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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by msturfsurf, Oct 19, 2013.
I have passed out over 2,000 door hanger flyers over the summer.
By summer most people already have a lawn service. You will only pick up the customers who hired the guy who cut grass for beer and decided to quit when it hit 85 degrees out. Also, your flyer looks like it was done in neon crayons. Do you think anyone is gonna take Turf Surfers with neon crayon door hangers seriously?
And the logo website and everything was done by graphic artist.
That might be true but nobody sees it, I guarantee you. Can you even find it using google? I'm not even mentioning SEO. If you think all you have to do is hire a graphic artist to do a website and it is gonna bring in customers, you are already way behind the power curve. If a graphic artist done your flyer, ask for your money back, seriously. It is probably actually losing customers for you.
Back in mid west was nothing for word of mouth to spread and soon be mowing there family and friends too.
Please don't base a start-up business on word of mouth. Businesses need to be established and show good work before word of mouth is really effective.
I'm gonna be honest. You really should get a regular job and just mow yards on the side and don't lowball and offer to pay for referrals. If you have to do that, it is a sign that you are failing and probably ruining pricing for the legit businesses in your area. Based on what you wrote here, it sounds like you have done this before and you are still clueless as to what it takes to bring in customers and a few "tips" from this forum probably won't save you.
Sorry to be so brutal but lying to people doesn't help them in any way.
Here's some things you can do for little to no cost that will help you get your name out there.
1. Start a blog. Your website person should be able to do this for you for $0 or next to nothing, as your site is built on Wordpress. This is a longer term strategy, but you have to start somewhere. Once a week, post a photo you have taken and approx 300 word article related to the services you offer. e.g. "How to" articles; "It's time to aerate/fertilise/etc..."; photos of local grasses and plants and a bit about them; lawns you have mown; lawns you see in the area (public lawns, not private residences) that have issues and what you would do to fix them.
The aim is to be seen as the expert in your field and the area you serve. It will also help your SEO.
2. Contact your local newspaper and offer to provide them with articles and photos each week as a lawn and garden column. i.e. repurpose the stuff on your new blog, and get it seen in your community.
3. Add more content and the tags etc that Tony spoke of to your website. It is vital that people know what areas you serve, or they won't contact you. Explain more about your services. Explain it in language that focuses on the benefits to the customer. What's your point of difference? Use your midwest background as a positive thing.
4. Do something nice for someone. Find a family or community organisation in need and look after their lawn for free. You can pretty much guarantee they will tell their family, friends and the wider community about it.
5. Put up flyers on every noticeboard and empty shop window in your target area. Make sure your flyers are focused on the benefits for your potential customers, or have a value-driven offer. It doesn't have to be a free mow. I would encourage you not to use a free mow as it will attract less than ideal customers.
6. Offer a free lawn health check. A one-off offer that gets you face-to-face with potential clients. Keep it short and simple. Leave them with a short report (could be as simple as a tick-a-box style) and an action step list. Sure, they might do the action list themselves, but others will say "hey, can you do it for me?"
Only people that are serious about having a great lawn will respond to this offer. You won't get those people who are just looking for a free mow who may be less likely to hire you on an ongoing basis.
7. Give some serious thought to who your ideal customer is and where they hang out. Target those places with your flyers, etc.
8. Offer to give a free presentation to the local school or community group about veggie gardening or something related to your services, but that offers value to them. Don't sell. Just give. Build relationships.
9. Guerilla garden an ugly spot in town. Try to get some media coverage. Be creative e.g. send a randsom style anonymous note alerting them to it and give hints at who it might be.
10. Build relationships with people/businesses that have similar customers to you. e.g. The pool cleaner; nursery; house cleaner; builders; etc
11. Get your van lettered or get a magnet sign or business card sized magnets and plaster them all over your van.
Thanks for the additional tips on SEO Tony Greek!
Thank you for all advice guys I did get magnets for side of the van.
I am going to work on some of those tips provided and hopefully next season will be better.