As we approach another New England winter this year, there are many different tasks that can be performed on your lawn and landscape that will protect it for the 2018 season. SmartLawn urges you to start checking these tasks off your list so that you aren’t rushing at the last minute to get them taken care of later this fall. Getting these projects completed will also save you time, money, and a lot of aggravation this winter and early next spring by avoiding costly repairs due to neglect. Below is a punch list that will serve as a reminder to the conscientious homeowner looking to protect one of their most valuable investments.
We all know how much it costs to acquire a new customer for our business. If you don’t know, I suggest that you find out - and sooner rather than later. Once you sell to a new customer, the next step is to hold on to that client for as long as you possibly can. As business owners, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and communication to our customers. Unfortunately, we tend to think that we are a lot better at this than we actually are.
According to Forrester Research, 71% of all internet leads are wasted by companies because they are too slow in responding to these prospects. Their research project stated that, on average, if an internet lead is responded to within five minutes of being received by the company, it is 100 times more likely to convert into a sale - versus if the internet lead was responded to within 30 minutes after the inquiry was made. Most business owners probably feel like their sales teams are great at responding to leads in a timely manner, but rarely do they actually analyze and scrutinize how long it really takes for their sales team to respond to an online lead. I know that was the case for me, and once I did this it surprised me as to how long my team was actually taking to respond to leads. This statistic only emphasizes the importance of lawn and landscape company owners designing their sales departments and teams to be prepared to respond to internet leads immediately upon when they are received.
Is your business an asset or just another lifestyle business thats ultimate value lies in you being there and doing everything to make it work 24/7? The latter basically being something that is valuable to you but essentially worthless to anyone else. It’s safe to say that we all want to build a business worth something more than just the hard assets that are on the balance sheet. If you aren’t really sure how to even begin to answer this question, I challenge you to take my “vacation test.” Not only will it save you thousands of dollars on a business evaluation in order to get an initial gauge on the health and worth of your business, but it will also force you to finally take that much needed (and earned) vacation that you keep putting off. Simply put, if you want to see where your business is at in terms of sustainability, go away for a while and turn your phone off. Return home after getting some rest and much needed headspace (your company needs some of this from you too, trust me), and see how it performed in your absence.
6 Things That You Can Do To Standardize Your Value Proposition
As an entrepreneur and franchisor, I am always emphasizing to my employees and owners the importance of responding to sales leads real-time and with urgency in order to capture that critical period of time when a buyer is in the mood to buy. But what if that doesn’t happen? You get busy, the prospect gets distracted and the moment is lost. If you are anything like me days will pass when you pause for a moment and think to yourself, what happened to that lead? Where did they go? Did they hire someone else? Did they do the work themselves? Did they simply do nothing? The unknown kills me. It is at this very moment that I need to get on the phone and contact that lead to get closure and to put that person in the “sale” category or “not sold” file. For me, not closing a sales lead and getting a firm “I’m not interested in your service” stings, but I would take it any day over not getting a yes or a no from a lead - that in my mind is a true sales sin.
By: Matthew Noon CEO of SmartLawn Franchise and Director of Greenlight Consulting
Owning and managing a successful landscape business involves many different moving parts. Managing all of these parts can be very overwhelming at times. I can clearly remember the early days of starting my first business when, after working over 14 hours, I would return home and then remember all of the sales leads I had neglected to call back. I was so busy just trying to put fires out and manage the day-to-day business that I was forgetting to do my most important job at my company: tracking and closing new business. After all, what kind of a message are you sending to new sales leads if you are not taking their calls live to schedule an estimate - or at the very least calling them back immediately after they leave you a message? All of that hard work we spend generating quality referrals and money spent on marketing is down the toilet if we aren’t on those leads in real time. Going a step further, responding quickly and effectively to the right leads is even more important. Here are a few tips that serve more as reminders as to what action we need to be taking around sales leads versus already knowing what to do. After all, knowing what to do is a lot different than walking through it.
One of the things I’m most passionate about is the Green Industry. I love most of every segment of the industry and at this point I can see the pros and cons of most of those segments from a business standpoint. I have worked in the industry since my first job at the age of 16 when I started working for a company on their mowing crew. I was trained on this job as a string trimmer crew member; I guess everyone needs to start somewhere.
Starting any small business can be daunting. Still, if you have a passion for being an entrepreneur and a job well done, launching a lawn care franchise could be the answer. If you’re asking “How can I start a lawn care business?”, know that lawn care business resources are available.