The Future in waterscape design.
Article about "Digital Design" photos and story
by (Master Waterfall Builder) Doug Hoover
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Seven Reasons Why . . . Digitally Designed Water Gardens
If you have ever designed a water garden by sketching with colored pencils on a sheet of graph paper, let me be the first person to tell you that there is a better way!
1.Increase Your Net Profits
Prior to introducing digitally designed water gardens, I would close 6 out of 10 sales, or 60 percent. Now, by using a digital design, I sell 80 percent. On the remaining 20% I still made money even though I did not close the sale because I charged $350 for each design.
So besides earning an additional income of $2,800 ($350 for each of the eight signed contracts for building a water garden), the digital designs earned an additional $700 for the two building contracts that were not signed. At an average of 100 water features built per year, I have added $35,000 to my bottom line just with digital design revenue.
Finally, you must consider the additional contracts that were signed on the basis of the digital design alone. If my annual gross income before offering digitally designed water features was $600,000, then 20% or $120,000 is money I wouldn’t have had without digital designs.
2.Set Yourself Apart from the Competition
Our digital designs elicit positive responses and compliments, which I rarely received before with sketches and floor plans. Unlike sketches or floor plans, digital design provides a virtual photograph so a client sees what he is getting in advance. Digitally designed water gardens eliminate misunderstandings that can sometimes arise from poor communication, involving vague or convoluted descriptions, drawings and sketches. What you see is literally what you get.
Digital designs look (and are) professional, and with computer software so widely available now, and various instructional programs that are easy to follow, there is really no reason to wait! Any edge you can get on your competitors will be affect your bottom line.
3.Reassure your Customer
A portfolio of previous digitally designed water features can be used to sell the design option to future clients. When offering the digital design package to a customer, the portfolio shows them what other clients received, and that they are not alone in a decision to opt in to getting their own digital design.
4.A Personalized Picture
A digitally designed water garden actually allows the client to see the finished water garden in their own back yard. This allows them the feeling of ownership since the photograph is of their own yard, except now they see the finished water garden in it.
5.No Tape Measures
Providing a digitally designed water garden eliminates the need to sketch out their back yard and take extensive measurements. Sketches and measurements are replaced by the simple click of the camera shutter, and the computer mouse in the virtual world of the water garden digital library.
6.No Sale? No Problem!
Even if you do not get the sale, you will earn $350 for a design you otherwise would not have made. Before offering the digital design option, all the time you spent with the client consulting, sketching and measuring, plus travel time, was wasted if you did not sell the job. By selling a digital design, you have received $350 for your effort and walk away feeling fairly compensated.
7.The Digital Design Fee is Refunded
By offering a refund of their design cost if the client decides to sign the contract, your closing ratio will increase. You tell the client that $350 will be deducted from the labor in the contract if they decide to sign with you. They are now more willing to part with their money. You explain that they not only will see exactly what they are getting, but they will have a photograph to use when they get other bids.
The labor in the contract is not an exact amount, and will vary from job to job. So it is impossible for the client to know if they actually were refunded their $350. You simply state in the contract that the $350 refund was deducted from the labor cost. The labor figure is necessarily an estimate; it is never itemized, nor are materials. So in reality you can easily add a few extra dollars in either category to cover the refund money, which is actually only on paper.
In summary, I can tell you that by adding digital designs to my business, I have increased my bottom line by 38 percent!
You can easily see how someone could make a good living just designing water gardens, especially at $350 per hour for a 6 to 8 hour day.
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