This article is actually an example of a simple yet, excellent marketing plan. Pay close attention to how I went out and found new business at a time of the year when things are normally slow, and not only did I make $1,148.00, my friend Franky also made $1,060.00.
Because I chose to keep myself out of the rat race of landscaping new homes, I went after a market that was more of an impulsive type market. New home landscaping is almost a necessity, since new homes don’t have any shrubs or grass. Not only that, many housing developments actually require people to have their landscaping done within a certain number of months from the time they move into their new homes. Therefore, when the house is done, people are anxious to get it landscaped.
Since I wasn’t in that market, and most impulsive gardening decisions are made in the spring, my business typically slowed down during the very hot summer months. So one year I decided to do a little test marketing, to see if I could muster up some work during the summer.
I decided to do a test mailing to 350 homeowners in an area where I knew the people could afford landscaping services, but were not extremely rich. I mailed a letter to these 350 homes, and the letter basically said I could help them with any landscaping project that needed done, and because my business was slow during the summer I could give them a really fair price.
Of the 350 people that received the letter 3 called me. I immediately sold two jobs, and the third job was still open for discussion. On one of the first two jobs I made about $350. and on the other I made about $700. That’s net profit. That’s how much I got to keep. Since the mailing cost less than $175., my immediate profit on the mailing was $875. Not bad at all considering this was only a part-time business for me. But don’t forget about that third caller. I had not even met this person yet.
The reason he called is because he happened to own a 60 unit apartment building in the Cleveland area, and he needed some trees or shrubs planted around the parking lot. The architect that he had been working with suggested Taxus Hicksi, which is an evergreen that is easily trimmed and maintained to a certain size. However, all the landscapers he had spoken with in Cleveland wanted about $44.00 each to install these plants. Although a fair price, that amounted to $4,664.00 because he needed 106 plants.
He contacted me because he was hoping I could find a less expensive plant to use. After visiting the job site I realized that Taxus Hicksi actually was about the best choice for this situation, so I told him I would see if I could get a better price on the plants. I showed in a wholesale catalog that the wholesale price was $22.00 per plant, but mentioned that I might be able to find another source.
I knew that my friend Franky did at one time grow this particular plant, so I gave him a call. Turns out he did have 106 plants available, and was anxious to move some of them, he quoted me $10.00 each, balled in burlap. I called my customer and told him that I found good plants at a lower price, and that I could actually deliver and plant them for $22.00 per plant, which is exactly half of what others had quoted him. He was delighted, and I did the job. As a matter of fact he actually asked me to install some additional plants while I was there.
I hired 3 guys to help me do the job, and we had it done in one day. After I paid for the plants, and paid my help, I actually made $1,148.00 on that one day job. My customer was so happy with the work we did that he asked me to come back the following week and do about another $700.00 worth of work. I made another $350.00 The following spring he hired me to re-landscape an older home that he had purchased, and I made another $600.00.
Remember the $175.00 that I spent to mail those 350 letters? The net profit on that mailing turned out to be about $2,973.00!!! And my friend Franky picked up $1,060.00 for the plants I bought from him. Were these 350 people I selected special? No they weren’t. Every town in America has at least 350 people just like them, probably thousands more.
There are many different ways to make money with plants, this is just one of them, I can show you plenty more. I’ve been making money with plants for over 25 years.