The Holganix Blog

Top 5 Plant and Soil Science TED Talks

soil TED TALK

At Holganix, we are self-appointed soil geeks. Learning about new trends, research and theories that are happening in the field makes us tick. We bet it gets you excited too!

Here are our top 5 favorite plant and soil science TED Talks. Warning! Some of these are crazy, unique ideas that will make Holganix almost seem ordinary! If you know a good TED Talk we are missing, post it in the comments of this blog. We’d LOVE to check it out!

If you are reading this on an email, video function will not operate. Click on the link to watch each TED Talk. 

 

Humus – The Essential Ingredient

Humus is what is left after soil microorganisms have decomposed organic matter. It holds nutrients and moisture and provides a great structure for planting in. Humus is essential for food production and is being gradually depleted. Learn more in Graeme Sait’s TED Talk.

 

Healthy Soil, Healthy World 

If you pick up a handful of soil, you will be holding more microorganisms in your hand than the entire number of people who have ever lived on earth. Think about that for a moment. Can you imagine the quantity of living things in your grasp? Soil is FULL of life. In this TED Talk you’ll have the opportunity to explore the soil from a microorganisms’ point of view.

 

Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs

Good news! Plants can quite literally change the face of the earth. By growing more plants, we can capture more carbon dioxide, water, production, biodiversity and profit? In fact, a 1% change in soil organic matter across just one quarter of the world’s land area could sequester 300 billion tons of physical C02. Check out Tony Lovell’s TED Talk here.

 

Stop Treating Our Soil Like Dirt!

Healthy soil is not dirt! Healthy soils are critical for keeping water clean producing food and buffering the effects of extreme weather. Soil plays a fundamental role in our lives in three key ways… Watch Karen Wynne’s TED Talk here.

 

Soil – From Dirt To Lifetime 

Did you know there are more living organisms beneath the soil then there are above it? Soil scientists can’t even come to an agreement about how many microbes are actually in the soil. Check out Fred Kirshenmann’s TED Talk here.

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, marketing hints and tips, agriculture

Two Summer Marketing Resources for Lawn Care Companies

AdobeStock_119856594 (2).jpeg

Getting your customers ready for summer can be tough. Not only is the turf about to undergo summer weather-related stress, if not drought-like conditions, but early-summer is also a key time for tree and shrub applications due to disease pressure.

Holganix has designed two key summer marketing resources for you to steal and utilize in your own marketing efforts to prepare your customers for summer.

 

Tree and Shrub In A Box

On average, you can expect 10–30% of your current customers to sign up for tree and shrub applications if you communicate it properly. That’s like new-found money! Due to high disease pressure, early-summer can be one of the best months to market your tree and shrub services.

Download the Tree and Shrub In A Box to access:

1. Tree and shrub post card

2. Tree and shrub letter to current customers to upsell them on tree and shrub services

3. Video to upload to your website and share in your social media campaign that discusses tree and shrub applications

4. Educational content on how to apply and price out tree and shrub applications

>>Download the Tree and Shrub In A Box

 

Summer Weather In A Box

If Mother Nature decides to dish out her usual drought-like conditions, it's important to have a conversation with your customers about what's going on with their lawns and what they can do to help! 

Download the Summer Weather In A Box to access marketing materials to help you communicate and educate your customers on how to care for their properties throughout the summer.

1. Content: Steal our summer weather blog article to post on your blog, email newsletter and website

2. Social Media: Grab out social media posts to help advertise your summer weather education to fans and followers on social media networks

>>Download the Summer Weather In A Box

Tags: marketing hints and tips

5 Inspiring Resources for Lawn Care Marketing

Grow business.jpeg

Just because the grass is finally growing and operations are busy, doesn’t mean it’s time to slow down on marketing and selling your lawn care services. Don’t get off the marketing and sales hamster wheel just yet, or risk losing your momentum and compromising your growth opportunities.

Take 15 minutes each day to close a deal, write a social media post, mail a post card or send out an email newsletter.

Has operations chaos sapped you of all creative juices? Check out the list of resources below on marketing and sales for busy LAWNtrepreneurs.

