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Breaking into landscaping...help me advertise & build structure to my business!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by andyslawncare, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    We've done a few landscape jobs so far this year...i have a designer and an equipment owner (bobcat,excavator, and tractor) that I subcontract for my jobs. I'm trying to put just as much time and energy and money into landscaping, as I did lawns when I started...I want to do enough work to start another crew for just landscaping...

    any experience on expanding from lawns only to lawns and landscaping and other stuff too, i would appreciate some help!!

    1.how should I advertise??? at this point we only do installation (plants,sod,trees,etc)
    2.would it be beneficial to offer design?? have my designer do the work and upcharge the work a few hundread dollars for me??

    I'm open to any advice!! I'm fixing to get thousands of fliers and post cards printed and want to make sure what i'm having printed I'll be happy with and profit off of for awhile.:confused:
  2. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    You could start by taking 19 year old dropout, out of your signature line. There is never an excuse for not pushing yourself further. 19 is nothing, start taking some college classes. You will never look back on that with regret. You will, however, always question what you didn't do.

    Sure, buying equipment is fun, but that's not even half of the equation. FWIW, I would be leery of thinking that a few thousand brochures would solve my sales problems.

    Sorry I'm not much help, but none the less those are my thoughts.
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,966

    Well I can see the plus and minus of the "19 year old dropout" part. I can see someone trying to make something of himself despite the handicap of being young and a dropout. It is something to be proud of. I do have to agree with Summit that there is no investment you can make in equipment or advertising that is of more value than investing in yourself, in your education, in overcoming the obstacles you have made for yourself.

    For the immediate future very good lettering on your truck will pay off as much as anything. Yellow page ads used to be good but I think as the Internet grows they will be less effective. Still the prices for yellow page ads have come down and it could be a good investment. Fliers, passing out business cards, lawn signs, door hangers get your name out everywhere you can. You might think about a web site if you don't have one. If you can get a good search result it can pay off really well but that is not always easy, particularly if you are in a large city.
  4. island associates

    island associates LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    My feeling is that there is no one form of advertising... Using multiple marketing/advertising tactics is benefical... You may want to put up a website if you don't currently have one, as more and more people are starting to research things online... depending on your area, you may be able to be on the first page of the search engines (google, yahoo, msn) for web searches.

    you can check out my website at: http://www.island-associates.com
  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    ummm.... screw the education... it is too late for that. You have a designer that is educated in landscape design... that will suffice. You really don't need an education if you are smart enough to delegate the workload to someone that has a landscape education. I would save money this year... next spring do radio(talk radio), yellow pages, flyers in the newspaper and begin creating a recognizable fleet of truck(bright lime green, yellow, etc).
  6. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 548

    its never too late for an education.

    printing and handing out flyers/postcards is one part of the equation.
    Make yourself an image, a set of goals that you want to work by. then present your company as a whole--yourself, designer, subcontractor--telling your potential clients how you are different, and how your goals that you've set down will make them happier than your competition.

    And remember its not an overnight process. it may take a few years for you landscaping business to survive on its own reputation.
  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Think like a potential client. Where are you going to look or where are you going to go to find a landscape design/build company? When you call them or meet with them, what is going to matter to you the most? You will only be hiring one company one time and it is a decision that will affect you for a long time and will make or break the investment you'll be making in your landscape.

    Would you first look at a company named "Andy's Lawn Care"? More likely, you will rely on some recommendations from friends or other people you know who have had some nice work done for them. You might take notice of signs or lettering on trucks at jobs that are underway and looking good. Some will pop open the yellow pages and call a couple of companies, usually ones with familiar names.

    Let's say Andy's Lawn Care is renamed to something like "Palmetto Landscape Associates" or whatever. When you, as the client, meet with the owner and find him to be a 19 guy who is going to sub out the design and then sub out the work, you might be impressed, but it is more likely that one of the other companies you called in will have a longer history, an in-house designer (often the owner), a big portfoilio of built work, his own crew and equipment, and a number of references and jobs you can drive by.

    It is nothing against you, but the number one reason that a homeowner selects his landscape contractor is to remove doubt from the outcome of the project. I'm not saying you can't get jobs, but clearly you have a couple of negatives due to your age and lack of an established design/build business that most other design/build guys have already gotten past. That makes it more difficult for you to get the job even if they somehow decide to call you.

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