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View Full Version : Best way to get customers for new lawncare business!!


lawnguy1
03-07-2006, 12:12 AM
just started new lawncare business in kansas city area. what is the most effective way to attract new business? i dont have unlimited funds to advertise. i have professional signage on truck. i am finding alot of the commercial properties i have contacted already have contracts. how early should i be contacting properties? many have multi-year contracts. i have printed several hundred flyers and delivered door to door....with little response yet, put them out last week. any advice from people in the field that could help the new guy would really be appreciated!! thanks, scott
Patriot Lawncare

daveintoledo
03-07-2006, 12:26 AM
get a few jobs... and WORD OF MOUTH will take over, that is the best form of advertising anyways.....:)

PMLAWN
03-07-2006, 06:36 AM
Hate to sat this ,but - You are doing it already. Advertising is a very small return game. Like Dave said, you will get more results as you enter the field and people see your work. The best thing for your business is to network. It will take about 2 years to build a client list that will be profitable and make up a good route.

darrenfix
03-07-2006, 10:33 AM
I had 1000 post cards printed out and 500 door to door flyer's printed. I mailed out about 650 postcards and delivered 350 flyer's door to door, and I have 9 monthly accounts and 3 one time cuts. So my advise is keep on advertising you will start to get some clients from this.

Wil22
03-07-2006, 03:07 PM
Soon you will be turning people away:)

It will take a little while. If you can, try and mow when most people will be home, evenings and weekends. Keep business cards and flyers in the truck and give them out to everyone.

If you get a 1-3% response to your marketing efforts you are doing very well.
If you really want to suceed in this buisness never stop advertising.

Ric3077
03-07-2006, 07:26 PM
I have been advertizing door to door this year for a few weeks...I put out about 650 flyers and business card magnets in a door hanger baggie. I have only had 2 calls...I gave both customers fair estimates, and neither signed up. I have 10,000 door hangers and 10,000 magnets on the way (on a UPS truck somewhere right now!) anyway I was hoping for a 1% signup rate but by that theory I should have 6.5 accounts to show for my 650 I already delivered...but I have ZERO. I am hoping things will change...I too have noticed that most commercial accounts already have signed on with someone at this point.

hotpan
03-07-2006, 08:52 PM
i just ordered 4000 postcards at www.overnightprints.com for only $99 plus shipping and handling totaling $140. I think that is a very good price considering that they looked really nice after i finished designing it. They have several landscaping templates to choose from also. Hopefully i will be fortunate enuf to get 1% callback. I tried 1000 flyers but only got 5 calls back and only 1 is definite customer but these postcards were a lot more professional looking and really affordable for 4000 of them.

4X6 full color and free U/V glossy (xtra $25 for printing on backside)

Plow_Boy84
03-07-2006, 09:10 PM
I have gotten out about 700 flyers and only 3 calls. None of them have signed up. oh well, just keep hitting the pavement, they will come.

Xterminator
03-07-2006, 09:30 PM
Keep Hanging fliers it will pay off I put out 5000 last year sold about 20 jobs put out approx 1500 this year and have added 15 off that

Timbo
03-08-2006, 12:54 AM
Make some tear offs and hang them up in grocery stores with public bulletin boards. Tear offs are those flyers you see with the tabs at the bottom you can tear off and take home. I have been putting them up at the major stores in my area and I get a very good return from them. If you want, you can PM me with your email and I will send you a template for one.

B&D Lawn Care
03-08-2006, 06:00 AM
Some of you northern guys need to be patient it will come. It's still early. You will be surprised when 6 mths down the road you get a call and someone says "I got a flyer".

Ric3077
03-08-2006, 09:20 AM
I hope the tear off's work...I am advertizing lawn care and spring clean-ups on them...I know it's early for lawns but I see people in neighborhoods doing cleanups themselves...guess it's the right time for cleanups...

Ric3077
03-08-2006, 09:20 AM
Make some tear offs and hang them up in grocery stores with public bulletin boards.

