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  #61  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:38 PM
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turf hokie turf hokie is offline
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Originally Posted by Don M. View Post
That's why when we set up the appointment on the phone we tell them we have a $500 min. Several hang up. Saves the running around.
Absolutely, pre-qualifying is a must. We tell them our minimum and our average, sometimes I feel we are trying to talk them out of an appointment when they first call into the office.

Even then you will still get to an appt and they will say that they didnt realize it would be so much money....

I couldnt be in business without the residential, we hardly have any commercial work, they are nice to have, usually a good size job but we make our living on residentials as much as they wear me out its where the work is.....
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  #62  
Old 11-27-2011, 08:30 PM
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greenbaylawns greenbaylawns is online now
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7 Rehangs and 11 New this season.. 2nd year, I'll take it.. Mostly all HBL product. Take Dave's advise..look outside the box and there hang lights.
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  #63  
Old 11-28-2011, 01:25 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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#28 today. had 4 appointments, thought I had another one, she seemed close. 3 appointments tomorrow. booked through thursday this week, maybe friday. fixes coming fast and furious. jobs that were hung 2 months ago are coming on and lots of bulbs need tightened, miscellaneous issues like not overloading one outlet but several outlets are on same breaker and we need to redistribute power.

we are ahead of 2009 and pacing 2010 close. but I held back some rental clients last year til the end and this year I am just throwing them in. so maybe a bit behind 2010. I think I would be happy at 40 new clients this year, but really, last year was the first time ever I broke 40. So I should be thrilled with 40.

But I have learned that as my business has grown my retention rate seems to be dropping. I remember 2008 I retained every customer. before that I kept around 95%. but since then it has headed toward 90%. we may drop below that this year for the first time. we still have 7 that may drop this year, they still have not confirmed or denied.

so you lose 10% of customers out of 200 you lose 20. this year it might be 23. so at 40 new customers I am only growing by 17. growing this business takes an incredible number of new customers per year, but I also really need to take a look at how do you keep clients in a larger business.

we need follow up with every customer, right after the job was hung, and probably a check in phone call once every 10 days through out the "lit" season from Thanksgiving to Newyears day. I continue to see the need for a full time secretary type person, even though I don't see an extra bucket of cash laying around to pay that person.
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  #64  
Old 11-28-2011, 09:41 PM
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[QUOTE=David Gretzmier;4228591
we need follow up with every customer, right after the job was hung, and probably a check in phone call once every 10 days through out the "lit" season from Thanksgiving to Newyears day. I continue to see the need for a full time secretary type person, even though I don't see an extra bucket of cash laying around to pay that person.[/QUOTE]

Thats a good idea for a quick customer service call every 2 weeks or so while the lights are hanging. I always give a call on landscape lighting 1 week after install just to check how they are liking everything and if they noticed anythng that they think whould be different. I then send an email another 2 weeks later to touch base again. I think I will take your idea and check in every 2 weeks on the holiday lights.
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  #65  
Old 11-29-2011, 01:48 AM
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greenbaylawns greenbaylawns is online now
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I'll take two more for today.
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  #66  
Old 11-29-2011, 08:36 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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no closes yesterday. but I have one today that hopefully is in the bag. had a bad day yesterday as far as trucks. two of my boxvans went down, one with metal to metal on the front rotor, which is at the mechanic, and one with what looks like a broken crankshaft that is currently on the off ramp of interstate 540. need to get it towed, but not sure where to tow it to other than the shop. asked my mechanic to take a look at it to see if it is worth saving.

funny how you can pay folks 1000 bucks each time here and there to work on 6 trucks over the years, and when you ask them, even say you will pay them to just go and look at something they look at you as if you have grown horns. "you want me to go look at it?" yes, I said, I need to know if this is a repair or a replacement of the engine. I explained exactly what I saw, what it did, and he said it is either a broken crankshaft or one other thing that is fixable. but he seemed like he might be willing to go take a peek last night. but I have no idea if he did.

working out the logistics of going from 4 to 2 trucjs right here at the end is not so bad, I will bring my truck into the mix and I rented a car last night to do bids. the brakes should be fixed on the other boxvan today and will be back in the mix tomorrow with my truck, and we should be good to finish most installs by friday or saturday and be done with most of the crazyness.

