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  #1  
Old 10-19-2013, 12:30 AM
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msturfsurf msturfsurf is offline
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Location: Gulfcoast
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Help!!!!!!!!!

Hello everyone,

Ok here is my situation and what I need help with???? How to market and to brand myself and get more customers???? I moved from the midwest to gulf coast last winter. I purchased my lawn equipment in April with all my savings.
and bought about 20 yard signs placed them around. And even built a website and created flyers and door hangers have done craigslist adds. And still only have 5 customers as of now. I have asked for referrals and even offer pay $20 for all referrals that sign service agreement ect ect. I have 3 residental and 2 small commerical properties. I don't know what to do any more. It is WAY different down here. More who you know seems and eveything is so darn spread out. Back in mid west was nothing for word of mouth to spread and soon be mowing there family and friends too. I don't know how to approach it anymore and have no money left to put into this lawn business. I don't know if they hold it against me because from north and talk different I am not sure. Like I said it's who you know gets you work not how good work you do. I always get " oh thanks we got someone already" Any advice or suggestions would be much appricated.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2013, 06:20 AM
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123hotdog 123hotdog is offline
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I don't have enough information to help you. What kind of equipment do you have? What are you set up to mow? How much experience do you have? Are you still working a clock job? I can tell you this, 88% of the people who start a Lawn service are out in five years. I'm sure you know that you spent too much money to start out. I will not beat you up about that, sounds like you've had time to do that yourself. After you answer questions, I will help all I can. I had a really really rough start.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2013, 08:35 AM
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Vecchio Lawn Care Vecchio Lawn Care is online now
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Help!!!!!!!!!

My first year I only had 4 customers. Second year I had 15. I only advertise on Craigslist ad and a local church bulletin. It all comes in time.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2013, 09:59 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Location: Lancaster, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msturfsurf View Post
Ok here is my situation and what I need help with????
How to market and to brand myself and get more customers????
I moved from the midwest to gulf coast last winter. I purchased my lawn equipment in April with all my savings.
and bought about 20 yard signs placed them around.
And even built a website and created flyers and door hangers have done craigslist adds.
More who you know seems and eveything is so darn spread out.
I don't know if they hold it against me because from north and talk different I am not sure.
Like I said it's who you know gets you work not how good work you do.
I always get " oh thanks we got someone already"
Reading everything above, and not really knowing what you're marketing/business capabilities are, I have a guess that, while you have "even built a website and created flyers and door hangers have done craigslist add", you likely haven't done them very well or in a volume to be successful.

Anyone can create a website and flyers, but, by and large, I rarely ever see a DIY effort done well. You can build what you think is a rocket for space travel. Lockheed Martin can build a rocket for space travel. Both rockets work towards similar goals, however the quality, and results, will greatly differ.

How many flyers do you put out? When did you do them? If you purchased equipment in April, when did you start advertising in CL, putting out flyers, build your web site, and do door hangers? To me, you got a late start that you probably didn't have much chance to recover from, quality marketing effort or not. In Ohio, guys were mowing in March.

You haven't told us anything about your actual marketing efforts so it's hard to play armchair quarterback for you, but, if your marketing efforts were mediocre (20 yard signs?), you're not going to build a business in a new community that has a tough, competitive landscape, especially with getting what seems to be a late start.
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2013, 04:53 PM
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msturfsurf msturfsurf is offline
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I have passed out over 2,000 door hanger flyers over the summer. I have posted them on bullet in boards around town. And the logo website and everything was done by graphic artist.

Attached is the add material.

And my set up is 5x10 trailer 36" belt drive scag walk behind with velke.
21 toro push mower trimmers and edger. That is my current set up.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2013, 05:48 PM
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tonygreek tonygreek is online now
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Passing out flyers in the Summer is not when you want to be trying to acquire mowing customers.

You have a website that is nothing more than an online brochure. This is an example of what I was saying about you can build a rocket and Northrop can build a rocket. There is nothing for Google to process re: your location/service area. I see a phone number and the broad term of "Gulf Coast". If Google doesn't have much on you, customers searching for your service can't find you. Your web designer built you a site, they just didn't build you a site that's even remotely optimized to get you leads.

