Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tips for Starting a Landscaping Business

To start a landscaping business, you will need to figure out the needs of your clients in the area that you will be servicing. If you are starting a landscaping business in an area with cold winters, you will need to come up with a plan for the off season. Many landscapers in colder regions typically provide snow plowing services in the winter months, and winterizing and leave raking in the fall. If you decide to focus your efforts on the spring and summer, you will need to be sure that your funds will last, and at the very least be performing research or working to improve your business for the upcoming season.
landscaping business

Landscaping Business Basics

Most Landscaping businesses focus on three areas: mowing, fertilizing, and chemical application. When first starting your business, it’s typically best to start with basic lawn maintenance, unless you are an expert at other services as well. Basic lawn maintenance includes mowing, trimming, and edging, with 2 to 3 people servicing one lawn at a time.  Once you are confident in the way your business is running and have system in order, you can add other services to your arsenal.
A big mistake of many landscaping businesses is not keeping the equipment in tip top shape. When using lawn equipment every day, you will need to frequently check the oil, drain the gasoline, inspect the air filters, sharpen the blades, and replace the spark plug. Here are some tips to keep your lawn mower running smoothly. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/8-maintenance-tips-keep-your-lawn-mower-running.htm

Quoting a Job

One of the biggest issues landscaping business owners have is accurately pricing their jobs. It can be incredibly difficult to quote a lawn when there are slopes, and strange landscaping configurations. Coming up with an accurate price is time consuming, so its recommended to use a landscaping estimating software to help you save time and money during the busy spring and summer months.

Obtaining Clients

Obtaining profitable clients for your business can be difficult when starting out. You will need to figure out the target market you want to go after, whether it be high income residents, low income residents, or somewhere in-between. You will need to understand their needs, fears, budgets, and values that they hold. One of the best ways to obtain clients is to develop strategic relationships with suppliers that may come in contact with the type of people you would service. For example, a swimming pool builder, fencing installer, anything relating to outdoor home improvement. Once you establish these relationships, you could set up an agreement with them that your business and their business with refer clients to each other. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Future Is Now For Corporate Event Marketing

Event marketing companies have a lot of means at their disposal for improving how their clients market themselves at events. Savvy event marketing companies are innovating new ways to use social media as well as video technology like green screens to get maximum exposure and brand recognition for their customers. They are creating Facebook events, using Twitter, connecting with the news media, and making use of streaming video.

The first way event marketing companies are creating excitement about their client's brands and products is through preshow buzz. Smart event marketing companies are also part PR firm and are skilled at reaching out to online media companies to make them aware that their client has something new and exciting to reveal at the event. This will ensure that bloggers and journalists stop by to see what all the hype is about. Another way event marketers create pre-show buzz is with teaser videos. Teaser videos are easy to disseminate online and are great for creating a feeling of excitement and suspense that will make people want to know more and this will lead them to seek more information at the event.

At the event itself event marketing companies can follow through by taking unique pictures with a green screen and instantly uploading them to both Facebook and Instagram. A unique experience like a green screen photo will have guests talking about the client's products or at the very least sharing their experience to their friends online. 

Video courtesy of event marketing company Aventus

Event marketing companies are also making good use of streaming video and testimonials. People are way more interested in events that are happening live so if the client has an existing social media following they will be far more likely to tune into what your company is doing when they see that you have video going live on the event floor. Furthermore, you can get testimonials from guests who are attending the event. These testimonials are great because they will instantly build credibility for the client. The live aspect of the testimonial from people in a real setting will bypass prospective customers natural suspicion of testimonials that come from having seen too many infomercials.

These are just a few of the new and exciting ways that event marketing companies are increasing exposure for their clients and if you connect with a forward thinking company you'll find that there are even more interesting social media and video marketing strategies they can use.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

6 Ways to Motivate Your Workers

Congratulations! You’ve been recently promoted to a leadership position within your company! But now you’re wondering what it takes to get your employees motivated to do great things. How can you create a workspace that everyone enjoys? How do you keep your workers happy? Read on for some tips on creating a positive, enjoyable workplace – the first step to motivating your employees to produce high-quality work and to do great things.

Create a positive environment. Make sure your employees have enough personal space for getting work done. Check the temperature of the office: colder temperatures may keep people awake, but it can also be very distracting to be freezing cold (or steaming hot). Take advantage of any windows in the office and create comfortable spaces near them, so employees can work or eat lunch there. Creative d├ęcor and artwork go a long way towards creating an enjoyable work space, so encourage employees to decorate their cubicles and shared workspaces! You could even designate a bulletin board in a common area for positive postings (birth or wedding announcements, birthday cards, pictures, etc.) that will keep people smiling throughout the day.

Keep food around. Providing hot and cold beverages for your employees will keep them in the office instead of wasting paid hours at Starbucks or 7-11. Even if it’s just coffee, tea, and filtered water for their water bottles, that goes a long way among employees. Allow workers to bring in treats on their birthday – or better yet, bring the birthday treats yourself! If it’s nice outside, plan a potluck picnic day and ask everyone to bring different foods from home.

Plan “casual days” for the office. Everyone loves those days where they don’t have to put too much thought into what they wear to work. And we all get tired of wearing slacks and button-downs every day! Scheduling denim Fridays, theme dress days (wear your favorite sports team shirt, etc.), and other casual-wear days is a great way to boost employees’ spirits and productivity.

Recognize and reward employees for outstanding work. If one of your workers went above and beyond on a project, or continuously goes out of their way to exceed your expectations, make sure to let them know that you appreciate their efforts. The best way to get people to continue a positive behavior is to reward them for it. Because some people shy away from the spotlight, it is appropriate to privately recognize and reward those individuals. Write them an email or just leave a note at their desk before they get to work in the morning. In the same way, make sure to recognize your workers as a group if they are doing a spectacular job. Show them how their efforts are contributing to the success of the company as a whole!

Get to know your employees. Although it’s important to respect the divide between a person’s professional and personal lives, getting to know your employees is essential when trying to build a positive workspace. Many people feel good when acquaintances remember things about them, such as their spouse’s and children’s names, their birthday, or their hobbies and interests.
Have a positive social culture within the office. Organize group outings to sporting events, raffle off small prizes like movie passes or restaurant gift certificates, or start fun office traditions like an annual company softball game. These are things that will attract new employees to your company, as well as keep current employees engaged and interested.

This post was written by a guest contributor for MSU Executive Development Program. MSU EDP is proudly presented by the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.