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Introducing the Nextra Network

When we were in business, we worked really hard but didn't make any money. 

At the time, we didn't know what questions to ask or who to contact to help us figure out where we were going wrong. Yes, we created beautiful landscapes and had excellent staff and customer service, but we drove ourselves - and each other - crazy trying to figure out how to make the business profitable.

We know our experience is not unique. This is why we started the Nextra Network. We want to provide landscape business owners with the tools they need to create strong and profitable businesses, not just beautiful landscapes. 

The Nextra Network provides business coaching, financial services, a buyers group, and education, along with health & safety and human resources advice. It’s kind of like "business success in a box". By helping ensure these elements are taken care of, the Nextra Network allows owners to focus on what they do best, and sleep better at night knowing that the important...

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Plan ahead for winter success!

One of the best ways to ensure winter success is to plan ahead regarding your fleet needs.

Your relationship with your suppliers will play a key role in this. You can help them out by getting your equipment ordered early and/or getting your existing equipment scheduled for service before the forecast is calling for snow. Setting up a system where they can call you when they have some time and they know what equipment needs servicing is a small thing that can make a huge impact.

I highly recommend working with local suppliers for ordering and delivery of trucks, equipment and small machinery. I would also choose a supplier that allows you to standardize the equipment you’re using, making it easier for budgeting and repairs. If you’re using all the same equipment (ie, same type of plow), you can order parts that will work for all of the pieces. You can also identify when an issue is a manufacturer’s defect rather than just a one-off. For example, if you use one type...

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Are you keeping potential customers engaged?

Earlier this month we talked about the importance of pre-qualifying your sales calls. It’s also important to remember that clients typically need 8-12 “touches” before they’ll make a decision. Phone calls, emails, online or face to face meetings are all things that count as a “touch”.

A few years ago Kevin Kehoe wrote an article in which he stressed the importance of being persistent and creative to keep potential customers engaged with each touch point until a decision is made. 

For example, he says, “sending an email asking, ‘Have you made a decision?’ isn’t creative nor does it advance the decision. It’s much better to send an email that states, ‘I’ve thought about our conversations. Let me suggest a way to solve your problem…manage your price concerns…handle your primary concern for communication…Here’s how we do this …’ This is advancement.”

We know...

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6 Tips For Finding Your Ideal Client

Years ago I read an article by Brian Tracey about knowing and finding your ideal client. The information he shared then is still so relevant today. I really liked how he worded these 6 tips on how to find your ideal client:

  1. Define your product from your customers point of view. Ask yourself these questions: What does your product do for your ideal customer? What problems does your product solve for your customer? What needs of your customer does your product satisfy? How does your product improve your customer's life or work?
  2. Define your ideal customer for what you sell. What is his or her age, education, occupation or business? What is his or her income or financial situation? What is his or her situation today in life or work?
  3. Determine the specific benefits your customer is seeking in buying your product. Of all the benefits you offer, which are the most important to your ideal customer? What are the most pressing needs that your product or service satisfies? Why should your...
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