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View Full Version : Best way to grow business?


srenoch1
08-24-2010, 05:04 PM
I am helping my parents with a lawn business we initially bought. We have since purchased 2 other groups of accounts and ended up selling one of the routes purchased as it deemed to far away from our core accounts and too many to do in one day while there.

My question is should we invest in Web marketing to attract new customers while continuing to throw flyers and hang door hangers or should we rely on building revenue and buying business from other lawn companies to grow?

Thanks!

gene gls
08-24-2010, 11:35 PM
Just my .02......An up to date web site is very usefull according to a few of my friends that are in different businesses. A lot of people serch the net. As far as advertising in a paper or phone book for lawn maintaince, its a waste of dollars because you get calls far from where you need to be. You need a tight route to be profitable. Word of mouth is the best advertising. Take a little extra time on each of your present customer properties on each visit to make that property stand out better than any others in the area. Chalk that extra time off to advertising. Each week when you pull up to a property , look at it to see where a tad extra time will make it look better than last week. Your customers will notice, and other property owners around them will also notice. When word gets around that your properties always look the best, your phone will ring. Your mow and blow compition will get pe-oed at you for setting a higher standard, but thats thier problem. As you re-sign contracts for the properties that you have spent extra time on in the past you will be able to up your rates with out a lot of flack because your customers will be happy that you have taken thier property to a higher quality level than the previous company. When you sign up others in the neighbor hood, you start them out at a higher rate than others would charge because you know they want to look as good as the neighbor down the road and they will be willing to pay extra. Treat every customer as if they are the best customer and be flexable with the extra PR work.

Texas Lawn
08-25-2010, 10:58 AM
whats a phone book?

rollinrock
09-29-2010, 02:26 PM
I think a website is an integral part of your marketing plan. You can use this to attract new customers and create a good first impression.

Here's a few tips for your website:

1. Get registered with google local Here is the link: Google Local Business (http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter)

2. Have the number on your site ring a voicemail service. This will save you time plus will allow you to better present yourself to your clients.

3. Have a method for collecting the email addresses of your potential clients. That way you can stay you can keep in contact with them setting you apart from the rest of other guys. Offer them free tips on how to take care of their lawn plus how to hire a lawn care professional.

A service to collect email addresses: www.aweber.com

4. Use this software to create your site: www.wordpress.org. Very easy to install and keep a site updated with.

For a place to host your site its hard to beat www.hostgator.com and for a site name I always use www.godaddy.com

rhalverson
11-11-2010, 07:02 AM
I wouldn't be without a website. I literally get thousands of dollars in business from my site each month. Just learn to do it well. It' so worth it you wouldn't believe it!

CutterCutter
11-12-2010, 12:20 AM
2. Have the number on your site ring a voicemail service. This will save you time plus will allow you to better present yourself to your clients.

I'm assuming the voice mail service you are referring to is not the message a caller gets when I don't answer my phone. Are you referring to a service that has operators answer the phone and take a message? Could you clarify?


Thanks,

Dave

rhalverson
11-12-2010, 07:45 AM
Say Rollinrock, I agree with a lot of what you say. I think you have some great marketing ideas. However, I think the answering service is the wrong approach. Every call that comes in is a selling opportunity and I pick up every one personally. That seems like it might be inconvenient but selling and getting new accounts is the #1 most important thing I can do. So it's not an inconveniece. It's a vital function. By the way, I close the sale on more than 60% of these calls. Thanks for your good tips!

rollinrock
11-12-2010, 02:20 PM
Hey CutterCutter, Yeah I'm referring to the message people get when you don't answer the phone.

Here's my take on this part of it. Every time I get a phone call I get distracted and lose my train of thought. It takes a few minutes to get back into what I was doing. Plus, if mowing I don't think its professional to have a lawn mower or weed eater going in the back ground. When I talk to a potential customer the deserve my full attention.

We shouldn't be interrupted because the crew need to go get some lunch.

So I set aside a specific time everyday to do my follow up. This does a few things:

1. Inside the voicemail greeting I tell them I will be calling them at my set time. When I do call them a that time I just showed them I do what I say I'm gonna do. You just built trust with the customer.

2. You don't have to flinch every time you get a phone call I know this stresses me out.

This is just one cog in your marketing system. You do so much marketing. Which create so many phone calls. Which lead to so many jobs. This is stuff you should be keeping track of.

Kudos to rhalverson for such high success on the phone. Your right on the money thinking selling and getting new customers in the door is your #1 priority. But like my grandma used to say there is more than one way to skin a cat.

