By Chestin Salisbury
For the most part, the majority of businesses today have the common goal of wanting to grow. This means more customers, more profit, and ultimately more money for the owner.
No matter the industry you’re in or the type of business you run, there are really only 4 ways to achieve this objective. While there are many ways to approach these 4 areas, it’s important to keep them all in perspective as you work to grow your lawn care business.
Here are the 4 main areas of growth and some ways to achieve success in each:
1. Attract more new customers.
This one goes without saying. It’s impossible to grow a business, let alone be successful in business if you’re not constantly adding new customers. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and adding new ones should be a constant focus for any business owner that desires to be successful.
There are countless methods for attracting new customers and this holds true for lawn care companies as well. Here are a few ideas that work particularly well for the green industry:
Door hangers, flyers, or leave behinds done in areas where you already have existing clients. You want to keep your clientele relatively close which cuts down on travel times and it allows you do get more done in a shorter period of time.
Direct mail such as letter or postcards. Carefully selected mailing lists are a readily available and can produce loads of new customers if done correctly.
Create a professional looking website. The internet has become an integral part of the way business is done and the green industry is no exception. Create a website that’s simple, easy to navigate, stresses benefits, and captures your visitors contact information.
Develop relationships with other service providers that can refer your services to their existing customers. This is a very powerful way to create a flood of new business very quickly.
2. Increase the average sales amount.
This is a powerful method for growing your business that many LCO’s simply ignore. If you’re already selling a service to a customer, why would you not want to sell them even more services, allowing you to write an even bigger invoice?
Here are several ways you could implement this into your lawn care or landscaping service:
Instead of selling just a cut, sell them a shrubbery trim as well. Or how about refreshing their pine straw? Whatever add-on services you provide, do your best to sell your customers these services as well.
Year-end is a perfect time to add on additional services such as core aeration, fertilizing, or over-seeding. Spring time is another great opportunity to sell your additional services.
Combine several services into a package that would cost less if sold separately. People love feeling like they’re getting a deal and package deals help create that sense.
3. Get existing customers to buy from you more often.
This one is quite possibly the most overlooked aspect of growing a business and yet it’s without a doubt the easiest way to grow your bottom line. If someone has already purchased from you before and if you’ve provided a quality service, selling them again should be a no-brainer.
In fact, the most valuable asset any business has is its existing customer base. You should constantly be looking for opportunities to sell to customers again and again and again.
Here are a few suggestions to take advantage of this method of growing your business:
Get every customer on a contract. This way you are selling your service again and again and again. Do everything in your power to convince your customers that it’s in their best interest to be on a service contract for a pre-defined period of time.
Create a system to follow-up with your prospects on a continuous basis. If you’re able to maintain a positive presence with your customers, the likelihood of them buying again and again increase exponentially. This can be done both online (if you have contact information) and offline.
Create specials or packages that you can present to your existing customers periodically. You should constantly be looking for additional products or services you can sell.
4. Hold onto customers for life.
This is a very important element to creating a lasting business. Knowing the lifetime value of a customer can be critical in developing a marketing plan that produces results, especially since it will help to know how much you can afford to spend to acquire customers.
Also, the power of holding onto your customers for life can really be seen as the previous methods kick in over time. As you learn to sell more to your new customers and as these customers become repeat buyers, their cumulative value grows and grows.
Here are a few suggestions for holding onto your customers for life:
Under-promise and over-deliver. Always go the extra mile for your customers.
Ask for testimonials from you satisfied customers. This will give you some insight into how satisfied they are and it gives you a powerful marketing tool.
Recognize and reward loyalty. Let you customers know that you appreciate their patronage and from time-to-time send them something that shows you appreciate their business.
Now, unfortunately for most businesses, they focus their attention on numbers 1 and 4, which ultimately means they’re leaving potential profits on the table. If a business is spending all it’s time and energy on getting new customers, they’re definitely paying much more than they should to grow their business. However, if they’re only focusing on existing customers at some point their business will slowly dry up as some customer attrition is to be expected.
Overall, the smart lawn care business owner will focus their attention on all four of these aspects. If you spend time and money in each of these areas, you’ll guarantee yourself a thriving lawn care business and one that will undoubtedly be around for years to come.
Chestin Salisbury is President of Lawn Care Marketing Magic, a direct response marketing consultancy located in Charlotte, NC that focuses on the lawncare and landscaping industry. He has been helping small businesses grow for 5+ years by creating marketing systems that use time-tested direct response marketing principles. Lawn Care Marketing Magic has access to 100+ years of experience and is capable of creating a marketing plan that grows YOUR business. Chestin is also the chief-editor of 'The Lawn Care Marketing Magic Minute', a weekly e-newsletter that focuses on helping your grow your business. To learn more about these lawn care direct marketing systems and to sign up for the weekly e-newsletter, visit http://www.LawnCareMarketingMagic.com
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