gloomy weather, door hanger advice

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Turfdoctor1, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    I am a small weed control/fertilization LLC, competing in my area against the likes of ChemLawn, Scotts, and about 3 other large, local companies. I am needing to add about 100 customers this early spring (I am quitting my full time job and my lawn company will now be my full time employment).

    I purchased 10,000 door hangers (1200 already out). With the same door hangers last year I got nearly 2% response and started my marketing right around FEB 1st. I am about 90% Bermuda, but timing for crabgrass prevention needs to be middle of FEB to first part of March.

    I need to get the door hangers out, ASAP, but the weather sucks. it is snowing today, and no one is thinking about lawn care. But, if I wait too long, I will get beat to the punch by the ChemLawns. Plus, I need to have all my applications done, which will take me ~3-4 weeks, by the first week or so of March to beat the crabgrass.

    Today was my last day at my prior full time job, and I am feeling really nervous all of a sudden. I don't want to be sitting on my butt on my first day as full time self employeed, but I also don't want to be hanging stuff on doors that will automatically go in the trash because of the weather.

    What do you guys suggest? hang em anyway? Shift gears and take care of my existing accounts' Round 1 early, and hang the door hangers later and hope that i'm not too late to compete with ChemLawn?

    thanks guys.
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,620

    Sometimes people get motivated on the coldest days. The other day we had snow and got 2 calls about fert.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    We used to track this stuff at my old job for an LCO, and I can tell you, calls are way down on bad weather days. And consider if it's raining or snowing, your flyers will get wet, and once they do, they go right in the person's trash.
  4. JohnnyCuts

    JohnnyCuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 256

    Got any nephews or know any teenage kids? Next decent weekend go out as a team. Give them each 1k flyers or so a couple days in advance. Have them put a number in one corner. Pay them minimum wage and tell them for every lead you get from one of their flyers you'll pay them X amount. Depending on how close together the homes are one person can put out 60-80 hangers an hour. 70x8 hours x 4 guys = 2240. Have them work after school, etc.
  5. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    Yeah, my parents, wife and youngest brother are coming next weekend to help me out. I am hoping to get out 2500 or so between the 5 of us.

    I appreciate the advice guys. positive feedback is good for the psyche. I'm just a little nervous with it all right now. i appreciate your help.
  6. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    Nerves get everyone. Take a deep breath and then go put those door hangers out. The calls will come.
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    Trugreen starts calling Jan 1st. And thats in the north. You say you got 2% response last year ....but how many did you deliver last year and of that 2% how many did you sell.
  8. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    thanks for the negativity, koot.

    to answer your questions, last year, i put out about 3500. and, sold nearly 2%. I would guess that i got close to 80-90 calls and added about 65 new customers. I quote prices as I go, so if they call, more than likely I sell.

    I don't know why number will affect the return rate. It just means that my range is a little broader.

    for the record, i have decided to start my preM this coming week, and postpone the door hangers another couple of weeks. Last year, i started the 2nd weekend of FEB to reach those results. I have more to put out this year, but hopefully similar timing will pay off.
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    negativity.............Trugreen starts Jan 1st. Did you miss the memo.
    Its called Business awareness.
    Awfully high percentage...and if true why arent you doing 100,000 flyers.
    I mean if its truly that successful you would be hiring guys left and right to distribute flyers.
  10. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    i meant, you came off with a very negative attitude, questioning my response rate. and, now you are trying to be demeaning. and, i don't appreciate it. I did not "miss the memo," hence the question. i'm just trying to make the decisions that are right for me and my marketing plan.

    Why would you question that I am tellng the truth? that makes no sense.

    Why would i not put out 100,000? well, let's see. because i can't handle an increase of 1000-2000 customers in a year. or maybe it's because i live in a city with a population of about 70,000 and there are only about 250,000 in the area. or maybe it's because i am a one man operation and I don't have the time or the legs to walk for 1000-1500 hours.

    You have now posted twice in this thread, without answering my question either time. are you trying to help me? or, are you just trying to be antagonistic? If you have advice, please feel free to share, but if you just want to show me up, please do not comment again. It is of no use to me or to you.

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