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PRO

How accurate is your business name / description ?

Wondering how we all describe our businesses, our job description and our skill set ?

Does, for instance, calling yourself XYZ Gardening preclude you from certain types or work ? 

Would you expect XYZ Gardening to be able to perform hard landscaping ? Would they do Design work or would  a client go looking for an explicit skill set in a business name  ?

Lastly, have you ever asked your clients what they think you can do ?

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Replies

  • PRO

    I feel name has to be memorable 

    Choice of name is geographically encompassing i.e the river that flows through their village , town or city so it has a local connection but not limiting in my case river Aire but for those who take things literally Aire could also be a surname so its not limiting .  

    On advertising i decided less is more but then realised less can even be too much . so services highlighted as bullet points and absolutely no blinding people with science , trade jargon or reference to machine brand but my LJN van sticker is proudly displayed at all times .

    Contact details really visible 

  • PRO

    I have seen various people and firms of all sizes rename themselves, often starting to use initials instead of the full name.

    For example a kitchen company became ?? Fitted Interiors, a company known by the initials of its original name, because they also now supply bedroom furniture and home offices, so just saying kitchens was limiting.

    I did pass comment to a solicitor who renamed the firm that had been in his family with initials, rather than carrying on using the family name that people have identified with that firm of solicitors for over a hundred years, that I thought it was daft.

    Carrying on calling a firm Kens Gardening, when Ken hasn’t been involved for years may seem daft, but if it work don’t knock it.

     Andy 

     

  • My business name doesn't tell people what I do, so I'm toying with changing it sometime in the near to medium future. Mind you, I change my focus now and again so I don't really want to make it too specific. I carry out two main areas of work just now and putting them both in a name wouldn't work

  • PRO Supplier

    You can certainly be pigeon-holed into a certain 'type' of business.

    One that sticks in my memory -  My first big client who had a private estate, orchard, paddocks, herbaceous borders, ...the lot ! told me after I started that he did not interview anybody for the job who had 'Landscape Gardener' in their business name, as he felt they were not 'proper' gardeners - more likely to be 'odd-job' men and not qualified. Quite ironic as I was self-taught and in the end I tended to do all the little jobs the estate required, as well as the garden.

  • It's an interesting point.  Once established I don't think the 'name' means a lot, however to get established, I suppose anything that catches the eye can help.

    More important by far is to be professional from the first introduction, through the quotation process to starting the work.  If it's a one-off project, start when you say you will and completing the work to a high standard, on time and budget will win you further work. A maintenance contractor need to be reliable and obviously competent. If the garden stands out against others, there will be no shortage of work.

    We have run with my initials Landscapes for 40+ years, very boring I know, but we have never been short of work.

    • PRO

      It is interesting i keep hearing about gardeners who never have to advertise as they get recommendations , This rarely happens to me and i do a good job so i still have to advertise .  I have found out though that neighbours and friends of customers have asked for my details but being told i am too busy by my customers . 

      I think this could be due to them thinking their friends and neighbours might pump me to find out their business especially the elderly ones . 

       

      • I am one of those who has never advertised, but it depends on what sort of gardener you are. I am pretty much entirely maintenance these days, grass cutting is the main thing I do. So you don’t constantly need new work. You keep mowing the same grass every year. New work comes along of course and it evolves over time.

        But if you are mainly landscaping, then you will more than likely need a supply of new customers all the time, like builders and plumbers. So a business name and some advertising becomes essential. This is also true if you are doing maintenance but are just starting out and are still building the business up.

        So I just work under my own name. No sign written van [no van actually], no business cards or advertising.

  • I spend hours thinking about this.  However, I have a broad range of skills but one of them isn’t gardening.  As a friend of mine tells me I’m a man gardener, she on the other hand is a gardener.   So I go under the guise of landscaper.   This gets me enough work and after 4 years I can pick and choose jobs. If I was ambitious it would definitely be an area of marketing that I would need to work on. 

  • PRO

    I started up using "Garden Services" and once established and i wanted to create a website  I wanted something more direct/punchy so dropped "Garden Services" in favour of "Lawns" as I only took on regular lawn mowing. I kept my first name in the title as my main client base is older folk and i want to seem less corporate /large type of business

  • My business name is reasonably accurate, I do need to update my Facebook page with a more accurate description. As I'm aiming to get into the maintenance sector more than the landscaping side . 

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