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  #1  
Old 07-15-2012, 01:14 PM
Honey Do Crew Honey Do Crew is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: West Bend, WI
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Need Opinions on Marketing Idea

I live in Wisconsin, one of the parts that has been declared a "sever drought" area. Anyway, everything here has been pure yellow for about 6 weeks + and there is nothing to cut, fertilize, or water (water rationing has been implemented). But here's my idea:

Providing the rain actually falls and the drought ends, I was going to secure a spot in the labor day parade in August, and create small flyers to hand out to the crowd advertising fall overseeding. I was going to use the drought as a reason to revive the lawns because the long drought stressed the grass. I was then going to include general price guidelines, a certain dollar amount for a certain range of square feet. I am hoping to line up some overseeding jobs in the fall and break even for the summer.

2 things:

1. What do you think of the idea? Good, bad, horrendous, and anything else you think I should try.

2. How do you guys normally price overseeding jobs? Is pricing them by square foot risky?

Please let me know. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:31 PM
Dr.NewEarth Dr.NewEarth is offline
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Figure out the average size of a lawn in your area and base your starting price on that. Any-thing larger, would be more money.

Also, I would offer more services.
Aeration, Fall clean-up, gutter cleaning? "Now booking clients for the 2013 Landscaping season" "We are a Full Service Landscaping, Lawn and Garden Company"
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:34 PM
Honey Do Crew Honey Do Crew is offline
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I don't want to leave the potential customers wondering how much money it's going to cost them. If they think they know their lawn size and they plug it into the pricing guide then they have their budget. It would (I think) lower buying resistance.

Truthfully I have never done an overseeding job before but I have a great local nursery backing me up so I want to jump into it. It just seems to me that if there is an equation for how much seed covers how much area, it wouldn't be hard to do.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:46 PM
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KrayzKajun KrayzKajun is online now
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I agree with NewEarth. This my outlook on marketing/advertising: the more your name runs accross the front of potential clients the better.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:58 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Got Grass? Want Some?

Call the Honey Do Crew.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2012, 04:13 PM
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zechstoker zechstoker is offline
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It sounds like a good idea to me. If you can advertise to a large crowd all in one shot, then that's definitely a plus. As for pricing overseeding jobs, I can't comment on that since I have no experience or any real knowledge of the process and costs.

Beyond the parade, what other advertising do/will you be doing to promote business for the 2013 season? We've kicked around the idea of placing a programmable marque in/on our vehicles that are out "in the field" everyday. Something lit up and animated that's driving around town would definitely be an eye catcher and draw attention to our company.
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:41 PM
Schuley Schuley is offline
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Where are you in Wisconsin? If you are by me then it's a terrible idea... Lol. Im planning on a big marketing campaign for fall lawn revival services too....
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2012, 04:50 PM
Honey Do Crew Honey Do Crew is offline
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Most of my business has come so far from putting advertising materials in people's paper boxes or on doors. I am actually considering opening a business that helps companies put door hangers and paper box flyers out there so that I can get paid to market for my company.

I also think I might walk around to small stores and try to put my flyers up, just takes the guts to do it.

The programmable marque sounds pretty cool, I know where I am I haven't seen one yet. I don't think people use vehicle ads to get marketing information out, usually just to remind people that they exist and to give them a presence. I'm no expert though, I think it would be pretty BA.

No worries Schuley, I'm from Southeastern Wisconsin.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:05 PM
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zechstoker zechstoker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey Do Crew View Post
Most of my business has come so far from putting advertising materials in people's paper boxes or on doors. I am actually considering opening a business that helps companies put door hangers and paper box flyers out there so that I can get paid to market for my company.

I also think I might walk around to small stores and try to put my flyers up, just takes the guts to do it.

The programmable marque sounds pretty cool, I know where I am I haven't seen one yet. I don't think people use vehicle ads to get marketing information out, usually just to remind people that they exist and to give them a presence. I'm no expert though, I think it would be pretty BA.

No worries Schuley, I'm from Southeastern Wisconsin.
As far as the lawn care industry goes, marquees seem to be an untapped form of advertising whether they're attached to a vehicle or building. IMO, I think it's a great idea, and am curious to see how much business could be generated from that.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2012, 04:24 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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I like the idea, depending on how much it costs. Are we talking $1,000 or more like $5,000 in total cost? If it's the latter, I'm not sure that's the best way to spend your marketing dollars. I'm also leary of mass marketing like that. In my experience, when I've done things like that - blasted a bunch of people all at once - I've always got a lot less results than I expected and it turned out to not be a very good use of my money.

What about doing some research on more drought-tolerant variety of grass seed? Is there a variety of seed in your area that is new and more drought tolerant than what has traditionally been used? In our area, we grow cool-season grasses. So ryegrass and fescues are the main varieties of grass around here. But there is this new variety of fescue that came out a few years ago called "RTF" Rhyzomatous Tall Fescue (not quite the same as Turf-Type Tall Fescue). It's quite a lot more drought tolerant than all the other varieties of grass that has traditionally been used here. It's what we install now 90% of the time. Maybe there's a variety of grass seed that would work well for your climate and be a lot more drought tolerant. I'd advertise THAT!

Also, some other ideas for an area that is experiencing drought:

Installing Synthetic Turf. This is getting more and more popular. We've already installed 4x as much this year as we did last year. It's not for everyone. But it always stays green. Doesn't need water, mowing, fertilizing, weeding, etc.

Irrigation - what about getting into the irrigation install side of this business? When I started 16 years ago I didn't know a damm thing about irrigation and really didn't ever plan on getting into it. But after a while we did and now we're one of the top installers of irrigation systems in the area. I'm just thinking that if there is a drought, irrigation systems would be needed now more than ever before. Especially to high end clients who can afford them and can't allow their lawns to brown out. Market to those people.

Hardscapes. This has been our #1 growing product/service over the last 5 years and continues to grow every year. More and more people are moving away from having so much lawn and going toward having more usable patio space.

Xeriscaping. Converting high maintenance lawns over to landscapes that don't have any lawn and are filled with other low-maintenance features throughout the landscape. Drought tolerant planting and interesting rock work can fill in areas where lawn used to be. It's not for everyone. But I guarantee you there are people in your area who are already doing it.

Anyway, I think you're on the right track. With every adversity comes an opportunity. Keep thinking of ways to capitalize on the situation and maybe consider branching out to other services you haven't considered before. That's the essence of being an entrepreneur.
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