7 October Tasks For Success
How October Tasks Make For Success
To be successful in the lawn, landscape and irrigation business you must be ahead of the curve or client need calendar. Prepping for the next year needs to start as early as July or August. Spring rush is past, and while still fresh in everyone’s minds, it’s a great time to review the past and plan the future. Think about add on services that can be sold in the fall or can be put in next season’s contract. Consider services or products that you can sell in the winter. Their is no better way than to grow from within, plus seek referrals while doing so. But what can you do right now to increase future success?
Here are 7 steps to take for strong end of season and a new year.
Update your financial records immediately if you have not done so. Waiting until tax season means you are at least 18 months behind. You can use the financials to immediately effect pricing on any new service or product roll outs yet to be sold this year. By waiting until tax time of next year any price changes for work already sold will not take effect until the following spring. Calculate your current production costs using Q4 of last year through Q3 of the current year financials for the most up to date results. Then develop budgets and forecasts using that information. Create action plans to make your sales and cost budgets and forecasts a reality.
Re-market existing customers and old leads for end of season services like winter deer repellent, fall clean ups, spring bulbs, ice melt delivery at your last service, firewood, etc. that you may offer. Because you should have passed your break even point long ago, adding on some of these sales at discounted prices doesn’t hurt and builds client interest. Money over the cost of production and any associated marketing costs drops right to the bottom line as profit.
Cross market existing services to different client groups if you have them. Examples are selling irrigation to lawn maintenance clients, maintenance to design build, fert programs to irrigation, etc. Surprisingly, despite whatever efforts you have made on this in the past, it never gets old. Time and time again I would have a client say to us “I didn’t know your company did that”. This occurred despite our trucks, emails, letters, postcards and phone contact. Clients focus only on one single thing important at the moment. Don’t give up.
Email reminders or quotes for next years services to leads that didn’t buy the first time no matter how old the lead. They may not have picked you the first time because of some perceived value issue or lack of clarity on your service, but the company they did choose, may not have delivered as promised or radically raised a promotional or poorly priced bid for the next season.
Market winter services. Services don’t market themselves, and again there is an awareness issue. Do you offer snow removal, firewood, wood pellets or fireplace logs, garage or basement clean outs? Let your clients know, or explore revenue sources that are a fit with your staff and current operation.
E-Newsletter: Send one with a timely topic such as "Late-Season or Dormant Seeding" for DIY folks, seasonal lighting tips or ideas, easy leaf cleanup tips, or a holiday family favorite recipe of yours, etc. Anything you do, or they may need to do themselves is a great topic.
Holiday Lighting Postcard #2: If you do lighting or are starting in lighting, A second mailing phone call or email to promoting the service because lights go up in November to early December. If you are considering lighting as a new service, make sure you have both staff and calendar time at the right time of the season. No one wants to hear you are still doing fall clean ups, sprinkler winterizations or building a wall or patio and won’t be there until December 15th.
Think about your core services and contracts, and what you want to change for next year, then get prepared to act on them in November while you are still working on your clients sites. It’s way easier to keep the sales engine running, than to restart cold after the holidays or middle of winter. Make sure that any new revenue sources fit with existing staff, equipment and available time to perform them. Make your only investment a marketing investment.
For personal help or other ideas, contact me.