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  #1  
Old 12-31-2006, 09:33 PM
JTS Landscaping lawn JTS Landscaping lawn is offline
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more business

i was wondering if having a web site would help to get more business.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2007, 01:12 AM
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mdvaden mdvaden is online now
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It won't get you less business.

Don't get a website for more business. Get one as a way to post more information about your business.

Make it into a resource first.

If it gets business, fine. If not, then it will provide useful benefits.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2007, 03:27 PM
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WebMan WebMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdvaden View Post
Don't get a website for more business. Get one as a way to post more information about your business.
Make it into a resource first.
That approach is what most people do and (nothing personal to the above intended) is 100% wrong unless you don't want the site to get you more business!

The web site must be designed to get you business if you want it to get you business. It must be part of an overall marketing plan, it's not some "magic bullet" that will cause the phone to go ringing a week after you go on-line.
BUT a good web site, properly used (remember I see "good" and "properly" from a different perspective, I'm in the "making stuff sell" business) it will be designed to and will:
  1. Get you more prospects, leads, calls, contacts, etc. and that should translate to more business...then:
  2. should tell about your business if anyone cares to read all the boring details.

The biggest reason most web sites don't "get business" is they miss the rule I have posted here over and over for web design...it's simple and is "don't just tell 'em..."sell em"

Many sites I see that don't "work or bring in incidental business as posted above are just that...they go on & on & on telling all about the business or what you do so well and nobody gives a *%#^* !! but you, because you are proud of all that.
But it is telling, not selling.
All sales revolve around satisfying one of a few basic emotional level desires all humans have (I normally get paid past this point but it's the holidays)
These desires are the basic human emotions:
  • Need for love
  • need for approval
  • feeling of belonging
  • pride
  • self worth or self confidence
There is a lot more but you may get the idea...so you ask "Jeeze what does a landscape company have to do with any of that?"

Because you don't "get it" about sales & marketing (or you would have never asked about the web site)

A person wants a new or neater landscape. Why? To make the house (or business) look better. (here is where 80+% of business people-those that fail, miss it...they think that is the answer. That last answer is a lie!)

Oh they may tell you that...but it's not really true.
Why do they want that? Maybe it's to "keep up with or ahead of the Jones'", Why? Maybe that person's self-image and self worth is based on feelings of inadequacy and they "need" to see that beautiful landscape or neat mowing when they get home. It makes then feel better!

I know, I know, it sounds like mumbo jumbo but it's true.
Gonna go have a few beers with the guys tonight? Why? To have a few beers. Why? Too loosen up & have some fun with the guys? Loosen up how? Well I do better with the ladies & I might get "lucky" or "I'll have fun with the guys well shoot some pool and I'll relax" What do those do? Make you feel better!
See we are all human and this is stuff in our subconscious so we don't analyze it but it satisfies one of the basic needs all of us have. You may think you will have a few beers with the guys but really you'll forget the bad thing that happened today, the flat tire or long line when you were late already...whatever it is it satisfies a very low level human instinct.

So back to the web site, why don't most sell? They are just like a fancy brochure with pages describing how great we are, look at the pretty pictures of what we have done, here is a list of all the things we do real good. We can do all these things for your landscape or lawn or whatever... all about you and what you do...nothing about how that will take care of that basic need I have and make me feel better after I give you my money...and feel so much better you will have provided a good value for making me feel better.
Web sites can be one of the greatest tools man ever invented for reaching other people in a zillion personal ways, look at all the things the web is used for...children with cancer talking around the world, e-mailing Christmas picture to somebody overseas 20 minutes after the grandbaby opened the gift! The list is endless but it can be a very personal method of communication or very impersonal like the sales fliers in the Sunday paper.


Sorry this post is too long, but I posted basically the same thing to a similar "will a web site make me money?" question the other day and obviously you didn't get that...most people don't. They don't understand the foundations the building of all sales & marketing is built on...That's one of the main reasons over 50% of new businesses fail after 5 years and it's ~80% by 10.

