…actually its now …10,118 enquiries logged on to our CRM job management system …(yes that’s ten thousand one hundred and eighteen –as of 4.45 pm Thursday 10th July)). Quite an impressive figure when you consider that this just covers the last three years – all enquiries before that time were managed on a manual system using an Excel spread sheet.
We average between 50 and 100 enquiries a week which vary from small private gardens to major road schemes and new housing developments throughout the UK. It’s often difficult to cope – but experience and technology help separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ or the good enquiries from the ones that will never go anywhere.
Mrs Smith from 14 Acacia Avenue who has a ‘funny looking plant’ which grew ‘from my compost’ gets a call back …but on a pretty low priority. Developer ‘A’ who has a multi-million pound scheme starting on Monday and has just realised he has Japanese Knotweed – gets a call back by return.
We can give each enquiry a code and a unique reference number and each job has a timescale in which they must be responded to. We classify projects by scale and by the requirement for action on site – tenders for projects that are not yet won get classed as a lower priority than tenders for a winning contractor who is desperate to get on site. The CRM system that we have then reminds the surveyors as to what they have to do by set dates and sends a low electrical shock* into their private parts when they don’t perform on time ( *joking….it’s actually quite a high level of shock).
I continue to be amazed at the number of enquiries that we get, and continue to be horrified by the amount of money we spend on Google. We often spend over £1000 a week on our Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign …which with a simple bit of maths is over £52K a year (yes fifty two thousand pounds…) – just to get in the top ranking cluster of names at the top of the ‘sponsored links’ on the search engine website.
Even with that level of expenditure – Japanese Knotweed Solutions are still not the ‘number one’ in the rankings as some of our competitors are either spending much more ‘per click’ on their advertising…. or perhaps…. just more canny with Google ‘Adwords’?
So whilst I imagined when initially setting up Japanese Knotweed Solutions – that the company would have a short lifespan and that everyone would quickly understand the issues surrounding Invasive Non-Native Species – here we are 15 years later and thousands of enquiries still coming in…!
We have diversified a little from our original ‘single target species’ approach and can now be found working with Himalayan balsam and Giant Hogweed as well as looking at Ragwort and Rhododendron infestations throughout the UK.
We also continue to monitor ‘other’ species which may become problematic in the future and advise our clients on changes in legislation and the potential cost implications of these plants. All of which should hopefully keep us busy for the foreseeable future…and maybe take that total at the top of the page to 100,000 +