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first season in business---advertising help!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by john b, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. john b

    john b LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    being my first season can anyone give me some advise on the best type of advertising?my goal this season is to build a good base of customers for the lawn care side and expand into other things later on.i'll be doing the work myself but i do have poeple that can come on board as needed.i also have a full time salesperson with alot of sales exp.but not in this line of business.
     
  2. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    JMO, but while advertising is nice and needed, make sure you present a good image first, with the way you talk, dress and the quality of equipment...
     
  3. PeteB.

    PeteB. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Hey John!

    I am in a similar situation myself. I have worked in the industry for about 16 years...for someone else. I am about to strike out on my own this spring! I have seen that quality work and word of mouth are the two best forms of advertising. For someone just starting out and trying to establish a good customer base, I would suggest a newspaper ad, flyers, door hangers, and business cards. Then get out there and be visible,professional, and do good qulality work.
    Where in Maine are you? And best of luck to you!
     
  4. john b

    john b LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    hello peter

    thanks for the reply.i plan on using the ideas you gave.just trying to get as much as i can.i'm located yarmouth,just outside of portland.
     
  5. john b

    john b LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    thanks for the info.jon99.as i said i'm an ex-general manager of a dealershhip,so i can relate to your advice on image.just looking for any other ways to get leads.i've got the paper,business cards fliers and a few other things lined up.and all my equipment is new.
    thanks for your help.
     
  6. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,218

    John,
    There is a lot of guys out there cutting grass. Some do good quality work and some do not.
    To build a good solid customer base you must not compromise quality. It will take time. I have been in the Lawn care biz for 10 years and I only have about 20 accounts. ( I'm a part-timer)
    I make as much on these 20 accounts as some guys make with 35 and 40 accounts.
    I never advertise my work. My customers do it for me.

    You do need business cards and never leave home without them.
     
  7. john b

    john b LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    sounds like good advice,o-so-n-so.thanks i'll keep it in mind.hope your season goes well.

    thanks again!
     
  8. aquaturf

    aquaturf LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Posts: 28

    Try those cheap plastic roadside signs, and keep the message simple, like: Lawn Mowing
    That way, people see the sign and the number. And DO NOT make the signs fancy. Also, get a catchy phone number like xxx-TURF or something. It has worked well for me!
     
  9. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    When I started part time I advertised in a HOA newsletter. Now that I will be going full time in June, I have begun advertising in that newsletter again. I get quite a bit of business from it.
     
  10. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    I'm new in this business too, so for about a month or more I read the lawnsite posts (new & archived). I've also been talking to a couple of local LCOs for a long time to get a feel, plus listened to perspective from just about everybody that gave it. After all of that I decided to:

    (1) Buy a modest yellow pages ad although some would argue it is not a good idea;
    (2) Had door hangers printed (3 per page at my local printer - they come with the little perforated cut in the corner & door handle hole at the top);
    (3) Had business cards printed, of course;
    (4) I'm on the phone calling everyone I know to let them know about my service;
    (5) Obtained my pesticide license right off the bat so I can offer a more complete service;
    (6) Got a small order of embroidered hats and short sleeve polo shirts (small orders can be had in the winter only in my area, in the spring/summer when business picks up they have minimums of 5 dozen & up);
    (7) Doing some direct mail to new owners of property whose names came from the local Register of Deeds office.

    We'll see how it goes. My whole thing lifts off next week, although I may be a little late in the game this year for landing commercial accounts. I had no control over that.

    I put as much time into the "paper" end of things as I could this winter while I waited on the majority of my funds to become available.

    Also, just read a great thread about "Blackburn Signs" which is a lawnsite.com sponsor! Everyone with a huge thumbs up. Those guys put out the yard signs you can leave with your Co. name on it. I may go with a few of those. They're affordable and professional looking.

    Advertising-wise, I didn't want to wait two or three years to find out what works in my area. I think this way I get a good cross section in year #1 & go from there.
     

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