Will a web site get you more business?
  1. Definitely Yes
  2. Maybe
  3. Some
  4. Nope
All those answers are equally correct because I don't know you and what you will do with a web site.
It's like posting here and saying "will a "Super Mulcher model 5000 20hp riding mower with turbo blades make me more productive?" If it mows 5" wide and you do a lot of big areas maybe... but if you do lots of yards with 4' gates it won't get in there so the answers would be yes & no, both correct, depending on what you do with it!
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2007, 09:46 PM
CrewCutEnterprises CrewCutEnterprises is offline
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Location: Annapolis
Posts: 894
Wow, Eye opening post, Very informative, and sadly true. I would love to run some ideas by you as you seem like a well full of knowledge

jason
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebMan View Post
That approach is what most people do and (nothing personal to the above intended) is 100% wrong unless you don't want the site to get you more business!

The web site must be designed to get you business if you want it to get you business. It must be part of an overall marketing plan, it's not some "magic bullet" that will cause the phone to go ringing a week after you go on-line.
BUT a good web site, properly used (remember I see "good" and "properly" from a different perspective, I'm in the "making stuff sell" business) it will be designed to and will:
  1. Get you more prospects, leads, calls, contacts, etc. and that should translate to more business...then:
  2. should tell about your business if anyone cares to read all the boring details.

The biggest reason most web sites don't "get business" is they miss the rule I have posted here over and over for web design...it's simple and is "don't just tell 'em..."sell em"

Many sites I see that don't "work or bring in incidental business as posted above are just that...they go on & on & on telling all about the business or what you do so well and nobody gives a *%#^* !! but you, because you are proud of all that.
But it is telling, not selling.
All sales revolve around satisfying one of a few basic emotional level desires all humans have (I normally get paid past this point but it's the holidays)
These desires are the basic human emotions:
  • Need for love
  • need for approval
  • feeling of belonging
  • pride
  • self worth or self confidence
There is a lot more but you may get the idea...so you ask "Jeeze what does a landscape company have to do with any of that?"

Because you don't "get it" about sales & marketing (or you would have never asked about the web site)

A person wants a new or neater landscape. Why? To make the house (or business) look better. (here is where 80+% of business people-those that fail, miss it...they think that is the answer. That last answer is a lie!)

Oh they may tell you that...but it's not really true.
Why do they want that? Maybe it's to "keep up with or ahead of the Jones'", Why? Maybe that person's self-image and self worth is based on feelings of inadequacy and they "need" to see that beautiful landscape or neat mowing when they get home. It makes then feel better!

I know, I know, it sounds like mumbo jumbo but it's true.
Gonna go have a few beers with the guys tonight? Why? To have a few beers. Why? Too loosen up & have some fun with the guys? Loosen up how? Well I do better with the ladies & I might get "lucky" or "I'll have fun with the guys well shoot some pool and I'll relax" What do those do? Make you feel better!
See we are all human and this is stuff in our subconscious so we don't analyze it but it satisfies one of the basic needs all of us have. You may think you will have a few beers with the guys but really you'll forget the bad thing that happened today, the flat tire or long line when you were late already...whatever it is it satisfies a very low level human instinct.

So back to the web site, why don't most sell? They are just like a fancy brochure with pages describing how great we are, look at the pretty pictures of what we have done, here is a list of all the things we do real good. We can do all these things for your landscape or lawn or whatever... all about you and what you do...nothing about how that will take care of that basic need I have and make me feel better after I give you my money...and feel so much better you will have provided a good value for making me feel better.
Web sites can be one of the greatest tools man ever invented for reaching other people in a zillion personal ways, look at all the things the web is used for...children with cancer talking around the world, e-mailing Christmas picture to somebody overseas 20 minutes after the grandbaby opened the gift! The list is endless but it can be a very personal method of communication or very impersonal like the sales fliers in the Sunday paper.


Sorry this post is too long, but I posted basically the same thing to a similar "will a web site make me money?" question the other day and obviously you didn't get that...most people don't. They don't understand the foundations the building of all sales & marketing is built on...That's one of the main reasons over 50% of new businesses fail after 5 years and it's ~80% by 10.