Timbo I put out like 20 tear off's yesterday at grocery stores and coffee shops...those are the only places I know of with public bulletin boards. I am hoping it will generate some calls. I know it's still early but around here ALL LCO's are marketing already I just don't wanna miss the boat. By the way I am trying to land a non profit account so I can get the 18% discount REDMAX offers...It seems all the Churches either do it themselves with volunteers or have a contract with another company already...and most schools have groundskeepers or city workers that do it. Anyone have a good idea of what other non-profit companies would need LCO service? Thanks!

Lux Lawn
03-08-2006, 10:38 AM
Offering a referral program seems to really help.It gives the customer a little bonus for passing on your info.

Ric3077
03-08-2006, 10:58 AM
Offering a referral program seems to really help.It gives the customer a little bonus for passing on your info.

Lux, I have on the back of my doorhanger a referral program...if they refer someone that signs an agreement for the year...they get either a free one time cut or a gift card to a restaurant. And I even offer it to people that aren't my customers....I am hoping it will generate some referrals. :clapping:

LawnBrother
03-08-2006, 01:59 PM
Make some tear offs and hang them up in grocery stores with public bulletin boards. Tear offs are those flyers you see with the tabs at the bottom you can tear off and take home. I have been putting them up at the major stores in my area and I get a very good return from them. If you want, you can PM me with your email and I will send you a template for one.
Yes, this is a good way to pick up customers. I did it last year at stores in the neighborhoods I wanted to work in. Another place you might want to consider is National City Bank (if there are any in your area)They usually have bulletin boards also. Besides stores and banks, there are many other community bulliten boards around town, just keep your eyes peeled.

lawnguy1
03-08-2006, 03:33 PM
thanks for all the ideas!!!! im busy printing more flyers now......any other options and thoughts is appreciated.......i think the referral program is a winner....im going to try it also, thanks again, scott PARTIOT LAWNCARE........AMERICAS LAWNCARE PROFESSIONALS.......

Tom c.
03-08-2006, 08:19 PM
Lawnguy, Try running an add in a small local paper like a town gazette their rates are more resonable. I ran a add in a paper here and it only cost me about 95.00. I got four plowing calls and six lawn jobs in the last two weeks. and the add runs for eight weeks!! Good Luck!!!

BCFLawnLandscape
03-08-2006, 09:01 PM
Yep, Everyone before me has said it all. Flyers, pulltab flyers, newspaper advertising and word of mouth. It takes a little while to get rolling, but once those first couple calls come in, more will follow! Good Luck!

dtelawncare
03-08-2006, 09:14 PM
On the pull tab flyers, what all do you put on the flyer. Should I put all services offered or just my logo, name aand of course #???

hotpan
03-08-2006, 09:25 PM
good luck lawnguy!

JKOOPERS
03-08-2006, 10:08 PM
On the pull tab flyers, what all do you put on the flyer. Should I put all services offered or just my logo, name aand of course #???

heres a start dtelawncare its the template for it http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/results.aspx?Scope=TC&Query=tear+tab

ICE
03-09-2006, 12:32 PM
Word of mouth worked best for me. A happy customer tells them, they call you, and you can name your price from there. They are happy to pay it.

That is it! I have thrown in the towel, and I am done and out of this business and selling off the whole unit.
I have a 2003 Exmark 48" Hydro Turftracer HP TTHP with electric start 17 HP Kawi engine, low hours, velke and like new Aluminum Accelerator grass catcher for $4300 The model # is TT4817KAEC

The trailer is a 2002 5x10 open heavy duty utility single axle trailer made by Mid-Atlantic. No electric brakes. The GVWR is listed at 2990lbs and the GAWR is listed at 3500lbs. It pulls nicely and has no problem tracking either. You can hardly tell that it is even behind you when pulling. $850

My trimmer is a Redmax solid shaft trimmer Model # BCZ2400S. I bought this brand new in 2005 for $325. I bought this model because I have heard/read that this model does not viberate as much as a cable trimmer. I love it, it works just like it is supposed to and if I were to get back in this business, I would be picking up another one of these trimmers. $250

My handheld blower is a little older, bought secondhand, but still starts right up and blows pretty hard. It is a sthil afterall. $75

If anyone needs any pictures, please let me know. I would sell the whole unit as a whole for $5000, and deliver it too for a little more. If you live anywhere between NY and NC, we may be able to work something out.

