The Holganix Blog

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

Why do you want to grow your lawn care business?

“When I was 18-years-old, I was running a little lawn care company in the Philadelphia area when something rather unexpected happened,” says Barrett Ersek CEO of Holganix. “My high school sweetheart became pregnant with our first child.” Suddenly, Ersek’s toy lawn care company had to be transformed into a real business in order to support his family. “I was working 24/7 (no joke), telemarketing and dragging a hose while my pregnant wife managed the books.” While Ersek did reach his goal and built a thriving lawn care business, the reason he succeeded was because he had a painfully clear “WHY”: which was to support his family.

So you want to build your lawn care business? At the end of the day we can all set wonderful, inspiring goals with well thought out plans to achieve them…. But will we be successful? If you can figure out your “WHY” – that thing that lights a flame under you and will drive you night and day to reach your goal, you will be much more likely to achieve your goal.

Watch Ersek’s video above for the full story on developing your “WHY”!  Check out Ersek's video on the power of goal setting.

Grow your lawn care company

 

 

Tags: bionutrition, marketing hints and tips, organic fertilizer, turf, compost tea, lawn care goals, soil food web, goal setting

Marketing Hints and Tips: Steal These Free Lawn Care Marketing Tools!

 

Holganix

At Holganix, we are passionate about sustainable growth. Not only does that core value refer to the growth of plants, but also the growth of companies (ours and yours!). Because of this value, we have created numerous marketing tools that lawn care providers can access for free! Everything is ready for downloading; all you have to do is add your logo and print! Click here to visit Holganix University where you can access a full listing of marketing tools your company can utilize.

 

Ready, set, download!

  • Homeowner Brochure- The Holganix homeowner brochure was designed with your customers and prospects in mind. It highlights just how special and unique your business is because of your organic approach (Holganix) and what that means for the turf and plants. Click here to check it out!
  • Post Cards- These post cards were created to convey a message around your organic-based lawn fertilization services. Our favorite is the “Hybrid of Lawn Care!” post card that depicts a green Prius on green turf. Check out all of the post card designs hereJust copy and paste your company logo in the logo slot and print!
  • Lawn Sign- This lawn sign is designed to get the neighbor’s attention and deliver a crystal-clear message about organic-based lawn care service. Print them yourself or give the PDF file to Real Green Systems to have lawn signs created.

 

Have you got the marketing bug?

  • Wise Webinars- Nicole Wise, Holganix’s head of marketing, hosts seminars twice a week on marketing. This season’s webinar series are entitled: Marketing with Bionutrition and Building Your Marketing Plan. Register for the marketing webinars here.
  • The Blog- The Holganix blog is spewing with marketing information and downloadable marketing tools. Topics include differentiating your business, telemarketing tips and door-to-door sales 101. To access the Marketing Hints and Tips series on the blog, click here.
  • Social Media- Another great place to locate marketing insights and free tools are our social media networks. Check us out on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and LinkedIn.

*This blog has been reposted

Grow your lawn care company

 

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, lawn care company, turf, lawn care business, running a lawn care company, grow your lawn care company

Meet Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow!

Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow: A carbon based fertility option

Introduction

Something special happens every time Holganix joins forces with another amazing turf care product. This is especially true when you introduce living, breathing Holganix with the organic matter- filled Healthy Grow by Pearl Valley Farms. Over the past 18 years, Pearl Valley Farms has perfected the art and science of composting and manufacturing Healthy Grow by adopting the philosophy, “The Way It’s Made Matters.” That’s why Holganix has partnered with Pearl Valley Farms to produce Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow.

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What is Healthy Grow?

Healthy Grow is a granular, organic based fertilizer created from egg laying poultry manure. Healthy Grow has an ACCM (Aerobically Composted Chicken Manure) base, which means the manure is aerobically composted over a 45 – 60 day period. After composting, it is further processed with other organic and traditional ingredients to create a nutrient rich, biological, and user-friendly fertilizer. Ultimately, this means Healthy Grow isn’t pasteurized (doesn’t inhibit living biology) and the smell associated with manure-based fertilizers is kept in check. What else is so special about Healthy Grow? Healthy Grow is packed with organic matter containing carbon sources.