Will a web site get you more business?
  1. Definitely Yes
  2. Maybe
  3. Some
  4. Nope
All those answers are equally correct because I don't know you and what you will do with a web site.
It's like posting here and saying "will a "Super Mulcher model 5000 20hp riding mower with turbo blades make me more productive?" If it mows 5" wide and you do a lot of big areas maybe... but if you do lots of yards with 4' gates it won't get in there so the answers would be yes & no, both correct, depending on what you do with it!
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2007, 11:59 PM
YellowDogSVC's Avatar
YellowDogSVC YellowDogSVC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTS Landscaping lawn View Post
i was wondering if having a web site would help to get more business.
I get most of my high end business from my website(s). Fairly simple designs but effective. I am in the cedar clearing and brush chipping business. I have found that it is a good showcase and place for me to post pictures of what I have done and for a general reference on what the customer can expect to get from a day of using me.

Check them out if you want..

http://www.brushchipping.com
http://www.yellowdogservices.com
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2007, 08:43 PM
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WebMan WebMan is offline
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Yellow dog without realizing it you are doing a couple of the very things I mention:
  1. Fist scroll on your page top (but the dog and scroll make it distracting (make a still dog and still text... you obviously LOVE marquee's but most people don't) but you do say: "Open your land to enjoyment" ..Hmm "enjoyment" .."Open my land" "..."enjoying my land!" THAT makes me feel better and makes my land worth more to me!
  2. Your other site says "let us sculpt your property" (and another bad marquee about no dozer's etc...good message just can the too colorful & hard to read marquee's remember I might be old and my glasses may be in the other room and people on the web "hate to wait" to read something so I probably won't get but the first word or 2...all I got was "no dozer's")
    BUT "sculpt" now that's more valuable to me than "grade"... I would be better than my neighbors if I had a "sculpted" yard; some guy just box-bladed theirs...

You're getting the "sell 'em" idea right just communicating it poorly.
The sites are just too cluttered & gaudy and by all means get rid of the free slide show with the "get my own" advertisement under it...has "I'm a CHEAP guy that has to use a freebie slide show deal" screaming at me...outweighs all those good things I mentioned.

Thanks for those good examples now fix the sites and you'll do even better:
(one has about 20 navigation bars I can't read and seriously I have 20/20 vision and a hi-def LCD monitor, can't you really do with about half those?) And don't tell me to "wake up & scroll" or I'll get hacked & just click to somewhere else where I don't have some guy telling me to scroll (and everybody hates scrolling much even with my spiffy scroll wheel, wireless, optical mouse)
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2007, 09:06 PM
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YellowDogSVC YellowDogSVC is online now
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebMan View Post
Yellow dog without realizing it you are doing a couple of the very things I mention:
  1. Fist scroll on your page top (but the dog and scroll make it distracting (make a still dog and still text... you obviously LOVE marquee's but most people don't) but you do say: "Open your land to enjoyment" ..Hmm "enjoyment" .."Open my land" "..."enjoying my land!" THAT makes me feel better and makes my land worth more to me!
  2. Your other site says "let us sculpt your property" (and another bad marquee about no dozer's etc...good message just can the too colorful & hard to read marquee's remember I might be old and my glasses may be in the other room and people on the web "hate to wait" to read something so I probably won't get but the first word or 2...all I got was "no dozer's")
    BUT "sculpt" now that's more valuable to me than "grade"... I would be better than my neighbors if I had a "sculpted" yard; some guy just box-bladed theirs...

You're getting the "sell 'em" idea right just communicating it poorly.
The sites are just too cluttered & gaudy and by all means get rid of the free slide show with the "get my own" advertisement under it...has "I'm a CHEAP guy that has to use a freebie slide show deal" screaming at me...outweighs all those good things I mentioned.

Thanks for those good examples now fix the sites and you'll do even better:
(one has about 20 navigation bars I can't read and seriously I have 20/20 vision and a hi-def LCD monitor, can't you really do with about half those?) And don't tell me to "wake up & scroll" or I'll get hacked & just click to somewhere else where I don't have some guy telling me to scroll (and everybody hates scrolling much even with my spiffy scroll wheel, wireless, optical mouse)
hmmm. could you talk down to us a bit more? Maybe I read your posts wrong but you come across awfull condescending..
You are welcome to do it your way but what I have works for me since I am a cheap guy that can't afford anything else!

