Marketing, Bidding/estimating, Subcontracting, Tree Trimming

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Insometry, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Insometry

    Insometry LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 43

    Hey guys. Have a few questions about different things, but mostly looking for some quality relationships to bounce more complex business ideas off of. PM me if you would be interested. I hope my thoughts and ideas can contribute as much as those that I receive.

    My info: Jonathan
    Johnson County Kansas
    Several years part time experience – going full time this year.

    My first question is in the area of Marketing:

    I have a fairly complex marketing idea rooted in permission marketing. The idea goes as follows: You develop your relationship with your prospect by gaining new levels of permission – in exchange for the permission you offer a service, knowledge ect... My plan specifically offers a free yard enhancement plan in exchange for the permission to meet with the homeowner and gain their number. (At any point in the process I will also ask for referrals) Once I have the permission to present the yard enhancement plan – I will attempt to gain the permission for servicing their yard once, (I.E. trimming a needed tree, mulching, ect…) Once that if fulfilled, I then hope to gain permission for a yearly contract. (Either this year or next) The basis of this idea is rooted in developing a relationship of trust and knowledge. This should help to keep and maintain a quality costumer base that is good for both the client and myself.

    Here are the brochures. At the moment, we will be going door to door in a couple of days (still have to get them printed). If the homeowner isn’t home – we will leave them in their door.






    Wondering what you guys think of the whole marketing process from both a 1) costumers standpoint. 2) Lawn companies standpoint.

    Is it to extreme?

    My second question is in the area of Bidding/estimating:
    Does anyone have access to an excel document in which I can punch in my numbers and have the bid spit back out? I have a laptop for the road. Once I get a printer – this could make things a lot more professional and quick. I don’t have the experience or the time to build my own excel template – if anyone has one – it would be greatly appreciated. (Obviously, the template could be used with any numbers – so I’m not asking for your actual bidding rates within the templates – just the templates)

    My third question is related to sub contracting.

    I'm going to be sub contracting some of my services this first year because of my lack of knowledge or certification. Are there any big drawbacks or things I should look out for when subcontracting? What steps should I take legally to back myself, if any? I know the subcontractors and trust them – but should I do more? What are some potential problems you guys didn’t see before subcontracting, but ran into when you did?

    My fourth and final question for this post is directly related to tree trimming.
    I was bidding one property for a yearly mowing. I got underbid. That’s fine – however my rate for shrub trimming ect… was under what they had for their Tree Trimmers. (40 ft Plus trees) They wanted me to pick up the one time tree trimming. I sent a proposal in.
    I’m wondering how many of you guys have added tree removal and tree trimming to your lawn services and if it is paying off for you.

    The investment for the equipment will only take a 3rd of the cut for this one time operation – so I'm thinking it’s a great way to expand my services.

    To summarize my questions:
    1) Thoughts on permission marketing?
    2) Thoughts on the brochure and/or my methods?
    1) Anyone have an excel template for bids?
    1) Things I should do?
    2) Things I should watch out for?
    3) Your experience with subcontracting?
    Tree Trimming:
    1) Is tree trimming a good expansion for a lawn care company?
    2) Legally – do you guys know of any special coverage I need now that I'm 50 ft in a tree?

    If anyone has any thoughts or answers for the above it would be greatly appreciated.


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