Organic matter is dead and decomposing plant and animal matter within the soil. When in excess, organic matter produces thatch layers that hinder growth at the surface and black layers that strangle and limit root growth below the surface. Yet, because organic matter contains a carbon source, it remains critical in helping to produce a vibrant soil ecosystem. Organic matter and soil contain nutrients and micronutrients important to plant health, but are often locked in a form that can’t be utilized by the plant. Carbon is a food source for microorganisms. Ultimately, the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, etc…) eat the carbon, which allows them to convert nitrogen and other nutrients locked in organic matter and elsewhere in the soil, to plant-useable forms. 

Take nitrogen as an example. Nitrogen can be found in organic matter and elsewhere in the soil but is locked in a form not utilized by plants. Aerobic, heterotrophic bacteria are responsible for decomposition and mineralization. These bacteria help to decompose the plant remains and turn nitrogen that was locked within the organic matter into ammonium (NH4+), which is a plant-usable form of nitrogen. The same can be said for phosphorus (PO42-), potassium (K+), as well as every other plant-usable form of nutrients necessary for plant growth.

Often when we look at our turf programs, we focus on nitrogen as a key element. While nitrogen is crucial, the key question is: How much urea do we need to put down to make the grass green while still being cost effective? The thing to keep in mind is that nitrogen is just one piece of the puzzle. Phosphorus, potassium, calcium and certain other micronutrients are also pieces of the puzzle. However, because the microbiology within the soil is able to eat the carbon found in organic matter and then unlock nutrients, carbon supplies many different pieces of the soil environment puzzle, not just one.

Healthy Grow contains all the wonderful aspects obtained from having an organic matter and carbon source base. At the same time, the poultry base contains small doses of naturally occurring NPK!

 

What happens when Healthy Grow meets Holganix?

Holganix is a 100% organic, bionutritional product teeming with living microorganisms whose job is to naturally promote plant health. Other ingredients contained within Holganix include but are not limited to: endo and ecto mycorrhizae, beneficial nematodes, meleluca oil, yucca and kelp extract as well as humic and fulvic acids.

With Holganix, plants grow beneath the soil in addition to above it. “Highway” systems of roots dig deeper and weave between one another, creating the perfect support system for the plant. With healthier root systems, plants are better able to uptake moisture and withstand environmental stresses like drought and winter injury. At the same time, with Holganix you’re feeding the plant and the soil, because when you have a healthy soil environment you have a healthy plant. That means your plants need up to 75% less nitrogen fertilizers and 25% less pesticides than through traditional synthetic programs.

When you combine Holganix with Healthy Grow, it’s like giving the product Red Bull and as the saying goes, Healthy Grow “gets wings” and results are amplified. Not only do you get the benefit of adding a carbon source to your roster of turf products, but you also get all the holistic benefits contained in a jug of Holganix.

Healthy Grow provides the carbon sources (food sources) to the living biology within Holganix. The beneficial microorganisms then go to work converting locked nutrients in the soil and organic matter into plant useable forms.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to achieving an effective and sustainable way to manage turf grass. The Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow program can be marketed as an organic based program. Furthermore, because Holganix Granular with Healthy Grow has 180 and 90 SGN options, it won’t affect play on fairways, approaches or putting greens.

Overall, a carbon-based, living bionutritional fertility program allows professionals to return nature back to their properties and provides a more sustainable solution for the unpredictable future of the green industry. 

Soil Science

Tags: organic golf course management, organic fertilizer products, granular fertilizer, organic agriculture, organic sports turf management, lawn care, holganix, sports turf, golf course, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, agriculture, healthy grow, holganix granular, organic granular fertilizer

"I'm a firm believer in Holganix" - Jeffrey Koch, Glenmaura National Golf Club

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“Other superintendents have reached out and asked me about Holganix,” says Jeffrey Koch, Superintendent of Glenmaura National Golf Club in Glenmaura, Pennsylvania. “And I’m more than happy to tell them all about my experience! I’m a firm believer in Holganix,” says Koch.

Glenmaura National Golf Club is the 17th top course in Pennsylvania according to Golf Digest and a former host to nationwide PGA tour events. “The aesthetic values of the golf course are amazing,” explains Koch. And with waterfalls, native fescue areas, Kentucky bluegrass roughs and creeping bentgrass tees, green and fairways, it’s no wonder why Koch loves Glenmaura.

Koch practically grew up on a course. From age 12 to 22, Koch worked a small, family owned course in Pennsylvania. Throughout that period, he also attended Penn State’s two-year technical program on turfgrass management. After receiving his certification, he became an assistant superintendent at a course in Maryland before eventually becoming the assistant at Glenmaura. While he didn’t stay long and eventually became a superintendent at a different course, Koch returned to Glenmaura as its superintendent in 2004.

