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View Full Version : Advertising - Late in the season


Mad_Russian776
04-24-2006, 12:48 AM
Here is my situation. I'm in the first steps of starting my lawn care business. I'm trying to get new customers, but my phone is not ringing. I have put fliers in newspaper boxes, tacked up on community boards in local businesses (groceries, cafes, restaurants) and have been trying to talk to everyone I encounter about my new venture. Non of this seems to be working yet.

My concern is that I have waited too late in the season to begin advertising, since most potential customers have more than likely choosen who will be servicing them this spring/summer. Other than continue to put out fliers, has anyone found any other way of getting new customers late in the season?

Tomorrow i'm going door to door of houses that look like they may need service. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, i'm fairly new to this forum and I love it! You people here are great. Knowledgeable and friendly, unlike many forums, where condescending bastards are the majority. :drinkup:

northernsvc's
04-24-2006, 12:53 AM
i advertise in a local newspaper have usually had good luck with it, big thing is getting your name out there, business will come, truck signs are another good way of getting customers. Yellow pages are a waste of time unless you can afford the massive advertisements.

jbone
04-24-2006, 02:58 AM
I am having the same exact problem. My question is do you try to take business from others by putting fliers to people who alredy have an lco? I am not saying become a lowballer but give people the idea of "shoping around"?

JCee
04-24-2006, 03:21 AM
Just keep putting the flyer's out there. The calls will come. Also try some different flyer idea's. Maybe the one you have is not appealing for some unknown reason.
The best thing that I have done so far is newspaper inserts. My local paper lets you do 5000 for about 300 bucks. You can also pick the specific zones (zip codes) that you want to cover. This worked really well for me.
The targeting houses that need work can be good and bad. I have done it before and got work from doing it, but at the same time you can get some crappy jobs and customers from it.
If you plan on doing this however, my suggestion would be to look over the yard as best you can, and write down the services you will provide and an estimate right on the flyer. This way you do not have to come back and you know what you are offering.
Good luck and keep it going. Even if you have a slow summer, just get ready to hammer flyer's for the fall. Alot of people on here will tell you it is too late to start, but I started in the fall and got 20 cleanups just going door to door. Good luck!!!

qualitylawnmanagement
04-24-2006, 06:16 AM
If you have any other customers do a good job on those and they will see your good work and come begging for you to do work for them. Also you can offer you current customers like 10% of of your monthly bill if you send any new customers to me.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
04-24-2006, 07:49 AM
I wouldn't set out to steal another companies customers if I were you. That is a very fast way to make enemies out there. It is one thing if you are flyering a whole subdivision and the flyer gets into the hands of one of your compteitors customers and you land an account that way. Totally different if you specifically target other lco properties. It will come back to you somewhere in the future. Also, last year we picked up the bulk of our new customer base in: May, June, and July. It may seem late, but you are always going to have people jump ship because they are not happy with who the are using. Also, you have many people that start off thinking that they want to do it themselves, and then change their minds. Don't lose heart yet.

J&R Landscaping
04-24-2006, 01:34 PM
Later in the season (late june and early july) when it starts to get hot, the fly by night people won't be there to do the work. You will start getting calls then.

rfed32
04-24-2006, 04:23 PM
its never to late in the season...just get out there and go...you never know whos mower might have broke, or who was to lazy to call early or who doesnt like the guy they have now....so i say its never to late

tcls83
04-24-2006, 04:52 PM
Don't feel discouraged if you only get say 10 calls out of every 500 flyers. But those 10 calls are worth it if you get the jobs. Hopefully your flyers aren't too fancy with nice paper and color print- which had cost you a lot of money to have made. I get work off of black ink on colored paper with a nice design.

sheshovel
04-24-2006, 04:56 PM
Yea it's not late in the season yet..give it a few weeks
when people start to think about outside.You live in a big city..try flyering some smaller towns.

HOOLIE
04-24-2006, 07:53 PM
Keep advertising...at least here, the grass grows at an insane rate in April and May, and half the LCOs just whiz in and out, leaving clumps and generally doing a shi**y job...their customers will be looking to switch companies ASAP.

Don't forget the summer heat, a lot of folks "enjoy" mowing when it's relatively cool, but the 90+ degree days chase them inside.

FTI Aerating
04-24-2006, 11:06 PM
Keep at it, the customer's will come. Our direct response rate runs only a few percent for mailbox flyers (2%-3%) so don't be disappointed by seemingly low returns. The real value comes into play with keeping customers and customer referals. It's similar to the compounding of interest, you start small and over time it grows (hopefully) quadratically. I know some of our customers are disastisfied with their current weekly lawn care service provider (~10% or so), so the business is out there (and those are just the ones who talk to me about it).

You always have to acknowledge the reality of your situation, but yet never loose hope.

Bustus
04-25-2006, 12:59 AM
It's never too late. Persistance is key. Keeping handing out fliers and such.

JT1304
04-26-2006, 10:18 AM
I had a lady call last night off a flyer I sent out @month and half ago. I got the job and stopped and talk to another homeowner I saw trying to edge sidewalk and driveway. I got it too. Persistance & Patience!!! GOOD LUCK!!