The Story of a Young Entrepreneur
When most kids are in high school, they have their sights set on getting into a good college, often attending school by day and working a shift at the local pizza joint by night. This was not the path that Brad Tulkki decided to follow. At just 17 years old, before he even received his high school diploma, Brad founded his very own business.
After spending a couple of summers doing landscaping and lawn mowing for other companies, Brad chose to take the skills he learned and become his own boss. That’s when Tulkki Property Maintenance (TPM), a lawn care company, was created.
Today, TPM has been in business for around 3 years and has expanded to over 200 weekly lawn care clients and offers many services including lawn mowing, snow and ice removal, lawn fertilization, and landscaping.
In order for TPM to grow from just a few local customers when it first was established into the 200+ customers it serves today, a lot of effort and hard work had to be put in. Brad had to establish his company as reputable and trustworthy through marketing efforts and by providing high quality service to his clients. Over the past few years Brad has gained valuable insight about what growth strategies work the best for growing a small business.
Here are the top 10 strategies that Brad used to grow his business:
- Go Door to Door
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works! Going door to door and passing out flyers in neighborhoods where you’d like to gain new customers is a great strategy. When Brad knocked on doors, he was told no many times but the few times he got a yes really paid off. Many customers like to interact with the person before hiring them to perform services inside or outside their home. Knocking on doors is a great way to give people an idea of who you are. Brad was able to land many new clients because he gave them a great first impression when he visited their home.
- Build a Website
A website is a wonderful tool for any small business, as it allows customers to connect with your business, no matter the time of day. A well-designed site will generate leads by showing prospective customers the services you are able to provide and gives them key information about your company.
- Build Relationships with Others in Industry
It may sound counter-intuitive to make friends with your competitors, but it can be a great tactic to build your business. When you build relationships with people in your industry, you can get work referred to you if your competitor does not have the capability to take on the job. Also, networking with people in related markets will get you referral business. For example, if you build a relationship with the owner of a window washing company, when their customer needs lawn mowing, the window washer will refer them to your company.
- Build Relationships with Customers
No matter the business you are in, it is always a good idea to build a relationship with your customers. Let them get a feel for your personality and they will start rooting for you. When customers know a little bit more about your background and who you are as a person, you are more likable to them and they will want you to succeed. Pretty soon, they will be telling their neighbors about the nice young man who does an excellent job mowing their lawn and you’ll have a bunch of new customers.
- Create a Social Media Presence
For any business to be relevant today, it must have a presence on social media. Customers love to see the pictures you share of your recent work and get updates about the company. For home service companies, posting regularly on social media will validate to new customers that you are a legit company and they will be more likely to hire you.
- Utilize Online Service Platforms
This may sound crazy, but one way that Brad was able to double the size of his business in relatively short amount of time was through Craigslist. When you think of Craigslist, you may think of people posting job openings and selling old junk they don’t want anymore. Brad found a couple of people selling their lawn care businesses on Craigslist and by acquiring them, he was able to quickly grow his company. There are also niche specific platforms where you may be able to attract new customers. For the lawn care industry there is Plowz & Mowz where people can request a lawn mowing service or for home projects there’s websites such as Home Advisor where customers can hire a handyman.
- Set Up Google My Business Profile
Small local businesses need to be utilizing the Google My Business tool. More and more often, people are searching Google for home service providers by searching for “lawn care service” or “cleaning service.” When someone searches for a service you provide, you’ll want your Google My Business listing to show up. To stand out from the competition, make sure your profile is as up to date as possible with good pictures, contact information, and positive reviews from customers.
- Hire Outside Help
As your business continues to grow, you may want to consider hiring outside help. For small business owners it may be tempting to do all the work yourself, but you have to learn that you will not be able to do everything. Delegate the work you are not the best at to the professionals so you can focus on what your strengths are. Maybe you need to hire a marketing professional to take your marketing strategy to the next level, or maybe you need to hire an accountant to keep track of the books.
- Send Out Monthly Newsletters
One strategy that Brad has used to keep in touch with his current customers is through the use of monthly newsletters. The newsletters detail additional services available for customers, give them the latest news, or give people informative content on how to take care of their lawn. Home service customers can grow their business through emailed or printed newsletters that sell to their current customer base.
- Deliver a High-Quality Service
It goes without saying that if you want to build a successful business, you must deliver a high-quality product or service that fulfills a need that people have. When you perform a service goes above and beyond what other companies are providing, that can be great marketing for you. It will get people talking about your company, which will bring in new customers. Before Brad started TPM, he was working for another company. When he left that company to start TPM, the customers of his previous employer reached out to Brad and asked him to start mowing their lawn again.
Through a lot of hard work and by following these strategies, Brad was able to grow TPM into the successful business that it is today.
To learn more about Tulkki Property Maintenance, head over to their website! https://www.tulkkipm.com/