Koch started using Holganix in the late summer of 2012. “I wanted to do something new,” explains Koch when asked why he decided to try Holganix. “I wanted to do something that would benefit the soil and the turf.” It was Genesis Turfgrass (a Holganix distributor) that first told Koch about Holganix. According to Genesis Representative Brian Bachman, "Holganix allows our soils to work for us, on a microbial level, the way Mother Nature designed it to be."

At first, Koch monitored Holganix closely. “We definatly saw good results,” says Koch. Over all, root development and the turf’s ability to withstand summer and winter stresses have been some of Kock’s favorite results.

When Koch started using Holganix, the first thing he noticed was increased root length. While nearby golf courses struggled to maintain 2-3 inch roots, Glenmaura’s roots measured 5 to 6 inches. “A lot of that root development stems back to the Mycorrhizae fungi contained in Holganix,” says Holganix inventor Stephen T. Lange. Mycorrhizae form a symbiotic relationship with the root, ultimately aiding in root development and health.

Over all, Holganix has helped Koch stay abreast of seasonal stresses such as harsh summer and winter conditions. For example, this year Glenmaura had 5-6 inches below the normal precipitation through September “but everything was great and so was playability! We’ve actually reduced irrigation.”

Glenmaura’s reduction in irrigation is due to some awesome ingredients in Holganix. For example, in addition to aiding in root development, Mycorrhizae fungi help plants better retain moisture and take up nutrients. That means plants need on average less irrigation, stay healthy longer (even in a drought) and recover from drought faster. Naturally occurring wetting agents contained within the product (such as yucca extract), also help the plant battle summer conditions. 

Koch has also seen Holganix perform under poor winter conditions. “After the tough winter, a lot of our neighboring golf courses suffered from winter damage,” says Koch. “But we didn’t have any! I think it’s because, after using Holganix for several years, we’ve created a healthy turfgrass plant.” Koch is right about creating a healthy plant, but Holganix also contains unique components that help remedy winter damage.

During the winter, when the turf is covered in a layer of ice for more than 150 days, the oxygen is depleted in the turf ecosystem and the soils become anaerobic. According to Holganix inventor and scientist, Stephen T. Lange, “Holganix remediates anaerobic soils, effectively re-oyxgenating the soil profile and balancing aerobic conditions within the soil.” Furthermore, during the winter, the biology in the soil slows down. Jump starting the biology within the soil after a harsh winter can help turf recover from winterkill. “Essentially,” says Lange, “Holganix increases the availability of nutrients, vitamins and growth hormones to the plant.” Lastly, Holganix helps restore the natural biological process, which have been damaged due to cold winter temperatures. “Over all,” reminds Lange, “we’ve seen better winter and summer tolerance for customers using Holganix for 2 to 3 years.”

To date, Glenmaura has used Holganix as an add-on product to promote turf and soil health on the greens. “I look forward to continuing to partner and utilize Holganix,” says Koch.

Soil Science

Tags: golf course industry, turfgrass, winter injury, Mycorrhizae, turf roots, holganix reviews, golf course, holganix review, case studies, glenmaura national golf club

The Science Behind Holganix: 50 Shades of Green

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Have you ever received a complaint from a customer or member regarding the color of his/her lawn? This statement makes lawn care business owners and golf course superintendents scream! We must help set our customers’ expectations about what is healthy in turf and help them learn about the many shades of green grass.

Last week, Professor Cale Bigelow of Purdue University visited the Holganix office to speak to our sales representatives regarding turf health. One of the big topics Professor Bigelow touched on was color, specifically the different expectations for turf color shared around the world. For example, in the United States, we expect a different shade of green than does Europe. While Americans expect a vibrant shade of green, Europeans tend to prefer a paler coloring. “The vibrant greens can be a turn off to Europeans as they tend to think it’s achieved the color due to high amounts of synthetics,” says Professor Bigelow. 

“When you purchase a burger,” says Professor Bigelow. “There’s a huge difference between purchasing a burger from a McDonald’s and from a high-end steak house.” Turf is essentially the same thing. When you’re looking at turf color, there’s a big difference between a bent grass and blue grass, despite the fact that they belong in the same family of turf. “At the end of the day, turf color comes back to the level of chlorophyll production a plant undergoes,” says Holganix VP of R&D and inventor, Stephen T. Lange. The more chlorophyll produced by a plant, the greener that plant appears. At the same time, certain plants can only reach a certain threshold of chlorophyll production and thereby green coloring. This idea goes back to looking at the shade of green bent grass has versus a blue grass type. 

