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FrankenScagMachines
04-10-2003, 11:43 AM
Due to some other unavoidable events, I haven't been able to do enough of my fliers! I've only gotten 2 more customers with 700 fliers :(
Things aren't going well! As a last resort I thought about putting an ad in the paper classifieds (along with the one dozen scrubs/lowballers in there!) but the ad wouldn't start until tomorrow and I'm gonna be gone friday evening to sunday evening so I can't even return calls! :cry: :cry: :cry:
I expected alot better response rate on the fliers than they got... maybe the paper ad will help but I still think I'm too late in the season for it. Most people will have either found another company or got a new mower/sunk alot of money into theirs... maybe I will get some procrastinators or maybe get some jobs from unsatisfied customers (other scrubs doing bad job). Any ideas for last minute rush job marketing??

bastalker
04-10-2003, 12:03 PM
Start the ad Sunday. That way you should be able to return any calls when you get in, or first thing Monday morning.

Keep in mind that a paper ad with alot of compitition will generate alot of tire kickers, in other words people will call most of the ads wanting quotes from all of the companies and pick the cheapest one.

Personnaly, I would pass out more fliers next rainy day, as many as you can. 700 is not really alot.

Also, up here anyways, people tell themselves all winter long that they are going to cut their lawn themselves this year. When it gets a foot high they change their mind and want your service.:)

musselman
04-10-2003, 12:17 PM
I agree with bastalker, I always pick-up alot of account late when they decide its to hot or to much work or the mower is in the shop. You might also tell your current people to recommend you to thier friends...this always gets me a few account with older folks who think they want to do thier own yard for the exercise...then change their minds...Ill bet 90% of my residential accounts come late in the season...but then agian I dont advertise except word of mouth and areation ads.

drobson
04-10-2003, 04:57 PM
2 Customers out of 700 flyers does not seem too bad. If my math is correct it is about 1/4 of a percent return. I put out 3000 flyers and have not had a single call. Most of my calls have been either referals or from the internet.

I usually figure that 1 customer out of every 1000 flyers is good. It doesn't matter when you run the ad, most people don't call right away anyway, they think about it a few days. And most won't even bother on a weekend, they will wait until Monday, or are happy to leave a message on the weekend expecting a callback on Monday.

1MajorTom
04-10-2003, 05:17 PM
Ok, not trying to be a smart butt here, but why weren't you able to distribute more than 700 fliers?
You have spent hundreds of hours on here waiting for the season to start, and now after sitting on the computer all this time, you haven't passed out enough fliers? It doesn't make sense.
Believe me, we aren't flier pushers either, but I'm just curious as to why you weren't able to lay out more fliers.

nu83
04-10-2003, 07:32 PM
don't worry too much, it usually takes three weeks before I get a ton of calls from my flyers. I would put more out though also, I put out nearly 10,000 and have picked up maybe 10 so far. Once the grass NEEDS to be cut more calls seem to come in. There is still snow on the ground in places here.

John Gamba
04-10-2003, 07:35 PM
Eric--- JODI TOLD YOU!!


John

wriken
04-10-2003, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by 1MajorTom
Ok, not trying to be a smart butt here, but why weren't you able to distribute more than 700 fliers?
You have spent hundreds of hours on here waiting for the season to start, and now after sitting on the computer all this time, you haven't passed out enough fliers? It doesn't make sense.
Believe me, we aren't flier pushers either, but I'm just curious as to why you weren't able to lay out more fliers.


Thats funny, but True:p

1986 posts

Green Pastures
04-10-2003, 08:10 PM
I've had a 1% contract return from passing out fliers. I'm really happy with that.

Gr grass n Hi tides
04-10-2003, 08:25 PM
Get a list of your local business' fax numbers from the Chamber of Commerce, then sit down and send everyone your flier/blown up copy of door hanger. If you don't have a fax phone, check the newspaper for a cheapie someone is getting rid of ($20). If you buy a new one, that could be as little as $50.

