Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-16-2011, 06:49 PM
cutyourgrass cutyourgrass is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Box Springs, GA
Posts: 107
Marketing questions

Okay, I am getting started with lawn care again and have some thoughts on marketing. I would like some feedback on some of my ideas. Please, be very critical and don't worry about hurting my feelings. I have to make a better go of this than I did years ago.

First, an idea for before and after shots.

I was thinking of finding sites in need of a good trim and edge. Offer to these places a free or reduced one time visit in exchange for me taking before and after photos to create a portfolio.

Good idea/bad idea?

For business customers such as offices and retail sites I am thinking of getting some post it notes made up with my logo, slogan, and number on them to give out. I figure I can give them to the site managers when I make an proposal.

Plus, I can give these out to homeowners as well.

What do you think?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-16-2011, 09:23 PM
Dr.NewEarth Dr.NewEarth is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 1,406
The post it notes sound interesting. The free work for taking pictures, I don't know.
Personally, I take before and after shots any-ways. It's my canvas, right?

You guys may have legal issues in the U.S. with people if you don't get permission.
This is some-thing I have never had a problem with in Vancouver.

Just don't purposely take pictures of the customers teenage daughter sunbathing in the back yard and avoid privacy issues and you should be fine.

Personally, I don't agree with giving freebies and big discounts.
My price is what it is.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-16-2011, 11:22 PM
Midwest_cutter Midwest_cutter is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 35
You probably had a better chance with making it years ago back in the ' good ole day ' than you do now with every third person you see being a lco. I know if I wasn't already a halfway established biz I would find something else to do. Not trying to be to negative, just realistic. I forgot to mention 4 + gallon fuel doesn't make things any easier either. Good luck man
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-17-2011, 03:08 AM
Exact Rototilling's Avatar
Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
LawnSite Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Zone: 5B
Posts: 4,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest_cutter View Post
You probably had a better chance with making it years ago back in the ' good ole day ' than you do now with every third person you see being a lco. I know if I wasn't already a halfway established biz I would find something else to do. Not trying to be to negative, just realistic. I forgot to mention 4 + gallon fuel doesn't make things any easier either. Good luck man
Posted via Mobile Device
The Bad:
I hate to say it but this is the case here as well. I have lost 5 accounts from last year to the neighbor boy who needs money for school, veteran who needs the money for nursing school and somebody who they went to church with needed to borrow their car for a funeral to go to Texas so to repay them they are going to mow their lawn for the summer in exchange...etc. What I do have is a core of customer who appreciate my attention to detail and are willing to pay prices that are $10 Ė $20 per mow and trim over the quotes of what many others are leaving on their front doors. I have my customers save door hangers and flyers so I can see what the others are up to. The prices Iím see lately in my area lately.....dang...and I never thought I was expensive. A few of my customers are blown away by it as well. No new truck for me.

It seem to me discretionary funds are waaaay down this year. I just filled up two jerry cans with ethanol free 92 octane gas for $50 and I was thinking why am I doing this.....


The Good:
I like your idea in fact I may do just that for edging and trimming only flyer if I ever get around to it. If your edging is outstanding like mine is...in the top 5% in your area I would suggest going with an edging and trimming only model. You donít need much more than a good walk behind edger, stick edger and 2 string trimmers a blower and a 21Ē mower to clean up the debris. Still Iím not sure about that even or if demand would really be there. I have another business that is casting a bigger shadow over my schedule each week so in some way this limits what I can do in the lawn biz beyond what Iím currently doing. I already have a collection of pictures before and after samples etc. It is a good practice to take pics of your work constantly.



Conclusion:
In this business the faster you find you niche the better off you will be in the biz. Problem is you need to find it fast.
__________________
Posted via Mobile Device

Last edited by Exact Rototilling; 05-17-2011 at 03:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-17-2011, 04:54 PM
PostcardMania's Avatar
PostcardMania PostcardMania is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutyourgrass View Post
Okay, I am getting started with lawn care again and have some thoughts on marketing. I would like some feedback on some of my ideas. Please, be very critical and don't worry about hurting my feelings. I have to make a better go of this than I did years ago.

First, an idea for before and after shots.

I was thinking of finding sites in need of a good trim and edge. Offer to these places a free or reduced one time visit in exchange for me taking before and after photos to create a portfolio.

Good idea/bad idea?

For business customers such as offices and retail sites I am thinking of getting some post it notes made up with my logo, slogan, and number on them to give out. I figure I can give them to the site managers when I make an proposal.