By adding proteins or nitrogen to the soil, we can influence the amount of chlorophyll production in a plant. The plant is used to producing the amount of chlorophyll it needs to be healthy based on the environmental situations it’s placed in. “By influencing the amount of chlorophyll production in a plant, we run the risk of exhausting the turf,” says Lange. 

At the end of the day, we all want a beautiful green shade of turf. However, it’s important to consider the health of the plant in addition to the green shade and to keep expectations within reason of the plant’s ability to maintain a vibrant hue.

*This blog has been reposted

Turf roots

Tags: soil foodweb, turfgrass, lawn care, the science behind holganix, sports turf, green grass, golf

Holganix Case Studies: Staying ahead of the lawn care competition

 

“Organics are a big deal to our clients,” says Tony Kacinas, Assistant Manager of the Soil and Turf Department at Chalet Nursery. Chalet is located on the Illinois side of Lake Michigan, so it is no wonder homeowners are concerned with synthetic fertilizer use and lake health. That’s one of the reasons why Chalet is looking at incorporating Holganix into their fertility program.

“There’s going to be a turning point in the lawn care industry soon,” says Kacinas as he reflects upon changes in the market and in government regulation surrounding synthetic fertilizers. “On the one hand, we are going to need an alternative to the usual way we do business [synthetics].” This alternative would have to face strict government regulations around NPK use, making bionutritional products like Holganix a great resource. “On the other, we want to make sure we are staying ahead of the competition on the green movement.”

Chalet has been testing Holganix for over a year now, evaluating its performance under numerous circumstances. So far, results look positive. “We’ve been able to cut back on Nature Safe by 50%,” says Kacinas. “All while maintaining the same turf color.” Kacinas also reports a lack in surge growth, which he attributes to the fact that the turf is getting nutrients on an as need basis with Holganix.

“We tested Holganix under the worst possible conditions,” admits Kacinas. One of those test properties has historically suffered from 2.5 inches of thatch. Kacinas has reported that he’s been able to reduce thatch by .75 inches with Holganix. “That’s phenomenal!” says Kacinas. “The microbes are clearly working. They are breaking down all that thatch.”

 

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Kacinas also reports seeing an increase in root size- some as long as 14.5 inches in length. Those turf roots got Kacinas the first place prize at Holganix’s annual Roots For You Competition to discover the best roots in America. “We were really excited to be recognized in Holganix’s root competition.”

As the first place winner for the lawn care category in the Holganix Roots For You competition, Chalet received a $500 cash prize and a $500 donation made in their name to PLANET. Sports turf and golf course winners will be announced this winter. For more information regarding the Holganix root competition, click here.

turf roots

Tags: turfgrass, lawn care, holganix reviews, organic lawn care, organic fertilizer, compost tea, holganix review, root competition, chalet nursery

5 cool facts about the University of Phoenix's Stadium

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We hope you had a super awesome Super Bowl game day featuring tons of junk food, wings and a couple bottles of beer! Here are 5 cool facts about the University of Pheonix’s Stadium:

 

1. The University of Pheonix’s Stadium is the first full retractable natural grass field in North America. The field rolls out on a 18.9 million pound tray which lives outside the stadium when not in use.

2. The turf is Tifway-419, a Bermuda hybrid.

3. When the field is in play, a few inches of water remains to keep the turf moist.

4. The field features 94,000 square feet (that’s over 2 acres!) of natural grass.

5. The stadium was voted #1 natural grass playing field in the most recent NFL Players survey.

 

For more information about the University of Phoenix's Stadium, check out these statistics.

Turf roots

Tags: turfgrass, sports turf, turf, athletic fields, superbowel, natural turf, university of arizona stadium, university of arizona stadium turf

Holganix Case Studies: Pure Green Lawn Care is growing like crazy!

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“I wanted to grow from 0 to 500 customers in 2014,” says Nathan Brandon. Brandon has spent the last 15 years in the green industry. He co-owned a full service landscaping company, but in 2013 sold his ownership stake and started Pure Green, a lawn care company based in Franklin, Tennessee. Despite understanding his company’s vision, Brandon decided to attend a Holganix marketing plan webinar and go through the Holganix marketing plan spreadsheet, to drill down on that vision, and create a disciplined approach to growing his company. “We made sure his plan was bullet proof,” says Nicole Wise, Holganix’s Head of Marketing and the host of the marketing plan webinars.

