Help! what's the best way of advertising!?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by midlandlawncare, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. midlandlawncare

    midlandlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    I have been in the business for 4 years, first as an employee of my moms company, and then as owner of mine for the last three , have used flyers and such , but would really like to boost my business ,as it is getting very competive
    in this area. I just turned twenty and the business supports a 2000 f-150, $800 month rent, bills, and everything my fiances', pay doesn't, would like to have savings again!

    2000 F-150 lariat
    2002 48" exmark metro hp
    1998 48" lesco walk behind
    145bt husquavarna backpack
    two echo hand blowers
    echo edger
    lesco trimmer
    echo hedge trimmers
    husquavarna trimmer

    thanks! :waving:
     
  2. buddhacj7

    buddhacj7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    Yellow Pages, Mass mailer, yard signs! That should do it
     
  3. JKOOPERS

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    yellow pages!! some might disagree . i have gotten about $20,000 in work this year with a $600 ad
     
  4. j fisher

    j fisher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    For lawn care/maintenance, I get most of my customers from newspaper classifieds. For landscaping, yellowpages. Very few calls for maintainence from yellow pages. Direct mailings to targeted neighborhoods and flyers were a complete waste of time and money.
     
  5. lewdo

    lewdo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    I was quoted $600/month for our local yellow pages here in Decatur. Now the add they where trying to sell me was a 3"x4" add. I liked to sh** when they told me it was going to be that much.

    I had to pass on that, but plan on getting some type of ad in the yellow pages. Anybody advertising in the yellow pages? If so, did that sound reasonable?
     
  6. JKOOPERS

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    yellow pages!! some might disagree . i have gotten about $20,000 in work this year with a $600 ad
    __________________
     
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    It's got to vary by company and neighborhood.

    Yellow pages was the pits for me and people I know. But okay for a few others.

    Small ads in the local paper were great for about a year until we skimmed what we could. Those were about twice the size of a business card.

    Flyers always worked - about 1 customer per 50 flyers. Either inserted in papers or direct to the house.

    I always do flyers. I have my helper place them at 20 houses next to anyplace we work - 5 one way and 5 on the way back, then 5 the other way and 5 on the way back. On foot - takes about 10 minutes or less.

    Try a few things and see what works for you.

    If you don't sell holiday goods, I recommend avoiding ads in papers the 2 weeks before Christmas. But people lounge around a lot from then until New Years. That's a great time to get ads or flyers out.

    I've had equal if not better success with black text on white economy flyers than I have had with colored paper.
     
  8. Ray@LebanonTurf

    Ray@LebanonTurf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    Figuring out how to advertise is what I do. Before you spend money on any ad media figure out who your target audience is. For example, if your goal is more customers in the same area, increasing your density and improving route efficiency, I would use fliers around your existing accounts. I would also give existing customers a discount or free service if they give you a referral who signs up for service. If you are looking for different geography or more upscale clients that might not be the way to go. Go where you want to be and look around. See where people shop, recreate, etc. and look for opportunities that might not be used by your competitors. Sponsoring local little league sports teams is a good example. If there is a seasonal program or booster people keep it for several months. A business size ad might cost you as little as $20.00 and you are viewed as supporting the community and that's great PR, but PR is a topic for another day.....

    If you are interested in bid wars use the yellow pages. Where else can a customer get the names of a dozen or so service companies and call them all for competitive quotes in less than 20 minutes. Very expensive and not very strategically sound unless you are a large company that can shell out big bucks for a big ad. In most cases your yellow pages also has the disadvantage of going to areas that you would rather not be. So you are paying for exposure you don't really want. A drain on your money and your time.

    If you are brand new and need volume in a big way look at community fliers and local papers. There are hundreds of these and they are good because they focus on limited geographic areas (and therefore they are very inexpensive.) My town has one that comes out every month called the Greenwich Gazette. Perfect for local lawn service companies, Realtors, etc. and you don't have much if any competition. Some of the more savvy advertisers even write columns and give advise. But there I go into the PR thing again........

    If you have any good customers and you are comfortable asking them you might find out what they do when they need a plumber or a related service type. Many are likely to say they ask a friend or neighbor. Referrals are the #1 way to get new accounts. There may be a "Maven" in the neighborhood who everyone looks to for advise. Once when I was managing a large lawn care company we suddenly got 45-50 accounts in one large upscale neighborhood. When I asked the guys why we were so successful it turned out that there was this one guy there that was considered to be the lawn expert. My tech. got a shot at his account, got to know him, and kept him very satisfied. The referrals spread like wildfire and the results were amazing.

    The only thing more expensive than advertising is not advertising. However, if you are smart about it you don't need to break the bank. Keep track of what you do, what you spend, and what the results are. If it works do it again until it doesn't work any more. If it doesn't work in the first place change it or do something else.

    Best of luck
     
  9. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,946

    One form of advertising I'd never recommend, is putting information on shopping carts.

    Ever notice how distracted people are in a store looking for the best price, or watching their kids, or locating products. Not to mention navigating.

    If any advertising were to be elected the worst - shopping carts would at least be nominated.

    Overlap is awesome. If you can get two publications to overlap, or a paper ad and a flyer distribution, it really amplifies.

    If you are new in business, you probably will not be able to know what your market is. In some towns, myself, and other friends with businesses, made more money from the middle class. Some areas; the wealthy were the problem customers. Other areas, exactly backwards.

    Don't invest heavy in advertising until you get a little experience and feel for what you like and don't like. Then you can gain better results from a bigger advertising campaign.

    One thing I never tried, and wish I had - even just for an experiment - was movie theaters. Locally, the company that monopolized the theater market is not doing ads on screen for local companies. But I'm sure some cities still have that. The ads are put up on screen and shown at every showing all day every day for a month, or two or three.
     
  10. Flyscaper

    Flyscaper LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Posts: 34

    Pick up the phone and start making calls. Also try door to door sales in the spring time

    Shaun
     

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