View Full Version : Is it too late to start advertising?

04-27-2006, 07:57 AM
Grass just starting getting green about 2-3 weeks ago, but is it still too late? Just got back to Texas and wanted to get yalls opinion before spending a few thousand on mailers.

2 clowns mowing
04-27-2006, 08:17 AM
:dizzy: never to late!!!

04-27-2006, 08:59 AM
Is the grass green and growing??? Go for it. Never to late.

04-27-2006, 09:49 AM
Grass just starting getting green about 2-3 weeks ago, but is it still too late? Just got back to Texas and wanted to get yalls opinion before spending a few thousand on mailers.

A few thousand on mailers! If that is as in dollars spent on mailers ... I would imagine you could get much more for you money in other ways of advertising. Word of mouth .. neighbors seeing your work, and you truck and trailer at another clients house or place of business ... etc. etc. etc.

As for it being to late .... look at it this way.

If you wait until tomorrow ... it will be a day later then today! It's never ever to late.

04-27-2006, 11:22 AM
Never Too Late, And Never Too Early............

04-27-2006, 12:27 PM
Never too late to advertise, but it may be too late to spend huge amounts of money on advertising.

04-27-2006, 04:55 PM
Here's the best advise i've ever recieved.... Advertise even when you don't need the work

The landscaper
04-27-2006, 05:04 PM
You need to constantly brand your name.

04-27-2006, 05:35 PM
Same as everyone else is saying, its never too late!

04-27-2006, 06:01 PM
Marketing 101

It's never too late nor too early. You should market your business any time you can (that includes flyers, word of mouth, business cards, logos on your vehicles, mailers, postcards, etc). That way, you build TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness) - you will be the first company that pops to their mind whenever they think of lawn care....

The large companies (Coke, Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc) all pay attention to their TOMA ranking. Top of Mind Awareness almost always equals market share. When you are thought of most you are bought from most. It’s that simple. When a business has done a good job of advertising and marketing their company, they show up well. If a business has done a poor job, or in some cases complacent about their advertising efforts, they show up poorly.

04-27-2006, 09:06 PM
You know I'm always so swamped with work for existing customers, working around the rain, etc. in the spring that I hate to waste the money on advertising then.

A little later on in the season, you may not get the same response rate as in early spring but at least for me, I'm more about to handle the extra work and the callers are more "serious" and not just out price-shopping.

By May a lot of people are unhappy with the LCO that mowed for them in April. By June you got the heat and vacations and so on. I get people calling at all different times of the year.

05-06-2006, 05:12 PM
Hey Bud I live in Lubbock too. I have been advertising strong since the first of march. I will say some forms of advertising are begining to fall a bit but others are picking up. Just try to keep in mind why the customer is calling you right then, and advertise where you think they will look. Oh yeah and Thank God for last nights rain. Man we needed it.

05-06-2006, 11:34 PM
I'm not too sure I like the advise I'm seeing here. When I advertise I want an immdiate feedback and I want to make a lot of money, because I do a lot of the work myself. I don't sit in an office and crunch numbers all day, I have to do the work. So if I have to work to pay advertising and I don't make what I spent, I'm choked. It can be too late and it can be too early at least in window cleaning and I'm sure it can be too early for lawns as well. So anybody that would say just "Always advertise" I would dismiss their advice.

I mean wth does mcdonalds got to do with small business advertising? We have to do the work. If you were big enough that all you cared about was keeping your guys working and breaking even then I guess you can afford to be foot lose and fancy free with your advertising money.

Once you do a large drop and get NOTHING..... that is when you will learn lessons. Believe me I don't think I would be taking notes with some of the advice on this thread.

05-07-2006, 01:39 AM
My advice was to people who intend to still be in business in 5 or 10 years. I would expect some to ignore it - and not advertise. Most new businesses fail in their first 5 years of business. That's not bad for me - it reduces competition.

Who cares if you have a great product or service if nobody knows about it? How do you expect to generate new business? Oh wait, I know. Your potential clients will have a 'vision' and your company name and number will come to them in their sleep....

Business survival rates:
• First year: 85% (15% failed)
• Second: 70% (30% failed)
• Third: 62% (38% failed)
• Fourth: 55% (45% failed)
• Fifth: 50% (50% failed)
• Sixth: 47% (53% failed)
• Seventh: 44% (56% failed)
• Eighth: 41% (59% failed)
• Ninth: 38% (62% failed)
• Tenth: 35% (65% failed)

In another post, you mention you have 15 clients. I haven't searched for a post to see how long you have been in business. My business started on April 20th of this year; For landscape maintenance, I have 45 residential clients (3 times the number I had 2 weeks ago) and 5 commercial clients. I also have 4 clients that are interested in having me perform full landscape design and installation projects for them.

