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Newbie made a huge committment!!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by westernmdlawn, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Hi all... I have decided last winter that this season upcoming that I am going to get into the Landscaping business. I have already done lawncare for 3 years. I have spent the past year or so researching and preparing to startup this spring coming. Yesterday I just got my ad placed in the Yellow Pages. It is a 1/4 page ad that is all color and we spent alot of time making it right. It is going to come with internet listing and a website as well. The grand total is $655.00 per month!!!! Please tell me that it will be okay and I'll be glad I did it! I'm so nervous, I don't know for sure if I can afford this if the ad doesn't bring me sales. They say it will give me many sales, but that was them trying to sell me on the ad too. The thing is... there are only 3 or 4 other Landscaping companies in my phonebook that are my competition. All of their ads SUCK!!! They are small and black and white. One of these guys is huge too! My ad since it is larger and in color, will be first in the book, and look at least 4 times better than what is in there now. So mine will look the most professional and draw people in fast. Wow... I see this being a turning point in my life....
    What do you all think of this risky situation that I have put myself in?

    Thanks in advance....
  2. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    If you are serious about getting into landscaping $655 is gonna be your smallest bill. I assure you of that. Labor, insurance, equipent and fuel are gonna make that pale in comparison. Our expenses average around 20K/month. But to answer your question, a good yellow page ad is worth every penny.
  3. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    Rec'd 1 call from two seperate 1/8 page ads in the yellow pages this year. Never again!
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Any advertising is a crapshoot. Just don't expect the phone to ring off the hook with landscape jobs, because it won't. I have found that landscaping, obviously, is usually a big investment for people and they like to use referrals more than just cold calling out of the phone book. You should really be hitting up your current client list and sending a letter stating your situation and what you are now also offering as services. I went from a $500 a month ad like yours, 1/4 page full color, to a 1/4 page black & white and cut my cost in half. Reason being, for my size of company (4 people) I had all the work we could handle booked for the entire summer by the time spring arrived. That work all came from existing clients or referrals. Most phone calls from the yellow pages could not be handled because we were already booked solid. Certainly a lesson learned from it, but you just never know how much work to expect when your business is in the growing stages. I was afraid to hire too much help and then not have work. Now I have a better understanding on how this season should go, hopefully. It's always a gamble, but one that needs to be taken as well to succeed.

    You may have gone a little overboard, but it's too late now, your locked for a year with that payment. That will be $7860 worth of advertising, a lot, but not a lot. I think your only downfall will be that it sounds like you will be learning landscaping as you go, that will be where it will cost you. Learning comes with a price, it's called efficiency, which equals profits, or lack thereof. I think you will do fine just don't expect huge volumes of work or profits until you build your reputation. Just because you've done lawns for three years doesn't make you a landscaper. Not that you can't be, it just will take some time. Good luck with it.
  5. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    I think the small ads are there for a reason. They already have their clientel and really don't rely on the yellow pages at all for business. After 17 yrs in business I bet 95% of my business is referral and repeat bus. Just do a good job and only then will you reap the rewards.

    Good luck

  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    That is a huge overhead expense for your first year. I would not do it myself and I would never advice anyone starting out to make such a commitment.

    Its done now, so you better work your tail off.
  7. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    I concur w/ Hoss! That $ would be better spent toward a vehicle or new equipment. You may wind up spending a lot of time on meeting w/ potential clients and submitting bids. This will create more overhead as your time is spent on managerial tasks and not in the field generating income. I sure hope you have a few good people to do your on-site operations to your satisfaction.
  8. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    I myself recently thaught of doing a 2x2 inch ad in the yellow pages. for 96.00 per mo.

    Should I go for the biz card size ad for 150 mo for my first year in the yellow pages?
  9. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    Word of mouth and In-person sales are worth 100 times what the yellow pages are. Tried it for a couple of years.....Think about how much work you have to get from the ad and profit just to cover the cost.
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    It may be a bit too much, but it all depends on your area. I pay about $500 per month for mine, and its well worth every penny. I dont know if your near a bigger city, but if you are you will be fine. I think that referalls and word of mouth is kind of for a smaller town, i have never met about 10-15 of my customers, and wouldnt recognize probably 20-30 more if i saw them on the street. Just dont let on to how small your company is, with an ad like that they probably think your bigger than you are.

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