Best Adveritsing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bohiaa, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    What is the best way to get customers.....


    I have read several pro's and cons.....

    I put out 500 door hangers and had 1 call.....

    I really wanted this one area, But the big guys got most of the customers..

    Is just making flyers at home then coping them ok? Or do I need a printer to do it for me?
     
  2. centralarlawn

    centralarlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I made my own flyers this year to compare response rates of the ones that I had made at a local shop. I just made about 400 and just put them in a single subdivision. I did get some thicker paper to print them on and they are color also, and to my surprise, my response rate was almost double compared to the ones I had designed.

    I think I just had perfect timing in that area. In the past another LCO serviced most of this area, and he is no longer there, so I may have just been at the right place at the right time, but thats what it takes I guess.
     
  3. matth04

    matth04 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I put an ad in the paper under the services section. It has produced more customers than I could have ever imagined. Next year, I am going to call some local real estate agents, and try to get some business through them. If you are really starting out, you can tell your customers that every new person they get to sign up, you will give them a discount on their own yard. It is amazing how hard people work to get the discount.
     
  4. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    I used some local advertising papers, but had no luck. Word of mouth has been the best for me. Thats not to say I won't advertise again, this first year has been a learning experience, about type of news paper, timing, etc.

    I've been blessed this first year, advertising is good, also remember signs on truck & or trailer, work hard do a good job and folks will be happy to tell others about you, don't be afraid to charge what you need to keep business and yourself afloat.
     
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220


    Thanks:

    I attended a sales pitch for vacume cleaners once " Yes the rainbow" The ad in the paper was good... Ok go ahead and shoot me ...NOW .lol

    Anyway they work on the refre a friend system....And I have thought of this also.. I was thinking about for every 5 a customer get me they can recive a free cutting.......Just 1 cutting........
    Thanks again for posting
     
  6. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING I think that is the best way. word of mouth has brought me 90% of my customers. one great network to join is called the BNI http://www.bni.com/ join this it is a must
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Sounds like one them places where you may catch a lot of spam and there is a lot of hype and hooplah but in the end not much else comes of it.
    ...
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Far as word of mouth, it does work but for me word of mouth alone is not enough. I get a referral here, and there... Couple my customers who really love my service and can't stop bragging about it (which is unusual but you get 1 or 2 like that), I got 2-3 extra jobs from that over the years from each one... But overall, I *might* get 1 extra here, and there... Not saying it doesn't work, but I spend money on paid advertising and if one paper doesn't do much, I try another (I live in a large metro, there are literally 100's {if not a few thousand} of publications one can put an ad in).
    Certainly would need to be measured in your area but far as the freebie - refer 5 and get 1 free, I would say do 1-on-1, if someone gets you even one extra referred grass-cut, you give them 1 for free if you want but I wouldn't even advertise it, too much a chance someone will call you out of the blue and then send you 2-3 friends all for the mere purpose of getting a few free grass cuts, then another free cut, etc, etc...
    Now I'll tell you one other thing comes from experience: As a general rule, I pay between 5 to 10 dollars per CALL, and 20 to 40 dollars per customer (meaning I like to turn one out of every 2 to one / 4 calls into a customer).
    This also gives you some guideline: Spend 100 dollars and get 1-2 calls, I think that's too much... But spend 20 dollars and get 1-2 calls, then that's about right. Spend 10 dollars and get 2 calls, that's pretty good, etc, etc...

    Some secrets I found to the whole paid advertising thing is:
    - Run ad until your schedule is full, week after week, month after month. Some guys run their ads year/round so they don't have to think about it.
    - Spend as much as you can *afford* (key-word: don't spend TOO much), and do some test-runs: Try not to commit 2 thousand dollars to an ad when you haven't tried that paper or book yet (OR with a new ad)... Run a smaller ad for a short time, something doesn't break your bank so you can measure the results, then either keep it going or go someplace else.

    I, too, have spent 160 dollars on an ad got me like 2 or 3 calls, and I've spent 100 on an ad got me like 20 calls... It varies from paper to paper, different venues may have different response rates.
     
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Sounds Great....

    I tryed the door hanger's " in 1 area" and didn't get not one call...

    got discouraged.

    being small "1 man for now" it takes about an hour to do one yard.
    and a day to do door hangers but I have 4 customers now and have been putting hangers around there area..."they were word of mouth" ya know the family thing....

    I did however get a customer by just simply waveing to the people every time I was cutting a customers yard, It was an elderly gentleman and he really enjoyed seeing me every week. It gave him a sence of security.
    "what he said anyway" when your there every week cutting a persons yard ya notice things in the neaborhood like who belongs there and such. I would wave to him, while he sat on his porch and then I would go over and chat to him a bit. his son was comming from outta town to cut his yard and it was a PITA for him so I picked it up...
    Being nice does have it's advantages..

    Thanks again, " just wanted to share the wave story"
     
  10. matth04

    matth04 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Another thing that you could do is call some local LCO's and tell them if they ever needed help, you could help out, or if they have a big yard and need someone fast, you could be there. I work Solo, and some days I would love to have someone to call, and help me out. Especially with the summer afternoon thunderstorms, it is real easy to get behind.
     

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