After you fax everyone, make a personal follow up visit to the ones you can get to. I just got in good with a couple of guys doing this.

crawdad
04-10-2003, 09:18 PM
Is fax spamming legal? The sending of unsolicited advertisements via the fax machine? If I came home to a fax machine full of ads, I'd not be too happy about it.
Crawdad

Gr grass n Hi tides
04-10-2003, 09:27 PM
Crawdad -

Good question that I don't have an answer for.

I can say this - one guy I talked to said, "you know what we get faxes from folks all of the time but you are the first one to show up to shake hands.....I think that's great let's do some business." I have not bid on anything yet, so we'll see how things turn out.

I know a guy the does carpet cleaning. Actually, he was the one that gave me the idea. He told me during his first year he locked himself indoors and used the fax/Chamber of Commerce list & that was all the start up advertising he needed!! He said one of his best customers came from that fax session and is still with him 5 years later.

Greg Huffman
04-10-2003, 09:59 PM
We receive about 4-5 advertisements over the fax everyday at my office. The secretary looks through the faxes when she goes by the machine and usually throws away the ads. With this said, anything that looks like it may be interesting to the owner does get saved. I think it could be a good way to get your name out, it must work for these other companies that keep doing it. I don't think it is illegal, but it may be worth checking out to see if there is a "do not fax list" like telemarketers "do not call list" Good luck and let us know how things turn out!

FrankenScagMachines
04-10-2003, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by 1MajorTom
Ok, not trying to be a smart butt here, but why weren't you able to distribute more than 700 fliers?
You have spent hundreds of hours on here waiting for the season to start, and now after sitting on the computer all this time, you haven't passed out enough fliers? It doesn't make sense.
Believe me, we aren't flier pushers either, but I'm just curious as to why you weren't able to lay out more fliers.

Well I have an explanation for that too :(
I was trying to wait until the last week of March to start so I wouldn't be early (usually start first week of April but spring was late this year) Had some rainy days in there when you couldn't do them. Some days were cold/windy but I did it anyway. Then a couple days were taken up helping someone move which I wasn't counting on happening. I don't know, things just didn't work out like I planned :(
The paper ad starts tomorrow so if anyone calls before 4:30 pm I will get it, otherwise they can leave a message and I'll get them later...

Last year I got a 1% response rate exactly on fliers... This year it stinks! I should have had 6-9 calls at least from it... With my special offer I should have gotten more like 50+ calls! Well... I'm dissappointed in myself but at the same time there is nothing I could do to avoid it except maybe have started earlier but then people would just throw them away because there was still snow on the ground :rolleyes:

I'm just whining, feel kind of like a failure in that aspect... Got the insurance and biz cards and fliers and only got enough work to pay for that stuff :rolleyes: Plus I'm working 2-3 hrs a week at my church for free mowing, trimming, edging and blowing, using my equipment. It looks fantastic, much better than it has been I've gotten alot of compliments on it (that Fescue really stripes good) maybe I will get a job or two from that then it would really be worth it. Funny but I seem to work best when I am not getting paid, guess I am kind of a generous guy (I like to help or give things).

Don't wanna do the fax thing... I did alittle telemarketing earlier this year to businesses and thought I had this one job but one of the employees at that place decided to do it... mom said last she saw the place looked ratty! LOL I will call him back maybe he wants me to do it after all.

Randy Scott
04-10-2003, 11:54 PM
There is no room for excuses when running a business, you either are or you aren't. Helping someone move isn't very conducive to your business now is it? Nothing wrong with lending a hand, but it came at the expense of getting more work.

We prepare all winter for this time of year, you should have more than one game plan should things happen that one must adjust to.

Gr grass n Hi tides
04-11-2003, 07:19 AM
BHB -

Do not feel like a failure. We all feel that way from time to time but realizing self worth is very important. You said it yourself, the church grounds look great. That's because you do good work. Plus, you're out there trying to drum up business. I'm doing the same thing. I just made a good contact, but the other day I had a guy drop me for "his old lawn guy." I suspect I was underbid, but that's okay. Ups and downs.

