Setting a Marketing Budget for a Landscape Company

 

The primary goal of marketing is to generate and nurture high-quality leads. You want to attract the right potential customers to your business and to set expectations in their minds about the experience they will have with your company. It is the role of sales to convert these leads into customers.

 

For almost all businesses, the right marketing strategy enables the company to grow faster and provide customers with a more satisfying experience.

 

It may seem as though your business is getting along just fine without investing in marketing, but you will likely reach a tipping point where it starts to make sense to invest in marketing, including  a marketing consultant. I go into more detail here on when creating a budget is worth your time, so if you are unsure if your business is at the right stage for this, start with that post and circle back. (After all, if you are not yet ready for a budget, you are likely not ready for a marketing budget either.)

 

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3 Ingredients to Success at Maffei Landscape

 

Last week I flew up to Cape Cod to visit an old friend, Bob Maffei and his company Maffei Landscape Contractors

 

I met Bob “growing up” in the industry, probably at a JP Horizons event and he’s about as good of a guy as you can get.

 

After reminiscing (and sharing hilarious stories I didn’t know about my parents), we talked shop and he offered some pointers about running a $10m landscaping business.  

 

Trying to be clever, I created a little equation from my takeaways.

 

Personal Accountability + Team Accountability + Enthusiasm = Success

 

Personal Accountability 

 

One thing that Bob kept repeating was the 5 stages of employee accountability.  

 

The lowest form of accountability - scratch that - the polar opposite of accountability is denial....  “The work I did at the client’s house was fine.”

 

Once they’re able to acknowledge (verbally or not)...

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3 Ways to Coach Your Team to Take More Initiative

 

“There’s two types of people in this world.” my friend Jane explained, “Clickers and non-clickers”.

 

She was describing the way that administrative employees tend to work.  They either click buttons on the computer to figure out a way to make progress, or they don’t - they sit back and ask for help.
 


In your business, you probably call clickers “Problem Solvers”.  And we’d probably agree to describe them as people who are not afraid to use Google, people who go above and beyond, people who keep their eyes open for opportunities, and people who have a helpful attitude.   
 

So, can you train someone to be a clicker?  


 
I believe the right person could be coached to take more initiative. Here’s how:

 


1. Give Them Permission 

 
Especially when someone is new, let them know it’s okay to look around for answers.  They may fear...
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Benchmarks For Landscaping Crews

A friend of mine is in the fitness industry and recently he hired a sales coach to help develop processes for new salespeople.

 

Being the nosey girl that I am, I asked to see some of their notes, hoping to find a nugget that I could apply to the green industry.

 

One video I stumbled across was about how to increase call volume.  The coach suggested sitting next to a new salesperson for one hour of the day with a list of names and phone numbers.  Then just listen to their calls, offer zero feedback, and make a tally every time they complete a call.

 

The idea here is that since the boss is right there and there are no distractions, they are going to be focused really hard in making calls.  

 

Once the hour is up, the next step is to use this as a benchmark.

 

Say, “Okay Brad, you made 50 calls in one hour and scheduled 16 appointments. That means hypothetically you could be scheduling 100 appointments in an 8 hour day.  I know...

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May's Top Picks

Grab your coffee & sit back to enjoy this month's top picks from yours truly! 

 

Technology 

Everything You Need to Know About the New Gmail

 

Summary:  New in May, Gmail gives us features we've needed but perhaps didn't know we needed, all in one update - including snoozing, self-destructing emails and Google tasks in your inbox. 

 

My take: At first, I couldn't wait to turn on my new Gmail interface. But after using it for 2 days, I turned it back off. The new features are appealing, but I'm not comfortable yet with the new look.  Anyone else having more success? 

 

Digital Marketing 

Need to Spring Clean Your Marketing? These 10 Ideas Will Help.

 

Summary:  Every once in a while, you’ve got to clean up the parts of your marketing program that don’t regularly get your attention. In the everyday hustle, this stuff can easily get neglected.

 

Why I picked...

