You know what you want to do, but you’ve changed your mind about who you want to do it for. Or maybe you’ve decided that the rockabilly persona that seemed so right for you at 25 needs to be updated, left it be left in the dust with the trends of hipsters past. For whatever reason, you’ve decided that your business needs a makeover.
You’ve seen the makeover tv shows. The worst part is knowing where to start. We’re going to suggest starting at the end: decide where you want to be, then suss out the details of what being there looks like, and then and only then you can create a custom tailored plan to get there.
Say, you have been picking up neighborhood jobs from word of mouth and now you’d like to build on that and start making inroads on the somewhat more upscale neighborhood just a few subdivisions over. Do some research and find out who is currently working the target area; you might do a web search for “Lawn care TargetNeighborhood YourTown,” you might ask a friend who lives in the area who tends to work around there, you could ask him to collect the flyers that come to his door (VERY useful), or you might simply drive through and scout for signs and trucks.
One source of information that you might not have thought of is your local librarians. Not the clerk at the desk; actual librarians have master’s degrees and are experts in research. If your town has a business centre or small business association with a library, even better. You want to see photos of actual brochures, flyers, business cards if you can. Then you definitely want to check out their websites.
Make notes of any points that all the companies in your target area have in common. Are they all conservative-looking, with no prices listed and upscale photos? Are they brash and SIGN UP RIGHT NOW FOR FREE BONUS!? Do their websites end in .bc.ca or .com? And it goes without saying, you should study the busiest competitor the most.
Once you know who your competition is and what their marketing message looks like, take another look at your own. You’ll probably see many things you can save and transfer to the new marketing materials: prices, some of the text, perhaps changing it slightly to make it more in synch with the target market. Maybe your photos are enough like theirs to work; or maybe you’ll have to shoot some more, even punch up the colours in something like Photoshop. Do what it takes, because if you do it right you only have to do it once.
It’s worth asking a few existing customers to take a look at your new materials and give some feedback. You could invite them all at once or ask them individually; in either case, make it worth their while. Offer a free service of some kind, or at least snacks and good company, because this is a focus group you are running and people generally earn $25 apiece for participating. A Starbucks card can be had for as little as $5 and it generally always welcome.
The goal is to attract new clients while not annoying or abandoning your existing client base. You already have marketing material that works with them; you can just reprint it for use in the same neighborhoods, the same kinds of potential clients. But now you have a new arrow in your quiver, one you can use to shoot for the moon. You might just land in some pretty soft lawns.
Last modified: November 23, 2016