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Define your market - define yourself

Starting a landscaping business
Who are you as a company? Are you the guy who specializes in cemeteries and schools and other municipal properties? Or are you the one who takes care of that "select group" of wealthy, demanding clients who very few contractors have the skill and patience to serve? It's SO important to define yourself FIRST or you'll have a "mixed bag" of clients, and you'll make errors in judgment as to how to serve each type. You can be general or specific, but start defining now.

We cater to middle to upper - middle class, middle to old age, particular but not "spoiled." This is where we experience the best money, most enjoyment and greatest client satisfaction. On the corporate side, we cater to small properties who will be loyal to a company that gives great service. We want companies that say "Ok, he did our property JUST the way we liked it last year, I see no reason to go anywhere else." I stay away from companies that put their properties out to bid every year. You MIGHT keep the job if you give "knock em' dead" service, but chances are, saving money will always win in the end, especially when times are tough. I stick with small and loyal-that works just fine for us.

I do recommend that you occasionally take clients "above" your target criteria, but not below. This will help you stretch beyond your "comfort zone" just a bit, and help you grow, as well as help identify new types of clients-or work-that you may want to explore.

Defining yourself is another way of setting your "terms." For instance, one of our terms is, "This is our price; if you want a lower price, we'll need to deduct some services." We don't dicker. We also say HOW the work gets done, and the client gets to dictate the end result. Some more terms: I am paid on time; I do what's best for my family; I live by the golden rule; I clean up my messes in life, and take 100% responsibility for my life. Notice that there are no "or else's" at the end-no "back doors." If there were, then they would be called "conditions." These are NOT conditions; they are "terms." There is no room for alternatives and we do not give the alternatives space to exist, period. Most of your personal terms would be the same whether you were married, single, childless or patriarch over a brood of 11. They "define" you, and adhering to them strengthens you; compromising them weakens you.

Metaphysically speaking, when you define yourself, you invoke the great "I AM." You say to God, "This is who I am." When you firmly define yourself, you will begin to find situations drawn to you that fit you. You'll get calls from the "right" clients, you'll be in the right place at the right time for the president of the condo association to stop and talk to you, you'll happen to be the ONLY contractor that answered his phone that day when the new homeowner next door calls.

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