mowing advertising

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Turfdoctor1, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    I own a pesticide/fertilizer business, but my friend is getting ready to start a mowing business, and I have a few questions I was hoping you could help me with.

    (1) If the budget is low and you are trying to decide between putting out flyers and door hangers, what would you guys suggest? He wants it to be very professional, because there is a lot of competition.
    (2) When is the best time to start putting out the flyers/door hangers in relation to the start of the mowing season?

    thanks for any help.
     
  2. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I would recommend using door hangers on a small budget for mowing. Hit the cookie-cutter neighborhoods and get out 5000 of them in late Feb. to early March (maybe 2 weeks earlier in AR). You can't budget postage right now, so get to walking!
     
  3. BTLS

    BTLS LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 109

    bandit signs- placed at entrances of neighborhoods...when i put them at intersections and stuff, i get hate calls. it's touchy sometimes but I've had a lot of success with them. flyers are hit and miss for me. never did door hangers because they are expensive and you can basically do the same thing with flyers. color flyers are more expensive...much more...black and white are cheap but you can choose paper color and make them look pretty good. I think the most important part is to bombard everywhere with whatever medium you choose. I put out bandit signs every week for 4 months and filled up my business. people would take them down and I'd put them right back up. be consistent and relentless. something to think about. -Ben
     
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    If you're on a budget, then you really can't do doorhangers. A decent doorhanger can't really be made at home or at Kinko's. You pretty much have to go to a print shop and have those done.

    But flyers, on the other hand, can be done at home or at Kinkos, in just black and white, and work just fine. Nowadays I have much nicer full-color, professionally designed doorhangers and flyers. But back in the day, I built our whole maintenance division based on this simple black and white flyer here;

    http://www.cybcon.com/~jimlewis/Flyer.bmp

    And it worked great. I used to take them to Staples and get their "economy" printing for 2 cents each. That's a cheap way to do flyers that work.
     
  5. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    what ever happend to word of mouth...we all know what great jobs we do....and i mow better than all yall...so i should be getting lots of calls, right?lol
     
  6. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705


    thanks for the advice guys.

    wowmowwow--well, not much word of mouth with you have exactly 0 customers.

    jim--thanks for the good advice. I guess what i'm wondering is how much more response would you expect from 5000 professional door hangers (if it is in the budget) vs 5000 black and white flyers.

    5000 door hangers cost about 400 bucks, and at $0.02 flyers would cost 100 bucks. So, is the quality worth $300 in customer response?
     
  7. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    lol .... thanks
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    I don't think you can expect any more response. At least that's my experience.

    I showed you the flyers we used up to 2002. Here is the next flyer I had made up;

    FRONT: http://www.cybcon.com/~jimlewis/FlyerFrontSm.JPG

    BACK: http://www.cybcon.com/~jimlewis/FlyerBackSm.JPG

    As you can see, that's a much nicer flyer. Full color, glossy, card stock paper, etc. And you'd think that one would be much more appealing to potential customers. But actually, we got the same or even less response with that flyer than we did with the old B&W ones. In fact, I still have about 5,000 of those flyers in my garage. They really didn't perform for us like I had hoped.

    There are two things I think a nicer flyer does for you; 1) Makes your company look a little more professional 2) Makes your company look a lot more expensive.

    So if you are looking to attract more high-end customers, and accept possibly less response, than this may be the way to go. But if you're purely looking for good response rates, my experience has been better with the B&W flyers. But this is just one individual case. YMMV.
     
  9. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    interesting.
     
  10. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705


    thanks jim. that is really interesting, and I would say surprising. But, i guess it really makes sense. I wonder if others have experienced the same.

    Like I mentioned in my first post, this is a friend starting a mowing business. But, I have offered to let him operate under my name, me pay for the advertising, etc. for the first year and him do the leg work and both of us reap the benefit from additional advertising. That's why I am personally concerned about the professional look of any advertising material.

    I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to go with door hangers in the higher end neighborhoods and something like your black and white flyer in middle class places.
     

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