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failed at expanding

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by hobbsd, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    I tried to take our business to the next level this year.....

    We expanded our service area to an area of roughly 2,000,000 people

    We have large television, radio, direct mail (260,000 pieces) new trucks, signs, door hanging, neighborhood door knocking, commercial sales people etc.....

    After much of this and well over $150,000 spent, we have seen only 70 new customers so far.......

    This is probably going to close us down to a large extent since there has been no return on our massive investment,


    Our estimates aren't comming back, but we don't have near enough of those either....

    We were hoping for 700 plus customers, not 70!!!!

    I'm having to look into selling things off, and backing off, unless we see some major miracle soon.

    I just don't understand how with that much reach, only a few people call in!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    What is your target or ideal customer? Who are you going after?
  3. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Unfortunately many customers are concerned about the state of economy, rising gas price, mortgages are adjusting and just an overall fear of the market. I would call several of the customers you provided estimates too, and see why they didnt choose your company. If could be many different reasons, but I would defiantly call back and offer them discounts on your services.

    What type of services does your company provide, are you diversified? Did you test the market before investing that amount of money. I feel for you because you are trying to grow. Im not trying to be a Monday Morning QB, but what research did you use before making such a significant investment?

    It seems from your post you decided to just use a Shotgun Approach instead of testing samples to see what works best for your company and your market. Who does the estimates for your company, yourself or a paid associate?

    As AZ mentioned who are you targeting, what type of income levels are you dealing with? I wouldnt just throw in the towel yet, you very well maybe at the tip of the iceberg and you just need to tweak a few things. Have you tried calling in a consultant for the 1500 to 2000 a day they charge, it may be well worth it in your case. Best of Luck and I hope I helped?
  4. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    keep your head up.give more info to us on your target areas
  5. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    On the residential side, we were targeting Suburban areas with average household income above $100,000.

    Commercially we were after property managers, cities, schools, and other large properties.

    Reasons for not signing up had a broad range of answers.

    We tested the market last year and all winter, everything looked extremely positive! People all over wanted to talk to us and sign up. Then once we went after this, it was like no one cares we exist....

    Any thoughts?
  6. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    i added twice as many accounts last year as i did this year with half the advertising. you never know with this stuff, we have such a short window of opportunity .. market gets shaky advertising down the drain. now.. if it was 2003 or 1998 .. you would have 1400 customers. in my mind, enough advertising to add 20-30 customers per season is fine, that way some years you get 10 and some you get 50, but you never end up screwed with machines not being used.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,938

    What does your marketing consultant say about the lack of business? With that kind of money devoted to advertising, surely you were working with a professional marketing person to get advise. That person should be able to provide you with an assessment of the matter, and why what they suggested did not work as intended.

    You say "70 new customers," but don't say anything about the close ratio. In other words, how many inquiries did you get from the advertising? Did you close nearly all those who responded to your advertising blitz, or were you loosing 90% of the inquiries to another contractor?

    Your consultant should be able to provide a much better assessment of the poor results than anybody here. They do these kinds of advertising campaigns routinely, and from a historical perspective, can spot the problems in the plan. I doubt that anybody on LS has much experience in professional advertising.
  8. hobbsd

    hobbsd LawnSite Senior Member
    from west wi
    Messages: 448

    We've closed about 50% of the serious inquires that we have in.

    I have met with consultants, I have a professional marketer working with us...

    We have implemented a bunch more techniques and pull ins and am now closing 75% plus of estimate leads... But still the leads are seriously lacking for what we've done....

    Does anyone have some suggestions on some more steps to marketing that we can take to draw in more customers as time keeps ticking by?

  9. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,389

    If door knocking isnt working then you may not have the right people knocking on doors. Door to door will always be the best form of advertising IMO. Jehovah's Witnesses do it til this day and Jehovah's Witnesses are very well known all over the world.
  10. Lance L

    Lance L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    someone may have beat you to the market

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