 

Holganix Launch Box

The Holganix Launch Box is filled with tools to help you start marketing your use of Holganix. It’s an excellent resource to cheat on your marketing and sales initiatives and to R&D (rip off and duplicate) from marketing tools Holganix has already created for you. Tools include but aren’t limited to social media posts, customer letters, blogs and email blasts, all on Holganix.

>>Download the Holganix Launch Box

 

Branding Your Lawn Care Company

Get inspired by this webinar featuring Linda Thomas, The Director of Marketing at Real Green Systems. According to Linda, branding is more than just a logo. Watch the webinar to establish what BRANDING really means and what you can do to establish a successful brand for your lawn care company.

  

How to Get Your Ideas to Spread

In a world where consumers are faced with too many options, it’s easy to ignore the ordinary and boring. Instead, Seth Godin urges marketers and entrepreneurs to build products, services and campaigns that are Remarkable. The term “remarkable” means it’s worth making a remark about. Remarkable products, services and campaigns are inspiring and crazy, and certainly not boring.

Watch Seth Godin’s TED Talk entitled, How to get your ideas to spread for remarkable marketing inspiration.

  

4 Minutes of Focused Spring Marketing Tips

Holganix CEO and Founder, Barrett Ersek is a former lawn care company owner. In the below 4-minute video, Barrett compiles his favorite lessons on spring marketing from his 20+ years of experience on building, running and selling lawn care companies. Hint, getting customers from marketing initiatives doesn’t ALWAYS mean selecting the cheapest tool in your marketing arsenal. 

 

Social Media Tips for Lawn Care Companies

Social media is a tough nut to crack. However, utilizing social media in lawn care enables you to build relationships with customers, creating a more loyal fan base. Furthermore, you can tap into your customers’ friends or followers and maintain an up-to-date flow of information about the goings-ons in your company including coupons and sales. This short blog will discuss how to jump on the social media bandwagon with tips specific to the lawn and landscape industry.

>>Read the social media blog article

 

Grow your lawn care company 

Tags: marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing

Getting Strategic about 2017 Growth

AdobeStock_130941605.jpeg

After a short winter, anticipation for the start of spring is thick. Many of us are itching to get back on the properties and begin normal maintenance operations. The marketing and sales machines are moving. Early telemarketing campaigns have begun and post cards are already starting to go out the door. However, before full-blown spring chaos is upon us, it’s important to slow down and really think about growth strategies for 2017.

Scottish author and historian Thomas Carlyle once stated, “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” In other words, don’t confuse being busy with real growth. How do you know you’re moving business growth in the right direction without a rudder, or goal, to guide you?

 

Setting clear, measurable growth goals

“Step one for 2017 needs to start with setting a clear, measurable growth goal,” says Barrett Ersek, CEO of Holganix and former lawn care company owner.

“Once your growth goal is made, creating a plan with actionable, clear and measurable objectives is key to ensure you reach your goal.”

For most of us, starting with the marketing and sales plan is key to hatching the appropriate marketing and sales campaigns to reach revenue goals.

 

A tool to help plan

That’s one of the reasons why Holganix has brought back its acclaimed webinar, “Building Your 2017 Marketing Plan for lawn and landscape professionals. To date, we have a webinar scheduled for February 21 at 5:00 PM ET (Register here).

Attendees will set revenue goals for 2017 and break down campaigns needed to reach that revenue goal.

According to Nathan Brandon of Pure Green in Nashville, Tennessee, working on his marketing plan with Holganix’s marketing department has been a contributing factor to helping him stay focused on growth objectives. Nathan started his business in year-end 2013 and grew to 500 customers by December 2014, just 12 months later.

Shar McLaughlin from Irish Green Lawn Care attended the webinar in early January. According to Shar, “The 2017 Marketing Plan webinar has been a tremendous help to me in scaling my business. As a die-hard goal setter and planner, this is the most detailed plan I have used. I attended the webinar twice! Only one month in, but so far we have hit all our goals.”

 

Register for our webinar!