I think that is a pretty fair deal. Everything is in good working order, I stand behind it. I would continue doing this business if I were able to pick up more customers, but 5 just is not going to cut it.

You can see pictures if you click the link below and see the post.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=134860

Thanks for looking!
Tim

DAZ982500
03-09-2006, 01:24 PM
Were in upstate ny are you located.

chriscraft
03-10-2006, 02:28 PM
Best way id direct mail but not the kind yo uthink. make a 1 or 2 page flyer and a buis card , use flourescent paper , get all your info on it and get custom printed envelops bulleted with all your info. i mailed 25,000 out one season for 20 cents each through the post offiice. fo a 5,000 investment we recieved 200-400 calls a week for 5 weeks and 500 new customers.

firehoyt
03-10-2006, 04:18 PM
Well, I'm just getting started as well. I've passed out about 500 flyers on mailboxs as well as 300 business cards. In just three days of handing out cards/flyers I've got two commitments, two potential (estimating tomorrow) and three referals!!! Getting started is the hard part. Luckily the 2 I have and two I'm pricing tomorrow are all in different subdivisions. Hopefully, with a job well done, people will see me in their area and sign up. I have to say, referrals are the best. One of my customers I'm doing pretty cheap just for the fact that their very involved socially in the retirement community as well as their neighborhood association. So I may lose a few bucks doing theirs, but the return will be great. REFERRALS REFERRALS REFERRALS!!!! Keep at it, I get discouraged and begin to feel like a mail lady but it's working. I put on the flyer, $5.00 off first cut as bait. It seems to be working!

jetcleaned
03-16-2006, 05:30 PM
Make some tear offs and hang them up in grocery stores with public bulletin boards. Tear offs are those flyers you see with the tabs at the bottom you can tear off and take home. I have been putting them up at the major stores in my area and I get a very good return from them. If you want, you can PM me with your email and I will send you a template for one.

send me the template please jetcleaned@yahoo.com

SW Landscape Maintenance
03-16-2006, 05:44 PM
Do good work and you''ll get referred at least in the residential accounts and present yourself well. Commericial accounts at least around here is so cut throat that it is'nt funny. If you are doing a flyer spend a little extra and make it attractive and try to seperate your self from everyone else.

Freddy_Kruger
03-16-2006, 07:38 PM
I had a call for window cleaning from a flyer that was delivered 6 months ago. I told her that since she held onto it this long to keep it and phone me in 6 weeks when the window clearing starts up around here.

People will definetly hold onto flyers, especially if there current service is a little iffy..

gce_ent
03-16-2006, 09:05 PM
To me it sounds like Direct Mail and a Flyer campaign together would work like a champ. It would be expensive I am sure but if you can ramp up to the kind of numbers Chriscraft saw then would pay for itself quick.

get rich
03-16-2006, 10:22 PM
In my area the local newspaper prints in the monday business section real estate transactions, meaning people who bought new homes. It gives you there name and address. Check and see if you can get your hands on that type of info from your local newspaper. Sit down write a nice personally addressed letter introducing yourself and your services and hope they are in the market for some of your services? The paper around here even prints the price the home was purchased for so you can send letters to the upper income home owners knowing that they would be interrested in hiring out the lawn services. It's public information ...real estate transactions, as are divorce, and so on.

CAG
03-17-2006, 02:11 AM
just start cutting random lawns and sending them a bill half might pay!!!! But really... you might want to try subbing for a bigger co. till your biz takes off..this way your still working everyday and making a friend in the biz to kinda show you the ropes!!! If your experience and equipment is limited don't try for the com yet you don't want to screw up and ruin a good future business relationship.. best of luck!!

one man gang
03-17-2006, 10:50 AM
just start cutting random lawns and sending them a bill half might pay!!!! But really... you might want to try subbing for a bigger co. till your biz takes off..this way your still working everyday and making a friend in the biz to kinda show you the ropes!!! If your experience and equipment is limited don't try for the com yet you don't want to screw up and ruin a good future business relationship.. best of luck!!


