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Old 01-01-2012, 12:53 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,654
Happy New Year! and business resolutions

Happy new year to all. Thought I'd also share some business resolutions I am making as well. Things to strive for in 2012 that I needed some work on. Feel free to share your resolutions for your business as well-

I resolve to begin marketing my 2012 lighting season in January 2012. I will not wait until October to wake up and realize I gotta hurry up and get postcards mailed. My 2012 goal is to mail at least one saturation route every month for January through November. 10% of the new Christmas Light jobs I did came from landscape lighting clients that were new in 2011. so doing more marketing for that to expand that side of the business leads to an easier time getting new work on the Christmas side.

I resolve to spend less on my personal life so I am not choking my business to death. One of the reasons I have trouble doing all the marketing I want is the money is just not there . I divested myself of two mortgaged properties in 2011, and although my wife and I plan to buy some land in 2012 and start building a personal home in 2013, I am still committed to spending more money on the business side and less on the personal side.

I resolve to organize business inventory stuff better in 2012. I feel as though we have made great strides in 2010 and 2011 with the new shop and pallet racks up, but we still need a lot of polish- better orgainzed rack storage for wreaths and boxes, better tool storage, mainly we need to redo our shelving for what the employees need to grab on a day to day basis-clips, bulbs, cords, etc. all the tools we use for both landscape lighting and Christmas lights, along with the construction stuff, desperately needs to be laid out and stored to be used. currently they just seem to be stacked up.

I resolve to continue to improve the structure of the shop- I need to close in the left very top with a soffit. It looks like the extension of the right side and enclosing the smaller shop will have to wait until 2013. I just don't have the 15000 extra laying around to do what I want. But we should get the drainage work done, left soffit and gutters, and finish front fence with welded gate and the wood part with stain to match shop.

I resolve to train and work with new office manager to make sure she works on payroll, collections and postcard marketing. I am very sick and tired of being the one who calls and chases folks down for funds. It is way past time for someone else to do it.

I resolve to make sure the new office manager does follow up calls on every rehang and new install we do. I am no longer satisfied with waiting for folks to call and complain.

I resolve to train a couple of temp guys to be the "night time" crew That drives around from around the moment lights start coming on around the week of Thanksgiving until Christmas eve. They will work around 5-10 in whatever install truck has come in first. They will have a complete list of all properties and try to inspect/visit all properties at least once per week. they will fix stuff as they find it and make notes so I know what properties are being fixed. The sad reality is once you get over 200 properties you average about 4 hours a day in repairs for that 35 day period if you go looking for them.

I resolve to get all my trucks with graphics on them. those things get me work, but I bought 2 box vans this year and they both need banners.

I probably should stop. other thoughts out there?
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:58 AM
addictedtolandscaping's Avatar
addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 560
Happy New Year to you also Dave, and everyone else!!

Myself, just a few so far:

I will not do projects on the hand shake anymore, we took quite a beating last year and then as noted in other threads ended up with a real pita but stood my ground and all worked out. In the past I have done the hand shale for several different types of projects through out the year, but as with everything else, times have changed.

I also need to work on the marketing side of things more. All I did last year was the HBL direct mail program and that was a total bust. Against HBL's theory, I do not particularly like residential work, I should say I prefer commercial to residential as all my residential clients are really great people! Last year I tried and tried to get my bucket truck lettered and it didn't happen no matter how many companies I called, also wanted new graphics on the back window of my truck and that didn't happen either. I am considering pulling the graphics completely off of one pick up as they have been pealing, and as much as I like them (color is awesome) I am not paid to advertise for HBL so some more thought to be placed there.

I am very happy with the mini LED's i am currently getting, and am eliminating the incandescent unless the client insists upon it. I have spoken with a couple others on hear with regard to c-9 and will be requesting several samples form different manufacturers and putting them through the test through out the summer. I very well may say with c-9 incandescent. Even though we went through all the mini lights - incandescent, had everything completely working, as I was installing them, I had to have spare bulbs right with me as the d*mn things had bulbs out.

Man power, my son will graduate this year, and is more than capable of handling a crew. The obstacle there will be college, he is going to be attending locally (less than a mile away). He is extremely attentive to detail, extremely courteous and the clients love him. We hit a point this year where I just didn't have anything left (spirit and energy wise) and we either will need to significantly expand so I can pay a couple more guys and still cover my over head and what I need for the winter, or we can not really grow at all. I know a couple of the project I currently do - my two big ones are going to do a large add on next year, and I may try to get the monument project I have mentioned here but that will be the max.

With a large expansion in mind, that will incorporate another truck, probably 60'. Of course there is equipping that, lettering it etc.

I have been giving lots of thought to a show room for the past 3 years. Much more thought will need to go into that. I am not so sure this will be the year. The investment of the display concerns me greatly and with some of the information that has been passed along to me by others, sounds as though good quality product is also becoming an issue.

Lastly, apparently there is a company out the calling themselves Celebrations. If I has a dollar for every call and email I have gotten from people that have purchased product and gotten junk, I would not have to worry about things for a bit. I definitely believe that it is time to put together an e-commerce site as most manufacturers will drop ship and some will also repackage. I will also establish relationships with more companies to further enhance this idea as well as eliminate the middle man so to speak on projects.

I as well plan to build this year, have owned the property for a few years now and need to get it done.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:50 AM
TimNNJ TimNNJ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Mid New Jersey
Posts: 317
Happy New Year!..for one thing..after after last years season..I have learned that I can not do everything myself...I need to hire temp employees when I need them..I am going to use the intelligent office this year...I was thinking about hiring an office person but I do not think I am there yet..I can have my sister in-law come in once a week for some help. I for the lighting I think I have to put the money out and buy a decent amount of material up front so I can concentrate on selling instead of worrying if I will have enough product to get the job done..towards the end I had to pass up some work. I am going to rent a garage with a lot space for a very very good price this year..I will be able to store everything there. Office will still be at the house..taking cc this year and ach checks for auto pays/weekly mowings. I think this year will be good. I hope everyone has a great year and grows their business. Sorry for the ramble
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