9 More Days.

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Well, the time has come to get started. we have the rest of September booked for 1 crew starting Sept. 14, and all of October booked for 1 crew. We are actaully overbooked slightly for both, so I am trying to have 3 guys kinda floating though the weekends a bit as well. November, of course, is insane.

    Am I ready ? Yes, but not as well as I'd like. Many items are not and will not get done like I had hoped, but we are more prepared this year than ever. Shop foreman from last year will work 7 days a week, part time to make sure all trucks are loaded or unloaded and gassed up. He hopefully will run a crew on Saturday and Sunday. I have one crew foreman from last year that will be my go to guy during September and October, and hopefully the other 2 guys that run with me will turn into crew foremen by Mid-October. I also have one guy part time this year that has ran crews and was awesome for 3 full seasons.

    How are you guys setting up?
     
  2. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 479

    IM JELOUS! I want to get going on the lights but being only my second year I only have 7 rehangs. I thought I had my first job sold last week but I got so pissed at the guy because he was more less wanting it for free. He is a lawn maintenance customer of mine and I did about 200ft of C-9 for him last year. I have already handed out 20 of the catalogs and can't wait for the phone to start ringing. I know it will, its just a little early around here. I have 8 spots on the radio station here starting Monday to get my name out. I am really excited about a new family that moved into the area recently. my crew helped out the landscaper that was working on the project that was under deadline for a huge party they were having. The general on the job was told, once you get to $1,000,000 stop and call me. Can't wait for them to call. Im still the small guy so I run my crew during the hangs. I have a roofer that helps me during his off season and is a great help. Have you found a sales person yet?
     
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Oh yeah, I have found a dozen or so, and they are all losers. I had an appointment with a gentleman this morning, 9 am and told him I'd buy his breakfast at the interview, never showed. called him, his wife answered the phone and said he was at the house, she had the car. go figure. I am used to plenty of installers not showing up for interviews, I always over schedule those, but this is a professional position with a guy having the potential to make a grand or more a week. sad.
     
  4. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    Geez Dave; sorry to hear you are still running into that with people, you would figure with this economy, people would be reliably knocking your door down.

    I have my first estimate on Tuesday, the trucks go in to get lettered this week, my main estimate truck will go Thursday - they want it for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure that everything adheres correctly, then my maintenance truck will go the following Tuesday.

    I have 5200 fliers being printed for the Chamber of Commerce mailer, that will go out in October and November. Direct mail program through HBL for residential October and November.

    Lawn signs should be shipped form Design 8 this week, so planning on them the beginning to middle of next week.

    Website is up and running, so hopefully will get some hits there.

    We just finished printing a cover letter so to speak to slip into the catalogs.

    Apparel ordered through HBL, hopefully will be here before the end of the month. Am waiting to see if I won one of the auctions on Ebay for the custom shirts you mentioned a few weeks ago.

    Will be contacting the local papers within the next week or so and offerring to do a public serve spot so to speak regarding Christmas light saftey etc, hoping to get my name out there more.

    Am considering contacting local TV stations for the same as above, possibly radio as well.

    I am pretty much fresh out of thoughts of how else to get things going other than knocking on doors, which time is still extremely tight. Trying to get this first house site finished up, and then though late is better than never. Even just a couple commercials would be great to get going, then hopefully the mailer through the Chamber will generate more calls.

    Tonneau cover went on the truck the other day so the demo kit will go into the truck as well as a 4' Noble wreath as recommended by yourself. I have to go through the other threads and pm's, I could swear there was something else you recommended as well. The demo kit has a piece of noble garland, I have 2 cases of clear mini's in stock now, a case of the new catalogs on the way.

    Hoping and praying that all falls into place. Once the signs come in, I am going to strategically place about half of them or so at busy intersections, higher end housing areas.
     
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    it sounds like you have a lot of pieces in place to help you get jobs. The signs and graphics are what really work for us. I've never tried a chamber mailer, I hope it works great. I have probably told you before, a great place to get color flyers, postcards, etc, printed is gotprint.com. Getting 2 sets of 5000 postcards printed there and taking them to a mailing company to saturate rural routes of my choice for the end of september, middle of October and beginning of november .
     
  6. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    As far as gotrint.com do you find it is fairly economical to deal with. In all honesty, it is costing me about 1500 for the chamber mailers, roughyl 1k for 5200 color copies, and another 550 for them to be included in the October and November issues.

    The biggest headache I am dealing with right now is the t shirts. I want to get them together and going prior to it getting cooler it is already dropping into the 50's at night here, obviously the sooner the better.

    I find that I am running almost on a mania set up. one day I am absolutely convinced it is all going to come together and do well, then I look at what I have invested so far the next day, and then not so much convinced any more. I am really hoping you are gonna tell me that this is normal.
     
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    wow, $1K for 5200 copies?
    We use http://www.docucopies.com/
    0.06 per copy, and most the time orders over $150 ship for free...

    I like the chamber mailing idea, I'm going to have to look into that.
     
  8. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    Boy wish I knew about that. On the other hand though, it was a bit short notice as well. With any luck, it will pop some business. It is still incredibly tough to believe that there isn;t anyone here doing this.

    I was actually talking with friend of mine last night, and he can;t get over it (from NYC) that it isn;t done here. He takes it for granted as he put it, exposed to it all his life with the companies doing it down there. All I know is I have about 15k into everything right now, and starting to get worried all over again. I go through almost mania stages, one minute I am convinced it is going to be huge, then when i think about what I have wrapped up in it, it scares the h$ll out of me all over again. Next month should b a good predictor. There are 5200 mailers going out through the Chamber, and 4500 through HBL. Chamber obviously commercial, and HBL residential. I actually have an estimate on Tuesday. I was playing with the price lists last night trying to put together a mark up percentage. Any suggestions there from you guys>?>
     
  9. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 479

    The chamber mailer is awesome. I have 900 flyers per month go out through them. They also list you on their website and new residence that move in do look them up and call. I recieved 5 lighting jobs through them last year and its on $120.00/year to join. No brainer in my mind.
     
  10. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    Wish I could say that was all it was, cost me a little over $400. However, my thought process is that there is no one here doing any sort of Holiday Lighting, on a professional level any how. I was rather shocked when I saw the mandate for 2600 flyers per month, but even though I ended up paying through the nose it seems, I can not justify in my mind passing up the opportunity. I had originally thought of both October and November, then had thoughts of just October as it is mailed to the commercial prospects, but with the thought that people work at these places and read them as well, I figured even though it was going to cost a boat load more, that it may just be worth it. Fingers are crossed any how.
     

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