Slow down, get strategic and start growing this 2017 by attending our webinar Building Your 2017 Marketing Plan.

Register: Feb 21 at 5:00 ET

 

Tags: marketing hints and tips

Seven Ways Holganix Grows Your Lawn and Landscape Business

Did you know Holganix helps grow your lawn and landscape business?

We are passionate about sustainable GROWTH! And to us, growth means more than just growing plants. It also means the growth of businesses – ours and YOURS! Here are seven ways Holganix helps grow your business.

Grow business.jpeg

 

Holganix differentiates your business

In lawn care, you don’t have to just compete on price. In fact, if you rely on LOW prices as your mechanism for growth, you could seriously damage the health of your company. Going up against national lawn care companies that have buying power with reduced costs associated with treating lawns is a big NO!

Instead of competing on price, show your market what makes you special! Grow DIFFERENT!

When you use Holganix, you reduce your synthetic inputs by 50 to 75%. Reducing inputs allows you to market your company uniquely against your synthetic wielding competitors.

 

Combat the growing green movement and government regulations

Going green doesn’t just help differentiate your business, it also allows you to offer a service that sustainably minded homeowners desire.

Do your customers really care about organic services? You bet they do! According to Statista, in 2013, the United States was the world’s largest market for organic products. In fact, it was a $26,700,000,000 market. Your customers want organics; why not offer them?

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 2.09.48 PM.png

Consumers aren’t the only ones thinking organically, so is the government. With government regulations around the use of synthetic products increasing, you can escape the noose by going green.

 

Increase productivity with LOGISTICS

If you use liquid fertilizers, it could take your technicians up to 45 minutes to fill a truck with product! Because of the Holganix RAD (Refrigerated Automated Dispensing System) and other equipment offered by Holganix, lawn care companies are able to fill their trucks on average in 12 minutes!

 

Reduce customer call backs

By using Holganix, you are nurturing healthy plants. Healthier plants mean less call backs and less money wasted!

Learn about the seven ways Holganix grows healthier plants here.

 

Reduce reliance on UREA pricing

Fertilizer costs associated with urea may be low now, but they won’t be forever. By using Holganix, you reduce the use of urea fertilizer by 50 to 75%. Why rely upon urea pricing and a finicky market when you can control your cost of doing business with Holganix?

 

Tools for education

Holganix has created TONS of tools to help you get your learn on and grow your business! Topics include marketing, business strategy, production and science. Here are some of the tools you have available:

  1. eBooks

  2. Articles

  3. Videos

  4. Webinars

 

Marketing support

Holganix has also created tons of marketing pieces you can R&D (Rip Off and Duplicate). We’ll customize any piece with your logo and company contact information, just give us a call! All designs are free. Just send the design to your local printer and your marketing campaign is in business!

  1. Postcard Designs

  2. Yard/Lawn Sign Designs

  3. Door Hanger Designs

  4. Brochures

  5. Marketing Boxes

  6. Video

>>Explore our marketing tools in Holganix University

 

Okay, Holganix grows your business. But, where should you start?

Feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of free tools available at your fingertips? We recommend starting with our Holganix 101 for Lawn Care webinar. It’s designed for Holganix newbies and covers:

  1. What is Holganix?

  2. How do you talk about Holganix to homeowners?

  3. Access and introduction to Holganix marketing tools

>>Sign Up Here

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips

3 Tools to Make 2017 A Successful Year

Don’t wait until the New Year is here to think about your lawn and landscape marketing and sales strategy for 2017. Take advantage of the lull in sales and services between Thanksgiving and Christmas to begin strategizing and mapping out your plan for successful growth this upcoming year.

Utilize these three free marketing tools to ensure you are ready for 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-12-06 at 2.21.47 PM.png

 

1. Webinar: Building Your Marketing Plan

Back by popular demand, we have two upcoming dates for the webinar Building Your Marketing Plan. The webinar will provide a template to create your plan and then will delve into examples of some seriously powerful marketing and sales campaigns to capitalize on 2017 growth opportunities.

