Marketing Plan 2005 "Fert n Squirt specific" __What will your Company be doing..

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassworks, Dec 28, 2004.

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What sales venue do you use the MOST to add Customers

Poll closed Mar 28, 2005.
  1. Telemarketing

    4 vote(s)
    10.5%
  2. Doorhangers

    9 vote(s)
    23.7%
  3. Mail Out

    7 vote(s)
    18.4%
  4. Customer based referall plan

    10 vote(s)
    26.3%
  5. Other

    8 vote(s)
    21.1%
  1. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    As the Busy season is just ahead and In many areas January marks a great time to add new business, what will your marketing stategy be. I have noticed the addition of some very expeirenced new members and some succesful veterens whom I know have a wealth of knowledge. It would be great to hear from the those with over > 1000 customers how you grow a customer base (with marketing) and what return you expect from those techniques this new year. With the demise of Telemarketing , How will you put yourself in front of prospective buyers at the time of decision.

    How many customers you have,how many sales people and rough $budget for advertising would be great also.
     
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    Glassworks

    I have used the yellow pages and Customer referral for the last five years with success. However I feel it is time to go for the gusto. Now telemarketing might work but has a real sore spot with me. You have to have the right person do the calling and a good phone list which really is not hard to get from a crisscross phone book. Mailing lists can also be copied from the same type of Crisscross.

    I feel Clover leafing around your regular customer with door hanger will give you a slow but stead growth that is more controllable. It also keeps your route consolidated. There is such a thing as too much business. Buying equipment and hiring help can in fact break you quicker than too little business.

    Remember Customers cost money to acquire. Spend that money wisely so not you get a good return.
     
  3. Dman1214

    Dman1214 Banned
    Posts: 118

    There is such a thing as too much business. Buying equipment and hiring help can in fact break you quicker than too little business.

    Ric, I do not subcribe to the theory that you can have too much business - IF YOU HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE IN ADVANCE OF PUTTING ON THAT NEW BUSINESS. It's the ole chicken or the egg thing. I think you must have systems in place to be able to service your client base FIRST, then come up with your marketing/growth plan. Why would you even want to add customers if you could not properly service them? I belive you must have the bus and the right people on the bus before you can drive it.
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    OK You D man 1214

    Hiring help and buying Equipment is easy Right. I mean good employees are just waiting on every street corner for you to come hire them. They are already trained and loyal because they are so thankful for a job. They won't steal or do side jobs for your customer and they will work their Butt off without any supervision.

    Of course Equipment purchases is just as easy. After all why wouldn't the bank raise your credit line another $ 500,000. After all you have too much business. The LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS has nothing to do with the fact you have Too Much Business because you have a plan.

    diminishing returns, law of
    Related: Economics

    in economics, law stating that if one factor of production is increased while the others remain constant, the overall returns will relatively decrease after a certain point. Thus, for example, if more and more laborers are added to harvest a wheat field, at some point each additional laborer will add relatively less output than his predecessor did, simply because he has less and less of the fixed amount of land to work with. The principle, first thought to apply only to agriculture, was later accepted as an economic law underlying all productive enterprise. The point at which the law begins to operate is difficult to ascertain, as it varies with improved production technique and other factors. Anticipated by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot and implied by Thomas Malthus in his Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), the law first came under examination during the discussions in England on free trade and the corn laws. It is also called the law of decreasing returns and the law of variable proportions.




    Peter Principle

    NOUN: The theory that employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent.
    ETYMOLOGY: After Laurence Johnston Peter (1919–1990).
     
  5. Dman1214

    Dman1214 Banned
    Posts: 118

    Ric, you obviously are an educated man - that's great. However, i think it hinders your entrepreneurial spirit.

    I recently watched the movie "Good Will Hunting" - did u see it? Well anyway, you remind me of the Harvard guy in the bar scene that qoutes arcane facts out of some book somewhere and calls it knowledge.
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    You D man

    Thank you for calling me an Educated Idiot. I some times jokingly call myself an Educated Idiot. However this Educated Idiot owns several companies that do over a Million in gross business each year. BTW This Educated Idiot also holds multiply licenses in Pesticides, Irrigation and Commercial Landscape. This Educated Idiot offers every thing from a Wholesale Retail Nursery, sod and landscape installation to full blown maintenance.

    Whereas I am 64 years old and in fact just got my Horticulture degree in 2002. Whereas A divorce in 1994 left me stone broke and living under the bridge so to speak. Therefore I believe My education and it's arcane facts, has actually increased my entrepreneurial spirit.

    GooD LucK and God Bless you. Fools Rush in Where Wise Men Fear to Tread.
     
  7. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 593

    I am ending my sixth month in business. I am up to almoat 150 customers. Starting from scratch and having a budget of nada to start, I'm pretty proud of myself...so far.

    I appreciate Ric reminding me that I am luckier than I am smart. And I don't care how sarcastic he gets, or when he rips me personally, just as long as he answers the dang questions...lol.

    Drew
     
  8. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    consider this... of all the telemarketing violations reported, the FTC has decided to go after a total of 4 companys... what are the odds you will get fined for telemarketing? Im not utilizing it stricktly for image reasons, but for those of you who are thinking of chancing it, the odds are with you.
     
  9. Triple R

    Triple R LawnSite Member
    Posts: 244

    I'm thinking of trying a local home and garden show which usually atracts several thousand potential clients ready to spend $, has anyone tried this and what results did you get.
     
  10. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    Great Response's.... Anyone ever keep up with thier #'s as far as Closing percentages on doorhangers / mailouts or customer referall plans ? How about "costs to add a new customer"

    What are some of the "other" many have voted on in the poll


    I know for me, telemarketing is out. Cancellation rates can be too high. Just because you can get em to say yes doesn't really mean they want the service or have any intentions on keeping it.

    I like the "cloverleaf" Idea Ric proposed and Have used that in the past along with a customer referral incentive.

    Door Hangers ? Never had enough success (ran lesss then 5000) did not see return coming in to continue(maybe a little premature on that one).

    I can't see a dedicated lawncare operation succeding with less than 500 customers in a route( average app profit of $25 with 6 app plan).Having said that , Do those of us with these type of mumbers( or more )just use a 4,5,6 year plan to build it up.

    I guess I was hoping for a few more details but perhaps those "marketing secrets" cant be divulged just yet or Maybe most are still growing at a 50 or less a year (solo ops) and trying to just replace the natural attrition /cancel rate.
     

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