Advertising - Homepages vs. Big books & web help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by yardworkswi, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. yardworkswi

    yardworkswi LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Started out last year and got in Yellowbook (Yellowpages was considerably more $). Got a small (maybe 1/4") add, 1 pg simple website, and listing on yb.com for $65/mo. It didnt come out till the end of July so only got one late lawn customer but did well with getting gutter jobs. I have seen the Homepages book and heard it is considerably cheaper than the big books but not as popular. Anyone with pros/cons with either venue. Also I know my website is next to useless as is but can upgrade thru yellowbook. Is this a good route or are there better options (not sure about price yet for the upgrade). Thanks for any input.
     
  2. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    1. You want your own domain. (My domain is $120/year -- dreamhost.com)
    2. You want to showcase your work on it.
    3. Get listed on google local business. (You need a web page as destination.
    4. Once you get a client, ask if you can post a sign on their lawn for 3-4 days a month. Give them a discount any time the sign is there. Sandwich board: "Another fine yard job by Acme Landscaping -- logo, phone number. Make sure the phone number is readable from a moving car.
    5. A month after you get a client, run a flyer saying "Notice the yard a 1234 26th street? The pink house with the big elm? You could have that look too. Contact info. Drop a flyer in each mailbox that is a reasonable drive by for that address. Do these up on your printer at home.

    6. Reserve Saturdays for commercial accounts. I hate waking to mowers in my neighborhood on my day off. If you work Saturday residential do jobs that don't require an engine. This is also a good time to spread your flyers. A lot of time you will catch people home and can chat them up.

    7. Here Kijiji is big on small business advertising. The listing is free. And you can write it up in different ways.

    8. Don't be tempted by the Groupon type marketing. These are die hard bargain hunters and you will get used and dropped.


    I have yet to get any business through yellow pages, or their allied directories. Get the free listing for online places though.
     
  3. yardworkswi

    yardworkswi LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Thanks for all the info I really appreciate it. I especially like your idea #5 that would be a great way to keep a tight route. So if I have a website thru yellowbook and they got me the domain name would I have to stay with them to keep the domain name or could I switch to a different web provider and keep the same domain name?
     
  4. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,053

    You might want to post this question, and any others like it, over on the website subforum. There is a lot of good info and advice there.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,402

    When it comes to their web sites and costs, any option is likely a better option... With YB, you get the benefits of price gouging, nebulous benefits, service fee walkups for the most basic web marketing functionality such as basic SEO, not actually owning your domain name, generic templated site design, and recurring fees for the life of your web site. Just do a quick Google search for "YellowBook Web Sites" and you can see how well they're regarded.

    On the flip side, if you hire someone to build your business a proper web site, your total investment will be lower, especially due to the lack of long term, recurring monthly fees, and your ROI will be higher. And, quite frankly, it should look significantly better.

    To throw out a number, if YB wants $149/month for your site (a median price, since they like to play pricing games), that's $1,788/year. For a typical LCO site, that's a nice, semi to completely custom site and assistance. Now take that YB site out to 24 months, and you're looking at $3,576, whereas the other site would now be in maintenance and hosting modes only, significantly increasing the ROI, plus any additional work you may want done.

    But, to put the cost issue aside, any company that owns your domain, even if they say you can have it when you leave, is an absolute no-go in my book.

    Fun Research Note: In looking at the IP address of a Cincinnati business using a YB site, there are 795 other domains sitting on that one address. Who wouldn't love to own a business that generates $1m+ annually, based on generic, templated sites, per IP address? Now that's ROI...for YellowBook.
     

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