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B&E
04-11-2007, 04:49 PM
This is my first year at lawn maintenance, and I decided to deliver flyer's to an upscale neighborhood in my area. I has been about a week now and I haven't received not one phone call, not even for a quote.

I have so much money invested in this lawn maintenance business, that if the phone dosen't start ringing,and customers don't start signing I will be going bankrupt.

How did you guys start out.

Could people be slow at calling due to the weather, we received about 4" of snow three days ago and there is snow in the forecast for the next couple of days.

Any help would be appreciated, I'm starting to get a wee bit nervous

grassmanak
04-11-2007, 04:53 PM
Your first rule should have been dont buy anything until you have customers. How many flyers did you put out, hopefully 5k or more.

B&E
04-11-2007, 04:57 PM
Only put out 2500, I had to get the equipment as I signed 2 commercial accounts. Still with those commercial accounts I still need more customers

Ecoscape01
04-11-2007, 05:00 PM
In your area I doubt there is a single person thinking about their lawn with that kind of a weather forecast. Also, with how much you said you have invested, how much went to advertising. You mentioned delivering flyers to one neighborhood, how many have you delivered and to how many different neighborhoods. I like to sample neighborhoods instead of covering the entire hood. I get to cover more ground that way and find out the areas where my competition is lower. Are you sure that the content of your flyers are effective. I realized after doing some marketing research on this site that the content of my flyers were ineffective so I revamped mine in an effort to get a better response. I do some searches on this site about marketing/advertising and see how you think your advertising measures up. Good luck

Classified
04-11-2007, 05:03 PM
owning/starting a business is very risky. It also sounds like you didnt drop off enough flyers. One neighboorhood is not enough. try th whole town and im sure youll generate phone calls. also, what does your flyer look like? i have dropped only 600 flyers and got 19 phone calls and landed half of them so far. i still have 4,400 flyers to go. My flyers are really professionally made door hangers, that are color on both sides and glossy. they are very professional looking which im sure has helped to get the calls i did.

You cant put all your eggs in one basket. keep dropping flyers or maybe revise your current flyer, and drop them until you have enought customers. i plan on dropping them all summer long to the neighboors of my customers.

Good luck but i personally do not thing i would have bought all your equipment before having any customers. but just keep dropping flyers.

Classified
04-11-2007, 05:05 PM
ahh, looks like i just repeated the poster above me but i was typing as he was posting, lol

bigmudder77
04-11-2007, 05:08 PM
i have so much lawn stuff and did 2 one time jobs ( i have placed 3 ads in the paper, handed out flyers, and cards) havnt got any for sure whole seasons yet

xpnd
04-11-2007, 05:14 PM
Could people be slow at calling due to the weather, we received about 4" of snow three days ago and there is snow in the forecast for the next couple of days.



You think? I send out a minimum of 10k flyers at a time and hit the same area twice with a 7-10 day interval. Always during nice weather. For every 1000 you should get 10 calls and 3 customers. Anything substantially more and your price should be looked at for increases

cupzandamug
04-11-2007, 05:27 PM
You think? I send out a minimum of 10k flyers at a time and hit the same area twice with a 7-10 day interval. Always during nice weather. For every 1000 you should get 10 calls and 3 customers. Anything substantially more and your price should be looked at for increases

do u send them bulk mail?

Ecoscape01
04-11-2007, 08:00 PM
Read through the info contained in this link before you spend a penny on any form of advertising. It is very helpful info
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/kuraoka/flyer.htm

GreenN'Clean
04-11-2007, 08:09 PM
Skip the fliers and run an ad in your local newspaper you might have better luck

laidback2309
04-11-2007, 08:25 PM
If it makes you feel any better, there are more of us in the same boat with you. I'm gonna need blood pressure medication soon if it doesnt start getting warm and my phone doesnt ring a few more times. But then again the journey of a thousand miles right...

JeffW0011
04-11-2007, 08:29 PM
C'mon guys...if you were opening a restaraunt would you not buy a stove until your first customer walked in the door. The question really is can you afford to get in the business or not, and are you able to weather the first year.

Canvassing one upscale nieghborhood aint gonna cut it though. You need to get busy and also consider other forms of marketing. I doubt in your area many people are even thinking about lawn care yet. I was sweating bullets a few weeks ago myself, my phone is starting to ring on an almost daily basis now and the weather here is crappy after one really nice week. If worse comes to worse find another job or P/T job and do what you can on the side and start preparing for next year.

Ecoscape01
04-11-2007, 08:34 PM
C'mon guys...if you were opening a restaraunt would you not buy a stove until your first customer walked in the door. The question really is can you afford to get in the business or not, and are you able to weather the first year.

Canvassing one upscale nieghborhood aint gonna cut it though. You need to get busy and also consider other forms of marketing. I doubt in your area many people are even thinking about lawn care yet. I was sweating bullets a few weeks ago myself, my phone is starting to ring on an almost daily basis now and the weather here is crappy after one really nice week. If worse comes to worse find another job or P/T job and do what you can on the side and start preparing for next year.

