Trying out direct mail

Good evening everyone,

Nobody really likes getting flyers and junk mail. While they certainly don’t bother me, I have no problem dropping them into the blue box after a quick read to see if it’s relevant to me now or if I think it will be in the future. But how is a new business supposed to grow? Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, but when one is relatively new one must advertise. *Everybody* knows about Coca Cola and McDonald’s; I’d guess they still probably spend more money on one advertising cycle than my humble business will ever earn in my lifetime!

For me, my traditional method of spreading the word has been pounding the pavement and dropping flyers and/or business cards in neighbourhood mailboxes. I have no plans to stop, but for my spring campaign to get the tree side of my business rolling for 2019, I thought I’d try adding direct mail to the mix. It’s significantly more costly per piece than if I had dropped the flyer off myself, but it is also received differently. Hopefully a higher percentage of people really read my message and reach out to me. Canada Post should have delivered my mail today. If you are reading this blog post after having received my mail, thank you! Welcome to my site, and if you have any questions or would like me to come out for a free estimate please call/text/email me. If you made it this far, then you already have my contact information. 🙂

Stacks o' mail
Stacks o’ mail

Thirsty Water Enterprises now accepts credit cards!

Good afternoon everyone,

I’m very happy to announce that I can now accept credit cards (tap as well as chip and PIN) and smartphone tap as forms of payment. As my existing clients know, my accepted methods of payment were Interac eTransfer, cheque, or cash. Those methods of payment are still accepted and even preferred as they do not incur service fees, but I do realize that not everybody wants to pay that way. Myself included. Personally, I pay for *everything* possible on my credit card. As a small business owner, I am now aware of the service charges it incurs on the business owner, but it makes it easy for my wife and I to keep track of our spending, and of course we benefit from the points collected on our card of choice.

So I get it. I certainly don’t want to be a hypocrite about this. I’ve been asked before if I take credit cards, and the answer has always been “I’m sorry, but no”. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve never lost out on a job because of it, but it stretched the client a little more than they were comfortable being stretched. When you consider that tree services can be expensive and sometimes they should not be delayed, it just makes sense. And again, not a hypocrite. 🙂

Thanks to Square Payments, in addition to Interac eTransfer, cheque, and cash, I can also take VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay onsite after the job is complete. If you are not there to provide payment when I am done (a very common occurrance and certainly no problem at all), I will send an invoice through Square. It includes a “Pay Invoice” button which will let you enter your credit card information securely online and pay that way. Of course there’s no obligation to pay by credit card. As always, you can still pay by eTransfer, cheque, or cash if you prefer and I will apply that payment manually to your invoice.

Square is a little squirrely when it comes to Interac debit cards in Canada. They do take Interac Flash tap payments for purchases up to $100, but they do not process Interac chip and PIN purchases; therefore they cannot process Interac purchases over $100. In that case, an Interac eTransfer on your own time is just as good as a debit card since I don’t just sit there and tap my foot waiting for you to pay before I move my truck out of your driveway! 😆

This is an exciting time! Anything I can do to make my tree care and snow removal services more accessible and convenient to my customers is a win-win. Besides, it makes me feel like my business just grew up a bit.

Thirsty Water Enterprises is now full time!

Thirsty Water Enterprises was born as a part time endeavour on the side, but I’m thrilled to announce that I am now officially taking my business full time.  The time was right for me to take my leave from my engineering day job after eleven great years and focus 100% on being an arborist.

I had a wonderful sendoff: breakfast, lunch, a card signed by the whole team, and a great parting gift.  I made many friends in my time there, and I hope we keep in touch.  It was an amazing chapter in my life, and quite a long one relatively speaking, but now I am flipping the page and starting the next chapter.

I am grateful to my customers who have taken the part-timeness of my business in stride and accommodated my schedule.  Going forward, I will be able to provide much quicker service now that I can work more than a day or two per week. 🙂

Don’t hesitate to contact me for your tree care and snow clearing needs.  I’m ready, willing, and able to provide you with the best service possible.

What’s a blog?

Just kidding, I do know what a blog is. After all, prior to becoming an arborist, I’ve had decades of experience working with computers and other electronic and technological systems. I even have my bachelor of engineering degree (computer engineering) from the University of Manitoba having graduated in 2002. Why then with that background did I choose to add “arborist” to my résumé?  Good question!

My employer, with whom I am also still currently employed and have been for eleven years, was undergoing some large scale changes. My job had always been secure, but now things were up in the air. I could conceivably have been given a handshake and led out the door as a result of downsizing. I have a family to take care of, so I needed a backup plan. Okay, fair enough, but again – why arborist?

I had long felt a longing to work outdoors in some sort of landscaping sort of area. I didn’t have any experience in that area, but I just knew that I wanted to consider that as a possible change. At the time I didn’t even know what the word “arborist” meant, not until I needed a tree removed in my own back yard. What do you call a person who cuts down trees? A tree guy/gal? After asking around, I found some friends who had used an arborist for tree work. After calling a few, I went with a recommendation and hired one to safely remove the tree that was naturally leaning over the house (no big deal) and starting to show signs of rot (oh, now that could be a big deal).

This particular angle to the whole landscaping / outdoor work theme that was stirring in my belly really intrigued me. I researched the topic like a mad man. It was fascinating! The work looked very challenging yet terribly exhilarating. Who wouldn’t want to climb a tree and swing around like a monkey for a living? Well, after discussing it with my wife, the next thing you know I’m registered for the licensed arborist training program at the University of Manitoba!

I completed the program, passed the exam, registered my business, got my business insurance (prerequisite for the license), and finally my arborist’s license from the Manitoba Conservation branch of the provincial government. I did some small jobs, and even some larger jobs, taking my time, going slowly and safely, and learning a lot in the process. Most importantly that I love being an arborist!

I continue to further my education and practical training in arboriculture to be the best and safest arborist I can be. I do have a family to support, remember, so I am running and gradually building up my business on the side while still keeping my engineering day job full time.

For now, anyway. 😉