Landscaping business

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by bf1986, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. bf1986

    bf1986 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 27 Likes: 2
    I run a landscaping business in a large rural town. Everything from garden maintenance through to driveways, patios, fencing and also tree surgery. I price to do the best job, not the cheapest. Our best customers are 50+.

    Business has been good, but I feel I might be missing opportunities. We've advertised in Phonebook and Yellow pages, but I've found that when I arrive on site, I'm one of 5 other companies who has been asked to tender - so I've stopped with that.

    We don't have any social media.

    We have a website that usually lands first page and sometimes number one, but some products ie tree surgery, we are no where to be seen. We do advertise in local papers at £400/m.

    I'm now looking at Adwords, SEO, Facebook ppc and local radio. I have a modest budget being a smaller outfit - say £1k/month less the £400 already being spent.

    There is competition out there but I feel if I can narrow my leads to a certain demographic and actually get to see the potential customer (on site at their home/premises) I stand a good chance of selling my services well - unless of course there's 5 others already been.

    Not sure where to head so I'd appreciate the advice.
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: bf1986 Member since: Jan 26, 2011
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  2. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 6,833 Likes: 1,252
    Okay, so three things spring to mind:

    1/ Leaflet the road. While you are working for one customer, near the start of the job, do you pop leaflets or business cards into the houses in the rest of the street? "We're are currently working at a property in your road. Speak to us if you would like a quote on XYZ. Just call and we'll be happy to pop along and see you."

    2/ Current job/next job. While you are on site doing a particular job, do you take time to walk round the rest of the site and see if there are any other jobs that need doing, or something that could be improved? You could then say to the customer "While we're here, we see that XYZ needs doing. We could add it to the current job for only £XX more."

    3/ Ad boards. Like double glazing firms, etc., do you have an ad board that the customer would be happy to display outside the front of their property while you are working there and for a couple of weeks after you have finished?
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
    #2
  3. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,396 Likes: 236
    Have you identified the areas where your over 50's are over represented? Target these areas as per Ashley's advice above.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #3
  4. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,613 Likes: 330
    Apart from the good advice from @Ashley_Price, do you ask current/past customers how they got your details?

    Finding out what your demographic uses is the best way to go.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
    #4
  5. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 2,361 Likes: 816
    How many employees do you have? You shouldn't need a budget of a grand a month unless you have a few teams out full time.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
    #5
  6. Paul Thomas

    Paul Thomas UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Get a Facebook page ASAP.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: Paul Thomas Member since: Jan 7, 2018
    #6
  7. bf1986

    bf1986 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 27 Likes: 2
    Set it up last night. Boosting posts for 45+ yo’s but not choosing any interest. For £1 a day I’ll reach up 300 people apparently. Bargain for at the very least increasing exposure / familiarity.

    Any tips?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: bf1986 Member since: Jan 26, 2011
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  8. bf1986

    bf1986 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 27 Likes: 2
    I don’t do any of the above. I have been told to do the “working in your area” thing though and considered a board. Quite often we’ll arrive after the “street” has gone to work and leave before they are home. They’ll see the new fence or driveway, but they won’t ask the neighbour who did it.

    I’d struggle with the “when we are here” as I’m not the sales type, I suppose I should.

    9 our of 10 find us in local papers, I have always asked, every customer. We don’t advertise much elsewhere though so it kinda makes sense.

    If local papers are the one that works - we are at the back in the “Services” section. Should we be trying a different approach?

    5 men including myself. We get through the workload quicker than the average, that’s how I make my money.

    Thanks so far by the way, much obliged.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: bf1986 Member since: Jan 26, 2011
    #8
  9. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,613 Likes: 330
    If 90% of your business in generated from newspapers, then increasing your newspaper coverage would make sense, rather than gamble on something that might not work.

    Increasing spend might incentivise newspapers to provide advertorial space.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
    #9
  10. Paul Thomas

    Paul Thomas UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Stick to boosting for the time being and aim to get likes on your page and as many reviews as possible.

    FB are changing what people see on their timelines. Friends and family will be favoured over business posts unless the business posts encourage "meaningful engagement".

    Try and post content that get people chatting in your comments - but be careful because they are also going to start penalising "engagment bait" such as "tag your ugly sister" type stuff. The key will be to get honest engagement.

    Also, if you are brave enough post live videos, They are engagement magnets and will likely get you on peoples timelines.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: Paul Thomas Member since: Jan 7, 2018
    #10
  11. bf1986

    bf1986 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 27 Likes: 2

    Excellent. Thanks for that. I am not a facebook user so its all new to me.