Don't laugh, some clown around here actually did that a few years ago. He was dirt cheap and did pretty good job but since people only wanted a Est. nobody I talked to bit. They didn't like the fact that it was done without approval(haven't seen him since).

ooo
03-19-2006, 10:04 AM
Ive advertised in weekly classified magazine that goes around (Penny Saver) and have had some responses. Ive tried pull off tabs at stores with almost no luck. Ive hung flyers door to door and the response rate was terrible. I tried direct mail thru the post office (the 2 sided B&W flyer) and targeting the streets I gave them (about 2000 flyers sent), I have had over 50 calls in 2 weeks. By far the direct mail has worked better than all the others combined. It may cost more (I think it was $500 for 2000 flyers), but it was well worth it.

MysticLandscape
03-19-2006, 10:26 AM
I run a ad in the small paper that goes out in my city and the town next to me, last years i got over 50 calls, this year i havent got much only 3 but its still too cold, once the weather gets nicer im sure it will ring off the hook.. o ya it cost $144 a month for 5 runs. (once a week)

wormburner
03-19-2006, 11:19 AM
It takes awhile period!Most homeowners will wait till the last minute to call.They think you have all the time in the world.As far as commercial you might hit a few here and there but most sign up at the end of the season for next year.Most bids around here close in October.

FearThisDeere
03-19-2006, 11:34 AM
Make some tear offs and hang them up in grocery stores with public bulletin boards. Tear offs are those flyers you see with the tabs at the bottom you can tear off and take home. I have been putting them up at the major stores in my area and I get a very good return from them. If you want, you can PM me with your email and I will send you a template for one.
Timbo could you please email me a template to cdrmotorsports@yahoo.com? I have been looking for one for a while! Thanks.

ripple
03-19-2006, 03:47 PM
Yellow pages!
Some phone books give you a free line listing if you have a "business line".

studentlawns.org
03-19-2006, 05:06 PM
I just helped my nephew launch his business http://www.studentlawns.org

He has exploded with a few simple marketing tools. Every day post on craigslist under services labor and household. Check under gigs for the same.

Every yard that looks like it needs help in the neighborhood we are working gets a doorhanger that looks like a $5 bill. It is a coupon for $5 off the first visit with bi-weekly servicing.

We place an 18"x24" corrugated plastic sign in the yard while being mowed. It says. GET MOWED TODAY. Stop and Ask Me.

Direct mail is expensive but most small lawn companies do doorhanging. Co-op your ad dollars with insurance agencies. Most "name" agencies send out direct mail letters to attract homeowners to purchase policies. Have them place your coupon in the mail out. In return, print their offer on the reverse side of the doorhangers you distribute.

These are easy and inexpensive strategies that work well for us.

bjlawn1
03-19-2006, 09:12 PM
Originally Posted by Timbo
Make some tear offs and hang them up in grocery stores with public bulletin boards. Tear offs are those flyers you see with the tabs at the bottom you can tear off and take home. I have been putting them up at the major stores in my area and I get a very good return from them. If you want, you can PM me with your email and I will send you a template for one.

Timbo can you send me template to bjlawn2@aol.com

gqnine44
03-19-2006, 11:31 PM
By the way I am trying to land a non profit account so I can get the 18% discount REDMAX offers...It seems all the Churches either do it themselves with volunteers or have a contract with another company already...and most schools have groundskeepers or city workers that do it. Anyone have a good idea of what other non-profit companies would need LCO service? Thanks!


Say what? Redmax gives an 18% discount? Have never heard this. What do you have to do to qualify?

Ric3077
03-20-2006, 08:46 AM
Yep, Redmax offers any LCO 18% off if you have a contract with a non profit account...all you have to do is bring the contract in to the Redmax dealer so they can make a copy to mail to Redmax...and you save 18%!!!!! The way Redmax sees it is, if you are contracted with a non profit account then you in a way work for a non profit company so you get the non profit discount that Redmax offers...which is the 18% off!!! :clapping: