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Market Research??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by walker-talker, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Has anyone hired a local company to do any market research for them? I was just curious how they go about doing this and what it might cost. Sometimes I wonder if the area that I have been sending out doorhangers, flyers and postcards to is too saturated with LCO's already and wonder if I should be targeting a different area.
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Never had a "Marketing Co." do it but I can tell you that potential customers do become numb to all the advertising they receive. Try a diff. area, a lower income side of town. Not a slum but not the high end and you will be surprised at the numbers that respond and the work that you get. The people that live in the lower middle class know what it takes to make a dollar, so and they don't complain if your price is reasonable and usually always pay on time.

  3. pema

    pema LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I've never hired a market research company but how they bill depends on the type of research being done. Most charge a flat hourly rate with a minimum amount for any job. Assuming you were wanting a company to research consumers on what they would pay for services, what services they would like LCOs to offer, etc. You would pay for the questionaire development, the call list set up and the hourly rates for the call center. I have no idea what a minimum charge would be.

    Usually industry publications like "Lawn and Landscape" do some marketing and report the results. You could use this information and possible adjust the results to your location. The price variences seen in this forum from one part of the country to another for example could be used to adjust marketing information on price.

    I recall seeing marketing research suggesting that 75% or more of homeowners who purchase lawn care treatments would prefer a "Environmentally Safe" lawn care program. What the research didn't say is these same consumers wouldn't pay $1.00 more to have it.

    You could do your own marketing research. If there is some information you feel you need to improve your business include a small questionaire on the subject(s) in your bill and offer a reward to the customers who complete it.
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Thanks for the insight. I can imagine the cost of something like this would be extremely high and may not be practical for this industry. I have been thinking of doing one myself. I run a small sampling from different areas. I have 900-1000 good-looking postcards I could use. I could send 100 or so postcards to different areas and track the results. Better yet, I could send out a questionaire as Pema mentioned, that way I would not actually get the calls for the work. I would hate to turn down the work just for research purposes. A questionaire could actually be sent out anytime of the year in preparation for a mass mailing in spring 2006. Something real professional looking like a two-part postcard that has a tearoff with postage paid. I will have to check with the post office to see how something like this would be setup.

    Thanks for the help, you gave me some ideas.

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