Thank you for your opinion, however, if I was trying to sell websites to web geeks, I would worry about all the gidgets and gizmos working perfectly. I have received tons of excellent feedback from lay women and men who are looking for information not technical expertise on a website. Since I am not a web designer and communicate that to my customers, they are all the more impressed. If a customer is so anal or gets hacked that easily, I'd love to weed them out at the front page rather than deal with change orders and the typical impatient types. You see, if it ain't broke, I don't fix it.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2007, 09:32 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowDogSVC View Post
hmmm. could you talk down to us a bit more? Maybe I read your posts wrong but you come across awfull condescending..
You are welcome to do it your way but what I have works for me since I am a cheap guy that can't afford anything else!

Thank you for your opinion, however, if I was trying to sell websites to web geeks, I would worry about all the gidgets and gizmos working perfectly. I have received tons of excellent feedback from lay women and men who are looking for information not technical expertise on a website. Since I am not a web designer and communicate that to my customers, they are all the more impressed. If a customer is so anal or gets hacked that easily, I'd love to weed them out at the front page rather than deal with change orders and the typical impatient types. You see, if it ain't broke, I don't fix it.
Well, just take the best out of the comments. Maybe the nature of his work leans toward pointing out what could be better.

On the other hand, a lot of technical stuff is irrelevant.

I compete on the web against other sites with skilled webmasters, yet their sites really don't rank much better if at all.

The technical stuff is nice if you can do it, but don't get too stressed out about it. Do whatever is practically achievable for your needs.

If someone likes their own site, that's one of the most important things.

In my case, I enjoy tinkering on my own. It's fun. And right now, it's pulling in $100 per month income from Google. Not landscape work. I mean income on the advice pages that get visited from the search engines. Also, my Certified Arborist page for Portland is right at the top. And the guy I refer on the page, gets some good work. He pitched in a couple of hundred last year toward may web costs + some. So my site is bringing in about $1500 per year right now, aside from the tree and landscape customers who call me via the site.
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Last edited by mdvaden; 01-15-2007 at 09:38 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2007, 09:56 PM
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YellowDogSVC YellowDogSVC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdvaden View Post
Well, just take the best out of the comments. Maybe the nature of his work leans toward pointing out what could be better.

By the way: Love the picture on your homepage.. What type of tree is that? I have always wanted to go out to the NW...Been stuck in TX too long!


It would be one thing if I asked for the other guy's advice..it's another to be critical off topic. That starts things off on a bad note on bb's and I am sure I have been guilty of the same behavior. I am passionate about what I do as I am sure he is about his work, however, his points may or may not pertain to what I am doing. I usually don't use the same adjectives to describe a customer's property as an insult could be interpreted..
I am not an ego maniac but I want people to like my site and I worked hard so I am protective. Could it be better? Yeah, it's old technology but it works. My customers, young, old, educated, super educated, rich, white collar and blue collar seem to like my little sites and they often print them out. A number of customers or people who call or write start the conversation off with "wow, we really enjoyed your site". If a person is so anal retentive and/or impatient that they can't look for the information then I don't want those folks anyway. After all, I am selling myself and my services and my site is a reflection of me. If they do not like it or can't navigate it because of the personality that I have infused (maybe it is boring or gaudy), then they won't like me and I don't want to waste precious time on that type of person.
I am internationally recognized at least via the web for having a presence in the green industry. I have received inquiries from the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and Canada from guys looking for information on brush mowing so I must be doing something right. (wink-wink) But as long as my customers in my local area can find me and I keep busy all year..I am happy and will succeed at least for the next 10 years since I made it past that milestone already. I had a Fortune 100 business v.p. and consultant approve of my sites and he didn't seem to think they were too gaudy (maybe just a bit long winded but hey, you don't have to finish reading if you don't want to...it's my legacy) LoL
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Last edited by YellowDogSVC; 01-15-2007 at 10:04 PM.
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