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how early is to early

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Mowerboy04, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Mowerboy04

    Mowerboy04 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,441

    is it to early to start advertising for next season? i was going to go and do like a pre season sign up. any thoughts? ps don't mind the spelling
  2. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    It already too late for most commercial, but I would start as soon as you want for residential and then hit them again and again before spring. Got to get your name out there. The best methods of advertising for me has been word of mouth and exposure. If they see ya or hear about ya, your in like flinn
  3. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,220

    Really? :confused:
  4. Gautreaux's LNG

    Gautreaux's LNG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 379

    Not too late for most commercial. We had commercial contracts which started at all times of the year not just Jan - Dec.

    It's never too early to advertise for residential, but most homeowners don't think about their yards until first warm up.... In South Louisiana the first time it gets about 72 degrees in late Feb we burn up the streets with Fliers and advertisement. Homeowners don't do much with their yards until the last second...
  5. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    There is no bad time for advertising, however there is an "EFFECTIVE" time to advertise. I would wait until feb to start with the flyers, however if you start now, it wont hurt, it'll just get your name out there.

    I started with 6 accounts in march of last year, I grew to 50 by the end of the season, it all happened via word of mouth!!! W.O.M. works awsome.

    Also, what I did this Holiday season, was sent x-mas cards to ALL my customers, saying in long story short, "thanks for the business, we look forward to hearing from you this spring, and tell your freinds about us" execpt it was longer written, and I put in about 5 business cards in each envelope.

    Good Luck!
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    6 customers turned into 50 in less then a year just by word of mouth? I would make sure I was charging enough. I pass info about good service to a few people every now and then, if the subject comes up. But If I get a really cheap deal with good work then I brag to everyone.
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    as mentioned above, its never a "bad" time to get your name out there but we have found that advertising RESULTS are best when you hit them when they are THINKING about their landscapes which is usually late winter/early spring for residential.

    W've also found that mass mailings do not work well for getting commercial accounts. If we see a commercial proprety we'd like to have, we first send them an intro letter, followed up by stopping in to see whomever is in charge of the grounds maintenance and introducing ourselves. While many commercial accounts are already locked up for 05, there are also some that are not, so don't be discouraged and instead, be persistent and stay at it and you will land some commercial business.

    Just be aware that mowing service is viewed by some(not all) property mgrs and homeowners as a commodity, like milk and bread. So why should I hire YOU?
    Be prepared to show them why your are different, better, etc...and be sincere since if you dont live up to your marketing hype, you'll only keep them for 1 season at the most. Offering references is particularly helpful when trying to land a commercial account. Good luck and don't get discouraged.
  8. TSpeciaLized

    TSpeciaLized LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10


    Can u give me an example of what your intro letter would read??
    Thats if you dont mind me being nosey
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    sure..I'll just outline it...keep it simple and short however..these people are busy and dont want to read a novel

    -Dear Paul Property Mgr..(its best if you can get the persons name..just call the business and ask the person who answers who makes the purchasing decisions..I;ve never not been able to get this persons name)

    My name is Joe Blow and I am the owner of ACME ---- Company and I would like to introduce to you the commercial landscape services we can provide for your property..(you can tweak these words obviously)

    THen a few sentences (no more) about what sets you apart from the other LandLizards.(stay positive...dont bash other service providers)

    Thank you for taking the time to review this information. We will be glad to meet with you to discuss any interest you may have in any or all of these services and you need only to contact me and we can set up a meeting time that is convenient for you. ( I do not tell them here that I will be calling them back in a couple of weeks to followup on the intro letter)

    Best Regards
    Joe Blow
    ACME Landscape Company
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I would also ask that if they are not excepting bids if they will put you on the list for next season.

    When I used to do work for property managers, I just sent them a letter asking if I can be put on their list of bidders. Most of these people just send out a package every year to anyone they can get to bid. I hated working like this and that is why I have a policy that does not except commercial work anymore. I like the residential that you can plan (most of the time) on having for 10 years.

    Actually I didn't just quit doing commercial work. They just can't seem to afford me :)

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