Saturday, February 12, 2011

Keep your friends close and your know the rest

The other day something strange happened. An alliance of mine from another lawn company approached me and asked me who I had "pissed off?"

When I asked him what he meant he told me he'd been down at the franchise show and had been accosted by several people from another franchise asking all kinds of questions about my business-"Who are they?","Do you know them?", etc.

I can only imagine this is due to the fact many of their customers have come knocking on our door, dissatisfied with their previous lawn care provider. From the way they make us sound, We must seem like Mosses thundering, "Let my people go!" and then leading a mass exodus through the desert to the promised land.

The truth is, before I started this little venture, some four seasons ago, I worked for one of the larger companies. From watching the day-to-day operations and listening to disgruntled customers moan about the companies short-falls, I believed I could do a better job simply by being everything the bigger company was not.

I also did, what is called, a S.W.O.T. analysis. By understand strengths, weaknesses and opportunities I crafted a business model I felt would be successful.

We have had substantial growth in every season since we started. Sure we lose a customer every once in a while -they move, they die, they can't afford it, but we always do our best to resolve any issues our customers might have.

So, to the other company- sorry we're taking your customers, but perhaps it's time you went back to basics and did your own S.W.O.T. Because eventually if you let your ship drift aimlessly you're going to find yourself hitting the rocks and sinking fast.