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View Full Version : Critique my advertising scope...


JShe8918
02-15-2011, 10:41 PM
So I need to triple the size of my business this year to be where i want to be. It is going to be tough, but with the proper techniques and alot of hardwork i feel that it can be done. This year i am going to be covering more service areas than the previous years. I am looking to get 45 yards total, 15 landscapes, and 12 seasonal color jobs.

Advertisment plan:
-2 columns wide and six inches long in the local paper for 8 weeks in the spring
-1000 double sided flyers delivered door to door
-1000 post cards mailed out to the same places 1 1/2 months later
-Business cards in every possible business around the three towns to be serviced
-50 company tee shirts and 5 polo shirts (For friends, family, and employees)
-and hopefully a rolling BILLBOARD by the end of the summer! 2011 pace 8.5x20 3 foot v-nose with my logo and information

Now for the background on my business. Two seasons ago I decided to get out of the business. It was flourishing because I was one of the three LCO's in the area. I decided to come back in mid season last year and picked up a few of my old accounts. Now up to 14 and did 3 landscapes. Now there are 5 lco's not including me as far as I can recall.

So what does everyone think of the plan?

Oh and goals are $60,000 gross sales, sell my PZ6034, open trailer, and duramax. Buy walker MTL31 w/ 52" GHS deck, Walker super Bee, pace 2011 8.5x20 3 foot vnose, 2007 Dodge MegaCab 5.9 cummins 4x4 with less than 70k miles.

CLS LLC
02-15-2011, 11:39 PM
That sounds like a great plan. Sounds like you have it pretty well thought out. To reach your goal though I think I would up the amount of flyers.

I personally haven't had much luck with newspaper advertisements. As for the flyers people say a response rate of 1% is typical. With 1000 flyers that will get you 10 calls. But you aren't likely to close all 10 of those. If your prices are competitive I would expect you to close half. I think if you upped the amount of flyers you plan to deliver to something like 5000-10000 you'd have much better luck meeting your goals.

Remember spring only last's so long. And after spring the calls will start dwindling quickly. I think getting those flyers out now will really help you meet your goals.

Let me know what you think...

JShe8918
02-16-2011, 12:14 AM
I am working on getting the flyers. They are supposed to be here not this week but the next. The only problem is town i live in is 4500 people and really only about 200 of them are desirable yards if that. The next town is about 8000 and probably 500 desirable homes maybe 700 at most.

paponte
02-16-2011, 12:24 AM
An effective marketing plan must be a repetitive one. I think you are cutting yourself short with only two direct contacts with potential clients. We go by the 7 see's rule. A potential client must either see, hear, or read about your company at least 7 times in order to consider you for business.

CLS LLC
02-16-2011, 12:28 AM
I am working on getting the flyers. They are supposed to be here not this week but the next. The only problem is town i live in is 4500 people and really only about 200 of them are desirable yards if that. The next town is about 8000 and probably 500 desirable homes maybe 700 at most.

How far is the next town away. It sounds like you're looking to take a hold of a LARGE percentage of the market share in a short period of time. If you broadened your service area (I know that can be hard to do, maybe even not possible in your situation) your goal would be much easier.

JShe8918
02-16-2011, 12:34 AM
Well we have one town that is low income that is 30 miles and undesirable. Then the one i refered to earlier that has 8000 in population is about 50 miles away. However i do make this trip often and i picked up 5 weekly accounts last month with the smallest being $70 pr. vist.

And about the rules of seven. I have heard that many times, and now that i think about it that is nearly 100% accurate. I will hear of a business time and time again before i finally call or go to the location! Thanks

AA+ landscaping
02-16-2011, 01:05 AM
Just be careful with the spending on equipment. Last year I doubled my customers and had to buy more equipment to kept up with it. Spring was great then summer hit and it got hot and lost 2 months of cutting. It was very tight I just made it to winter and now we are start to get money back into the bank.

MOHUSTLER
02-16-2011, 08:29 AM
Not trying to tell you not to do this plan, but the first thing we learned about business is that you never want to double in one years time. It can lead to poor service, to much work load, missed billings, crappy employees,

If your allready set up and ready for the extra work load then go for it, but its not good business to grow that much that fast.

As a dealership we doubled every year for the past 5 years and I had to back off on the advertising and had to turn people away for service. We just got to overwhelmed and we had to work LONG LONG hours to make sure my quality of worked stayed at par.

Id honestly like to be at a 20-25% increase a year, No more 100% years. I cant find enough workers to handle that.

CLS LLC
02-16-2011, 09:26 AM
Not trying to tell you not to do this plan, but the first thing we learned about business is that you never want to double in one years time. It can lead to poor service, to much work load, missed billings, crappy employees,

If your allready set up and ready for the extra work load then go for it, but its not good business to grow that much that fast.

As a dealership we doubled every year for the past 5 years and I had to back off on the advertising and had to turn people away for service. We just got to overwhelmed and we had to work LONG LONG hours to make sure my quality of worked stayed at par.

Id honestly like to be at a 20-25% increase a year, No more 100% years. I cant find enough workers to handle that.

Although in many cases I do agree with you. If I understand him correctly he is wanting to go from 14 lawns to 45 lawns. As long as he doesn't have any prior obligations (like a full time job) I don't think there should be any problem. If he were wanting to go from 150 lawns to 450 lawns I would definitely be concerned because to do that you would need to significantly increase your labor force as well as your equipment fleet. But it doesn't sound like he will really have to add any equipment or an employee. Like I said though, in many cases I do agree that 200% growth in a single year can quickly sink a business.

