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Business Partnerships?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BrandonG, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    So after 3 weeks of laboring over it and making it look nice, I'm having my postcard sized ad printed tomorrow. 500 of them.

    I am going around my town and the town next door tomorrow after I get them, and attempt to ask various local businesses if they would be interested in hosting some of my fliers, in the hopes that some of their customers may be interested, grab one of my ads, and call me.

    I will offer them $25 for a referral, if one of their customers hires me.
    I'll write down the initials of the business somewhere on the corner of the card so all parties will know where the card came from.

    I was wondering if anyone has any experience doing this, and how it would be appropriate to bring up this kind of conversation.

    I'm doing the "battery powered mowers and organic fertilizer" thing, so I'm targeting local health food stores and other types of health-related businesses, as well as a couple of nurseries. Also, there are various places around town that let you pin an ad on their corkboard, like the grocery stores and the laundromat. I also have a sister that works at a salon, i'll ask her as well. She has a large regular customer base.

    I have my CL ad out, have not received any calls yet.

    Any advice on this subject would be appreciated.
  2. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    I wouldnt offer any money for a referral. Why give money away when you dont need too? Just ask to leave some fliers and leave it at that. Do some eddm mailing or door hangers, and leave your cards, fliers and hangers everywhere you can for free.
  3. mdean_74

    mdean_74 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I agree don't give money away. I may give a free cut if I have a customer that gives me 3-4 good referrals that end up being repeat cuts.

    It is hard to give up green. That is why I only hire help if I have a yard that is too overgrown. And I charge extra for those.
  4. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Well I figured $25 is a small price to pay for a customer that is likely to give you over $1000 gross, better than not having any customers at all, and just starting out is tough to get customers. I just got my first one today, ad is running in the Sunday paper tomorrow, hopefully I'll get more calls.

    But I guess yeah, whenever I can get away with free advertising space, I'll take it. I just wasn't sure if some of you had experience with leaving a stack of small fliers at local businesses, and if they just let you leave them, or even how to bring up the issue without looking like a jackass.

  5. MasScape

    MasScape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    Yea 1000 gross not profit.... don't get me wrong 25 per customer for advertising isn't bad. But you have to remember paying a business to hand out your fliers has other costs.... the fliers, your time to take them there, fuel to take them there, even deprecation on the truck you drove.... all small figures that add up. Many businesses have bullent boards where you can post ads or cards. They do not charge.... keep to that I agree that offering cash would be bad idea and/or pointless. They will let you lay fliers for free or not at all.
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  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,996

    Id pay 25$ for an account in a heartbeat, I prolly wouldn't be in health food stores to get them.
  7. rockymtnnut

    rockymtnnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    Isn't that a VERY narrow customer base and I think your going to find that no one cares about the fact that you are using electric mowers. I wish you luck. Now paying for a referral is not a bad idea. It's a commission to the merchant that should motivate him or her to get your name out, but don't expect much. If they are not driving electric cars why would they care if you cut with a electric mower. Get a good commercial mower and set yourself up for success.
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  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,110

    I agree. I live in one of the most hippy prone areas and no one gives a damn as long as their grass is cut and striped

    I actually had a customer ask WHY I was using a battery hedge trimmer and not gas. They thought it was unprofessional
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  9. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    I understand the logic of "don't pay businesses to hand out your flyers." But I agree with Larry, if someone wants to sell me accounts for $25 a pop, I'd be happy to pay it.
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  10. rockymtnnut

    rockymtnnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

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