Plus, I can give these out to homeowners as well.

What do you think?
I like the idea of the before and after shots to use for future marketing. It's totally up to you on whether you want to give your services away for free or at a discounted rate, but it would be wise to ask their permission to use their property as the "model".

The post-its are a cool idea. All office managers use post-its and it's a good way to keep your name and number in front of them. I'm not sure what kind of results this will get you though.

Direct mail postcards or doorhangers are a great way to market and they really do work! Here's some examples of what other landscapers have done: http://bit.ly/gzkBKJ
__________________
Best,

Sylvia Heneghan
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-28-2011, 05:05 AM
Fine Gardens Landscaping Fine Gardens Landscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oakland CA
Posts: 109
I disagree with the idea of doing work for free. You're in business and you should be making a profit on your work.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-19-2011, 10:09 AM
EMWEB's Avatar
EMWEB EMWEB is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 145
While not the lawn business, it's the same principle . . . My brother HAD an ornamental iron business. He did excellent work, but he had this notion that he would do the work cheap to get the job. Well doing an excellent job cheap to get customers works really well, except all it gets you is CHEAP customers . . . He never could figure out why his business didn't prosper. Although he enjoyed all those pats on the back & grateful hand shakes for the cheap prices and excellent work. He now had more business than he could do. Now that led to another problem, he started missing deadlines by weeks & sometimes months. So now he had cheap unprofitable customers mad at him until he finally finished THEIR job. Of course instead of now spreading the word about his good work they only remembered how UNDEPENDABLE he was . . .

Charge what you want UP FRONT, let your quality & dependability get you more work from people that are willing to PAY for both . . . .

Steve

P.S. Before and after shots are a great idea . . . . make them of yards that you got paid fairly for . . . Your idea would have worked very well 25 years ago, but your typical customer today has little respect for quality, he/she shops at WALMART for everything for the 5000 sq. ft. house they can't afford they call home. remember, these same people pay unskilled people $200 to $300 a week watch there kids so they can work, but cry to the heavens when they have to shell out less than 1/2 of that for a college education for the same kid . . .

Last edited by EMWEB; 07-19-2011 at 10:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-02-2011, 01:05 PM
DoodyCalls Franchises's Avatar
DoodyCalls Franchises DoodyCalls Franchises is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 6
Post-It notes can be a good idea. We use them with mixed results.

Rather than handing out a stack of useable Post-It notes with our name, logo, number, etc. casually placed at the top, we actually use the entire piece of paper as an advertisement and stick them up one by one.

The best thing to do is to get out there, start testing tactics and see what works and what doesn't. Additionally - and it may seem a bit overkill at first, but it's important - start taking notes about your results as well. Different techniques work in different places, at different times, and for different types of people. If you can figure out what works best - where, when and who - you'll really start to get your marketing efforts working for you.

For us - as a rule - we try to have 5-8 different marketing tactics going at all times.

And on a final note: As with any form of direct advertisement where you're distributing materials, you have to be careful to check your local/regional laws. Some areas have very strict rules about distributing marketing materials, others are more lax.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-02-2011, 11:28 PM
bohiaa's Avatar
bohiaa bohiaa is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bellville Texas, near Houston
Posts: 5,018
Ok a few things here...

you stated " AGAIN "

1st thing I would do is sit down and write out a Business plan...
decide what type of business you want...
I personaly thing this is where people go wrong.
DO WE WANT TO BE THE TYPE THAT TAKES ANY JOB ?
If you do then shotty equipment will do just fine.
do we want to ONLY PROVIDE THE BEST SERVICE WITH THE BEST EQUPIMENT ?
If you do then steer this way.

for the any jobs = flyers on doors, small ad''s in the local newspaper, and your competing against the kid down the street with a push mower... vAS STATED ABOVE
TRUST ME. you DONT WANT TO BE IN his shoes...
NEVER GIVE FREE WORK. NEVER......
WE provide free work for elderly, BUT in return we get a TON of advertisement and we write if off...
IF you CAN put togather a TEAM of ONLY the best......
you will charge more

OUR cheepest 1/4 acer that we do is 75.00 PER WEEK.
DO NOT LET YOUR CUSTOMER tell you, we want it every other week.
YOU TELL THE CUSTOMER what they want...
REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PROFESSIONAL, NOT THEM...

BEST OF LUCK TO YOU
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:19 AM.

Page generated in 0.11217 seconds with 9 queries