Marketing Techniques

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by allenh60, May 28, 2005.

  1. allenh60

    allenh60 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Hi All. I am new to the group. I've worked for different landscaping companies off and on for about 15 years now. It's actually the only type of work I seem to really enjoy. About 2 months ago I decided to go on my own and start "Hobbs Lawn Care" I didn't think it would be such a struggle but it is. I am very broke and barely making enough money to supply the gas I need. So far I have 3 customers. Can yall please give me some sales/marketing tips please. I am in dire need of more clients.
    Thank You,
    Allenh60
     
  2. Sky King

    Sky King LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Try an ad in your local news paper, I just started this year, slow getting started but getting more from the news paper than anything. I am in brooksville Florida. Good luck!
     
  3. MowerMoney

    MowerMoney LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 281

    Print up some fliers or better yet, doorhangers. Doorhangers may be your best bet if your state doesn't allow you to put fliers in mailboxes. Make them as professional as possible with some color as well. It is kind of late in the season for this but you have to get your name out there. I am still getting 1 or 2 calls for cutting service every week. Since you seem to have the time, even try knocking on doors to introduce yourself and your services. Print up business cards to pass out to people. Even if they don't want the service, they may know someone who does. You may even try hanging a flier in your local grocery stores, laundromats, etc.
     
  4. stimpy

    stimpy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    Allenh60 watch the obituaries most women over 40 wont mow grass. Lots of old people in florida I here.
     
  5. arkylady

    arkylady LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    It's a federal crime to put anything on or in a mailbox, so no states allow it.

    We're also just getting started this year. We put out about 500 fliers and didn't get any response (not near enough), then we put an ad in the service directory in the paper and started getting a few calls. The customers we got from the calls have given us more business than the ad itself, think we're up to 9 regulars now woohoo :D

    It seems to start out slow, least it has for us, but we're picking up momentum. We also went several weeks with no rain so noone had much grass to cut, now that it's raining regularly things are starting to look up.

    It being the middle of the season, I'd assume that most people already have their lawn service decisions made for the year. Most of your business will come from people who are unhappy with their current LCO most likely.

    If you put out fliers or doorhangers, concentrate on neighborhoods nearby your current customers. The tighter you can keep your routes, the better off you'll be. You could also come up with some type of discount for referrals to give your current customers incentive to recommend you to their friends, family and most importantly neighbors. Just be careful how much of a discount you offer so you don't cut yourself too short.
     
  6. allenh60

    allenh60 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Thank You for the info. That's an idea I would have never thought of.
     
  7. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    My best response came from direct mailings. I typed up a letter and mailed 200 of them to homes I wanted. Out of the 200 letters I recieved something like 12 or 13 calls and got all but 2 of them.
     
  8. creepers

    creepers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    We have just started our basic lawn care business, within the last two weeks.

    Advertisement techniques have included an ad in the local paper and distribution of flyers....we drive through neighborhoods and toss plastic bags with our flyers to the driveways of yards which do not appear to be serviced by a lawn care professional, i.e. yards have not been edged, no trimming, etc. So far, just one customer, who responded to the classified ad in the local paper.

    Question-when distributing the flyers, I had a thought....are all neighborhoods potential customers or do neighborhoods have certain characteristics that would indicate better potential as a possible client? Do certain advertising techniques work better in some neighborhoods than others, for example, would flyer distribution work better in an upper class yuppie sort of neigborhood or a more established neighborhood, with senior citizens as residents?

    Thanks!

    Sheree in Florida
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653


    a) Flyers *SUCK*!

    That having been said:
    - Do not try to target your flyers. Just distribute ONE to EACH mailbox! You try that targeting, you're only hurting yourself.
    - To bypass the law, buy a roll of 1/2" masking tape. Then, drive alongside the wrong side of the road and between mailboxes, tear off a small strip of tape and stick it on a flyer with a little left over. Then, when you get to a mailbox, stick it on the mailbox POLE or POST!

    There, geez, I used to do 180 flyers/hour via that method. Go out each and every night for an hour or two, and do that until you are so sick of it that you can't do it NO more, then go do it some more. Put out at least 4,000 flyers, really 8000 or 12000 is better (now you're beginning to understand why they suck), the more, the better.
    Average response rate: 3-4 per 1000.

    Then, when you get tired of the low-balling and the bowlshed ... never having enough work so you gotta bend over backwards, etc, etc... Then you may be ready for paid advertising.
    Me, I like to advertise 24/7-365. This way I have SO much work, I can afford the attitude because whether I feel like it or not, please leave a message, and maybe I'll call.

    Peace out.
     
  10. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    Dude, please limit yourself to one thread per piece of misinformation. Don't just go from thread to thread, saying the same thing and every time someone calls you on it, just go to another thread and start all over.
     

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