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Relocating entire business, please help!?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ToroLandscaper, May 5, 2011.

  1. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    I have recently moved from Knoxville to Chattanooga. I had an established and growing business, however college forced me to move. I have moved all of my equipment moved and am trying to get work. I have real landscaping equipment and mower (isuzu npr, toro diesel zero turn, etc), not a guy with an s10, uninsured, with a 36" walk behind in the back. I have passed out flyers, put up signs, and looking for more ideas.

    My question is does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to gain a customer base back?

    In Knoxville I have worked for years on strictly word of mouth, with little to know advertising. I was able to do this because I have grown up in Knoxville and am pretty well networked.

    What are some suggestions for gaining back a customer base? Again, I have owned a successful landscaping business and managed it properly, as well as legally.

    Also, I might be young and in college but please do not under mind my will to run a professional, legal, legit landscaping business, again. I have professional contracts and all estimate sheets, flyers, shirts, business cards, koozies, pens, door bags, etc all have my logo on them and look professional and are all very well written. Also I have my own business phone with its own line, so I can be reached anytime and its always answered professionally, which I added recently so I could have the same area code for people to call. I am very thorough with everything I do and am a good peoples person. I am much more business savvy than most in my age group, and am knowledgeable with handling finances and operating business. (worked at a bank in high school)

    In addition, this might be ridiculous, but I am always very clean cut and "business casual" around potential customers when I first meet them (nice kakhis shorts right above the knees or well fit pants, loafers, nice polo or button down shirt), because I think that it is important to have a good, clean cut, stand up image. As far as my equipment, my Isuzu NPR with landscaping bed is clean and well kept, my mower is clean and doesn't look beat to death. Also, I have a nice, newer, clean, sports car that I go to do estimates in and handout flyers in, etc and I am not saying that to brag, but I think appearance and first impressions are everything. I have seen companies pass out flyers in beater cars, wife beater Ts, squealing cars etc, give potential customers bids or contact info on sticky notes etc, and it gives such a sloppy first impression. I am not saying that I wear clean clothes and drive a well kept car to brag, but to simply give you an idea of my image and "professionalism," At my age of 20 sometimes it is hard to get people to take you seriously and for them to realize realize you are operating a business, with taxes, insurance, and business licenses so I try to present myself as maturely, social, knowledgeable, legitimate, and "above average" as possible.

    Hopefully you can get some what of an idea of my situation. In short, I have relocated, have an exceptional resume with experiences that many young adults have not had, have already ran a successful lawn and landscaping company in Knoxville (but primarily off word of mouth because my work and reputation pretty much sold itself), and am trying to re-open a landscaping business and grow a business that is successful.

    I do not need advice on how to run the business, in terms of "keep your routes tight" and all of those little "hints and rules." I am aware of all of this, I just need advice on strictly how to market myself and my business and gain customers.

    Also, do you have any tips or pointers on how to avoid situations when you go to bid a property and you are talking with the person and you name a price or write up a estimate and personally hand them to it and they looked shocked that my prices are, what they are? I know how to bid work and how much my time, experience, and work is worth. However, I have been in situations in the past where people look stunned I am 20 and telling them $45 for there yard mowed, when the 16 year old who is only 4 years young than me is on dads scotts lawn mower doing it for $25. When I sense people are a bit surprised or not impressed with my pricing I try to explain to them why and that I do have over head, that my work is professional, and so on, but does anyone have advice on any other ways or any other "one liners" to use?
  2. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,095

    Direct mail for service.
    ServiceMagic for landscaping.
    You already know the third option (pricing).
  3. PostcardMania

    PostcardMania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    You're in a new town, you need to build rapport with potential customers - direct mail will work wonders and get you the results you need to grow your business.

    Here's some sample direct mail campaigns others have done:

    With the right list and the right offer/marketing message on your direct mail piece, you will definitely see results. Here's a link to some real-life case studies other landscapers have done, this will help give you some marketing ideas: http://www.postcardmania.com/7-ways-to-build-landscaping-empire

    Let me know if you have any questions or need any help :)
  4. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Thanks for the responses...anyone else have any advice or tips?
  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,486

    BNI is a networking group in Knoxville that has been helpful. You might look for a local chapter or similar group in Chattanooga. Best of luck.
  6. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    depends-- let me ask you this, how many weeks, months, or years can you go with out having an income?

    mailings work well. sell commercial accounts is hard, but free , buy another business....check craigslist

    I have seen it done, but normally i would say sell, sell, sell.....take that money and basicly start over. you can do more being cash liquid to get accounts...then you can being tight on budget and all the equiptment in the world.
  7. PostcardMania

    PostcardMania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Another cost effective option are doorhangers. Get some professional one's printed and pay a teenager $.25 - $.50 per door in neighborhoods you want to get business.

    You should also register your business on all the search engines' local listings. If you don't know which ones to register on, you can download this report we put together. It has all the URLs and instructions to make sure you business shows up when someone searches online for "Landscaping".

    You can get the PDF report here:
  8. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Well I am a college student, with good grades. So as long as that continues I have nothing I have to pay for when it comes to everyday living, except for anything that pertains to my business.

    This is why I am trying to really grow this business now, so I can hopefully grow it into a business that I can get into the "business" full time some day, or sell the business after I graduate college to have a "jump start" on whatever I chose to do.

  9. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,486

    Good luck to you!! You will do well in life.
  10. rv403

    rv403 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Sent you a PM

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