- My advice would be to spend some time reading old reviews in the web sub-forum as they'll all apply to your site (trust me on this one). Pay particular attention to SEO issues (title tags, meta descriptions, content keywords, localized content, etc). I'd also suggest downloading the Google or Moz guide to beginner SEO and applying what you learn with.

- You should download the Yoast SEO plugin for Wordpress. It will really help make the above easier.

- Hit getlisted.org and use it as a guide to claim off-site listings that will help rank your site. I couldn't see what you might have (Yahoo/Google/Bing Local accounts, for instance) because you don't have the basic location identifier of a zip code on your site.

- Here's how Google sees your site:
https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...fsurfersms.com
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2013, 12:43 AM
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JContracting JContracting is online now
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Location: Champlin, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygreek View Post
Passing out flyers in the Summer is not when you want to be trying to acquire mowing customers.

You have a website that is nothing more than an online brochure. This is an example of what I was saying about you can build a rocket and Northrop can build a rocket. There is nothing for Google to process re: your location/service area. I see a phone number and the broad term of "Gulf Coast". If Google doesn't have much on you, customers searching for your service can't find you. Your web designer built you a site, they just didn't build you a site that's even remotely optimized to get you leads.

- My advice would be to spend some time reading old reviews in the web sub-forum as they'll all apply to your site (trust me on this one). Pay particular attention to SEO issues (title tags, meta descriptions, content keywords, localized content, etc). I'd also suggest downloading the Google or Moz guide to beginner SEO and applying what you learn with.

- You should download the Yoast SEO plugin for Wordpress. It will really help make the above easier.

- Hit getlisted.org and use it as a guide to claim off-site listings that will help rank your site. I couldn't see what you might have (Yahoo/Google/Bing Local accounts, for instance) because you don't have the basic location identifier of a zip code on your site.

- Here's how Google sees your site:
https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...fsurfersms.com
Thanks for the additional tips on SEO Tony Greek!
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2013, 11:34 AM
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msturfsurf msturfsurf is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gulfcoast
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Thank you for all advice guys I did get magnets for side of the van.
I am going to work on some of those tips provided and hopefully next season will be better.
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2005 cargo van
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36" scag walk behind
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echo trimmers
echo back pack blower
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2013, 03:19 AM
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Blade Runners Blade Runners is offline
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Location: Woodlawn, TN
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I have passed out over 2,000 door hanger flyers over the summer.

By summer most people already have a lawn service. You will only pick up the customers who hired the guy who cut grass for beer and decided to quit when it hit 85 degrees out. Also, your flyer looks like it was done in neon crayons. Do you think anyone is gonna take Turf Surfers with neon crayon door hangers seriously?

And the logo website and everything was done by graphic artist.

That might be true but nobody sees it, I guarantee you. Can you even find it using google? I'm not even mentioning SEO. If you think all you have to do is hire a graphic artist to do a website and it is gonna bring in customers, you are already way behind the power curve. If a graphic artist done your flyer, ask for your money back, seriously. It is probably actually losing customers for you.

Back in mid west was nothing for word of mouth to spread and soon be mowing there family and friends too.

Please don't base a start-up business on word of mouth. Businesses need to be established and show good work before word of mouth is really effective.

I'm gonna be honest. You really should get a regular job and just mow yards on the side and don't lowball and offer to pay for referrals. If you have to do that, it is a sign that you are failing and probably ruining pricing for the legit businesses in your area. Based on what you wrote here, it sounds like you have done this before and you are still clueless as to what it takes to bring in customers and a few "tips" from this forum probably won't save you.

Sorry to be so brutal but lying to people doesn't help them in any way.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2013, 05:35 PM
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easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
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Like I have suggested in the past unless anyone has at least 18 months savings in reserve, don't go into any business. I suspect your reserve funds if any are all but depleted. With only 5 accounts to you support yourself now and for the immediate future I would strongly suggest finding a part time job learning from other LCO'S who may be hiring. That way you may learn from more successful companies in this industry while keeping your own expenses as low as possible.
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