What is one of our favorite marketing and sales campaigns? Golden Streets! Golden Streets are neighborhoods containing your most profit-potential prospects. Getting creative (Don’t worry, we have some creative examples!) will help you get attention and convert those leads into sales.

>>Learn more about gold street theory here

When are the webinar dates? We currently have two dates scheduled: December 7(tomorrow) at 10:00 ET and January 5 at 5:00 ET.

>>Register for a webinar here

 

2. Holganix Launch In A Box

If you are looking to plan campaigns to educate prospects and customers about Holganix and soil health, look no further than the Holganix Launch In A Box. This tool contains 12 “Stealable” tools for you to incorporate into your 2017 marketing campaigns.

What are some of the tools provided? Some of our favorite tools include three blogs to use in your blog and/or email newsletter, postcard designs, social media posts and website content. All materials are 100% stealable.

>>Download your Holganix Launch In A Box here

 

3. 2017 Strategy In A Box

The 2017 Strategy In A Box contains educational content around building your marketing and financial plans for 2017. Additional tools are provided to then help turn those plans into action!

>>Download your 2017 Strategy In A Box here

 

Cheers to a successful 2017!

We hope these tools help you make 2017 a successful year for you and your company.

We are always looking for ways to continually provide support to our lawn and landscape customers; let us know if these tools have been helpful and what tools we should look to create in 2017 to make your job easier. Reach out: 866-56-EARTH or info@Holganix.com.

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips

Is YOUR Lawn Care Company Marketing Aeration and Overseeding?

Aeration-801011-edited-476237-edited.jpeg

Are you in the middle of planning for your fall aeration and overseeding marketing campaigns? Or, do you provide aeration and overseeding services but don't know how to market them? 

No worries, we've got your back! Aeration and overseeding is not only fantastic for plant and soil health, but for your wallet too. 

Aeration and overseeding are excellent opportunities to sell to your current lawn care customers. Not only do you know that your customers appreciate their lawn, they also know and love your company. Upselling to current customers rather than selling to cold prospects will mean a higher return on investment for your marketing campaign.

As you look at your aeration and overseeding campaign, ensure that you are building both inbound and outbound elements. Also, be sure to take advantage of all the free resources we've created to help you market your aeration and overseeding services (more on that later!).

 

Outbound Marketing

Outbound campaigns that you might use include direct mail or telemarketing.

Consider sending out prepay letters for the remainder of services along with aeration and overseeding applications to current customers. You could also send out a prepay letter specifically for aeration applications. Or, try a post card to current customers. Whenever you send out a piece, following up with a telemarketing campaign to those customers that received the direct mail item will increase your return on investment significantly. 

No matter the direct mail or telemarketing route you decide to pursue, be sure to include an offer to entice your customers to give aeration and overseeding a try. 

 

Inbound Marketing

An ideal marketing campaign for aeration and overseeding would not just include outbound marketing strategies such as direct mail and telemarketing campaigns, but would contain inbound marketing as well.

Right before mailing your post cards and prepay letters, consider sending an email newsletter or blog post to current customers, highlighting the benefits received from aeration applications. Also consider tweeting and posting two to three times per week, the benefits of aeration and overseeding during your marketing campaigns.

 

Free Marketing Tools

We've designed numerous marketing tools for you to utilize during your aeration and overseeding marketing campaigns to help reel in customers. Download your Aeration Business In A Box to access your tools today. 

Download your aeration in a box!

Some of the tools you'll have access to include:

 

1. Video Content

Your box contains video content that you can post on your website and share on social media. The video discusses the benefits of including aeration applications in your lawn care program and is a great telegraphic tool to educate customers on the benefits of aeration for the health of their lawn.

 

2. Mailers

Your box contains mailers including: postcards, letter/prepay text. The post cards and letter are designed to target your current customers and sell them aeration. The prepay text can be added to any prepay invoice for an aeration program. 

 

3. Education and marketing strategy

Your box contains educational materials on the science behind Holganix and how it helps amp up the benefits of aeration. It also contains a recorded version of our webinar on Growing your business through aeration applications to help you market aeration services. Download your aeration in a box!