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Cesar's Karaoke Kar

I spent last weekend in California for my birthday. We probably took about 10 Lyft rides over the course of the trip - but only one worth writing about…. 
 
When Cesar arrived, his red SUV had curvy white letters spelling out “Cesar’s Karaoke Kar”. Upon hopping inside, we were welcomed by bright pink seats, flashing LED lights, and a swirling disco ball.  
 
Cesar smiled big, handed us microphones and the next thing I knew we were reading lyrics from an iPad and singing “Greased Lightning” and other singalongs all the way to our destination. 
 
Most of the time you get from point A to point B with a friendly driver. Sometimes you get a really fantastic and magical experience. 
 
Everyday we have a choice to delight and surprise our customers.  
 
 
Looking for ways to reward your over achievers? Check out this list of 121 ideas.  
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I Was Dealt the Death Card…

I could smell burning incense as a curly-haired lady in a long skirt led me to the back of the building. We brushed aside the beaded curtains and walked into a dimly lit room with one table and two chairs.

After a meticulous shuffle, she began swiftly placing large cards in front of me and simultaneously informed me what they described.

 

First card – “your past”

Second card – “your current state”

Third card – “your near future”

 

As she flipped the third card, my eyebrows raised when I saw this:

 

 

Without hesitation, she continued flipping card after card, describing their meanings, but I wasn’t listening. I just kept staring at my impending doom.  

This was my first psychic reading experience, so I kept quiet as she began to interpret them in depth.

Good news friends...It turns out I’m not predicted to die.

The death card in this instance was faced towards me representing significant...

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Are Betta Fish Swimming In Your Company?

 

Earlier this year, a client told me his lead field supervisor, Emilio, quit and was going to work for a competing company.  

 

I could hear the pain in his voice as he thought aloud about finding a replacement for a local, bilingual, skilled individual who had been with him for 11 years.  

 

Fast forward three months...

 

This same leader was invited to a fiesta hosted by one of his up and coming leaders, Juan.  And, what he found out there was that Emilio was a Betta fish.

 


 

Betta Fish, ie: Betta splendens, are highly territorial and it’s not advised to put two males in the same tank as they often will fight each other to the death.

 

But, in the wild, Betta spar for only a few minutes before one fish backs off. Once a fish retreats, the match is over. *

 

Emilio had been “top Betta” at the company for so long that he deterred all the other individuals from stepping up.  Turnover wasn’t an...

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I Fell Off My Mountain Bike

I tried mountain biking for the first time this weekend... 

Started on a 10.5 mile trail that I learned today is rated "Intermediate/Difficult" (rated 4/6 on the difficulty factor). 

Needless to say, I crashed. A LOT! 

And at a certain point, I flipped over the front of my bike going downhill and found myself laying on the ground, bruised and scratched up. 

This is when I wanted to quit.  I wanted to lay on the floor a little while longer and just walk my bike back to the car. 

But, I got up.  I finished the loop. 

And today, as my body is sore all over, it reminds me that falling... as much as it hurts... falling is a necessary part of life.  

It means:

you're taking risks

you're gaining knowledge

you're building resilience 

you're growing & improving

Today is Monday, a great day to start fresh and push yourself. 

What "intermediate/difficult" trail will you tackle this week?  

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Becoming a Thick-Skinned Solution Finder

Recently I got fired by one of my first clients.

I've only been in business for about 3 months...how could this happen so quickly?

That was a tough pill to swallow, but it's not the first time I've lost a client, and it won't be the last. I've given a lot of thought to it over the past couple of weeks. 

The ability to swallow your pride and accept blame, criticism or negative feedback is crucial. We're all human, we all make mistakes, and things will go wrong. And even when things go according to our plan, some clients will still perceive them to be wrong.

It's our job to prepare for any type of feedback not just operationally, but also emotionally.

So I came up with a few tools...

How to Become a Thick-Skinned Solution Finder:

1. Separate fact from fiction. 

Don't fall into a trap of thinking, "I suck and I'm bad at my job." Instead, realize that there is a process that can be improved or a system that needs to be established. You'll likely solve this problem for another...

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