Discover Why Ladder Racks And Husky Liners Are The Bread And Butter Combo

After graduating high school I realized that college wasn’t for me. I wasn’t interested in writing papers, attending lectures and burning the midnight oil at the library. For me, there was just one interest – running my own business. So that’s exactly what I did.

It all started with a truck. I bought a used red and white 1992 Ford F150 off some old man that lived down the street from me. He cut me a good deal because he wasn’t able to get in and out of it anymore. It wasn’t the best looking girl at the party – had dings all over it, some rust spots and a bent bumper – but it got the job done. What really sold me on it was the big bed. From lawnmowers to rakes, the back of this truck held pretty much everything I needed. That was until my business started to take off.

Word started getting around that I did a good job so my I started getting a lot more business. The problem now was that I needed to expand. That’s one thing my grandpa always told me. “You gotta keep growing. If you don’t, you’re dead in the water.” So I took pops advice and hired a partner. He didn’t have a truck but he was ready to work hard and owned lot of equipment. That huge f150 bed didn’t seem so big anymore. What was once an empty metal storage area suddenly seemed a lot smaller.

We knew we had to do something about our overflowing tools so we invested in a ladder rack, which worked out great. It could hold all of our ladders, long tree saws and any other oversized equipment we needed. We also invested in a nice set of Husky floor liners. After spending 4 hours outside cutting branches, trimming hedges, and edging lawns we’re covered in grass, leaves, dirt and sweat. Even though we expect our truck to get dirty, nothing’s worse then having to spend everyday driving around in your own filth. Our interior was disgusting; constantly get caked with mud and grass. With the new floor mats, we could just pull out the mess, hose them down and be good to go.

A few years have passed since those days of driving around in a beat up f150. We ended up buying two new trucks. We each have a 2007 F250 with trailers for our gear. We have also hired more workers to accommodate all the business we get. Our crew now consists of 10 workers and we have expanded our services to include snow plowing during the winter months.

But guess what? We still have our ladder racks on the back and sturdy floor mats in the cab. Even though we keep expanding, we will always use these “bread and butter” items. You’ll be surprised how helpful these items can be. Like this one time, Jerry sliced his hand wide open on one of the chain saws. Blood was pouring out of him like the Colorado River rapids. I quickly wrapped a towel around his hand, shoved him in the truck, and sped to the hospital. When we finally got there, the floor in front of him was covered in blood. Luckily, most of the liquid was contained in the floor liner. I was able to dump the blood out of my truck without staining the interior and you can barely see it now. These staples have saved our butts many times, just thought I’d let you guys know.

Running Out of Leads? 3 Lead Generation Secrets For Your Small Business

Lead generation can be expensive and kill a small business marketing campaign before it even gets of the ground. You can tie up vital dollars in buying lead generating mailing list compiled together by outside companies. You can pay employees to collect data from each customer that comes thorough your doors. Then with all this data you still have to buy stamps to mail ads or post cards. And with most states enacting the no call list how good is the telephone data.

But don’t despair your marketing strategy is still safe and at hand, because of a little thing called the net. Here are three lead generation ideas for your business:

1) Ask and ye shall receive. Do you like T Shirts? Well I sell T Shirts! And yes it is that simple. The new wave of social networking has made it possible to build connections with customers and then create a forum to ask them what they like and don’t like. You can even go deeper as to ask them what they like and don’t like about your company, service and or product. It seems that we are more likely to speak our mind through email or social networking post then we are face to face. This type of arena is very helpful in marketing your business.

2) Yelp for help. Customer service sites like yelp are making it possible to ease drop on your customers. Although we are more likely to say things on the net we would not say face to face does not mean your customers will say it on your site. Companies like Yelp encourage customers to come to their websites and lay at the good, the bad and the ugly of other companies. You may find it worth while to visit these sites to find customers that are satisfied with your company and reward them or find customers unsatisfied and try to make them happy again. Trolling these sites should defiantly be part of your market strategy.

3) Follow the lead to a lead. Even the old school marketing strategy consists of networking. You got to know your client and you had them bring in a friend or two and as a reward they received a gift. You can use your social networking fan base in the same way. Take your list of fans and then look at those that are connected to them. We all put way to much personal information on our profiles. A quick glance of your fans friend’s profiles will generate leads that you can use in marketing your business.

These are more lead generation ideas for your business out there; these are just my three favorites. A successful marketing strategy can be fun as well as effective. I enjoy logging on each day to see how much my fan base has grown and then searching out other possible connections through my connections. The growth of the internet will only simplify small business marketing more and more.

Can a Small Business Marketing Package Increase Sales?

For any business the return on investment for each marketing program is important, for small business it can be the most mission critical decision a marketing professional can make. In today’s economy, every marketing spend is a serious one, so examining the return on investment for a small business marketing package is important before choosing the package. The good news is that changes in technology have changed the equation for small business marketers from one of shrink wrap packaged database software or sales account contact management packages, to a variety of inexpensive, no contract online marketing packages that can keep costs very low while resulting sales from the marketing package grow.

Affording a web-based or “cloud” computing package for marketing was until recently something that only a larger business could get a return on their investment with. Now subscription based marketing packages can be found for very low monthly rates that will provide not only all of the sales account management features expected of the desktop database products, but email marketing, social CRM tools for twitter and more. Some of these packages even provide a free 30 day trial period in which the small business can perform an unlimited amount of email marketing and lead gathering without any cost.

The key way in which a web-based small business marketing package can increase sales is by gathering leads from a landing page and moving those leads directly into a sales contact database for sales to contact. Many online packages provide an online form that the small business can direct customers to, or incorporate into the design of their website. Once new leads are in the system, the marketing package provides the sales force with a way to stay in constant contact with leads through email, while increasing the knowledge they have in the system about each opportunity or activity.

Having a sales force track customer opportunities in a more organized way than a simple contact database and can provide information on neglected accounts. Small business marketing packages will provide templates to create professional email designs for bulk email or to be used as form letters by the sales force. Shopping around can reveal that some full service online marketing packages provide all of the features of a customer relationship management system at the same price that other email marketing packages charge to send bulk emails.

The biggest advantage of a web-based small business marketing package is mobility. Desktop database, contact management and spreadsheet programs mean that customer information is in one location. If that location is on a laptop or your phone that’s great, but it has to be kept in sync and situations will come up where someone else needs the data when its on the road with a sales person. Cloud based software for marketing provides the power to tap into that customer information from any computer with web access, smart phone or tablet. This means that opportunities can be worked to their full extent anywhere anytime and more sales will close.

A small business marketing package can go a long way to increase sales. The important things to know is how much the company will be investing initially to get those sales, how many sales force oriented features are included for the monthly subscription price, and does the package give the ability to generate leads directly into the marketing program from the web.