The Holganix Blog

Marketing Hints and Tips: Upselling customers?

The marketing race in the lawn care world is in full swing! You’re doing your best to reel in as many new customers as possible. But have you neglected the customers you already have? They can be a powerful tool for generating extra revenue this year.

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According to Sandra Zoratti, author of Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance, “New customers cost about seven times more than retaining and expanding your sales to existing customers.” Have you been neglecting these low hanging fruit? Here are some easy strategies for up selling your current customers:

1. Always have an invoice, message or insert of some sort, offering your customers additional services that your business provides.
   
2. Mail postcards to existing customers. The postcards don’t have to be big or expensive. Since they are already familiar with your company name and logo, you don’t have to be flashy to get their attention.
 
3. Call your customers before a season starts for the service you want to up sell. For example, try selling flea and tick services right before the weather begins to warm up. Or perhaps give your current customers a call when trees and shrubs are most under attack by insects and disease.
 
4. After you provide a service, have a company representative give that particular customer a call. State that the call is a production follow up to make sure he/she is happy with your services. It’s a great way to segue into a new sale.

Also, keep in mind that your current customers love and trust you. Tap into your customers for referrals and turn their neighbors into clients as well! It’s cheaper to tap into your referrals than cold calling, and you’ll be building density within your geographic location! 

*This blog has been reposted

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: lawn care, holganix, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, lawn care company, lawn care companies, lawn care upsell

Trees and shrubs need some love!

We all know the squeaky wheels get the grease. And lawns and flowers tend to be your squeaky wheels, getting all your attention right? But don't forget your trees and shrubs need some love. And what better way to spread the love than with Holganix.

 

What are the perfect times to use Holganix?

Think MRI

  • Trees and shrub maintenance
  • Restoration
  • Installation

Watch the video above to learn more about Holganix Tree and Shrub!

Turf roots

 

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, golf course, Tree and Shrub care, Holganix tree and shrub

He puts that "BLEEP" on everything!

“Do you see this turf?” asked Mark Runk. The turf he pointed to was the front lawn of Ewing Irrigation branch number 13 in San Diego, California. The turf was thick and green despite the lack of an irrigation system in place. “It looked awful and yellow before Holganix. Then two weeks after the first application, the color change was huge.”

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Picture above: Mark Runk (Left), Miguel Arreola (Ewing), Kaitlyn Ersek (Holganix) 

Mark Runk had been hired by Holganix to apply the product to the lawns of several Ewing stores. It was Holganix’s way to show Ewing employees just what Holganix was capable of. After all, Ewing and the lawn care community it serves have seen plenty of snake oil products in the past and Holganix was insistent on proving themselves differently.

“It comes down to the soil biology,” says Runk of Holganix. “When you are contributing to the soil biology like you do with Holganix, you are naturally protecting the plant.” 

Runk certainly knows his way around the turf industry. His grandfather was a landscape contractor in the 1950’s and Runk would tag along on jobs as a child. In the 1970’s Runk had built his own lawn care company and had been using lots of synthetics. However, “chemical fertilizer just stopped responding after a while,” says Runk. “So, I started doing some research.” Runk discovered that turf and plant health originate from the health of the soil. “I switched to organics and compost teas. Everyone looked at me like I was a tree hugger or crazy,” admits Runk.

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Runk has been brewing his own teas for several years but loves that Holganix combines in one jug all of the ingredients (plus some) that he would typically use. Runk still likes to experiment using Holganix in conjunction with some of his other favorite organic options like Eden’s BioChar.

One of Runk’s favorite success stories has been using Holganix Bloom with pansies ad snapdragons. “I soaked each root ball before planting. Overall, the flowers have stayed fuller and healthier longer.” Runk also reports that disease and pests have been less of an issue when using Holganix products on turf and plants. In fact, he didn’t lose any impatiens to downy mildew this season.

Overall, Runk has been excited with the results he’s seen with Holganix. “I use Holganix on everything!” says Runk. “And I’m excited to see how the plants continue to improve with additional applications.”

Turf roots

 

Tags: lawn care, holganix reviews, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, turf, holganix review, case studies, Ewing, organic lawn care california, ewing irrigation and landscape

What’s the difference between synthetic fertilizer, organic fertilizer and soil amendments?

