new sales 2011

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    with 17 days til thanksgiving I Thought I'd finally jump in here with my traditional new sales thread. like other years, I kinda keep track here how I am doing, really just so I can look back over previous years in an easy way to seach and compare rather than use paper. I have been crazy busy as far as time spent doing stuff, but it looks as though I am right around where I normally am in new customers. I am setting on 8 as of tonight, which is behind where I was in 2010, but ahead of 2009, and I think 2008. but the next 3 weeks will truly tell the tale. As always, I hope we do well, but mainly replace the ones we lost and grow.

    What is unique about this year is we have done gangbuster landscape lighting work while we have hung Christmas lights. normally we would "push" that work to December 10-23, but projects have been fairly demanding so we have went ahead and put them in.

    Last year I was setting on 10 new customers even back in October 24th of thet year, and I thought that was amazing. but then I was only at 12 by November 13th I think. which put us behind 2009. so I went about 16 key days and closed 2. bu then, as things tend to do, the floodgates opened and I beat 2009 in terms of number of customers, but the average sale was low enough that overall sales dollars were not record breaking.

    I can say that we have about 100 "jobs" to do as compared to 55 back in 2009 around this date. I say "jobs" because we have a few that are on my list I have not yet heard from, and I also have some jobs we have done the c-9's but not yet the greenery. I count them as needed to be done til we do them completely. but it still kinda scares me, as I kinda did some of that back in 2009, that we have almost double the number of jobs and really we are only running one more crew, 4 true full time crews this year.

    But it seems as crew foreman hang around year after year they do get faster. I now routinely have to force myself to give them a bit more than I think they can handle, because they are good workers.

    it has been pretty quiet on the phone, but we have really only just begun to put out a lot of signs and postcards just began to hit 2 days ago. Christmas Decor has been out and about putting flyers on doors, and I am sure that gets them sales. I just prefer the sign and postcard approach. we are just now starting to install daily in the nicer neighborhoods, and having our trucks out and about tends to make the phone ring as well.

    It is certainly nice not to have to come up with 45k to cover the cost of a container load of product this year and just be able to sell inventory. that I already have I believe I may have bought enough of some wreaths that it may carry me into 2012 season. we'll see. I have still had to buy c-9 spools and bulbs, some bows and clips, but having garland and wreaths is going to be pretty nice.

    This thread of course is open to all to chime in on haw they are doing as well. I like to know how all of the country is doing in closing jobs and to see if one part of the country is doing better than the next. so all are welcome to share.

    I also want to stress I do this thread mainly for me to track what days I sell jobs and to motivate myself to either close more work or I can relax that I am tracking with similar dates in years past. I do not do this thread to make anyone feel like they are behind me or whatever. we all have different levels where we are, and I am certain there are dozens of christmas light companies out there who can and do close work faster and at a greater volume than I run.

    I also wonder what effect Thanksgiving being here so early will affect sales before and after Thanksgiving. again, maybe we will be able to figure that out. I do know that every new job seems to want their job up before thanksgiving so far.

    so all that being said, how is everyone doing out there?
     
  2. greenbaylawns

    greenbaylawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 563

    Nice post! All of our customers want there lights on the day after Thanksgiving also.
     
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Just signed a contract with a customer who wants his lights on when he and his family get home on thanksgiving night from visiting family but does not want them up before hand. He actually thought we would come out on Thanksgiving and hang his lights :hammerhead: We agreed that we would hang the lights on the house and trees before hand and set the timere to not come on untill Thursday, the fallowing week we will come out to do the garland and wreaths
     
  4. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    with the exception of a new municipal contract, nada thing. The phone had been pretty busy with the runs of HBL mailers, then died right off.

    Like you Dave, we are still really busy with "summer" work. We actually have a project with a tentative date for December.

    Have quite a few renewals that we haven;t heard from yet, but I get that due to the newness of the service here.

    We will start hanging either this weekend or next, depends on the weather as I have to put my busket truck up on a lawn to do part of the display, and do not want to rut it up.

    The week of Thanksgiving, we will hang the new project, then expect to anyhow, move right onto our biggest one with the big wreath we put up and then all the trees. Somewhere in there, have to get a couple homes done too.

    Burning the candle at both ends right now, snow contracts as well are on going, sooner or later the candle with self combust in the middle I am sure. LOL
     
  5. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,756

    Nothing here either - alot of fall work going on yet. Phone rings about lighting but nothing. All our regulars are getting lights on this friday thru next week. Weather has been great so far for me.
     
  6. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    When I need to get a truck or equipment (bobcat, etc....) onto a lawn, I use OSB board. It only costs about 7 bucks for a 4x8 sheet. Then, as long as the boards weren't there for days; you can just pick them up and rake up the areas where they were and you are good to go. I am able to re-use the boards a few times normally. Just figured I would mention that. Hope it helps.
     
  7. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    thought about that, but the truck itself weighs 11000 lbs. It isn;t a big deal right now, has to be up by black Friday. Thought about plywood too, guess the decision will get made on Sunday according to the day.

    Thanks for the suggestion though!!!!
     
  8. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    Last week I sent out all 10k of my 8.5x11 postcards...and put out about 25 signs..my answering machine was filling up so fast I hired a company to answer the phone, take messages and set up appointments..and they can forward calls to me if need be..it's me and three other guys doing all the work right now...this week so far we put up 5 jobs..4 new...I have a bunch of estimates out there and will follow up over the weekend with the calls I have not heard back from...I am going to put in another order for material because I did a basic order to start and I can see us flying through those...with all this going on ..installing two new landscapes and sod..fall cleanups and Christmas lights...I am losing my mind..lol..
     
  9. Birchwood

    Birchwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    15 up so far, 43 to go. 3 new jobs, a couple of leads still to meet with. Some of our biggest installs going up ext week, hope the weather cooperates, it hasn't this week, and we got our first taste of snow today, scary. I hope to get 10-15 new jobs this year, I think it is doable, working off referrals and add-ons right now. Started post cards this week, few calls, we'll see. Good luck

    Addicted - we use 3/4 inch plywood, it will last years, great for trucks and skid steers
     
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    we stagger the 10k of cards by doing 1000-2000 at a time. I am trying the everydoor direct mail this year, and you have to bring the cards to the specific post office that represents the zip code you want to mail to. since we service 4 somewhat distinct cities in the 2 county area, we have to dleiver to 5 post offices anyway. so we will do 4 zip codes, or about one every 3 days over the next 12 days or so.

    lost one yesterday, had to tear up the check, replaced it with a larger one today. so still at 8.

    Surprisingly, I have done quite a bit of landscape light sales the past 2 weeks. the phone has not really blew up yet, but I have a feeling folks are going to wake up this weekend and realize thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away.

    more signs go out tomorrow. friday afternoon is a pretty good time for signs as they will be out usually all weekend until after monday morning when potential clients drive to work. after that is usually when the street crews start snatching them.

    Lost a large ( 10k plus) bid to a Christmas Decor franchise here because of a doorhanger they put on a private gated estate driveway entry. anyone who thinks canvassing neighborhoods with doorhangers does not work has not done it at the right time with the right doorhanger. Had they not hung it there they day I did the bid for them, I am reasonably certain they would have hired me. I have to give them this, they answered the phone when I called and gave me the reasons why they went with CD. wait for it....they were 1k cheaper. on a rental. my bid was about 3k cheaper next year. sometimes rental guys win.
     

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