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, aeration, aeration and overseeding

Are your homeowners ready for summer lawn care?

summer lawn care

Getting your homeowners prepared for summer weather can be tough, especially since homeowners have high expectations for their landscapes and little knowledge on how to properly care for them. 

The good news is that if you are using Holganix, your lawns on average will look better than your synthetic-using competitor. However, if Mother Nature decides to dish out her usual drought-like conditions in July and August, it's important to have a conversation with your customers about what's going on with their lawns and what they can do to help! 

To help your lawn care company communicate to homeowners, we've designed our Summer Weather In A Box filled with content for you to R&D (Rip off and duplicate). 

 

 Download the box to access:

  • Stealable Content: Steal our summer weather blog article to post on your blog, email newsletter and website.

  • Social Media: Grab our visual social media posts to help advertise your summer weather education to fans and followers on social media networks.

 

Click the button below to download your free marketing tools! 

Download:  Summer Weather In A Box

 

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips

Struggling with Employee Engagement at Your Lawn Care Company?

I_love_my_job_employee.jpeg

When speaking with current customers, regardless of whether they are from the lawn and landscape industry, golf, sports turf, agriculture or even our distributors, one problem seems to remain constant: Employees!

Specifically, green industry organizations are struggling to keep employees engaged, reduce turnover, and find new talent.

Office Vibe, a company focused on providing better management practices to boost employee engagement, released several scary facts regarding employee engagement last year. According to Office Vibe, across all industries:

  • 88% Of employees don’t have passion for their work

  • 80% Of senior managers are not passionate about their work

  • Employee disengagement costs more than 500 Billion per year in the U.S. Economy

  • 79% Believe they have a significant retention and engagement problem

  • 75% Are struggling to attract and recruit people they need

  • Regardless of the statistics, one thing remains constant, employees aren’t happy.

Many extraordinary lawn care companies are looking for opportunities to boost employee engagement in order to reduce employee turnover, promote increased productivity and decrease customer attrition.

 

Apple Tree Dreams On and Reduces Employee Turnover from 110% to 30% 

John Ratliff, former owner of Apple Tree Answers, a call answering service in Delaware, was faced with 110% turnover in his business (Industry average was 300%). According to John, employee turnover was costing him $5,000 per turnover – a startling $2 million problem annually.

“I knew that if I could solve this bottleneck in my business, it would not only save me a lot of money, but it would touch all cornerstones of my business including customer retention.”

John and his executive team started a program called Dream On modeled off The Make A Wish Foundation. Front line employees were encouraged to submit dreams to the executive team with the promise that some would be chosen and fulfilled.

Over four years, John granted a total of 275 dreams. The end result? John created an awesome company culture that reduced employee turnover from 110% in 2008 to 30% in 2012, decreased customer attrition, increased gross margin from 47% in 2008 to 60% in 2012 and increased EBITA from 14% in 2008 to 22% in 2012.

In 2012, John sold Appletree Answers for 11.5x EBITA. Learn more about Apple Tree Answers in Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek’s Harvard Business Review Article here.

 

Advanced Turf Solutions: 100% Employee Ownership Leads To Better Customer Service 

Another company that is proving the power of employee engagement is our partner in crime and distributor, Advanced Turf Solutions (ATS).

ATS opened its doors on October 1, 2001 with the mission to provide service to customers that is second to none and using the most knowledgeable and experienced sales team in the green industry.

One of the first things that founders, Alex Cannon (CEO), Vic Garcia (President) and Dan Dunham (Retired/Board Member) did was transform the green industry distributor model by offering key ATS employees the opportunity to own a piece of the business.

Today, ATS is 100% employee owned and maintains close relationships with some of the largest and most prominent lawn and landscape companies, sports fields and golf courses in the Midwest region.

Both Apple Tree Answers and Advanced Turf Solutions have broken the mold on what it means to run a company. By thinking about employee engagement differently, they have been able to create remarkable companies that better serve and create value for stakeholders.