There’s a lot of new terminology in the turf industry and definitions can be sketchy and downright confusing. So, what’s the difference between synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizers and soil amendments? At the end of the day, the key difference lies in the way the tool affects the plant. Synthetic fertilizers affect plant growth directly while soil amendments affect the plant indirectly (think soil structure and water infiltration). However, organic fertilizers can either directly affect plant growth or can be classified as a soil amendment and therefore affect the plant indirectly.

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Synthetic Fertilizers

According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, “synthetic fertilizers are chemically manufactured materials containing one or more of the primary nutrients necessary for plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.” Government regulations may limit the use of synthetic fertilizers by turf professionals (golf course superintendents, lawn care companies and sports turf field managers).

 

Soil Amendments

On the other hand, soil amendments “modify the soil structure as they decompose, allowing it to absorb and retain water and nutrients more efficiently”. Soil amendments are usually derived by natural materials but in some instances can contain chemically manufactured products (think Gypsum). Government regulations don’t limit the use of soil amendments by turf professionals because they do not contain nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium.

 

Organic Fertilizers

So where do organic fertilizers lie? Organic fertilizers can affect plant growth directly if they contain “significant quantities of one or more of the primary nutrients necessary for plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.” However, in the case of organic fertilizer, nutrients are naturally occurring. Utilizing manure based products are an example of organic fertilizers that directly affect plant growth. However, organic fertilizers can also affect the plant indirectly and therefore be considered soil amendments. One thing to keep in mind is that when organic fertilizers contain any NPK, government regulations restrict their use by turf professionals.

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organic fertilizer webinar

Tags: organic fertilizer products, lawn care, the science behind holganix, organic fertilizer, fertilizer, soil amendment, lawn fertilizer

Are there limitations to using organic fertilizers?

So you’re considering using an organic fertilizer in your turf health program? Excellent! There are a lot of wonderful things that an organic fertilizer can do for the health of your plants: including balancing the soil ecosystem and boosting plant health naturally. By going organic you can better deal with government regulations and you’re also able to market your organization to constituents that you’re going organic. However, what are the disadvantages?

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The biggest disadvantage to utilizing an organic fertilizer is whether or not it contains any primary nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Manure based fertilizers contain nutrients and are still considered organic, but many others don’t contain significant quantities (these organic fertilizers are classified as soil amendments). Because NPK directly affects plant growth by feeding the plant, results are typically fast. However, if a product doesn’t contain any NPK and is otherwise classified as a soil amendment, it affects plant growth indirectly. With soil amendments you’re affecting the soil structure, allowing the plant to absorb and retain water and nutrients more efficiently but aren’t directly feeding the plant. Instead, you’re relying on either the beneficial microorganisms already present in the soil or those present in the product, to convert nitrogen and feed the plant.

For a turf professional, using organic fertilizers without NPK could mean slower results. While results will come, your constituents are used to that immediate pop of green color expected in a lawn (okay not immediate, but you get the idea!). Therefore, if you’re considering using organic fertilizers that don’t contain naturally occurring NPK, look into a hybrid program. A hybrid turf care program contains small doses of synthetic fertilizers in conjunction with organic fertilizers. In this way, you’re getting the immediate results you expect while still getting all the benefits by using organic fertilizers. 

P.S. Above zinnia was treated with Holganix Bloom - West Chester, Pennsylvania

Turf roots

Tags: organic fertilizer products, lawn care, bionutrition, sports turf, organic fertilizer, turf, golf, soil amendment, soil food web

Have you caught Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow fever?

We have released our latest technological development: Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow. It combines the beneficial, living biology aspect of Holganix with the might of a high quality, carbon filled, organic poultry manure. Together, they do wonderful things for the turf and plants! Watch the video below for more information on this exciting new product that has everyone talking!

organic fertilizer webinar  

 

Tags: organic fertilizer products, lawn care, the science behind holganix, bionutrition, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, turf, organic golf, golf, soil food web, healthy grow

Is organic fertilizer right for you?

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Organic fertilizers are in “vogue” in turf management, especially for lawn care professionals. However, is organic fertilizer the right option for your lawn care company? Check out the below three questions to determine whether “going organic” is the path for you.

1. Do you have poor soil?

If your region is faced with poor soil conditions, adding a soil amendment or organic fertilizer can help invigorate the soil, contributing to better quality results. Because of the organic matter and the beneficial living micoorganisms, this is especially relevant if you are utilizing composts or products with a compost base. Organic matter and micoorganisms help balance the soil biology and nurture a stronger plant that can better defend against disease, insects and weather stress (think drought and winter injury) naturally.

