Growing Your Spray Application Business

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Rob Spread & Spray, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    How do you grow your application company each year?

    DO you rely on word of mouth?

    Do you telemarket?

    Is anyone looking for aggressive growth?payup
  2. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    like any company, growth depends on the customer base you are targeting in a particular market and your company's goals. Word of mouth leads to solid customers with lower marketing costs and typically better payment patterns. However,unless your company is already substantial in size, it may not bring in the amount of business you are after, being a passive marketing/sales position. Telemarketing certainly works in a particular segment of this industry and it's up to you whether you feel it's the right tool for you. Newspaper ads, home shows, billboards, door hangers, mailers, and even your truck and lawn marking signage are all considerations for exposure. What's right for you depends, like I said above, on your market, your goals and what you're willing to spend.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i have tried it all but tellamarketing and it all has so so returns
    i just did 160k direct mail adds and i got about 10 calls talk about stink
  4. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    thats just over 1/2 %...thats about right.

    referrals, referrals, referrals.....but dont rely on your customer to just give them to ya. first you have to ask. we call every customer during our off season and we ask, then several times during the season we send out a small post card to existing customers asking them again. every invoice asks.

    but just asking isnt always enough, offer $$$ for their referrals. we currently pay $25 for every referral that sells. we leave several $20 coupons with every invoice. our customer signs it to the referral...the refferal calls...we sell them a full program and the original customer gets $20 off their next service and the new referred customer gets $5 off their first app.
  5. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    You did a direct mail piece (would have cost $35-75,000 depending on the piece) or did you just do a worthless insert of some sort? (moneymailer, valpak, etc.)
  6. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Posts: 280

    I went full time with my business this fall. I put together a one page flyer. I basically targeted the neighborhoods I wanted to work in and started slinging them at the end of the driveways. It generated over $15k in aerating and overseeding and I was able to secure the lawn service for the balance of the season and next year. It's small potatoes but I'm grateful. I did about 4000 pieces. I know I got at least 20 calls from it. People around me really are tired of high volume franchise and corporate america lawn care. I encountered a few PITA'S as well.

    I know I'm going to have to do something more aggressive for next season but I feel like I got some good momentum to start with and that was my goal. Oddly enough I think you have to be careful of how aggressive you approach it. I'm a one man show and at one point I had a hard time keeping the balance between selling the jobs and getting them done.

    Good thread. I look forward to more ideas and examples.
  7. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Good job Finn!

    In all my years of spending time on these forums, I have yet to meet someone who has a consistent game plan for aggressive growth each year. I have done a number of different things over the years from Telemarketing, both in house and outsourced. Mass mailing of different types and sizes of postcards. I have done TV and cable. Some years I have done all of the above.
    The trick is frequency, but most small companies dont have the cashflow to accomodate the frequency needed. Last year we purchased 20,000 postcards and mailed them to a very select target market broke down as low as the carrier route. You cant get much better than that without dropping them door to door which bumps labor/fuel costs. Postage was 17 cents each.

    I think this year I will continue with the postcards and also look at outsourcing the telemarketing again.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i did not do val crap or any other coupon envelope they dont work well anymore
    it was almost as bad coupon mags the normally do real well for me and at the cost i cant complain
    but this fall it has stunk and it was not to great in the spring either
    most of the work i get is word of mouth but i need more
    i go do est and the clowns go well i was only paying craplawn 48 bucks and u want 88 thats almost twice what i am paying now i thought u would be cheaper wtf is wrong with people its like they all have wall mart syndrome i can always get it cheaper
    i dont even bother talking to some of the morons anymore i just say thank u and move on
  9. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,370

    I gave this advise before:

    1. Type in the street name and city where you want to get accounts
    2. Take the names and phone #'s returned on a printed sheet and drive by their properties and estimate pricing
    3. Return home with a list of names, addresses, phone #'s, and prices and prepare proposals.
    4. MAIL them directly to the prospective clients who will be impressed that their personal info and pricing for their property is right there for them. Include brochures at this step. Just have them sign and return the proposal to sign up.
    5. Offer a coupon or incentive of some kind (could be built right in to the pricing i.e. "one year trial offer").
    6. Update your files as the contracts role in. (upwards of 10% in my case).
  10. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205


    How much time is involved in your process and what is the increase in $$/revenue?

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