“By going through the Holganix marketing plan,” says Brandon. “I was able to take my 2014 sales goal and break it down into bite sized chunks. It helped me get focused on growth.”

Over all, Brandon and Wise decided to focus on three key marketing tactics in order to reach his sales goal: golden streets, direct mail and inbound marketing.

 

Golden Streets

“My golden streets helped me decide which customers to pursue,” explains Brandon. Golden streets are communities where Brandon’s most profit potential customers reside. “I have 11 golden streets. My goal is to “own” these communities,” affirms Brandon. By owning a golden street, Brandon can cut down on costs like gas and windshield time – the time your technicians are driving a truck to and from customers’ homes. Golden streets can vary in size and shape, depending on your region. Holganix recommends focusing on neighborhoods that have been developed in the last 5-15 years and contain at least 150 - 300 homes.

 

Direct Mail

To target his golden streets, Brandon decided to utilize direct mail. Brandon mapped out nine direct mail marketing campaigns throughout the year by using the Holganix marketing plan. Here’s his plan in brief:

  1. Brandon sent out a January pre-pay letter. He decided to go big or go home, and offered a 20% off discounts for pre-pays, something his competitors weren’t offering at the time. Today, 60% of Brandon’s customers pre-pay. Learn more about Brandon’s pre-pay story here.
  2. In February, Brandon mailed an invitation to his golden streets, inviting homeowners to be part of a neighborhood discount. “This makes homeowners feel special,” says Wise. Download a generic invitation mailer here.
  3. Each month from February through June, Brandon then mailed large, 6 x 11 postcards to his golden streets. Check out free post cards you can steal here.
  4. From July through September, Brandon sent out an additional three 5 x 9 postcards. This time the postcards were smaller and were sent through Every Door Direct (EDDM). “EDDM was a super cost effective way of getting my pieces out there,” says Brandon. For more information on EDDM, click here.

Why did Brandon hit customers on the head with the same marketing piece nine times throughout the year? “It’s all about getting the marketing wheel moving,” explains Brandon. “The reason why my direct marketing worked is because I was consistent and kept the marketing wheel moving.”

 

Inbound Marketing

He supplemented his marketing campaign with inbound marketing techniques like blogging, social media, email blasts and pay-per-click. “We blog twice a week. They tend to be the top landing pages,” explains Brandon. By blogging, Brandon is able to boost his SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and become a local expert in the region. He’s even received a few sales calls from his blog. Brandon also incorporates fun social media campaigns like Weed Wednesday. “We post on Facebook 2-3 times a day and are looking at doing Pinterest next.” Brandon also incorporates email blasts like a monthly newsletter to customers and prospects. Topics coincide with seasonal upsell opportunities like tree and shrub applications or aeration. Brandon has also experimented with some pay-per-click campaigns. Over all, website activity brought in about 60 customers between March and December of 2014. For more information on inbound marketing for lawn care companies, click here.

 

Conclusion

After his marketing campaigns, Brandon had 488 customers, nearly reaching his 2014 sales goal of 500 accounts. “I’m really happy with Pure Green’s growth!” says Brandon. Over all, Brandon attributes much of his success to becoming crystal clear on his golden streets and goals. Next year Brandon is shooting for an additional 500 new customers. “I’ve already attended a marketing session with Nicole to help plan out 2015,” says Brandon. “I’m really excited to see how much we can grow by next year.”

 

Do you want to grow your company? Register for the next marketing plan webinar by clicking the button below. 

Register: Marketing Plan Webinar

Tags: social media for lawn care, lawn care, holganix, bionutrition, holganix reviews, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, turf, compost tea, holganix review, lawn care marketing plan, compost

The Holganix Blog: Beat the spring rush!

We bet you're familiar with spring chaos... that special time of the year when every single one of your customers seems to be calling for services?

Well, we have a spring rush season too! During our spring rush, all of our awesome users are calling for RAD and refrigeration refills. At times, there are so many users to visit that it’s difficult to deliver product in a super fast, efficient way, and there can be a wait period.

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Now, while the ground is still cold, is the perfect time to plan your spring fill order so you can be ready to get spraying as soon as your customers are. And, why not give your RAD or refrigerator a good “once-over” test to prevent any last minute surprises that may have occurred over the spring season.

With that in mind, beat the rush and get your Holganix orders in so you can be ready when spring applications begin.

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: lawn care, holganix, sports turf, agriculture, golf