Just keep plugging away and the jobs will come. You ought to know being a church member that these things don't always happen when we want them to - sure we have to uphold our end of the deal but we are not in control of the big picture :-)

Turfdude
04-11-2003, 10:15 PM
Eric,

Your young, its springtime so....
grab your bat, ball, glove and hat and play ball. Go to the beach & hang out. I give you a lot of credit for bring an ambitious young man! But YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THESE SHOULD BE THE BEST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE. I hope you heard me!!!! I too had about 20 lawns or so before I graduated high school and could drive. I kept working thru college 50+ hours and my last 3 1/2 years went 3 mornings and 4 evenings. I won't say I'm not proud of the business I built, but part of me wonders where I'd be right now had I chosen to have had a little more fun time for myself. You definately are a diciplined young man and totally go against the norm of today (worthless self-absorbed want everything for nothing youths), but really you should learn to relax and have some fun too.

Good luckwith your upcoming season, relax some too. Your professional work will get you more referrals in time than you'll know how to handle. We have declined in excess of 500+ accounts in the last 2 seasons. Over 300 of them were referrals.

SLS
04-13-2003, 05:55 AM
Don't worry too much about it.

Most flyers (if stuck on mailboxes) end up crumpled and soggy, forlornly lying in the ditch or blown under the nearest bush, only to be placed in the current LCOs trash bag (along with the beer cans, ciggie packs, and candy bar wrappers) when he shows up to service the lawn...if not outright tossed by the homeowner themselves.

I've picked up a ton of them off the ground and tossed them in the trash can already. I hate picking them up in the spring. Rain, wind, kids riding by on bikes making a game out of yanking 'em off and dropping them on the ground....it takes it's toll on those poor little flyers.

FrankenScagMachines
04-14-2003, 12:17 AM
Thanks guys....
Bob, when I want to relax I go out to MY yard and mow or trim at a leisurely pace :) I mean just kind of slow and take my time at it, not getting paid no rush just get out and cut some grass and enjoy the weather :) or I work on my current project in the shop :D
SLS I am feeling better already about all the hard work I put into my fliers :(
Thanks guys for the encouragement but I was hoping for a last minute cut-throat marketing technique :cool: I've got like 3 customers, 2 from fliers and one from an ad in the paper.... But 3 is like nothing although it's a start...
ttyl

little green guy
04-15-2003, 12:48 AM
I agree with Turfdude, go have some fun (not cutting ur own lawn at a liesurly pace;) ) I also worked all through high school but i always made time to have fun, sometimes i still think i worked too much though. Soon enough you'll be outa school and believe me doing this work full time is a completely different ball game than any part time company. working is great, don't get me wrong and what you'r doing i s good, but instead of sitting on lawnsite everynight go chase some girls around or something.

Kingspointe
04-15-2003, 12:55 AM
After you cut your churchs lot, go pray, to me praying is an inspiration and it keeps me going through tough times. Keep a great attitude and things will work out fine, but make sure you live your high school life man. One of the things I regreted in high school was taking work too seriously and missing out on things that will never happen again. But then again, somethings going great for me so I'm happy. After all things said, just be optimistic and happy. A great attitude about things rubs off on customers and brings more. Good luck

CMLLawnServices
04-15-2003, 10:09 PM
The thing I love about this business is i have alsorts of free time aside from work , i work hard to maintain my contract obligations , and of course go to school , but i can make tripple what my freinds do and have lots of freetime, like i can get done work friday night and head off to what evers goin on then at around 930 or 10 all the other guys show up that work in grocery stores ect . from what i`ve seen u`ve got really stoked about this season maybe a little too stoked and i have too the prospect that i`d be makin 35 gs if i landed all my commercail tenders got me really stoked now some have gone in and its been a week i`m feelin not so sh!t hot , i don`t think they have even opened the tenders yet. but i`m on edge . But u`ve really got ur stuff together and it should work out for u, but u`ve got to be prepard for the worst. thats all i can say, i guess

Darryl G
04-16-2003, 12:35 AM
Marketing is something that needs to be done continuously, not just when you realize you don't have any work. I run adds year round.

