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  #1  
Old 08-26-2013, 07:59 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
Fix Your Business on the Toilet

I would like your thoughts on the first week of this program.

I sold my share of a nice sized landscape company in 2011. After the sale, I used that experience to write a 21-day business improvement program. My desire is to help owners who are making the difficult transition from working in the field to managing a business. The program is called Fix Your Business on the Toilet, and it revolves around reading a 5 minute business lesson each day. After each lesson, there are also detailed action steps that take another 30 minutes or so to implement.

The lessons each week cover time management, customer service, quality, efficiency, marketing, personal growth, and rest. The first week focuses on daily actions to improve specific areas of a business. The second includes weekly actions to help better manage a business as a whole. The final week introduces steps to help begin developing a plan for the future.

I had several LawnSite members test the program in the spring, and included many of their suggestions in a final edit. When the cover illustration is complete I would like to start advertising in trade magazines.

Before I start advertising I would like to get your thoughts on pricing. I have sold a few dozen copies of the program at prices ranging from $29 to $99. I do offer a money back guarantee and my single return was at the $29 price point. I am leaning towards $49 and it is my hope that the program will pay for itself in the first week.

Each afternoon, I will post a link to one of the first week’s lessons, and I welcome your feedback. Please let me know if you think the lesson is practical, and if it would help you to better manage your business.

At the end of the week, I would also like to know if you think the first five lessons would provide a $49 benefit to your business.


Monday's lesson can be found on my website, here www.819resouces.com/day-3-monday/
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2013, 08:47 PM
ReddensLawnCare ReddensLawnCare is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,484
I feel that the lesson in day one is wasted on those that are in my position. I have two employees that get between 30 and 50 hours per week each. Sometimes I am with them, sometimes not. The choice to answer your phone as soon as a customer calls or immediately calling back is a gesture that I find greatly appreciated by current and prospective clients. When I am with the guys, they understand that I will be spending a lot of time on the phone taking/making calls or checking email. The reference that you mentioned about a banker or a lawyer also seems a bit confusing. They are not answering the phone because they are either already on another line or helping a customer. When you take the time to speak to someone when they call or immediately following, you are providing a strong level of customer service.

These are just my opinions. I don't like leaving voicemails. I understand people are busy but what happens when your prospective client hears they only have two small time windows to receive a call back. I don't think that would go over well.
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2013, 09:10 AM
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GMLC GMLC is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 4,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddensLawnCare View Post
I feel that the lesson in day one is wasted on those that are in my position. I have two employees that get between 30 and 50 hours per week each. Sometimes I am with them, sometimes not. The choice to answer your phone as soon as a customer calls or immediately calling back is a gesture that I find greatly appreciated by current and prospective clients. When I am with the guys, they understand that I will be spending a lot of time on the phone taking/making calls or checking email. The reference that you mentioned about a banker or a lawyer also seems a bit confusing. They are not answering the phone because they are either already on another line or helping a customer. When you take the time to speak to someone when they call or immediately following, you are providing a strong level of customer service.

These are just my opinions. I don't like leaving voicemails. I understand people are busy but what happens when your prospective client hears they only have two small time windows to receive a call back. I don't think that would go over well.
I agree 100%. We answer calls asap. Usually when I miss a call and call back later the job has already been secured by another company. On commercial bids I can usually get away with calling back because they are accepting bids from multiple LCO's anyway, but on residentials most often than not the first estimate gets the job.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2013, 11:49 AM
seabee24 seabee24 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 619
I read though the program. His perspective on not answering the phone is a risky helpful. You don't realize that until you do it for a few days and get in the habit of returning calls at certain points in the day. I can focus way more and get better details when I'm sitting at a desk, with a PC. I was jotting things down on napkins and note books. More than half the calls I would take in the field, I would have to return back after reviewing their account anyway. I have felt less scatter brained, able to do my job in the field better and in the office.

The trick is, nobody likes voicemail. And if your allowing them to go to voicemail your loosing business. Either except that or hire some one or an answering service to bridge the gap. If your returning calls twice per day, odds are the person calling gets a call back within 3 hours. If they can't wait that long, you don't want them as a customer
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2013, 06:09 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
Seabee, that is a great illustration of this day’s lesson. I agree that not answering the phone is very risky and can cost you customers. There are also times when it is more important to fix your business than it is to add new customers. Please understand I am not suggesting that you never answer your phone. It is important to answer your phone as much as possible, but also ask yourself if each call is worth losing 20 minutes of progress on your task at hand.

The next lesson is Communicating Great Customer Service, and can be found here www.819resouces.com/day-4-tuesday/.
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2013, 11:26 PM
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snomaha snomaha is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: midwest
Posts: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by dllawson View Post
I would like your thoughts on the first week of this program.

I sold my share of a nice sized landscape company in 2011. After the sale, I used that experience to write a 21-day business improvement program. My desire is to help owners who are making the difficult transition from working in the field to managing a business. The program is called Fix Your Business on the Toilet, and it revolves around reading a 5 minute business lesson each day. After each lesson, there are also detailed action steps that take another 30 minutes or so to implement.

The lessons each week cover time management, customer service, quality, efficiency, marketing, personal growth, and rest. The first week focuses on daily actions to improve specific areas of a business. The second includes weekly actions to help better manage a business as a whole. The final week introduces steps to help begin developing a plan for the future.

I had several LawnSite members test the program in the spring, and included many of their suggestions in a final edit. When the cover illustration is complete I would like to start advertising in trade magazines.

Before I start advertising I would like to get your thoughts on pricing. I have sold a few dozen copies of the program at prices ranging from $29 to $99. I do offer a money back guarantee and my single return was at the $29 price point. I am leaning towards $49 and it is my hope that the program will pay for itself in the first week.

Each afternoon, I will post a link to one of the first week’s lessons, and I welcome your feedback. Please let me know if you think the lesson is practical, and if it would help you to better manage your business.

At the end of the week, I would also like to know if you think the first five lessons would provide a $49 benefit to your business.


Monday's lesson can be found on my website, here www.819resouces.com/day-3-monday/
Don't like the name. Just my 2 cents
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2013, 05:14 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
For what it is worth the full name of the program is Fix Your Business on the Toilet: More Profitable Landscape Management in 5 Minutes a Day.

The next lesson covers Property Inspection Forms, and can be found here www.819resouces.com/day-5-wednesday/.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:03 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: midwest
Posts: 5,555
Good stuff. Just ordered. We'll see. Thanks for posting.
__________________
Proud subscriber of TURF Magazine. (thanks Ron)
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2013, 04:55 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
Americanlawn, thank you for your purchase. I do have a special offer for LawnSite members posted in the Sponsor section, so I will be refunding a portion of your $49 purchase price over the weekend.

If anyone else is interested, I am selling 21 copies of Fix Your Business on the Toilet to LawnSite members for $21. The link to the special price can be found here http://www.fixyourbusiness.net/21for21, or in the LawnSite sponsor section.


Today's lesson covers Getting Ready for Tomorrow Today, and can be found here www.819resources.com/ebooks/day-6-thursday/. I would really like to have your thoughts today. The few simple changes covered in this lesson could easily save you up to $100 per week in wasted payroll.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2013, 07:41 PM
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APLUS LAWN CARE APLUS LAWN CARE is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Missouri
Posts: 574
dllawson,

I have a copy of your program and I think it is amazing! I haven't implemented it at this time because I just don't have the time. I don't even have toilet time - that time goes to emails. However, things should slow down some and I look forward to implementing your program. I think it will do wonders of good for my business.

As far as pricing, I think $49 is fair. Much more than that, and I think you would be overcharging, in my opinion.
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