Marketing Ideas??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Daleman, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. Daleman

    Daleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I am starting a lawncare biz next spring, and am working on some different marketing ideas. Tell me what you guys think and if you have tried any of these.

    1. Putting large ad in newspaper advertising first cut free

    2. Calling local real estate companies to maintain lawns of vacant
    homes for sale.

    3. Offering discounts to senior citizens
     
  2. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 527

    #1 I dont think i would ever advertise "first cut free", our service is valuable and i dont think i need to advertise free stuff to get work, theres plenty out there. Alot of scattered work also advertising in the paper, but when your first starting like us i guess you gotta go where the work will take you.

    #2 The real estate idea is a good lead!! Although i dont and i actually have been wanting to, a friend in this business does this and he loves it, he does good work and they never ever question his price!!!!

    #3 Be careful with senior discounts, they can draw you in over your head, 1 discount and they expect everything discounted and alot of extras for nothing, just think twice before doing that part.

    Just some things to think about, good luck and keep up the good work, preperation is one of the most imortant aspects of this business and it seems your doing just that!!!!
     
  3. Leonard

    Leonard LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 24

    #1. No way

    #2. That's a good start

    #3. Not a bad idea

    The best marketing, as anyone will tell you, is word of mouth. As you're just starting out do the 'ol flyer-on-the-doorknob routine & offer refferal discounts to your customers. Try to look & act professional, too. People will notice you better & that's when the word of mouth factor kicks in. Best 'o luck.

    cheers
     
  4. Daleman

    Daleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    thanks for the replies so far. What about instead of first cut free, change to first cut free with 1 year contract?? that better?
     
  5. IMHO you should not hang your boxing gloves up and keep your real job.

    Your current marketing plan is most undesirable to those of us veterans your know the real score.
     
  6. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    1) No way -to broad market area most of the time, newspaper seems to be the worst for me.

    2) NO WAY - I avoid dealing with agents. Often they get you to mow, the owner pays, when the house sells quess who is left out?

    3) Just remember how they can be sometimes, pickey and tight.
     
  7. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Part time is the way to go, and gradually grow.
    Ad in a local paper has worked well for me - it doesn't cost much. To get the best residential work, flyers in specific neighborhoods work better.
    I maintain some unoccupied real estate props, they pay slow and want 10-14 day schedules. And remember they are not permanent, when sold you will have to fill their spaces in your schedule.
    It could take a long time to get the rates established LCOs are getting to earn a living full time.
    There are a lot of posts here about costing yor biz to get bid prices. The hardest is your labor - if you want to net 20,000 per year ( 10.00 per hour 40 per 50 weeks) You have to figure by billed hour at gross for seasonal work, and Maybe only turning around 24 hours per week in season running solo (rain days etc.)
    7 months at 4 weeks x 24 = 672 billable hours, instead of 2000 wage hours.
    This is my first year only part time and it amazes me how much "dead" time there is involved, like book work, equip. maintenance, drive time, chasing down payments,rain, drought, etc.
    I decided to start part time and do residentials, and little props no one else really wanted around here until I got the feel for the biz and my production times. After starting this season I still believe its something I would want to do full time - just remember its not as easy as these guys make it seem here on L.S. :)
    The only discount I do is if I can get a seasonal or yearly contract, I thought about a free cut, but it would cost too much and I'd have to have a signed contract to consider it. And you want people saying you do good work, not offer free cuts.;)
    {Figures for example only)
     
  8. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Huh? That was some really helpful info... not!

    1. Maybe a percentage off the first bill instead.

    2. I've not dealt with real estate agents but some LCOs I know have gotton some good work from some. The new occupant may keep you...

    3. No discounts to seniors... There's plenty of 'well to do' old folks out there. They can get thier discount at McDonalds...

    Good luck
     
  9. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    1.) No
    2.) Yes, also telemarket your property management companies for your commercial work.
    3.) No

    Place a call to upscale developers who may need maintenance of a property before it sells. You'll get the ne homeowner, too.

    Call landscape install companies and see if you can partner with them for referrals if they don't mow.

    Call lawn fertilizer co's and see if your can partner with them for referrals.

    Solicit every customer next to and across the street from existing customers. Mention the customer you're currentl doing by name.
     
  10. Fallguy

    Fallguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    to your questions.
    1. yep - good idea - also go door to door at lawns that look like they need help.
    2. no
    3. no - i say that in all fairness everybody is charged the same - rich , poor, young, old, you should get paid the same no matter what.
     

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