Survey In Newsletter-Update

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Tim Wright, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    If you remember, a while back I asked the question of you as to what you thought about surveying your customers with a referral sheet attached to it, giving your current clients an opportunity to voice issues of praise and concern, and send you refferals at the same business.

    So, here is the update.

    I did not do the survey. I am saving it for the future.

    I just published a 6 page NEWSLETTER explaining a short history, what is new for 2007 for them, and the NEW SERVICES that we are hoping to offer come spring.

    Instead of doing the survey I am offering my customers a SINGLE FREE mowing for every permenant customer that they refer to me. The last page of the newsletter is a referral sheet which folds three ways, and is self addressed on the back so they can send it to me if necessary.

    (At the tail end of this post I give my appoach, it seems to be working.)

    First of all I am restructuring completely the way we do business. This past fall I went to LLC paving the way for growth, yet operated the same as always.

    Always means that we started with the type of customer that basically wanted their lawns mowed only "when it needed mowed." That means they would call or I would mow it as needed. No set schedule. As business grew, this became a nightmare and here is so much of that I could handle. So this next year it is all changing and here is how. BTW- business is growing, with new large accounts.

    1. Everything is being systemitized. I am writing employee handbooks, SOP's, and everything else.
    2. Everything is going to be on a set schedule.
    2. Going to computer for scheduling, routing, project tracking employee tracking, invoicing, job costing, everything. I am buying CLIP for this and already have QB to go with it.
    3. I have written new contracts and all clients will be contract based.
    4. Hiring a crew or two.

    Oh yes, one of my clients is on medical disability and looking for a job. But can only make xxx dollars a month. I am looking at having her run the office, scheduling etc.

    What I have done is actually begun to hand delivered this newsletter to my clients and perspective clients, verbally explainging the contnts of the newsletter, showing them the referral page and explaining it verbally, and then telling them that I will be back after the first of the year with the contract.

    My explaination of the contract is that it will give me the base of operation for my business, so that I know what is going on. It will give me the information I need to build my data base, and paper work for the bank if I need to use it. I am telling them that I HAVE TO DO THIS as I am gaining large contracts and more residential clients.

    I was afraid that I would lose my customers but MOST OF THEM (ALL SO FAR) ARE CONVERTING TO ROUTINELY SCHEDULED CLIENTS, giving me an even greater solid base to continue to build my business.

    I thought you might like to hear this especially if you are a one man band like I have been, struggling to keep going, yet building something that is more than just yourself.

    The total story is not in yet, but I am optimistic for the new year, Building buisness quickly enough, yet strong and solid.

    I love to talk business and shop. What are you changing this year or doing different to grow or streamline your business??????

    Tim
     
  2. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    I was wanting to change alot this year and advertise, but I might just get an LLC and change the logo and everything this winter... then next summer I will get the little loan paid off, get a newer diesel truck, and save some money for my personal account and spend a few thousand in direct mail in 2008... :weightlifter: ..

    Thats the plan anyhow.. I dont know for sure what to do, but I also know that I plan to sell or in or before 2012...
     

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