2. Do you have a hard time differentiating yourself from the national lawn care companies?

Often, national lawn care companies will try to undersell you on price. Competing with the “big guys” solely on price is a dangerous game! Consider how you can differentiate your lawn care business in other ways. At the end of the day, if you can show your customers that you are different and are providing a better more valuable service, you can compete without cutting into margins. At Holganix, we love marketing guru Seth Godin’s idea of becoming a “Purple Cow”. Purple Cows are companies that stand out among a sea of non-descript, boring companies. Customers can’t help but pay attention to unique, out-of-the-box-thinking companies. How can you become a Purple Cow? Offering organic lawn care applications, could be a great way to differentiate your company.  

3. Is your region facing fertilizer regulations?

Throughout much of the United States, fertilizer regulations requiring lawn care professionals to cut back on their use of synthetics are increasing on both the state and federal level. This is especially true if your lawn care business is located near a major body of water like The Chesapeake Bay, The Great Lakes and The Gulf of Mexico among other water sources. In general, state and federal government officials and many of their constituents are concerned with the effect nitrogen and phosphorus (two of the key nutrients found in synthetic fertilizers) have on marine life and water health at large. Some of these effects include dead zones (areas of water where marine life can no longer exist) or contaminated water as seen in the Toledo, Ohio water crises in the summer of 2014. These effects have not only led to an increase in fertilizer regulations but have made consumers/homeowners concerned about utilizing synthetic fertilizers and therefore has provided interest in organic options.

By utilizing organic fertilizers or soil amendments, your lawn care business can reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer needed to achieve a healthy, green lawn. This not only allows you to ease the minds of your nervous homeowners, but also serves as a tool for complying with government regulations. 

Soil Science

 

Tags: organic fertilizer products, behind the science of holganix, lawn care, holganix, bionutrition, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, compost tea, soil amendment, compost, natural fertilizer

3 Kick-Ass Tips for Killer Marketing Campaigns

With the advent of spring, brings spring sales and spring marketing. So, as your marketing team starts delving into this year’s latest, hottest marketing campaign to reel in new customers, consider these 3 kick-ass tips for creating marketing campaigns that actually work.

kick-ass

1. Who are you targeting?

Before you start brainstorming your next awesome marketing campaign, remember to truly think about who you’re sending it to. At the end of the day, it is often cheaper to market to canceled customers, customers you’ve already given estimates to in the past, and those customers located on golden streets – neighborhoods that contain your most profit potential prospects. By building a campaign around one of these core targets, you can significantly increase your return on investment. If you don’t know where your golden streets lie in your geography, get crackin’. Golden streets are an amazing tool that helps your team get focused on serving customers and prospects that have the potential to generate the most profit. Check out more information on golden streets here.

 

2. Don’t slack, keep the campaign on track!

How can you judge whether or not your campaign was successful if you don’t track it? New Jersey’s Go Organic Lawn Care includes special codes on all their post cards. The special codes correlate with the campaign it originates from. This way, Go Organic Lawn Care will know which campaigns worked and can repeat their success the next season. By tracking sales from each campaign, you increase your chances of success in the future and can better understand which campaign to divert resources (time and money) too. 

 

3. Inbound vs. Outbound. Which will reign supreme?

Lately, outbound marketing (think telemarketing and direct mail) has been pushed aside for the cheaper inbound marketing techniques (think social media and search engine optimization). On one hand, inbound marketing more cost effective for small lawn care companies that are only just starting out or have a tight budget. However, unlike outbound marketing, it’s harder to track your success and discover your ROI through inbound marketing.  So which one do you go with? Often, when a marketing campaign contains elements of both inbound and outbound marketing, lawn care companies can hit a “sweet spot”. For example, Pure Green Lawn Care in Tennessee will send out an upsell direct mail piece on trees and shrubs. At the same time, they’ll publish a couple of blogs on the importance of having a tree and shrub program and post some cool facts about tree and shrub health on social media to create a multi-faceted marketing approach.

Tackling a marketing campaign through several different avenues will help ensure you hit the pin on the head! With all these different ways of marketing, your prospects are being touched several times with your marketing message and will be more likely to remember you and ultimately buy from you when their pain is at it’s greatest. Coupling your outbound marketing with your inbound marketing is a great way to execute your campaign through different avenues.