Advertising doesn't have to cost anything. The best advertising is networking - referrals. Pass out business cards to everyone you know; post them in nurseries/garden centers if they allow it. You have a computer - use it to print your own business cards and fliers. Yeah, it will cost you some paper and ink - but if you can get 1 or 2 clients to sign annual lawn maintenance contracts, that will cover your costs. If you can't print your own fliers, there are ways to get them free. One way is to barter your services - find a small print shop and trade services with them. You maintain their lawn - they print x amount of materials for you in return. Join business networking groups - there are many to choose from and you can get business from other network members or referrals from them. There are other advertising methods other than tv/newspaper ads... Every time you mention your company to someone, that is advertising.

05-07-2006, 02:23 AM
You call passing out business cards and networking advertising as related to this thread? well maybe but I was thinking of flyer drops. It is not smart to advertise a product when no one wants it. I don't think I shoud do a flyer drop right now for snow clearing for example. I think its too early but you go girl.

I have 15 lawn clients had about a hundred power raking and still doing some... all that from a 11,000 flyer drop costing less than a thousand. It also generated work for eaves cleaning and window cleaning. I could not advertise MORE because I lost work as it is, I'm too busy. I got 1 Power rake blue bird, Had one lawn mower, now two, a power broom and trimmer backpak blower my advertising was geared toward power raking and now I'm pondering door handle flyers to generate weekly clients. I do feel a little behind the 8 ball though. I fired two ppl already this year they are burning out.

My lawn biz has also been started this apr 1 technically.

But window cleaning has been over 6 years. For windows I can only advertise in spring and fall, sometimes late spring is good as well in areas that I havent already advertised. If I do a flyer drop in july - sept I get almost nothing.

btw your stats mean nothing, eventually 100% of businesses fail (or sometimes just shut their doors cause they are sick of it) in the long term and generally speaking businesses that are run by ppl who know what they are doing last and last and last...

05-07-2006, 02:33 AM
Another thing if you're doing your 45 clients and you have decals, you are being talked about and word of mouth is good adverstising... I think of this as coasting, you just do the work you got till the next season. IN window cleaning we have spring and Fall rushes. In Snow its basically advertise in oct for nov-march agreements.
For lawn care I'm still learning... Next year I will be much better prepared to mega dose myself in power raking I cant wait. I'm not sure if they do much power raking in the fall or if its worth doing advertising for general clean up.

I want more weeklies but I can live with 15, I got lots of windows and eaves. but my ultimate goal really was to have 100 weeklies. But I think I made a mistake in my advertising.

05-07-2006, 02:49 AM
I don't think that the statement "never too late, or early" is true. You can really waste a lot of time and a lot of money if you advertise during the wrong time of the year, however if you are smart about it then you'll be fine. I started my business in the middle of the summer...so I don't believe that it is ever really too late because I got a lot of contracts....however, they were not quality customers, they were PITAs. As for too early, it depends on what you are trying to sell. You can't sell Lawn Maintenance in Raleigh, NC during January...you can sell leaf cleanups but not lawn mowing. However, if you want to get into commerical maintenance, January is the BEST time of the year to advertise to those clients because it is when they start new contracts. Be smart and think like a customer and you'll do fine.

05-07-2006, 02:52 AM
Surely not January in Winnipeg?

05-07-2006, 01:48 PM
Not advertising is like trying to save money by not putting gas in your mowers.

05-07-2006, 02:54 PM
There was this guy that wanted to start a lawn company. Well he got everything together nice office, nicemowers, fancy office equipment, etc etc. So now he had brand new everything a was set for any job thrown at him. Well he didnt advertise, even though everyone was telling him to do so. He thought referrals would do it all for him. Well the crazy part is he went out of business and decided to sell everything that he had for the business. You know how he sold everything he ADVERTISE it in the classified section of the paper and sold everything in 2 weeks. So u can see that he didnt have his head on straight. The moral of the story is you have to advertise and you have to do it anytime the grass is growing or right before it starts to grow. Not advertising is like winking at a pretty woman in the dark it is Pointless. With all that said

Advertise Advertise Advertise

05-07-2006, 07:50 PM
Not advertising is like winking at a pretty woman in the dark it is Pointless. [/COLOR]Is that a brian tracy quote? Yes I believe so.