I hope. but I always try to post when I have problems so you guys know my life and business are not always peaches and cream. I don't really like peaches anyway.
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  #67  
Old 11-29-2011, 03:45 PM
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two of my commercial accounts add up to over 20k.

No thanks one the $1,500 resi jobs.
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  #68  
Old 11-30-2011, 01:40 AM
britelights britelights is offline
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To David---sorry to hear about the truck problems. That's no fun. This is the 1st year both of our vehicles went into the shop during the season...ugh. Thankfully they were each in and out in a day and I could snag a truck from my parents' business to help us out. I like to read about your issues - partly because it helps to reassure me I'm not the only one running crazy. Over the past couple days, I keep telling Carlos, "This is the year...this is the year I'm gonna lose it and go insane -- LOL." Phones are still ringing but I'm telling people we are booked for this season...we are booked until the end of next week with work - plus the boat will take a lot of work to get ready for the parade on the 10th. We have added some more "decorating work" -- decorated garland around the door, decorated wreaths...that type of thing. But we just can't take on more installs this year and still keep whatever small fraction of sanity still left. And you're right -- once the timers go on - the service calls pour in. Although I'm thankful the list is pretty short as of right now. Unfortunately tomorrow I do have to drive an hour to an HOA to fix lights/garland that some kids decided to cut down (ugh!!) - but at least that's billable.

To yard_smart : what type of commercial accounts? How did you land them?? We do some commercial -- but they have come from referrals - and we would love to increase the commercial side.
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  #69  
Old 11-30-2011, 07:53 AM
TimNNJ TimNNJ is offline
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Right on track with the number of new customers I wanted for this year. I have house that is having a power issue but I plan on solving that today and hopefully not have to hear from them for the rest of the season. We have had a very different customer base all over the board. You just don't know who will pull the trigger and are surprised by the ones that do and don't. We've been working almost everyday between lights and cleanups. We are all very tired here..but it's almost over..One thing I did notice around here..I think my lawn signs hit a nerve with people around here..A lot more houses are lit up around here then I have seen in a long time. Which is nice to see everyone getting into the spirit. But who knows if it was the signs or people just need a good vibe going into the season this year
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  #70  
Old 11-30-2011, 05:33 PM
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yard_smart yard_smart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britelights View Post
To David---sorry to hear about the truck problems. That's no fun. This is the 1st year both of our vehicles went into the shop during the season...ugh. Thankfully they were each in and out in a day and I could snag a truck from my parents' business to help us out. I like to read about your issues - partly because it helps to reassure me I'm not the only one running crazy. Over the past couple days, I keep telling Carlos, "This is the year...this is the year I'm gonna lose it and go insane -- LOL." Phones are still ringing but I'm telling people we are booked for this season...we are booked until the end of next week with work - plus the boat will take a lot of work to get ready for the parade on the 10th. We have added some more "decorating work" -- decorated garland around the door, decorated wreaths...that type of thing. But we just can't take on more installs this year and still keep whatever small fraction of sanity still left. And you're right -- once the timers go on - the service calls pour in. Although I'm thankful the list is pretty short as of right now. Unfortunately tomorrow I do have to drive an hour to an HOA to fix lights/garland that some kids decided to cut down (ugh!!) - but at least that's billable.

To yard_smart : what type of commercial accounts? How did you land them?? We do some commercial -- but they have come from referrals - and we would love to increase the commercial side.
All leads come from one of three - yard signs, cold calling, website. The majority coming from the latter. We picked up a large shopping center this year that found us by our web site. People buy from the last sales person they speak to. That's why it's important to be the number one result
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