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Discussion in 'Lawn Care Business Management' started by RigglePLC, May 6, 2013.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,219

    Anybody tried coupons for another business?
    I was in a restaurant last week and we talked with the owner as the place was nearly empty. She complained that business was so slow.
    Later I had the idea...why not include a coupon for a local restaurant or business in the sales brochures you mail out or pass out. Imagine the pleasure when a prospect discovers a coupon for a free burger or half-price pizza to clip out of your brochure. Gives them a reason to hold onto your brochure.

    With a bit of luck...you should be able to convince the local restaurant or small business to do it all for free. After all you are delivering their coupon and business name to thousands of people in their local service area.
    Imagine a coupon for a free blade sharpening at a mower shop. Or spark plug. Or half-price tuneup.

    If you can find a non-competing business...perhaps offer half-price sprinkler start-up and tune-up.

    Or perhaps you could offer a great coupon with every estimate. Imagine if you could buy a beer at a local watering hole, for every prospect that agreed to an estimate.

    Take look at local shoppers, mailings and newspaper inserts and examine the coupons of local businesses. Ask yourself if you could do the same. Coupons work--that why you see so many. Talk to your local printer for ideas.
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746


    I typed out a long description of why I think this idea will flop like a injured fish. Rather than getting into too much details and spending a lot of time retyping, there is always a reason why a business isn't busy. We don't need to go into details.

    So, you are trying to say.............."You are a 2 million dollar lawn outfit and you see a failing business. You decide to take them under your wing and pass out coupons for their business based on your customer base."

    I would be led to say that this restaurant has their crap together, strong management team, service oriented employees and a fast delivery service. If your name is attached to their success...........you success is also attached to their name.
  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Your idea isn't a bad one.........I have learned that you can only push for a business that is flourishing to receive the full benefit of both pocket books.
    I was in Advertising and Graphics as a College Student. Things have come a long way since the 90's when I completed my courses.
    I believe in putting your money on a sailing vessel and not a sinking ship.
  4. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,112

    This is basic marketing 101 it works. Google Bob Ross postcards
  5. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Enclosing another companies ads in your mailings/drop offs indirectly says that you are referring that company.

    I referred one company for a few years that provided WONDERFUL service. Then he got too busy and got backed up and service dropped. I got complaints from my customers about it-why are you busting my chops about it? So now whenever I refer someone, I always say "I can't guarantee his work, he has done great work in the past, I don't know what he will do in the future, the only work I can guarantee is my own because I know it will be done correctly and professionally".
  6. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    I happen to agree with you whole heatedly.
    It may work in some arenas, but not in all.

    There isn't many ways that I haven't tried.........waiting on new ideas that is legal and justifiable.
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Send those free beer coupons to me. :drinkup:
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,219

    Years ago--a saleswoman came into or Tru Green branch office and tried to sell us premiums with the company name to hand out. The manager ended up buying 1000 plastic rain gauges with the Tru Green name and logo for those who wanted an estimate. I am not sure how effective it was. We grew a lot that year, but did not reorder next year. Perhaps because we were so late in paying for our order.

    My wife cuts coupons out of the paper every week. She saves a lot--and in so doing we buy a lot of stuff we didn't know we needed. She also prints out online coupons and special deals. Kohl's discount coupons etc.

    I am NOT suggesting that you should associate yourself with a failing business--or--a business that provides poor service. Rather the concept lends itself only to local businesses that are seeking customers in your own geographical area. Half-price pre-season lawn mower tuneup for instance.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    I understand your reasoning behind the responses. These good ideas work for branded products, branded companies with names that have been burned into our souls.
    I posted a thread some time ago about our suppliers becoming our biggest competitor's now. The sad truth is.....some of us is being pushed off the cliff because these suppliers is getting all the foot traffic and phone calls.
    Way back when I was a nursery specialist for a big ticket store...........it was easy to get off the clock--week end work.
    The way it is presented to me from the likes of businesses like this is...........favoritism only goes so far.
    It really depends on the demographics and population of your areas.
    My city and community is a hard nut to shell.
  10. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    I would also say consider the branding of your piece. If you are only getting a few seconds to get your pitch across (and that's the norm), do you want to stray from your message with another business's branding? It's not the same as a magazine, website or coupon book/ValPak mailer, where your customers are expecting other information or to sift through numerous coupons to find the info they are looking for.

    Beyond the other dynamics already being discussed above, I understand that the idea is to get someone else to foot the bill for your ads, but recognize how quickly too much competing info degrades the sales message.

    I'd favor staying on message and on target for those types of pieces.

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