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Advertising in the "Yellow pages"?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bigcountry01, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. bigcountry01

    bigcountry01 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 136

    I was contacted by a sales person for the yellow pages about advertising in next years book. have any of you done this? If so how did it turn out? I hope to increase my business alot next year so i want to make sure that my return on this investment will be worth it. Thanks
  2. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    I would if they allow you to advertise in the area your located in. In our state they have, I beleave one big yellow book and 3 little small books. I'll probably next year pick one of the small books that targets our area. Ask if they have the small books for advertising for specific countys. Ive heard great and not so great things about advertisning with them. Like the avatar !
  3. Creter

    Creter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I just signed a contract with Yellow Book for a year, the book comes out at the end of October. They have deadlines. They'll say it's for x date. Well guess what, that date gets pushed back magically. So then it's a hell of a deal they offer. After that, there's another level to things as well and it's rockbottom. Be kind and curtious with the salesman and drag yer feet. In the end they want YOU in their BOOK and will do much anything to get you there.

    In a nutshell, don't jump at their first "big bargain" they offer. :waving:
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I kept getting called by the 'advertising guy'... I told him I wasn't interested, he kept calling. I finally caved, but I negotiated a really good price, and I got the guy to put me into a category 'Lawn maintainence'. There is no other company under this heading, it was created for me. Everyone else is under 'Lawn care' or 'Landscaping'. I dont know if this, specifically, has helped, but I've gotten TONS of calls early in the spring. The calls have dropped off as of lately, but I predict they may pick up again as the grass starts growing now that we're finally getting some rain. Also, I put an ad in under 'Snow removal' and in each of the ads they mention 'See also Snow removal' and 'See also Lawn Maintainence', respectively. I think this will help to cross promote my services.
    Hope this helps.
  5. bigcountry01

    bigcountry01 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 136

    what size ad did you buy? some can get very expensive depending on the size...like $400 a month or more. I was thinking of just doing the minimum which is just getting your business name address and phone number in the book which is about $35 a month or so.
  6. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    We spent 900 bucks last year on a nice coupon section of the Yellow Pages and 2 entries, one in the yellow pages and one in the regular listings and I will never do it again unless we go with a larger (business card) sized ad. Honestly I bet we have got maybe 3 calls in 3 years out of the book. I personally dont think it works unless you run a larger ad. And around here that ad cost 175 bucks per month.
  7. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Posts: 1,667

    Long time ago I had a business partner and we had a business card sized ad in the Yellow pages.

    -It more then paid for itself but since there were only two of us, we had to work for it.

    -Window cleaning would only get calls in the spring and fall but we still had to pay all winter and the ad didn't come out till after spring anyway.

    -We got calls from all over the city but with our flyers, which were very successful we like to stay in our end of town.

    -With flyers we could cherry pick nice areas but with yellow pages all kind of crappy jobs came our way. We seemed to feel obligated to bid on them for some reason (didn't know what we were doing).

    The next year we went with a quater page and got the same amount of calls. Partner left (a surprise) just before winter and I lost my phone because I couldn't afford to pay $500 a month during the winter all myself.

    I would go into the yellow pages again if it was simply a numbers game but as long as I have to do the actual work, I'll pass.

    My brother in law has a very large co. They have many half page ads.. trying to saturate the market and has been doing it for over 15 years so they do work. At the same time he has lots of employees so to him it's an advertising budget.

    For the small co. where the owner has to do all the work you got to remember that you are paying a lot of money for an ad that may only be good a few months of the year and you are placing it right among 50 other people with similar ads.

    I prefer flyers and community newspapers.
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    We are in both Dex and Yellow book. average about 500 each. pick up a few annual accounts but nail it on clean ups and extras. I say for the 1000 I spend I take in well over 30000. the only reason I really keep the adds is that I pick up Commercial accounts from them. If you aren't in the book you won't get a call from commercial accounts.
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,953

    I would not recommend it in this area if you just do mowing. There are 6 pages of companies. Most people call the first number or the largest ad. This is very expensive especially if you are just starting out. Smaller flyer type papers work better and you can list when and where you want. Just my .025 cents (adjusted for inflation):usflag: :usflag: :usflag:
    ericg likes this.
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Price is really irrelevant because it varies so much on area. I would stay away from yellow book and go with the real thing, the verizon or whatever phone company you have where your located. I pay about $5000 a year for a 2x2 I think. Nothing fancy, but its a large area.

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