This is exactly what I'm doing. Instead of going through all those first year hassles with advertising, I'm subcontracting landscaping services for a guy who does general contracting but he doesn't really care to do landscaping or lawncare. When one of his customers want those services, I get em and I give him 10% of my net which isn't bad considering I have little to no overhead. Then when I don't have any work, I do laboring for him. With this set-up, I'm helping him out making his business more "full-service", he's helping me get work and get my name out there, and I have gainfull employment for at least 50-60hours a week.

xpnd
04-11-2007, 08:36 PM
do u send them bulk mail?
12.7 cents per drop by US postal system. That is expensive relatively speaking compared to a flyer service but I don't have to worry(a lot) about receiving a phone call letting me know where the dumpster is that has scads of my ad material in. I can also pinpoint my distribution areas using the PO delivery routes and send the 10K out over a period of several days so I'm not slammed with estimates. Door flyers work there is no question about that but I don't like them and I get great results with bulk mail.

turbo5560
04-11-2007, 08:43 PM
I've been in business for 3 years now, and i started small, less then $4000 equipement and went from there. As far as getting work, i still struggle with getting enough. But after 3 years i get at least one call every other day asking for quote around this time of year. Best way to get work is word of mouth, i can't tell you how many accounts I've got from people telling other people.
I was once told to get 3 lawns you have to hand out 1000 flyers (like the guy above said), that depends on the area and what not, but i think that is pretty accurate. But don't be putting any flyers in areas that is run down, go for the nicer neighborhoods. That sounds obivous to me, but if you handed out 2500 and haven't gotten a call, maybe try a different area. Think about a nearby town, if you get a few lawns on the way to and from another town it may make it worth it.

HOOLIE
04-11-2007, 09:00 PM
Yes it's the weather...the vast majority of people won't think about calling until the grass starts to grow, and sounds like you still have some time until that happens. If you can, make up some flyers now advertising spring cleanups, mulch, that sort of thing. And wait til the snow melts to pass them out. When the grass starts to kick in is the time to promote mowing.

B&E
04-11-2007, 09:14 PM
ok here it is, I have invested almost 10k into this business. I have also been operating my own snowplowing business for the past 5 years. Now I have picked up two signed contracts with my plowing customers, 2 proposals out with another two customers (I am 99.9% sure they are going to sign by the end of the week). I wanted to do about 20 residential so from what I gather,I should be putting out between 7 and 10,000 flyer's.

I basically just went to an upscale neighborhood and delivered 2500 flyers personally as I wanted to make sure they were getting to the doors and not the garbage.

After reading the posts I have just placed an ad in the local newspaper to run on three of the most read days. Cost-$500.00. I think I am going to hold off on more flyer's until I see what results I get from the paper.

If I get the two proposals signed as contracts I should do pretty good. That will give me apx. 20-25 acres of lawn to cut during the summer.

I wasn't planning on getting into lawn maintenance this year as I had a F/T Summer job, but over the winter the business was sold and everyone was out of a job for the summer.. If I had of known that was going to happen I could have picked up all my plowing customers for Lawn Maintenance rather then sending to a friend in the business.

I really wasn't planning on making any profit this year, just wanted to cover my costs thats all. Besides with us still receiving snow, who the hell is thinking about cutting their grass.

daveintoledo
04-11-2007, 09:23 PM
no offence, to you personally ,and welcome..... but too many new start up companies involved, some legal, some not....many charging way too little..... with little or no experience

so for, $2000.00 on advertising this year... with below average response compared to previous years......

things will improve some when you get some better weather

turbo5560
04-11-2007, 09:23 PM
just keep at it man, i'm sure that as soon as it warms up you will get calls. I put fliers in a local trailer park advertising for $20 to mow, trim, and edge per time. I put about 15 copies of the flier to start in their little building where they get there mail and i keep going back and having to hang up more flier, i haven't got any calls but i know people are taking them which means people are interested. I know i will get some business from it.

workinallthetime
04-11-2007, 10:43 PM
first season guy here also
i dont know what i can consider mt investments other than 1200.00 worth of stihl power equipment, and a 11,500 ztr and other msc stuff but my business just took off this week. Last week i bought a new tractor for my tractor business which is where 3 of my customers came from, the rest were all from professional made corrigated plastic yard signs (179.00 for 50).
i guess what i could say to help is put out some yard signs if its legal where you live and diversification is all ways good. i do tractor work, lawns, snow (im in oklahoma so i wont get rich off snow) and light landscape. my signs read
lawns
landscape
tractor work
phone#
company name
the sign guy said people see 3 things on a sign after that forget it, i see signs all the time that you would have to stop and get out of your ride to read there is so much info on them. quick simple and easy is the way to go on signs if you can do that?
also use craigs list, i get alot of tractor work from there which turns into lawan work usually and its free
i like free and easy.
ive made my equipment payments for the last 2 months and next months is allready in the bank working on more now.
dont give up belive in yourself and be confident at all times.

cupzandamug
04-12-2007, 01:23 PM
Read through the info contained in this link before you spend a penny on any form of advertising. It is very helpful info
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/kuraoka/flyer.htm

thanks E . there were a few thing wrong with my flier.lol

jdlawn
04-12-2007, 01:46 PM
how do you guys hand out 5k and 10k fliers? Are they the ones that hang on the door? and if so then would you tell me where i can get those made. Thanks in advance.

Classified
04-12-2007, 02:59 PM
how do you guys hand out 5k and 10k fliers? Are they the ones that hang on the door? and if so then would you tell me where i can get those made. Thanks in advance.

I had mine made at www.gotprint.com . they look great and are resonably priced.