    I am intending on running a newsletter for our regulars and anyone else interested so perhaps I'll post that up too as it'll have helpful tips etc on there. Not so fussed on the hard sell 20% offer stuff, its not my style and it is not the business model either.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: bf1986 Member since: Jan 26, 2011
    #11
  12. bf1986

    bf1986 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 27 Likes: 2

    Excuse my ignorance, but what is advertorial space?

    In what way would you increase it? It is a small (think small business card) size listing half a dozen of our services - tailored a little to season - with company name/logo at top and phone number/ website at bottom.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: bf1986 Member since: Jan 26, 2011
    #12
  13. pelparc

    pelparc UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 194 Likes: 21
    If almost all of your work comes from newspaper adds, have you had a very very good look at your website? You say you come top for most searches yet you hardly get any work from it. Take a good look at its usability as a human and not a search bot. Does it look up to date, have images of work you have done, show that you know what you are doing. It needs to be very believable.
    Personally i wouldn't waste any time or money on Facebook, i would think the chances of actually being displayed on someones page at a time when they are interested to have work done is very remote. have a page and keep it fresh with regular updates and leave it at that.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: pelparc Member since: Apr 10, 2017
    #13
  14. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,613 Likes: 330
    http://www.earningguys.com/advertisement/advertorial/

    I cant comment on HOW to increase, as I don't know what you have in terms of number of publications used/available.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
    #14
  15. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 6,833 Likes: 1,252
    You don't have to do any actual selling. Just get some leaflets designed which say "We have been working at another property in your road. If you would like a new fence, landscape gardening... do not hesitate to contact us."
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
    #15
  16. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 8,681 Likes: 1,775
    One of the best adverts you have is your van, have it wrapped in a bright colour and with a big message all over it stating who you are, where you are and what you do. not just a tiny logo on one panel

    Have all your staff wearing a simple uniform be it green trousers and sweatshirts or similar with the company name on the back in large letters

    Every place you work at has lots of people seeing your van and staff and mentally judging you for potential work in the future, Dyno-rod are the perfect example
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #16
  17. bf1986

    bf1986 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 27 Likes: 2

    I’m actually takin pricing on new website design and getting it professionally SEO’d. I’ve registered on Fiverr to get pricing there

    My website is fairly good and easy to navigate however it’s seriously out of date. Last updated in 2010..


    My apologies, the salesman part meant selling myself to the customer we are all ready work. Tried it last night with a customer we are going to soon and she has changed spec slightly reducing time / cost needed. I suggested tidying up elsewhere to use the time I have allocated.. “ it’s not up to me to pad your day out”..

    All vans have full livery which is clear and easy to read. The logo/ company name is the length of side of van. Myself and all men wear matching uniform. The logo printed on left breast. Nothing on back of clothing as I just think it’s bloody tacky. Appreciate the suggestion though.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: bf1986 Member since: Jan 26, 2011
    #17
  18. VD Media

    VD Media UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 8 Likes: 0
    I would totally avoid Fiverr and the like for SEO. They use the worst kind of backlinks you could ever get, and will only risk a penalty. $5 for backlinks? You have to think how could they possibly profit if they were of any real value? I would do proper research into this before you buy any kind of SEO. Seriously.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: VD Media Member since: Feb 8, 2018
    #18
  19. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 102 Likes: 13
    Fiverr can be good, there are some serious companies that do proper research & offer their services on the platform, as it has a big captive audience. However as VD Media says, be careful, many of the sellers are from the other side of the world & charge $5 because that's a days pay & there's little comeback if you're based in India!

    You should look for a UK company if you do use the site, one with lots of good reviews, they also wont be charging $5, the proper companies charge hundreds for each service, as they would if you went to their website.

    Not having seen your site it's hard to say what your approach should be; you may have great content. I'm guessing it's not a responsive site, so doesn't work well on mobile? Well over half of all searches start on mobile & Google indexes websites based on how your site appears on a mobile view.

    You probably need a technical audit & some decent advice to recommend the best way forward, as a site from 2010 is likely to need a responsive rebuild at the very least.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
    #19
  20. Createanddirect

    Createanddirect UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 8 Likes: 3
    Hi,
    I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this as I haven't got the chance to read all post at this moment. Have you thought about filming your work and uploading to Youtube and Facebook. Video is the most desirable content at the moment if you want to implement digital marketing to your strategy and I think you will reach an even bigger audience in this way.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2018 By: Createanddirect Member since: Dec 29, 2017
    #20