So, how can you marry your outbound with your inbound marketing efforts?

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, lawn care company, lawn care business, marketing campaigns

Holganix Case Studies: "Plant health comes down to the soil chemistry"

organic lawn care

What stands out and makes Bradshaw Landscaping special is their focus on quality results. Bradshaw Landscaping knows and loves each inch of soil covering their properties. They soil test their properties annually to be sure the plants and turf are receiving the nutrition they need to thrive. “We know how to best care for plants in the area,” says Rob Ary, the Regional Operations Manager of Bradshaw Landscaping. “We know which plants do well in which soils and which doesn’t.”

That’s especially important to Bradshaw since their region covers such a wide breadth of distance and soil types. Bradshaw Landscaping is a full maintenance landscaping business catering to commercial properties in the Nashville, Tennessee area. The region Bradshaw covers has been expanding lately, due to increased growth in the number of commercial properties Bradshaw Landscaping cares for. Not wishing to forgo quality results for company growth, Bradshaw Landscaping decided their annual flowerbeds needed more attention.

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That’s why in the spring of 2014 Kurt Dryden sales representative for Advanced Turf Solutions, reached out to introduce Bradshaw Landscaping to Holganix Bloom. Dryden believed that the Bloom product could help Bradshaw Landscaping improve the health of their annuals.

“Pretty instantly we could see the difference between the annuals treated with Holganix and those that weren’t,” states Ary. “The flowers lasted longer and recovered faster from environmental stresses like excessive rain and warm spells.” Typically, Bradshaw Landscaping plants Vinkas, Coleus and Begonias because they require less maintenance. Overall, “the flowers have stayed fuller longer.”

For Ary, what caught his eye about Holganix Bloom was the presence of living, beneficial microorganisms in the product. Ary knew the microorganisms contained in Holganix would help cater to Bradshaw’s focus on quality results by building a healthy soil ecosystem. “Often, when plants do really well or really poorly, it comes down to the soil chemistry,” says Ary. By contributing to the health of the soil, you are allowing the plant to access the nutrients and the care it needs, naturally. “The cool thing about Holganix Bloom is that both the plant and the soil benefit,” states Ary. “We need to start paying attention to the soil more. We need to do what the soil is telling us to do!” 

Soil Science

Tags: lawn care, turf, compost tea, case studies, holganix bloom, plant health, compost, landscaping, soil biology

3 Social Media Tips for Lawn Care and Golf

10 years ago, the rule was that if you didn’t have a website you were invisible. Today, that rule applies beyond websites to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. According to Hubspot, 46% of web users look towards social media when making a buying decision.

So, if you are on social media, hats off to you. But, if you haven’t jumped on the “social bandwagon,” maybe it’s time to start. Here’s some quick best practice tips for lawn care companies and golf courses looking to start or improve their social media presence.

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  • Address criticism. If you have an unhappy customer engaging on social media, let him/her know you are listening and genuinely care. Address their complaints or criticism of your service and be prepared to wow-ify them next time or to correct any problems with your services. Look at it this way; if you know when a customer is unhappy, it’s your golden opportunity to not only save them but also make them a fan of your company. Another thing to keep in mind is, by addressing complaints you’re showing other customers and prospects just how well you react to criticism. The worse thing you can do is NOT address it.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to mess up. No one is perfect and you will make mistakes. That’s OKAY! In fact, it makes you look more human. One of the biggest reasons why people aren’t active on social media is because they are afraid of messing up. After all, one spelling errorrr (woops we just made a spelling error!) could totally blow your entire social media cover? Not! It’s okay to mess up.

   

  • Act like you’re at a cocktail party. Don’t just post about how wonderful your company is (yes, we know you ROCK!). Think of social media as being at a cocktail party. Post about interesting or funny things happening in the lawn care/professional turf world with a dash of personal things happening in the office and a slight sprinkling of propaganda. So go take a company selfie and have some fun while you tweet, post and pin away! Need some ideas? Click here for some lawn care jokes to post and here for golf jokes.

 

Want to get more in depth about social media lawn care or golf courses? Check out these blogs: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. Or, give us a call! We are always super happy to chat with individuals looking to grow their organizations; so feel free to reach out and start a conversation about how to market your company.

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: social media, social media for lawn care, twitter for lawn care, lawn care, marketing hints and tips, facebook for lawn care, social media for golf