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Your thoughts please!!!

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Landscape Poet, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I recently came across this in another forum. I love the idea that it is trying to deliver and think it does a good job. Given that most of our communities in FL are serviced based....I really feel if these simple ideas were implemented it would effectively help our local economy in a time when it is needed.

    I was thinking about including this as part of my newsletter at the 1st of the month. What are your guys thoughts on doing this? Anything that one could feel is offensive by doing so? Am I missing something? I figure Christmas time shopping will begin soon enough and that a helpful reminder to support their local businesses may do its part in making some of our Christmas a little brighter... Whats your guys thoughts?

    Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

    As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

    It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

    Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership, massage, gift of fitness and nutrition products? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. That is the #1 New Years resolution.

    Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

    Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or a couple of rounds at the local golf course.

    There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

    How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

    Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day. My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

    OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

    Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

    Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

    You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    You give your customers newsletters?
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    From time to time - generally about things I am trying to promote like sod or mulch, shrub care etc etc. From time to time I will throw in some industry news like when Drake sold out to True Green.....keeps them informed if they bother to read it...if not it took a few second more to print and nothing additional to send...not the end of the world. Occasionally it rings up business so yes.
  4. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    That's cool. I'd probably keep the newsletter less us vs china though. I know some of your customers will like it because of well lets face it the type of people around here. It would suck to piss the wrong person off though if you know what I mean. I know it sucks to have to think that way but one pissed customer or neighbor could do some damage to a small business.
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I see your point - maybe edit the particular nations out of it and edit it with foreign? I think the message is good and one worth sharing..but these days as you have stated it is easy to offend and that is were my concern lies too.
  6. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    I could use most of those things and would appreciate all of them. Good of you to share!

    If you are sending a newsletter, you are doing the right thing, staying in front of them. It's important to stay consistent and provide timely information; like info re. whitefly, or African Landsnails, various seasonal blights & infestations and who to contact for treatment. That will give you an opportunity to partner with various providers and defray the cost of the newsletter. Ours is virtually free.

    We produce a quarterly newsletter for our clients and their immediate neighbors 10 houses up and down. We talk a little about seasonal maintenance sheduling (fertilizer, weeds, irrigation), how important it is to cut properly (like we do) trim shrubs & ornamentals regularly (like we do), address irrigation problems immediately (like we do) etc. I always include our licensing, English speaking staff, proper insurance and a coupon for a freebie, like one month free with an agreement, or a free sprinkler evaluation on the back page of the brochure. We also send it to all the property managers we have on file. Print them in color (lazer jet) on quality paper and mail them 1st class.

    It generates the most calls towards the end of the summer and on into the spring. That's the time people are disappointed because Sanford & Son couldn't keep up with the service requirements in our hyper growing season, and others disappear following EOW.

    We'll cop a few accounts from gypsies and fly by nights, the pro's usually do a good enough job to keep their accounts. When we acquire five additional accounts, we look at our low margin accounts, chronic late pays and PIA's and the jack the price on a couple or just plain drop one or two. Don't want to make the Peter Principle a reality.

    BTW, that was a great post, thanks! :waving:
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    YEP I always give my customers a Newsletter. It is a great way to do subliminal up sells and extend word of mouth Referrals. I want to give the customer something to not only thing about, But a conversation starter at the Country/Yacht Club. I try and stay on subject with horticulture or insect problem and how our current weather patterns are effecting such. But in today's political/economic unrest it doesn't hurt to lean a little that way.
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,196

    I just skimmed through this post so I didn't catch immediately that you had written this for a newsletter. I thought I was reading an article that you pasted. And then I didn't really take much note of the anti-offshore tone.

    What I DID notice was the idea of giving gift cards for local services.
    That is a brilliant idea. In large part, I have been uncomfortable with Christmas giving because of just TRYING to find a gift for someone whether or not it would be useful to them.

    You end up buying them a sweater or shirt (that they may return to a store),
    or a crock pot or some kind of knick-knack to sit on a shelf. (And as you point out, most made offshore.)

    Gift certificates! What a great way to keep the money locally! And what a useful gift. I know I'm going to do it this Christmas and I am going to mention it to as many others as I can.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,056

    Buying locally is a great theme to promote at anytime of the year. :clapping::clapping:
    I agree that you should drop the China thing. Keep the message positive.
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    It should be noted that I did not write this. I read it on another forum recently and really liked it and thought it might be worth passing on.

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