Background: After 40 years in the pest management business, Barry Robinson, of GBR Enterprises in Spotsylvania, Virginia, wanted to grow the lawn care side of his business that he had started in 2000.
Problem: Robinson had plenty of experience running a successful business, but the changing marketing landscape was proving hard for the successful entrepreneur to master.
Idea: For his new lawn care endeavor to grow, Robinson knew he needed help connecting with customers and getting the word out about that side of his business.
Solution: Despite years of experience, Robinson came to the conclusion he needed help. “You have to be smart enough to get out of your own way and realize someone may be able to do better than you can,” he said.
“But then I learned their marketing was able to do some things I wasn’t able to do,”
“I had been in business for a long time, and I even had exposure to the lawn care business in the 1970s in Florida,” he said. With all that knowledge, you would think Robinson would be one of the last people to consider a franchise. “My thought process was that a franchise was more oriented to someone who needs help and guidance to run a business,” he said. What initially attracted him to Spring-Green Lawn Care were several accounts near him that were available for purchase. “But then I learned their marketing was able to do some things I wasn’t able to do,” he recalled.
For years Robinson had success simply from buying a big ad in the Yellow Pages, and sitting back and waiting for the calls to come in. “But as the Yellow Pages went away, and the Internet got bigger, it became a very complicated thing where you could spend a lot of money on SEO, social media and pay per click campaigns and end up with nothing,” he shared.
“They can definitively tell me what’s working and what is not, so next year I can alter the campaign to focus on what’s worked,”
Spring-Green’s marketing efforts were a big draw. “One of the most difficult things to do in today’s environment is to grow your business and attract customers,” Robinson said. He found Spring-Green’s integrated marketing campaigns particularly helpful in that regard. The Spring-Green call center tracks which prospective customers receive mailers, what percentage of response the mailers get as well as the cost per sale for each mailer. “They can definitively tell me what’s working and what is not, so next year I can alter the campaign to focus on what’s worked,” he said.
Robinson had tried to create his own in-house call center at various points in his business, but again he found his efforts fell short of what Spring-Green offered. He freely admits that even if he had been successful in launching his own call center, “I wouldn’t have had time to manage it. What their call center does for me is way more effective—it’s their primary function.”
Success: Robinson also is a fan of the sounding board that Spring-Green offers its franchise owners, whether that is through the business consultant each franchise has or the peer connections Spring-Green encourages. “I think as an independent business person, we always believe we have the best idea in the world and sometimes we hang with an idea for too long because we don’t have anybody to bounce ideas off of,” he says.
“Spring-Green gives you a business consultant—for all intents a business coach—who helps you with planning and gives you feedback.” Robinson also appreciates the opportunity to connect with other franchise owners for peer reviews to see what successes or failures they have experienced. “You can throw out something you want to do and get their feedback,” he says. “It’s very valuable because you can see other people’s numbers and see what success they’ve had and spend your money based on their results versus testing something new yourself.”
“The bottom line is it works—their marketing campaigns grows your business.”
The Future: Robinson is starting his third year with Spring-Green. “When I started, I set a goal that I wanted to grow my business by 30 percent in a five year period. That’s a pretty hefty challenge, but I thought looking at their marketing program it was very doable.” And he was right. “I’m on track to achieve that, in fact I’m ahead of it.” His new goal is to add another territory when he hits his fifth anniversary. “The bottom line is it works—their marketing campaigns grows your business.”
To learn about how Spring-Green can help you grow your business call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com