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  #1  
Old 12-14-2001, 09:53 AM
prairie prairie is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: kansas
Posts: 115
new in the biz

What is the best way that I can start to get new business, excluding by word of mouth? I do everything from Landscape design, installation, maintentance, irrigation design , installation, and snow removal.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2001, 03:02 PM
E-man E-man is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: PA
Posts: 136
Here are a few of ideas.

cold calling

flyers

yellow page adds

add in news paper

We do some cold calling in January and Febuary for lawn work and usualy cold call in the begining of fall for snow removal. these are only commercial places we realy dont cold call residential. We also run a yellow page add which generates probably 15% of our new sales. Cold calls wwork well for us, but you cant beat word of mouth , which is our best source for new work. You might have to try a few things to find out what best works for you.
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Old 12-14-2001, 03:54 PM
prairie prairie is offline
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Location: kansas
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Thanks, I'm going to try the fliers.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2001, 03:18 PM
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Equipguy Equipguy is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 370
Really need to have a business plan. You might get a customer or 2 using flyers but certainly won't build a business that way.
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2001, 08:23 AM
prairie prairie is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: kansas
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What would you suggest to help out building a better biz plan? And how to go about it?
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2001, 09:22 PM
MATTHEW MATTHEW is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: NE OHIO
Posts: 665
Might be tough to get inside, but if you can build a relationship with building contractors, you may get some steady work.
Otherwise, it will probably be hit & miss.
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2001, 09:27 AM
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Equipguy Equipguy is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Orlando, Fl
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Prairie

The Small Business Adm (SBA) has a web site that offers lots of info for start up business. Sometimes there is an office located in your are that may even offer free classes. Also your local library has books that will cover business plans. It takes sometime and work, but in the long run will be worth the effort.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2001, 04:24 PM
Matthew Morgan Matthew Morgan is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Hoopeston Illinois
Posts: 45
Home shows

If your area has a home show or business showcase, get in now! Usually they take place late winter and early spring. Buy a booth and put up a professional looking presentation.

You MUST have a give away. It does not need to be much. $100 worth of service for first, $50 for second and something very inexpensive for third. Everyone wants something for free and if you don't have something for them, they will pass you by. Two of my 3 winners became regular customers. While they are entering for the drawing, below their name, address, and phone number, ask these questions.

1) Are you currently using a lawn care service?
2) Would you like a free estimate for any of our services?

You may have to custom talor your questions because you do some different things that I do, but make it short. When I did this, I had 300 applicants and over 100 wanted a free estimate. When they leave, make sure they have a brochure and your card.

At times, traffic will be slow. This is when you go and network with other contractors there. You will see siding and window people, roofers, and just about any other type of business in town. These people can help generate business for you. If you get in good with some of these people, you will be refering potential clients back and forth.

Join an organization in town. Jaycees, Lions Club, or the Chamber of Commerce. All are great organizations and the networking is priceless. You will get a lot of work from these people and if they know someone in need of services that you provide, you will get the recommendation. Also, when you work the events the organization has, wear a company shirt. People like to see a business person give back to the community. Joining an orgainzation is a win/win deal.

These things are proven winners for residential customers. A few comercials will follow, but they are harder to get into, as everyone wants them.

I did these things when I started out and I had more work than I knew what to do with.

The important thing is that you are making a name for yourself. You need a good logo and plaster it all over. You need to "Brand" your name. We all know the golden arches are McDonalds and the swoosh is Nike. You need to do the same for your biz. Keep advertising branded. Fliers work well if they are done right. A friend of mine has a great idea for them and it works. You are also targeting an area that YOU want to work in, and if you can get many customers in the same area, it is more money in your pocket. If you want more info. e-mail me, I could go on forever.

Sorry for the long reply folks, I am starting to feel like 'Grassmaster'! LOL

Matthew
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