Advertising Budgets

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by hortboy, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Just curious, I'm doing my 04' budget and am struggling w/ how much to spend on advertising. I either seem to do not enough or way too much. What are your advertising budgets through out the entire year?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. lawnGUYnMD

    lawnGUYnMD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    If I was you I would figure out what you are projecting for rev in 04 and then see how many accounts you have now and how many you need to reach that goal and then base you budget on what you need to get. Just a thought
  3. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    MANY variables to consider. It depends on so many things that are different from one LCO to another.
    Look at what budget was for 03, did you accomplish what you wanted with that budget?
    Have seen ad budgets all the way up to 12% of total revenue. Some will see that as incredibly high and others not enough.
  4. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    so very true Rustic. Some companies marketing campaign is the most expensive item on their budget. But you need numbers to back up information. For example, do you need more customers. How many customers do you want? What type of advertising work the best in the past? What didn't? I feel that once you answer those questions then you can decide on how much you really want to spend. Perhaps put a cap on the marketing campaign. For example, make it a goal that you can get 5 new customers by only spending $1000. Something like that.
  5. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Guys, I was alittle vague in my question. I know the dollar amount is always different. But I would assume on a percentage basis we would all be in the same ball park unless looking for major growth. My customer base is at a comfortable level now, i wouldn't mind picking up another guy if work justified it. I as using advertising as a filler for my season. You loose a couple customers always and just need to replace them. Also I like loading the spring w/ cleanups/ mulch jobs and installs before mowing gets going. same w/ the late fall. Maybe the question can't be answered, I'm just struggling w/ coming up w/ plan and numbers to back it.
  6. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    I doubt very much that you'd find ad budgets anywhere near the same for almost any group of LCO's, here or otherwise. Like I said, too many variables for anything near a uniform %.
    If you just have to have a number, do like tiedeman suggests, work your plan in reverse to come up with a %.

    Am curious from comments in your last post. Many that have been in this business for a while don't do much advertising at all. Good old word of mouth has taken over, your customer base is regenerating itself.

    By your comment of your customer base being at a comfortable level now, it would seem you'd be near the point of not needing to advertise too much. Referrals should be growing your business.

    If not, or you just want to 'make' your client list grow, have you considered a promotion plan of spreading the word in neighborhoods you currently work in.
    You'll have to invest time and a little money for supplies, have flyers printed and distribute them to say 30 or 40 'next door' properties when you work a current client.
    This might be the most productive and least costly method.
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    I just finished my ad budget plan for '04 today...

    Local paper- , weekly pub. circ. 38K homes in our county- ad size 2" X 5" 52 pubs. at $5.00 per column inch=$ 2600.00

    Local TV ads-new for '04-Pricey but we'll see
    $ 500.00-1K to film, edit,produce 60 sec. commercial
    Commercial run 90 times at our liking at $ 12.00 per airing=$1080.00-Haven't commited yet...

    Coroplast yard signs, single sided,12x24"-12 @ 15.00 each=$180.00

    Radio ads on local AM station-$ 150.00 per month X 4 mos

    New shirts for me and two laborers-$ 200.00

    New lettering on two trucks $ 500.00

    12" X 6' full color banner for trade shows-$125.00

    Misc. office supplies / invoices w/ logo-$ 250.00

    I didn't renew any of our Yellow Page ads, so I might use some of that earmarked cash for the TV ads, or else take an early vacation in March! Got tired of price shoppers wasting my time & $$$.Try to focus on the demographic categories that suit your company profile of the desired customer you are seeking. Ours-35-60 y/o educated/ professional homeowners, married,in-flexible lifestyle,disposable income for lawn/landscape work, and quality oriented / detail oriented.
  9. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    I know that the industry standard is 1% of gross revenues. That is what a consultant I hired told me and that is what I read time and time again. I think that small companies who are trying to grow can easily go up to 7-8%. My company is at 7% which I feel is pretty high. It looks like this years advertising has payed off and we will only be spending about 2% next year but our sales will be double. This means that we will be spending about the same dollar amount though. Also I include brochures, business cards, decals etc. on top of yellow page ads, mass mailings etc. Just curious, how manypeople have large yellow page ads? We have a small 1" listing with just a couple of words, but it seems to work really well for us. I couldnt imagine spending 1000 bucks a month for a half page ad.
  10. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Check your PM's I sent you a pm on Friday I think. You can email at

    Since I read the thread I don't do alot advertising myself. My small company is mainly an irrigation service and landscape lighting company. So what has worked for me is trying the network with the mow and blow folks. I did not renew my yellow page ad (waste of money) last year.

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