GraZZmaZter
04-18-2003, 10:23 AM
Randy Scott

Man lighten up a little. He is a 15 yr old kid. Maybe his dad told him he had to help with the moving, and he had no say in it.

leadarrows
04-20-2003, 07:34 PM
I have thought about saying something about Randy Scott being a little hard core at times also. I have been waiting for him to be wrong about something to do it. I'm still waiting. .:)

mklawnman
04-22-2003, 11:49 AM
Nah Randy is a good guy, I know from working with him and also he's been able to help me out alot getting going here.:cool:
Anyways BHB, why not look into doing fliers one evening, when it gets dark out go and drive in the areas that you want to put your fliers in and go do it. Thats what I'm going to be doing tonight because after running my newspaper ad for about a month haven't had much luck, maybe one or two calls. But the weather is turning good and the grass is greening up so who knows. But what I'm finding out is my fliers are working after a few weeks of sitting in peoples homes people are finally calling me. You have to adjust as you move through the season. If you feel you dont have enough work, go out and put more fliers out. Also look at your overhead, I know what your doing for the church is great, but from reading posts on here many guys charge a cheaper rate to churches but still charge the church because we are in business. If your saying it takes 2-3hrs aweek to maintain the church property and your doing it all for free that hopefully you have another account similar size to make up for that "donation" time, cause thats alot of hours at the end of the season for gas and other maintenance.
I help out at church by doing spring and fall cleanup but haven't done any advertising there yet cause it's in a different area that I work in, but someday I plan to.
Just some things to think about, but dont get to overwhelmed in it, your stilll going to school and you gotta remember that as well.
Matt

fblandscape
04-25-2003, 04:43 AM
BHB-

I would suggest to you a couple of things:

1) Get out and meet people. Doesn't matter who they are, just meet people, tell them what you do (but don't be pushy, you have to be suave about it). If they like you, and they think you can do a better job than their present guy, they will hire you. Now which do you think is better? Selling via a piece of paper that cost you $0.01? or selling face to face, where even if you don't get their business, you have a new contact for the future. Who knows, maybe they won't need you for 10 years? but they might have friends who need you tomorow.

2) Enjoy yourself while you are young. When I was your age, the only things I cared about werer working and making money, anything and anybody else that didn't have to do with my working or making money I cared very little about. Looking back now at those times, I wish I could have done it differently; developed more friendships, and worked a little less. There were a couple girls who kept talking to me when I first got to high school... very pretty... very nice... but all I wanted to do was run numbers. :rolleyes:

3) Have as MANY people as you can thinking you're a nice person, but don't let them take advantage of you. Lend a helping hand when you can, talk to that client of yours for a few extra minutes when you're there, talk to their neighbors, talk to other contractors working at sites nearby, befriend pets... By doing these things you will do a couple of things for yourself.
1) You should feel better about yourself, because you are meeting new and interesting people.
2) You get to know your clients a lot better, and they you which will bring understanding into a relationship as opposed to "you owe me XXX for XXX please pay now, good bye"
3) Some of the best accounts I have ever come across, were ones that I picked up by just being nice to people, and lending a hand when I could.
4) You will have more people to turn to when a problem arises. TRUST me, you won't be able to solve each and every problem you come across on your own. Find that group of people who you fit in with, who you can call when your machine goes down, or you have to go away for a week because your parents say so, or because you are sick, or you come across a job you just don't know how to do, or have the equipment to do.

Develop solid relationships with a core group of people who you can count on when you need them. I have 3 people who I have met through being in business that I could call at any time day or night and they would be there to help me with whatever I need. These people are also some of the only people who I would trust with my life, each one in their own respective way. (I say trust with my life in the sense that if they don't do what I need them to do, I die or get SEVERELY hurt.)

It's very nice that you have your 15 year old friends, and you know a bunch of people on here. However I TRULY cannot stress enough that you need that core group of people in your local area, without them your life will just be shall we say, that much more interesting. They will advise you who to talk to about certain things, who is good to make buddy-buddy with, they will also tell you who to stay away from, they will tell you where you can get a better price on this or that, they can advise you on customer and employee problems... because they have been there before. Obviously those people aren't going to be your age, they will probably be 15 - 20 years older than you, if not more.

Hope that helps some?