Everything but customers!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by bpw60, May 1, 2009.

  1. bpw60

    bpw60 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    I have been reading posts on this forum for awhile now, as I was planning to go into the business, with my two sons, 25 and 23. So far I think we've gone about it the right way, such as new commercial equipment, custom landscape trailer, cards, pens, matching printed t-shirts & hats, F250 power stroke to pull it all, business license, 2m liability insurance. I have yet to have my doorhangers or flyers printed. Thats next. I realize, and agree that word of mouth advertising is by far the best form, but how do I get to that 1st mouth? I have worked for others in landscaping and hardscape installs, and have been training the boys for years! (they just didn't know it!) so I have confidence in the job we will do, and the courtious dependable service we will provide, so the word of mouth should take off. I have cold call door knocked in several larger subdivions, zero takers. I have cards planted all around at every flowershop, garden center, etc. that would let me. Nothing yet. Anyone have any advice on landing that 1st customer?
     
  2. LaborFriendly

    LaborFriendly LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    It may sound minimal but friends and family first. I actually put my flyer on my myspace page and drew two takers. Flyers with pull offs at local grocery stores brought business as well. Once you get even a single yard it gives reason to flyer the entire neighborhood as well as the path that takes you to it. I own a lot in a well established neighborhood, it was the first place I flyered. A couple of crews already working in it. Even the couple kids I ran into said I was wasting my time. This was in early march. I received my first call and estimate appointment for tomorrow(Saturday.) It sounded positive. Think simple, good luck.
     
  3. bpw60

    bpw60 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Thanks LaborFriendly, I have printing of flyers on the menu for tomorrow. My daughter-in-law made up a good looking template on word. I'll have all three of us and as many spouses available out flyering!
     
  4. bigvern13

    bigvern13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I just got laid off and went into landscaping full time the next day. My wife made an amazing ad on Craigslist and in the 3 weeks I've been full time have picked up 15 full time customers and have put down so much mulch and dug so many flower beds I'm thinking about hiring someone to help. Try Craigslist, its free and EVERYONE uses it. Gotta be creative though. Let me know how the door hangers work to, please. Only thing I havent done so far, kind of on the fence about them.
     
  5. CurbAppealPro

    CurbAppealPro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    LaborFriendly is absolutely right, FRIENDS AND FAMILY FIRST! Low ball costs for these people is the perfect way to get wet in the biz, (i.e. word of mouth) but do exceptional quality work for your friends and fam cause their neighbors are watching EVERYTHING you do, trust me. Along with your cards, pens, fliers, and door hangers the return investment on lawn signs are pretty high, so when others walk or drive by the lawns that you have made beautiful they can see plainly who the caregiver is, and your phone number, opt. for the signs that are of higher quality than those companies who "spray for weeds" check out www.VistaPrint.com they make great marketing tools.

    Until consumers know that you exist, you cannot maintain their properties.
    Door fliers have the most minimal success rate of all, it takes tons of ink, paper, time, money, and energy for that 0.3 callback percentage.

    Friends and Family 1st = Word of Mouth = $ = Career = a big : )

    Best of Luck to you and your sons,
    C.A.A. LLC
     
  6. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 687

    Put an ad in the paper.
     
  7. DLAWNS

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,778

    I always canvas areas that I want to work in with fliers...you should be able to knock out thousands of homes with six people. Also, make contacts...I'm always handing out cards and talking up my company to anyone who will listen. I also started to do work for family and friends and their friends and so on. This is how the word of mouth thing starts. Good luck to you and welcome to the site.
     
  8. thegreenreaper

    thegreenreaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    I have used door hangars and they do work about 2-3 people for about every 50 I have put out. they were simple nothing fancy,my pop uses newspaper ads he does get calls from them. Good luck these season.:dancing:
     
  9. LawnoftheMonth

    LawnoftheMonth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 355

    all my customers came from door hangers and referrals. leave a price on the door hanger to make it as simple for the home owner as possible.
     
  10. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Take a look at my start up story thread to see how I went form zero to 10, then 15 accounts the first year, then more than doubled that in year two, 2009.

    I don't agree with the friends and family thing at all. Fine if you get a few, but like the guy that opens a pub excpecting to survive on friends and family.... it won't work.

    I would suggest getting legal for fert n squirt.... the profit margin is much higher than for mowing, and there is some brainwork mixed in with the brawn work.

    I did door hangers... 1200 on foot by myself. Got me 12 accounts. Grew from that. It would have been less if I did not have legal abilty to offer weed and pesticide apps.

    Good luck.
     

Share This Page