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How do you advertise?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by zz4guy, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    How do you guys with backhoes and excavators advertise? I am looking at buying a dump truck and a backhoe to pick up some work but am not sure how to advertise. I was thinking sending business cards to contractors in the area. Any other ideas?
  2. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    Word of mouth if you've been doing it for a while. If you're just getting started, which it sounds like you might be, try the Yellow Pages and some of the small local papers. The best kind of advertisement that you can do, is how you leave the previous job. Your work will sell you or break you. If you are just getting started, you'll probably have to take on some trash/debris type jobs to get your foot in the door with a contractor(s). That can lead to other things like hauling dirt, agg., whatever.
  3. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Posts: 1,387

    To start out with,all the above plus make up some flyers and post them up at dealers,coffee and donut shop,eating places.Some places you can have them put in with the local newpapers for a small price.

    Also check out the website section here on lawnsite .I'm thinking about that,altho i'm about a busy as i need to be with the rain,mud, and snow bizzard that just went through headed east.Good luck.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    There are different ideas on what is the best way to advertise. I know some guys who have never spent more than 500 a year and have made it big. I know others who have spent 1500 a month on yellowpage ads and never went anywhere.

    I will offer some suggestions that work for me and others I know personally.

    The old saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" holds true. At the end of the day you have to be good at what you do. I don't know your backround, but if your new to the trade get good before you expose yourself to your area via heavy advertising. Should you spend a lot of time and money getting your name just to fall on your face when you do the work, that is bad and you may never recover from that depending on how big the area is your operating in.

    I like signage on my vehicles and equipment. As far as investments in advertising go I think it is one of the best.

    I have Yellow page ads but they are smaller. I spent the first 8 years with larger ads. I am now trying to go smaller.

    I think that especially in the excavation business. It is the contractor contacts that you make that will be the key to survival. Goes back to the first point. Show up looking like a monkey loving a football and you lose customers that will never give you another chance. They will also tell all of their contractor buddies about you. Do a good job for them and you'll get steady work.

    I am now trying to grow my web page presence. The idea is get the potential customer a web address in their hands and let the site do the selling. Much more interactive than a brochure but more costly to get into. I am getting ready to update mine (long overdue).

    I have realitor type signs with my logo that I bring with me on those jobs with good curb appeal. It shows everyone who does the good work around here:cool2:

    You need to come up with a way to sell yourself. If your a backhoe operator with a dump truck it can be hard separating yourself from the pack. You need to come up with a way to market what you have. That might be your abilities as an operator, your type of equipment, experience doing certain types of jobs, whatever it may be find it and market it. Resist going in and low balling your local area to get work. It makes your competators mad. (team work can be a good thing even with those in the same field as you). It also allows you to be take advantage of by savvy general contractors. If you need to get your foot in the door and you think price is the only way then try this. If your going to dig a house foundation and the going rate is $2.00 a square foot than offer the contractor customer $1.75 on that job only. Prove what you can do and bring your price back up to market value on the next hole. Working for free to get more work so you can continue to work for free is a path to bankrupcy.

    That is all I have right now.

    good luck

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,163

    I found out in Skid Steer sales. Work your but off and do a good job for your customers and they will send you more customers. I have a hard time getting out of the office. I see the same thing in the dirt business. I personally would not hire anyone with out a good reference and I would not go with the lowest bid. I want good service. I got burned going with the lowest bid once on dirt work. Low price in any situation is not always the best choice. Advertising an be expensive and will help you get in the door, but good work and reputation will grow your business better than anything. I think ksss has the right idea on advertising.
  6. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    The best thing that worked for me is ads in the newspapers
  7. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Posts: 1,387

    KSSS I like the realtor sign approach,i see them on lots of guys doing the siding and window thing.

    Might have to get around and do that one.I will make the frame to put in the ground and use a large logo i use on my pickup and equipment that i have.

    I have been searching the website forum on here and i'm working on making my own website.It is a project in progress.Got a start on it at least.

    Thanks for the tip of the day!!!!!!!!!! it is greatly appprecated:usflag:
  8. jeffscap

    jeffscap LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    Just starting out use consistency when advertising,keep it small but steady.
    Job signs work well,local small paper ads. The best is word of mouth, it tends to multiply like a rabbit if you do good work. :waving:
  9. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    I find that it takes guys around 5 years of heavy advertising in the papers,phone book,sings on equipment,business cards and such to get their name commonly known around my area.

    Word of mouth is your best bet,for the excavation side remember most builders have a guy they use on a regular basis so in all honestly don't try to go after that market 100% first off,builders will know who you are if your known to do good work and they will search you out.

    If your looking at the Yellow Pages try to get a small ad,avoid the credit card sized ones as for the price you'll pay it most likely will not return on your investment try the small ads built into your name on the list and keep it simple and straight to the point and easy to read.
  10. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    Ive heard that yellow page ads can be a hit or miss kind of thing depending on the demograpghics of your locale. I personally, simply have a stack of business cards, some magnetic some not, I keep a few in my truck and never leave the house without a few in my wallet. With these I follow the ten-foot rule - If you get within ten feet of somebody, if at all possible, dont let them leave that radius without telling them about about your business and giving them a business card.

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