My 1st spring-Marketing tips,advice, opinions??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by yaardvark, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. yaardvark

    yaardvark LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    This is my 1st spring, I started my bus. late fall 03, and would love any help I could get with marketing advice. So for I have been using only flyer (very ineffective) and roadside signs (more effective and cost effecient). I know word of mouth is best, but I have a very small customer base and need to grow it fast. Direct mail? Yellow pages? (prices are outrageous!! are they worth it?) door to door? I read where one guy put 10,000 flyers in the local newspaper and that sounds like a great idea, but how much $$ and how do you go about doing it?? Thanks for your input!!!
     
  2. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    One thing about advertising is that's it's one of the most expensive parts of owing a buisness, and it never ends. Flyers are tricky, I think you or a company you hire needs to come up with somethings that looks very professional and is eyecatching. Target neighborhoods that will most likely have the highest volume of people that would use the service you are offering. If money is tight just introduce yourself to the right people and get your name out through friends and family. When people do call requesting service ask the how they heard of you so you know which advertising is working the best.
     
  3. Ron Greenwood Jr

    Ron Greenwood Jr LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 78

    $550 here to put 12000 in the paper
     
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi yaardvark,

    Some ideas that I have seen posted here have been to start a referal program to reward your current customers when they bring you new business. Also when you create flyers maybe offer coupons to sign up new clients quicker.
     
  5. AdvancedLawn

    AdvancedLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    The town I live in has a place on the TV for businesses to advertise. The add runs every seven minutes at 15 seconds a time 24 Hours a day. At $25 dollars a week you can not beat that. I think I had 10 calls last week and picked up seven of them. i also have an add in the service directory of the newspaper and that is about $75 dollars a month, I think three people called me from that and I picked up one of them. The only problem with that is that every person that has called me from the newspaper add seems to live on a very run down yard and just are not willing to pay the. They are usually really old just looking for the low guy. I am about to send out dirct mail this next week hopefully that will bring in the big dogs.
     
  6. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    We get our some of our best customers in the cheapest ways.
     
  7. LHise

    LHise LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 3

    This reply to advertising does not in any way reflect any experience in lawn care. I have none, however, I am very interested in the industry and considering the possibilities. My experience is eighteen years in the manufactured housing industry where I have tired just about every form of advertising media there is. The good, the bad, and the very very ugly. I have spent thousands of dollars on electronic media (tv, radio), newspapers (display & classified), and direct mail. The most consistant responses from all forms of media, that I have tried and tested, are classified ads in as many newspapers within my market area. Unless you have very deep pockets, electronic media will not work. The important thing is that you have to be in front of the public daily for advertising to really work. When someone is looking for a product or service, your company has to be there when THEY are looking. Once your business is established, word of mouth will kick in if you provide excellent service. The old saying about word of mouth is true. Provide the client with excellent service and that client may tell one person. Provide the client with bad service and the client will tell fifteen people. Advertising is an art form in itself, and trust me, I still am working on it. Good luck with your business.
     
  8. aperfectlawn

    aperfectlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Referral incentives for your customers works really well.
     
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    Lets forget the word of mouth and incentive for existing customers. We want new customers in new markets...and fast.

    I can have 33000 flyers go out next week in a local newspaper but do I want to invest $1200 to do so. The 1% rate of return on flyers is a fallacy because it means if I target a market 100 times i should get every customer. It doesnt and wont happen.
     
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I have done text ads in the service directory of my local newspaper about 1/2 dozen or more times. This year I have had better results than ever. This is how I did it. In the headline I spelled out "AFFORDABLE" (this actually took 2 lines in space) with a star on each side. Then below I listed my various services with phone number. I also paid extra (I think $3) for inverting, white print on black background. I found list all your services work better than just a few. I have been pulling 2-4 calls a day with this add. I think total cost was around $180. Population here is around 400,000.
     

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