But not every organization is the same and you don’t have to start granting dreams or turning over company equity to boost engagement. Try brainstorming, “How can I boost employee engagement?”

Okay, your brainstorming session needs a little inspiration? We’ve got your back. Here are 5 tips to boost engagement in your organization.

 

5 Tips for boosting engagement

1. Start With Your Hiring Process!

Because boosting engagement often starts with hiring, we thought it worth noting Landscape Management Magazine’s (LM) Editor Note in the March 2016 issue.

“We need to think about hiring as an acquisition process versus a selection process,” says Mel Kleiman an HR expert for LM. Landscape contractor Chris Joyce, who was featured on the cover of the LM issue recommends recruiting from restaurants, bars and hotels. After all, their jobs revolve around superb customer service.

LM offers a sample recruiting card to hand out to potential candidates. You can download it here.

 

2. Quarterly Theme

At Holganix, the entire company gets behind a quarterly theme revolving around the quarter’s goal. If the company reaches the goal, the entire company gets a prize. “It gets the entire team behind the company’s objectives for the quarter,” says Barrett.

Holganix’s Quarter Two theme is “Reel them in!” which revolves around specific sales objectives. The prize? A fishing trip!

You can read more about setting quarterly themes in this article by Business Guru, Verne Harnish.

 

3. Core Values

Do you have core values at your firm? If you don’t, now is the time to set them. But if you already have core values, ensure they are being practiced. Start rewarding employees each week or month if they placed a core value into practice. Prizes could be as small as a $25 gift card!

You can read more about setting core values here.

 

4. Daily Huddle

Keep the entire team on track by creating a daily huddle. Daily huddles are as short as 5 to 15 minutes and are focused on keeping the team informed on progress towards your goal. 

Learn about setting daily huddles on our blog here.

 

5. Celebrate

Work hard, party hard! Your entire team works hard together, why wouldn’t they celebrate together too? Celebrate as a team to break down barriers between the hierarchy. You can create a celebration based on goals you achieved, holidays or just because it’s fun.

Grow your lawn care company

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, marketing hints and tips

Top 5 Plant and Soil Science TED Talks

soil TED TALK

At Holganix, we are self-appointed soil geeks. Learning about new trends, research and theories that are happening in the field makes us tick. We bet it gets you excited too!

Here are our top 5 favorite plant and soil science TED Talks. Warning! Some of these are crazy, unique ideas that will make Holganix almost seem ordinary! If you know a good TED Talk we are missing, post it in the comments of this blog. We’d LOVE to check it out!

If you are reading this on an email, video function will not operate. Click on the link to watch each TED Talk. 

 

Humus – The Essential Ingredient

Humus is what is left after soil microorganisms have decomposed organic matter. It holds nutrients and moisture and provides a great structure for planting in. Humus is essential for food production and is being gradually depleted. Learn more in Graeme Sait’s TED Talk.

 

Healthy Soil, Healthy World 

If you pick up a handful of soil, you will be holding more microorganisms in your hand than the entire number of people who have ever lived on earth. Think about that for a moment. Can you imagine the quantity of living things in your grasp? Soil is FULL of life. In this TED Talk you’ll have the opportunity to explore the soil from a microorganisms’ point of view.

 

Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs

 

Good news! Plants can quite literally change the face of the earth. By growing more plants, we can capture more carbon dioxide, water, production, biodiversity and profit? In fact, a 1% change in soil organic matter across just one quarter of the world’s land area could sequester 300 billion tons of physical C02. Check out Tony Lovell’s TED Talk here.

 

Stop Treating Our Soil Like Dirt!

Healthy soil is not dirt! Healthy soils are critical for keeping water clean producing food and buffering the effects of extreme weather. Soil plays a fundamental role in our lives in three key ways… Watch Karen Wynne’s TED Talk here.

 

Soil – From Dirt To Lifetime 

Did you know there are more living organisms beneath the soil then there are above it? Soil scientists can’t even come to an agreement about how many microbes are actually in the soil. Check out Fred Kirshenmann’s TED Talk here.

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, marketing hints and tips, agriculture