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Posted:  11 Feb 2015 04:58  
Hey everybody!

I'm starting an interiorscape company this summer.  I'm wondering if any of the seasoned scapers here would share their experience for the best way to get those first accounts.

Thank You All I'm very excited to launch.

-HW
Posted:  11 Feb 2015 05:39  
Welcome to the biz!

First, summer may not be the optimal time to start, because many contracts run either calendar year (Jan-Dec) or fiscal year (June-May), but not always.  There's no "best way" to do it, especially since the "best way" to get a new client is via a referral from an existing one, or at least a "qualified lead", which is one that has been vetted as being receptive to being sold on plants and service.  This is often accomplished via telemarketing, direct mail, e-mail blast marketing, etc. of prospects that have been narrowed down in some manner to minimize the scattershot technique of cold-calling.

Since most new startups don't have the luxury of vast financial resources for that, there are a couple of things you can do to help the launch.  Create a website that contains all of your vital info, including contact information, goods and services you will be providing, maybe something about your history in the biz to qualify you as an "expert" in the field.  Use all of your personal connections...family, friends, past business contacts...to drum up possible prospects in your market area. 

Be sure to have all your ducks in a row...you'll need to register your business with your state and possibly your municipality, there may be licensing required, and so forth.  Consider your local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) chapter as a great resource.  These are seasoned business pros who will mentor you and help answer your nuts-and-bolts questions about starting and running a business. 

But before you do any of these things, first sit down and compose a business plan and mission statement.  What segment of the interiorscape market in your area do you propose to serve?  How do you propose to let that market segment know you're out there?  How will you finance your operations?  Who will do the sales, installations, service and office work for the business as it grows?  The answers to these questions may seem daunting at first, but it's essential to the survival of your new enterprise that you have good, practical answers to them.  If not, you're not ready to do this.  You can't expect to shoot first and ask questions later, to borrow a hackneyed, but apt, phrase.  Now get to work!

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