Collecting data offline for Horsham Tree Surgeons

As well as collecting data online as already described, we are planning a campaign to collect data in more traditional ways.  If we can pick up business cards, for example, we have names and email addresses to add to our mailing list.  We really will have permission to email them once, so the trick then is to ensure that we send something out that’s so interesting they will want to subscribe for further information.

We’re working on something that will entice people, but in the meantime we’re starting to collect info from various sources detailed in this post.

Firstly, Brad has been designated as the networking king of Horsham Tree Surgeons.  He is quite outgoing and personable and people like him. So there’s a good start and we’ve found a number of local networking events for him to attend.  The idea is to get his face known locally and to get the company name out there too.

Brad has joined BNI, the breakfast networking group in Horsham, so he’ll be getting up very early one day a week to start meeting local business people who may be able to put business his way.

The idea with BNI is that “givers gain” so we’ll be also thinking up ways for him to give referrals to other members. That way he’ll get more referrals back as people feel obliged to return the favour.  BNI is a good base for networking because most of the members go to other events and they can introduce Brad to their wider network of business owners.

We’ve found quite a few local groups for Brad to join, including First Friday that meets once a month in Horsham. There are also other groups in surrounding towns that he can go to in order to widen the net.

So networking is a big part of the off-line campaign and Brad should be collecting a lot of business cards – and giving out some of his too of course.

Next we’ve booked a couple of stands at local business events. Of course the idea is to speak to people about trees, but also it’s an opportunity to collect data. We’ll be having some kind of draw to get people to leave a business card or their contact details. We’ll also have blank cards so non-business owners can fill in their details and enter too. We need to work out a prize but it should be something related to tree surgery. Possibly a young tree, expertly planted, or a shrub or something of that nature.

Then we’re looking at other ways to collect business cards, just like the events but out in the wider world!  We’re going to trial doing a draw similar to the above, but somewhere like restaurants. If we can get a buy-in from restaurant owners, we can get them to give out a short questionnaire, complete with an entry to the draw.  The questionnaire will have something to do with the trees in our environment, so people are hopefully engaged. And by having it at a restaurant, they have time to complete it whilst waiting for their food.

The challenge with this idea is to give the restaurant owner an incentive to hand out these questionnaires. Still working on that one, but in some cases it could be a similar reward to the raffle. If they are in an environment that would benefit from a couple of trees or shrubs, perhaps that would be an incentive. Or maybe hanging baskets – most places would benefit from a couple of those.

Another idea is to do street surveys – again to do with the environment – with a chance to win blah blah. People could be hired to do that so it doesn’t take tree surgeons away from their work.

These are just a few of the ideas that have ocurred so far. I’m sure there is more to come.

Meanwhile we’re starting to collect data