I was very nervous when I started last year too. I had a little business trickling in during the first part of November, but not enough. Then, about 10to 15 days before Thanksgiving the flood gates opened and I couldn't answer all the calls. I mean one day no calls and the next day my phone won't stop ringing. This went on through the first week of December.
This is what I did for advertising: I ran a cool radio add with a contest/promotion. I did one direct mail out targeting home values of 300k plus. I did door hangers in upscale neighborhoods and all around the homes I decorated. I had tri fold flyers made with residential on one side and comercial on the other (I didn't have time to distribute). I put up yards signs at the homes I decorated (if the customer agreed) and at entrances to upscale neighborhoods. I ran an add on a local website. I had lettering on my truck. I had logo shirts, hoodies and caps for me and my guys.
I tracked the source of every call and sale. Without a doubt the most effective advertising was lawn signs. The least effective (and most expensive) was the radio add, although I'm sure it helped with brand recognition. So, whatever you do, definitely make lawn signs a big part of the plan if your local ordinances allow.
This season, I plan to limit my focus to door hangers, yard signs and customer referrals. I'm also going to beef up the lettering on my trailer and vehicles.
By the way, I used Adeas Printing for my direct mail outs, door hangers and flyers and they did a great job.