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  #91  
Old 12-01-2013, 02:23 AM
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David I know you keep a lid on the info about your total number of clients. I'm surprised you dropping hints about retention numbers since that can easily be used to calculate client numbers. I guess you have been a little less tight lipped about your trade secrets lately.

I find it interesting and useful that your doing more postcards towards the end of week one in December. I figured December was getting too late to get a reasonable return on your investment. I think next year I'm going to shoot for November 15, 21, & 28ish. I pulled the trigger too early this year on the three rounds I did. The last mid November batch I did really made the phones ring and landed several jobs.
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #92  
Old 12-01-2013, 09:33 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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I will let you guys know if it is a waste. The only reason they went out Friday after thanksgiving is my wife and my secretary were both injured on the Monday-wed before thanksgiving and could not carry them to the post office. I drop hints here and there, but the number of customers does not necessarily make the company. It really is your gross profit per customer times the number of customers that matters. I have 45 or so customers that need to go up in price by 25-35% right now. I look at what the new customers pay in rehang dollars over the last 3 years verses the customers that are 8 years old or more and the difference is notable. Further, the older customers need more maintenance and cost you more labor and materials. For example, I have raised the price of garland sold, installed taken down with cord and everything to 145 per 9 foot section this year. Rehang is 1/3 of that. I really sell quite a bit at that price for entry arches, rails, etc. the price has went up 10 bucks a strand for the last 8 years. I sold it for 65 per strand back in 2005 and earlier. So my rehang on those was only 21.66 per strand. I have crept some up, but not all. I have some garland heavy jobs from back then that now are going into the refurbishment program. The sticker shock of replace or refurbish and the new rehang price is going to force some rehangs away. I bragged that we have not refurbed much garland, but I watched it this year, and we have had about 20 strands come back from the older jobs. To refurb I charge 1/3 of new price, again, 45, or buy new at 95 without rehang price built in. Folks have been choosing new. And most are not happy that the rehang price next year is 45 per strand. But garland is one of those things that takes labor time and warehouse space to do right. Lots of fluffing and big boxes to store it do you don't crush it each year. And the wholesale cost to buy it has doubled over the last 8 years as well. 4 foot wreaths are in the same boat. I used to charge 149 to sell and 45-60 to rehang those, now it is 295/95. And folks buy it. But the cost for me to buy it, put it up, store it has roughly doubled as well. Storage costs get your attention as well. We are going to begin another warehouse expansion project, which will be the last one at this property. Just won't have the parking in 5 years for the employees and trucks. But if I ever want to sell this property I need to fix up the old building I first bought almost a decade ago. More details later.
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  #93  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:14 AM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is online now
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I'm glad to get the feedback that mailing this late experimental and not the norm. I'd like to hear from anyone else as to what is the latest they dare to have postcards hit. I would think in general December gets risky quick but at this point the people you do get are wanting it ASAP and no so much of the tire kickers you get in early November.
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #94  
Old 12-01-2013, 11:38 PM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is online now
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I thought you would be more expensive then that David. I'm guessing your selling the incandescent HD stuff or is that an upgrade? I'm at $249 - $259 for a 48" Cheyenne or Camdon wreath with no bow included. The garland is at $109 - $119. These are LED and no install factored in.

It's hard to get guys to do a decent job of prepping the greenery. If I don't watch out the guys make Franken wreaths or Franken Garland where it looks like it was struck by lightning.

Years ago I did postcards in July for landscape maintenance as an experiment ans got zero calls after spending $1800. If anyone has pulled the trigger on any early December postcards I would really like to hear what the results were. I've already dropped 5G's on advertising this year and am deep in the hole.

My November 1 mail was a waste. My November 12th direct mail was luke warm and my 18th-19th mail was pretty good. I'm surprised HD does mid October, November 1, and November 15 as an option. It seems like they would know when to advertise but clearly they do not.

I'm also surprised at how much HD marks up their mail service (about 30% if you paid the list price). You would think they would use mail as a tool to drive sales but instead they mark it up so much guys can't afford it and it hampers sales. Having HD and your company name on their mail seems to cause confusion as well so I'm glad I was able to get a proof from HD when they dropped the ball on my October mail. In the past they would not part with their artwork if you inquired about using your own printing source. I'm very glad HD dropped the ball so now I have my own copy minus any HD branding. It was worth the $1500 I spent in 2009 to join HD to get to get some direct mail artwork. Blah, blah, blah, blah....
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #95  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:49 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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40. Referral. Yesterday.
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  #96  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:59 PM
TimNNJ TimNNJ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Mid New Jersey
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Hey guys been pretty busy this season so far. Out of the blue I have a bunch of estimates for tomorrow lined up. I thought I put in my last ..last minute order today. We are booked out until Tuesday as of now. Lets finish strong!
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  #97  
Old 12-03-2013, 01:24 AM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is online now
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Location: Buda,Texas
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Just got number ten and have an appointment for tomorrow after things had gotten quite. My number ten was your classic party in two days easy sell.
__________________
Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #98  
Old 12-03-2013, 02:21 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
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41-44 today. crazy day. I look back at other years and know they happen, but every time it still geeks me out. couple of small jobs and couple of decent size ones. nothing really big though. guys are gobbling up 3 of the 4 tomorrow. so we are caught up. I need to sell 2-3 tomorrow just to work all the guys a full day Wednesday. hope I do, I think one of the appointments tomorrow is a given. but really bad weather coming Thursday and Friday, ice and freezing rain, 6 degree actual temps, so trying to get everything up by Wednesday night. Saturday weather looks better, may be just lots of gfci fixes and any jobs I sell Wednesday-Friday.
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  #99  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:47 PM
TexasFire221 TexasFire221 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 469
Had 4 estimates yesterday and sold all 4. Finishing strong. Gave 4 estimates today (to one very large home builder on model homes) could turn out to be a great relationships in the next years. Have 4 installs tomorrow along with 4 estimates. 2 installs Thursday along with 4 estimates. Then we are on hold with the weather also. Have next week getting full also. Best year by far for us.
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  #100  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:58 PM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is online now
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
Posts: 2,589
Definitely not advertising more. After a lull the phone has come to life from postcards sent 10-15 days ago.
__________________
Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $300K+

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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