 10:59 AM
by stevef1201
13 732
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 04:14 PM
10-26-2014 07:45 AM
by Mr. Mow
5 499
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 09:19 PM
10-25-2014 12:09 PM
by biglee
10 639
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
10-21-2014 06:20 AM
10-25-2014 11:46 AM
by crieg122
6 632
hey everyone
robert8509
10-22-2014 08:16 PM
10-24-2014 11:07 PM
by robert8509
7 533
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 08:07 AM
10-23-2014 11:08 PM
by Chilehead
2 452
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
10-20-2014 06:33 AM
10-23-2014 05:55 PM
by biglee
13 787
Hi from SoCal
Jmoney
10-23-2014 11:29 AM
10-23-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
1 413
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
10-23-2014 12:33 PM
by Steve
5 884
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
10-23-2014 06:12 AM
by ringahding1
4 710
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
10-22-2014 01:27 PM
by Steve
6 776
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
10-22-2014 01:23 PM
by Steve
3 739
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
10-22-2014 07:47 AM
by ringahding1
4 1,730
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
10-21-2014 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 1,022
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
10-21-2014 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 880
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
10-21-2014 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 12,003
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
10-21-2014 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 609
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
10-20-2014 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 2,208
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
10-20-2014 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,706
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
10-20-2014 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 582
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
10-20-2014 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 649
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
10-20-2014 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 1,103
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
10-20-2014 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,640
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
10-20-2014 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 833
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
10-20-2014 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 682
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 1,028
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 1,322
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,738
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 1,042
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 763
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,900
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,888
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 apartment complex auger bark bob villa care charge collections commercial demonstration edging exmark ferris four wheel drive gopherhaul grass gravely hardscapes hills holiday how much to charge how to how to bid john deere quik trac kawasaki labor cost 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 website lighting lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business mowing mulch mulch estimate new buisness past due patio install podcast property management company pto push versus ride redmax scag scripts search engine optimization seo shell sprayer starting a business starting a lawn care business stihl sulky theft top dresser toro toro grand stand trailer mate pro tree turfgrass consulting walk behind walker
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:40 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:40 PM.

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