The Holganix Blog

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 Tips: Grow Your Company! Create a 2013 Marketing Plan!

Marketing Hints and Tips

Blog entry 26: Grow Your Company! Create a 2013 Marketing Plan!


Winter is nearly here and before you know it we’ll all be celebrating the start of a new year. Don’t wait until the New Year is here to create your 2013 marketing plan. Take advantage of the lull of sales and services between Thanksgiving and Christmas and begin strategizing and mapping out your plan for successful growth this upcoming year. After all, your marketing plan is your single greatest tool for growth and profit in your company!

As you begin to strategize your 2013 marketing plan, keep a couple key ideas in mind: purple cow, guerrilla marketing and golden streets. These three concepts helped Holganix CEO Barrett Ersek reach $10 million in sales in five short years in his previous lawn care company.

Becoming a purple cow is an idea by marketing guru Seth Godin in his book Purple CowBeing a purple cow is all about being remarkable, unique and memorable to your audience. Think about Apple and Whole Foods for inspiration. Apple’s purple cow is their incredible focus on design and user interface while Whole Foods focuses on its customer experience and organic, local foods. Not familiar with either of those companies? Think pop sensation Lady Gaga and her infamous meat dress… how much more crazy unique can you get? Learn more from our purple cow blog entry.

Guerrilla marketing is all about powerful, cheap marketing. It’s an advertising strategy that uses super-low costs like sticker bombing or flash mobs to catch your eye (think purple cows when it comes to catching a customers’ eye). In Barrett Ersek’s previous lawn care company, he started utilizing frisbees with the company logo printed on one side and a business card taped on the other. It was cheap, effective and has long-term shelf life (I still have one sitting in my garage!). Learn more from our guerrilla marketing blog entry.

At Holganix, we are always screaming about golden streets. These are the neighborhoods
where you already have customers and have a good potential to add more customers
. By building a customer base on golden streets, your technicians spend very little time sitting and a lot more time working and securing profits. Learn more from our golden street blog entry.

As you start mapping out your strategy, develop a year sales goal and break that goal into measurable chunks. For example, if your sales goal was to capture 600 new customers in 2013 (keep in mind that usually 75% of your customers should come in the spring), break that number down by month (you would need to acquire 50 new customers a month), then by week (12.5 customers per week), which is only about 2 customers per weekday)! It makes measuring the progress of your goal much easier and allows you to keep on track with your ultimate goal. Learn more about developing a 2013 sales goal and breaking it down to measureable bits in this former blog entry. Take a look at a sample plan from Barrett Ersek’s previous lawn care company by clicking on this link.

On a side note, as you grow, make sure your company can handle your growth by investing in a software program like Lawn Assistant by Real Green to get your clients in order. After all, who cares if you gain new customers if you lose the ones you already have? 

So sit down with your marketing person and anyone else you think is relevant and put on your thinking caps. Create your marketing plan now, before 2013 is here, and grow your company. Have any questions about developing a marketing plan? Leave your questions below in the comment box, shoot us an email or give us a call! We are happy to help.


Tags: lawn care, holganix, bionutrition, marketing hints and tips, lawn care marketing, marketing plan, lawn care marketing plan, lawn care goals, purple cow

Marketing Tips and Hints: Fall Marketing Goals Drive Audacious Growth

Marketing Tips and Hints

Entry 21: Fall Marketing Goals Drive Audacious Growth


August is here and that means it’s time to get into shape for fall marketing. Get your marketing/sales team together and start thinking about what you want to accomplish this fall season. A marketing/sales goal can help bring a team together to succeed and drive growth in the company. Your goal should also be inspiring and require every individual to perform to his or her very best. At Holganix, we call these goals BHAGs or Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The concept of BHAGs was first created by business guru Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their best selling book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.  According to Collins and Porras, a “true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit.” 

A great BHAG might be the number of new customers you need to sell this fall season. In order to help fulfill Big Hairy Audacious Goals, we find that the best method is to break down your BHAG into small, easily accomplished chunks. Here’s how:

  • Ultimate BHAG: What’s your ultimate goal in the next five to ten years? How many customers do you want to grow by in the next upcoming years? Remember, they don’t call them Big Hairy Audacious Goals for nothing, feel free to dream big!
  • The year’s BHAG: After committing to grow by a certain number of customers, break down the goal by year. If your goal is to grow by 225,000 customers in ten years how many customers do you need to sell this year? 225,000 customers divided by 10 years gives you 150 customers per year.
  • Fall season BHAG: how many customers do you want to sell to this fall season? This should be based on your goal for the entire year. For example, if in January you decided to grow by 150 customers and you only sold 75 customers in the spring, you need to sell an additional 75 customers this fall.
  • Monthly BHAG: break down the fall season’s BHAG by month. How many customers do you need each month to achieve your fall season’s goal? For many northeastern companies, the fall season is about 2½ to 3 months. If you needed 75 customers this fall season, you would have to sell 25 customers each month. Remember to use the bell curve for seasonality.
  • Weekly BHAG: How many customers do you need each week in order to make your monthly goal? If you need to sell 25 customers each month, then you would have to sell 6.25 customers each week!
  • Break down your weekly goal by how many calls you should make as well as how many prepays you should send. This number depends on your marketing/sales team and how well they perform on average. However, aiming for a 0.5-1.0% close rate would be a great goal for your team!
  • Break down the needed number of customers per week by zip code and the number of people in each zip code. This allows you to make sure you make the most of each possible zip code in your area. Also remember to focus on your golden streets -- those neighborhoods containing your most profitable customers.


Goals are a great way to form team unity and help drive your company’s growth. Breaking down your Big Hairy Audacious Goals into bite-sized chunks helps your team stay focused and on target. 


For great sources on BHAGS, check out Jim Collins and Jerry Porras’ book, Built to Last or read growth guru Verne Harnish’s article on creating BHAGS.


Works Cited

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras 

Tags: lawn care, marketing hints and tips, marketing lawn care, lawn care marketing, compost tea, get customers, lawn care fall program, lawn care goals, big hairy audacious goal, jim collins, built to last