A question was recently posed to our group, "How do I generate business during a slower time of year?".
Here are our marketing thoughts in response specifically to John's question but anyone reading should be able to take something away from this.
As you know, anyone reading this, has to do your own due diligence when it comes to how you market and what your marketing budget is etc. You can take our ideas into consideration but in the end, you make the final call.
First of all, lets talk about the ad you sent in.
We really liked the fact it was in full color. It was clean and looked well presented. As you mentioned, it is coming out in a local book where you're the only lawn care business. That could be a big advantage.
No matter what, you'll have to keep track of it's results as we discuss below and always look at every marketing piece you have right now keeping in mind how you could improve it.
Let us give you some advice on how you can increase your marketing results.
There are volumes we could write about how to increase your business through effective marketing. Really.
It's a subject not easily explained within one post.
However, we will give you several tips that you can put to use right now.
The first is, what are the response percentages you have been getting from all your marketing?
This is a question most lawn care businesses can't answer. The bottomline is that the biggest step to better marketing for you is to test everything you do.
You must be able to know how each of your marketing weapons is doing. How many people called you from your flyer? Yellow Pages? Online?
How much business came from each? If you know these answers you will be able to tell where to put your marketing money and where to avoid putting it.
If you don't like certain response rates you're getting from a piece of marketing, change ONE thing in your ad and see how the results change.
The reason you only test ONE thing at a time in your marketing is so that you know what worked and what didn't. If you change more than one you won't know what it was that made the ad worse or better.
Secondly, its also very challenging(not impossible) to see your lawn care business as a customer does because you own it. You have to get into the minds of your lawn care customers and find out why they CHOSE your business over another. Find out what they like about your business and what they don't like. Then do everything in your power to become an even BETTER choice for them.
The reason surveying your customers is vital is it reveals information about your lawn care business so that you can work it into your marketing.
Think this is a dumb idea? One of the most successful marketers ever says he tries to find out 66 things about each customer. 66! Income, favorite food, hobby etc.
Now you may not have to go overboard like that but the point is the more you know, the more accurate your marketing. The more accurate, the more effective. The more effective, the more profitable.
Think about this as a consumer and not a business owner for a second.
Lets say you're looking for white shoes with velcro.
What ad below will move you to contact a shoe company.
ANONYMOUS SHOE COMPANY LTD
Best Shoes In The County
Shoes, Boots, Gloves, Hats
NEED WHITE SHOES?
We can help.Choose from
a wide selection of velcro
models. Come in and grab
your pair before they go.
ANONYMOUS SHOE COMPANY LTD
This is a ridiculously blatant and a bit of a choppy example but it delivers the point. The more accurate the more attention you will give the ad. If you were looking for white shoes you may call both companies but you'll START with calling the second company first.
Everyone knows that most marketing gurus learn from other marketing gurus. Essentially, the marketing magic you need to know to sky-rocket your customer list is already sitting out there and you just need to find it. You just need to discover what will trigger people to call you even in a downtime. You need to understand what makes your customers tick and then deliver exactly what they want.
We learned from experience and from others. That's why we offer advice but we also aren't so arrogant as to not suggest other marketing sources.
3 we would recommend you look at now are - Motivational Marketing
and anything from Ted Nicholas
or Joe Sugarman
(there are more but start with these).
Don't shun learning. You may be able to check these books out for free at your local library or may find it better to own them. Either way they may contain the extra explanation you need to boost your profits through killer marketing.
This may be a bit of a pain to most reading. Maybe you don't want the hassle of buying another book or visiting the library to pick one up.
Well, which pain would you rather have? The pain of "too little" business or the pain of picking up a marketing resource that could actually help grow your profits.
The final tip for you are 3 words -MARKET, MESSAGE, and MEDIA.
Effective marketing will come down to these 3 areas. If anyone of these is off, your results will not be AS GOOD as they can be.
MARKET - You want to make sure you're marketing to people who want or need your lawn care service.
MESSAGE - You want to make sure you're selling "white shoes" to people who want "white shoes" and not "blue shoes" or few to none will call you.
MEDIA - You want to make sure you're using the right form of marketing media to contact your customer. Classified ads may be the ticket. Or maybe door knob ads or both. You have to test and keep track of your results.
Since it's slow right now John where you live, chances are most of your competition is sitting back on their laurels waiting for things to pick up. This may be a great time to charge forward and pick up market share with very aggressive marketing.
Here's to your lawn service business
Labels: advertise, advertising, business, entrepreneur, grass, lawn business, lawn business marketing, lawn care, lawn care business, lawn care marketing, lawn mowing, lawncare