P.S. For all of those who followed my advice and registered with Google Business I have a few tricks I want to show you to help get better rankings. Meaning when someone searches "Dallas Lawn Care" you show up in the top 3. Contact me before November 20 th and I will more than happy share a few of these tricks with you.

Talk soon.

rhalverson
11-12-2010, 02:59 PM
Hey Buddy, you sound like you're a good marketer. And you're right, there's more than one way to get a good result.
I, by the way, would be one of those interested in getting some improvement on website action. I get some responses, but I feel like I could be getting more.
Thanks for the good feedback.

rnd
11-19-2010, 05:35 PM
To keep growing don't forget about existing customers and the potential to build revenue with existing client base by selling add on services. You would be amazed on how many of your customers do not know all the services you may provide.

*****Keep your name in front of them*******
Visit RNDSigns.com to see exclusive images and layout ideas that are proven tools to grow your business

TheGoat
11-20-2010, 09:48 AM
I think a website is an integral part of your marketing plan. You can use this to attract new customers and create a good first impression.

Here's a few tips for your website:

1. Get registered with google local Here is the link: Google Local Business (http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter)

2. Have the number on your site ring a voicemail service. This will save you time plus will allow you to better present yourself to your clients.

3. Have a method for collecting the email addresses of your potential clients. That way you can stay you can keep in contact with them setting you apart from the rest of other guys. Offer them free tips on how to take care of their lawn plus how to hire a lawn care professional.

A service to collect email addresses: www.aweber.com

4. Use this software to create your site: www.wordpress.org. Very easy to install and keep a site updated with.

For a place to host your site its hard to beat www.hostgator.com and for a site name I always use www.godaddy.com

getting a website is excellent advice but your suggestions for hosting and url are some of the most expensive I have seen.

I use ixwebhosting.com.

It cost me $45 a year and that price includes a url.

Lefet
11-20-2010, 09:59 AM
Good information posted in this thread....
Thanks

Patriot Services
11-20-2010, 10:05 AM
whats a phone book?

A large chunk of processed tree flesh used to weigh down the bottom of a trash can.
Posted via Mobile Device

chatsworth
11-21-2010, 01:35 PM
My question is should we invest in Web marketing to attract new customers while continuing to throw flyers and hang door hangers or should we rely on building revenue and buying business from other lawn companies to grow?

Definitely get a presence online. Create a webpage, get a make a company facebook page, twitter, etc...if it works for the politicians, it's bound to work for us too!

Az Gardener
11-21-2010, 02:57 PM
Don't forget networking and diversity. Its important to network for referrals but you want to be networking with different "pools" of people.

I network with other green industry contractors who don't offer the same services I do. I also spread the wealth by referring those guys work too even if I could possibly do the things I am referring them for. If its not my core competency I refer others. For example I am a certified Arborist but I refer a tree service for consulting work and deep feeding and some other technical work.

I got a referral from a lawn site member Bill from Inspired, we are doing a clean up for that woman and she will likely become a regular maintenance client. I suggested that she would benefit from a fertilizer injector and she should have Bill install it. We have installed plenty of injectors but irrigation is his niche and she is his referral. I can't expect him to refer me work if he never hears from every client he refers me to again. You can't be greedy.

I also network with several different groups, each one puts me in contact with another entirely different group of people. Here is a small list

Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts
Remodel Contractors
Irrigation Specialists
Lighting Specialists
L/S Contractors who don't do maint
Hard-scape Specialists
Municipal garden
L/S designer association
L/S architects
Small nurseries
Realtor groups
BNI


Volunteer your time and get involved... and use you imagination!

tradeyouraccounts
12-10-2010, 02:30 PM
A website is an absolute must, 1and1.com offer a decent service and support. Has anyone ever sponsored a local school sports team or something like that and got your business on their shirts and the like? Has it paid off to get local accounts?

GreenI.A.
12-11-2010, 11:05 AM
Some of the things that work best for me is referal programs and clover leafing. For fertilization I offer $20 off for each referal once the new customer compleates there 3rd service, the new customer also receives $20 off there new service as well. I have a real estate agent that hired me this fall. He has already given me enough referals that next season will be just about free for him. For irrigation I do a free start up and winterizing for each successful irrigation referal. When ever we are at a job we clover leaf the neighboring houses.

One of the most sucessful methods for me has been advertising thru the local little league. I fertilize the fields for them and I get an outfield sign. i also get an ad in the program that get handed out at every single little leage game. My cost is a $500 yearly credit for each field I have a sign on.

topsites
12-11-2010, 11:19 AM
Throw fertilizer at it, water it good.

make a company facebook page, twitter, etc...if it works for the politicians, it's bound to work for us too!

Uhm, no thank you, I have FB but I definitely don't want to be seen that way.