MOHUSTLER
02-16-2011, 03:12 PM
Although in many cases I do agree with you. If I understand him correctly he is wanting to go from 14 lawns to 45 lawns. As long as he doesn't have any prior obligations (like a full time job) I don't think there should be any problem. If he were wanting to go from 150 lawns to 450 lawns I would definitely be concerned because to do that you would need to significantly increase your labor force as well as your equipment fleet. But it doesn't sound like he will really have to add any equipment or an employee. Like I said though, in many cases I do agree that 200% growth in a single year can quickly sink a business.

true, sorry I missed the part of 15 to 45 yards.

JShe8918
02-16-2011, 08:03 PM
Thanks everyone. I do know what you all mean about growing to quickly. It happened to me my second year in business. I was 17 with a legit business. I was still in highschool and maintained 32 yards. The previous year I had only 7 yards. The year I had 17 i was up at 4 am two days a week mowing a 7 acre school. I would mow from 4.30 until 7. I would then go home shower and go to school, and then that evening i would mow until dark. I was overloaded. I know that i can handle 45 yards with out any problem. Here most yards are every other week so that only equates to 23 yards a week. I know it won't likely work like that. I know i can get up to 25 yards with ease, but that isn't what I want. My goal is to go full time in the 2012 season and sevice 80 yards or more. I do not want to get over 100 yards ever. Once I get to that point I would want to focus on more landscaping. I have a younger cousin who is just as meticulous as I and an older brother that is a hard worker but doesn't pay as close attention as I would like. These two together work really well. Last season i turned them loose on a landscape job and it was done as scheduled and budgeted. So I can handle the growth with out a problem.

I also understand it isn't a good thing to get into alot of debt with equipment purchases. I have seen this in other companies around town. The only reason i want two is because i absolutely love walkers but i don't want the hassle of having to swap decks back and forth. Plus as of now i have 2 drops with 3 yards and another drop with 5 yards. So having multiple machines going at once is a benefit. We did so year before last and it worked out excellent.

Is there anything that anyone would change or anything that anyone this i should add?

MOHUSTLER
02-17-2011, 09:04 AM
Sounds like your doing it right. Multiple yards in one stop = $$$$ Cutters in my town dont get that concept. They bounce from North to South, back and forth all day long just to show off thier brand new truck to other cutters. Its funny actuauly. :laugh:

Clark Griswold
02-17-2011, 11:29 AM
Only problem is, your in the middle of nowhere Alabama!

Folks there really have money to spend on lawn care?

JShe8918
02-17-2011, 11:56 AM
Only problem is, your in the middle of nowhere Alabama!

Folks there really have money to spend on lawn care?

INSULTING!!! I am just joking. Yes nearly everyone has the money to spend on their lawns where i live. We are in paper mill and steel mill country. People have money here. It is a great place and lots of money being that everyone owned land and then all the businesses started buy it for 3 what it was worth. The problem here is them having the money to spend but just not caring as much as they should. But here it is almost a losing battle anyways.

Golfpro21
02-17-2011, 12:02 PM
sounds like a solid plan, but your not going to get teh numbers you want with the number of flyers your talking about.
Like mentioned, 1000 flyers will get you 10 calls, you might close 2 or 3 of those 10.

You need to pump out a minimum of 5000 even 10,000 and send them out more than once, then you will be able to expect numbers close to what you want.

Wish you the best of luck

Lefet
02-17-2011, 12:05 PM
Sounds to me like you've got your head screwed on right! Good luck and keep us posted!
I'm with Mo, "one stop shoppin" all the way!!!!

ALC-GregH
02-17-2011, 12:29 PM
sounds like a solid plan, but your not going to get teh numbers you want with the number of flyers your talking about.
Like mentioned, 1000 flyers will get you 10 calls, you might close 2 or 3 of those 10.

You need to pump out a minimum of 5000 even 10,000 and send them out more than once, then you will be able to expect numbers close to what you want.

Wish you the best of luck

That's why I don't advertise. All that will do for me is raise my fuel expense driving all over the place quoting prices. Word of mouth is where it's at. I'd much rather grow at a slow and steady pace each year. So far it's working.

torotorotoro
02-17-2011, 06:17 PM
Just be careful with the spending on equipment. Last year I doubled my customers and had to buy more equipment to kept up with it. Spring was great then summer hit and it got hot and lost 2 months of cutting. It was very tight I just made it to winter and now we are start to get money back into the bank.

how do you lose 2 months of mowing

AA+ landscaping
02-17-2011, 07:01 PM
how do you lose 2 months of mowing

I don't mow it when it doesn't need it. We are a lawn CARE company not a company that cuts it just to cut it. It was 95 out last summer for at least 3-4 weeks in mid summer. Come september are lawns where green and most other lawns where brown and mostly dead.

walker-talker
02-18-2011, 01:05 AM
It's all a numbers game and I just don't think you have enough flyers going out. I have 10,000 going out 3x and only hope to gain 30 accounts. I am guessing maybe 10, but we'll see.

dgoshilla
02-18-2011, 01:56 PM
$70 per visit! Man, I gotta get out of Los Angeles. I've got million dollar homes that I can't get that much for.

JShe8918
02-18-2011, 09:16 PM
$70 per visit! Man, I gotta get out of Los Angeles. I've got million dollar homes that I can't get that much for.

Haha.. Out here it is a different world. I had a residential yard that paid 225 per visit. It was 4 acres and ALOT of trimming. It was a anabellum home with tons of freeformed raised beds. Took about 2.25-2.5 hours for me and a helper. I no long have that account because they moved to TN, and the new owner does it themselves. Most homes here are on .25-.5 acre lots in subdivisions and then the rest are on multiple acres. Largest one i maintain is about 4 acres. That is why i want both the GHS and the Super bee. There aren't really any inbetween houses other than mine i can think of. Mine is like 1.25 acres. And average lot runs about $50-$55.