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  #71  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:04 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 397
Sketchbook pro app on iPad2

Here is a quick sketch using the layering trick I discussed a few posts back. Took picture of clients home. Brought in image to iPad and created 2 layers:

Layer 1 House (50% transparency)
Layer 2 Lines (Stone and tree work, with pencil and pen tools)
Layer 3 color (Color for trees, and stone work with marker tool)

Saved to one file and emailed to client.

-Chris
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  #72  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:36 PM
JCResources JCResources is offline
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Location: central Kansas USA
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Steiner,

looking really good. Love the sketches over the photos.
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  #73  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:54 PM
lawncare18 lawncare18 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Syracuse ny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steiner View Post
Lawncare18: To answer your question no I do not plow but I have been thinking about it for a few years and may try subbing or getting a few drives right around the village of Liverpool if I can. It seems like everyone has fisher plows hanging off f-250's here though so I cam not sure if I can pick up a few people right in my neighborhood.

What kind of plowing did you do? Sub? Did you drive a truck or a loader in the big lots? Do you miss it?

-Chris
Chris,
I used to run a loader and I also used to shovel, all my years I was at bud plant in bville working for them, 12 hour shifts 24 7 when it snows 2 crews. It was great before I got a wife! After that she got sick of me working all the time. Being in the golf course biz my spring/summer/fall are non stop working so I am enjoying the winter slow down. Still work at golf course every day just less hours and stress. If you do get a plow I highly recommend tony rotellas for a fisher, has great service.
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  #74  
Old 01-04-2014, 01:54 AM
Porkins Porkins is offline
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Location: Indian Springs,GA
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Those look awesome. Too bad they don't have that app in google play store so it can be used on a nexus7.
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  #75  
Old 01-07-2014, 01:17 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 397
Where

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawncare18 View Post
Chris,
I used to run a loader and I also used to shovel, all my years I was at bud plant in bville working for them, 12 hour shifts 24 7 when it snows 2 crews. It was great before I got a wife! After that she got sick of me working all the time. Being in the golf course biz my spring/summer/fall are non stop working so I am enjoying the winter slow down. Still work at golf course every day just less hours and stress. If you do get a plow I highly recommend tony rotellas for a fisher, has great service.
Lawncare18: Where is Tony Rotella's?
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  #76  
Old 01-07-2014, 02:06 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 397
Thinking out loudÖ.Business/marketing 101

Here is a brainstorming session I am going through as I constantly evolve my business. I usually sit with a cup of coffee, a few markers, pens, and some blank card stock and work through this process. I got this process from some business books/interviews of CEO's etc. I also adapted it from the industrial design process that I studied in college.

Thought I would think out loud for a few minutes here and maybe someone could use this info that is out there lurking:

1. PROBLEM: Am I where I need to be? What does my market need right now? Am I showing customers my companies value? I sell my company as high quality, but so does everyone else. I am not differentiated. What makes my company special? I don't compete on price, but what makes someone go with me over someone else?

2. RESEARCH/BRAINSTORMING:I have been seeing/reading/hearing that the way to drive business and passion is to show customers your defining factor. All I have been reading is quality this and quality that, but is that enough? NO. I watched Starbucks founder interview the other day and he talked about how to break "price anchoring," and make people pay 7.00 for a cup of coffee after they are used to the 2.00 cup at Dunkins (Anchor). Can I do that?

Books like "Built to Last"-Jim Collins are showing me that visionary/long lasting companies, have big audacious goals, bet the business on big projects, and evolve. They try a lot of stuff and keep what works.

But is quality what really separates me from the competition here in Syracuse? I don't think that it does. Does competing with quality only work? Customers do want a quality job but most guys give a quality job for a reasonable price here. It is almost a commodity. So what really makes me chocolate from all the vanilla landscape companies?

WHAT WAYS CAN WE DEFINE/Differentiate OUR COMPANY:
-customer service (What does that mean exactly?)
-live people (talk to the owner)
-great design/drawings/communication
-involving the client in the design.
-great price (Ugh! no)
-Quality (do customers really get that?)
-personality/friendliness/approachability
-financing (do I want that type of customer, that has to finance?)
-clean, neat appearance?
-Best plants and materials?
-Peace of mind?
-Punctuality (like the 30 minute or less pizza guy flop?)
-Knowledge
-Connections with others in Syracuse (go to guy, community player)

WHAT are my companies strengths?

I would say if I had to rate my self that my design skills would top out over all other categories. I have vast knowledge and work very hard on my education, but I have a creative mind, and I can really show people my ideas. I have had people say to me that the magic that I do at that first few table meetings is amazing. The drawings, describing, thinking about needs, and future uses, etc.

SO THE BIG QUESTION: Do I show my customers how I design? Do they know that I am not just some "schmuck with a truck?" Am I selling that as my companies defining moment? Can customers see my passion?

1. Does my website reflect my ability for design?
2. Do my posts on Facebook show that I have a love for creativity and design?
3. Do I send out the design message?
4. Do I have materials that go out to customers that share my strengths?
5. What can I do during the interview to inform my clients that I am a strong designer?

3.ACTION PLAN:
1. Look over my posts and website and see what message I am sending.
2. Create a single page flyer about design/thought/ and creativity as a strength.
3. Create a few video's for my website about how my design process works. Videos showing the thought, care, and creative process from sketching right through the client meeting.
4. Set my alarm on my iPhone to post a Sunday evening message about design on my Facebook page and link it back to my company.

Ok that is my process and how to go about finding your companies issues and thinking about your company critically. This works best with others who have a vested interest in your company, but I think it is what owners should do every year to think about their company critically and evolve it. Profits follow passion and I think that by asking yourself a few simple questions you can improve your company by following this process.

If anyone would like help or coaching I would be willing to help someone through this process over the phone for free. I work with 3-4 new o the business contractors and would be willing to share some good ideas. I think we could both learn something and maybe both grow.

-Chris
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  #77  
Old 01-07-2014, 03:24 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 397
Working on my design portion of my website...

Updated my design portion of my website as per my brainstorming session in the earlier post. Also made it more prominent in my list of links to highlight it more. Made a few graphics with an app called "over" which lets you write catchy sayings over your job photos. Then added my design process and prices to the design portion of the website.

http://www.steinpropertyservices.com...n_Process.html

Let me know what you think. See my earlier post for more details.
-Chris

Last edited by Steiner; 01-07-2014 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Forgot link
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  #78  
Old 01-07-2014, 04:27 PM
lawncare18 lawncare18 is offline
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Location: Syracuse ny
Posts: 743
It is located off 695 near fairmount exit, search them he has a web page.I would say 7,000 to 9,000 for a fisher? just my guess.
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  #79  
Old 03-23-2014, 03:02 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 397
Do you use Facebook? Really use it?

Here is a great article from Entrepreneur magazine about how your posts should be layed out to customers who follow your Facebook post. There is a nice graphic associated with it which I am going to put out and place on near my desk!

-Chris

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227590
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  #80  
Old 12-06-2014, 10:57 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 397
Working on my drawing skills...

Trying a faster approach....
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