Newspaper Classified Ads

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Birddog Lawncare, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Birddog Lawncare

    Birddog Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 73

    I checked on the local paper's advertising rates? For a six line ad in the classifieds for 30 days is $100 and for a business ad it's $150 for 30 days. Is this a good way to drum business up for the first year? I'm totally starting from scratch, no leads or anything. THere's also a local sportsmen's club that sends out a monthly newsletter, they only charge $50 for the year. ANyone have any advice?
     
  2. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    that depends on how much money you have for advertising. but you can trust me on this, you do not want that to be your only form of advertising if you have no customers now. what i have found to be the most effective methods for gaining new customers are flyers and referral (word of mouth).

    flyers - there are many methods of distributing flyers. some of these include: door-to-door, paper box, other boxes, door hangers, posting in public places, direct mailing, etc. keep your flyer simple and to the point. they cost about 25$ per 1000. there may be legal implications to your methods, you might want to look into that.

    referral - this applies even to the start-up, just differently from established businesses. established businesses happily gain new clients on the basis of referal from pre existing customers. the start up can gain referal through friends and family.
     
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,013

    The newspaper worked great here twenty years ago, competition
     
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,013

    Sorry, hit the wrong button. The newspaper used to work great here twenty years ago. One guy could not keep up with a ad in the spring. Competition is so great on every front now that has changed. So my guess the answer is try the newspaper first, if the growing season starts and your not getting calls expand your advertising.
     
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,013

    P. S. Make sure that when a prospective customer calls that they get a real voice, usually the first reasonable person to make a bid will get the job, so If you have a cell phone and can make a bid fast your chances of landing the job increase.
     
  6. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    Newspaper does work and it is the most affordable media a new business can afford. however it is difficult to build up route density becasue call could come form all over the city, but your first year you just need to mow anywhere. so go for it. If you are very agressive I think you could find about 20-40 customers this year. Maybe more. How hungry are you?
     
  7. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 538

    Actually, if you would calculate the price of newspaper ads compared to yellow pages you would see that newspaper advertising is extremely expensive. Last year I advertised in two papers for $25.00/wk., which is just one ad per week per paper. I did get some calls but most of my calls came from the yellow pages.
    This year I am doubling the size of my yellow page ad and eliminating newspaper ads. Ask peoples opinions about where they look when they need a service such as yours. Most will say the yellow pages. The reason for this is that the paper usually only comes once a week. The yellow pages are there everyday, all year long.
    You should try several methods and in a couple of years you will see what works best. The longer you are in business the less your advertising expenses should be.
     
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    If you are planning on building a big company wouldn't it be benifical to use newspapers even though it will get you customers that are more spread out? Think about it. The first year the customers are spread out. But after that year you advertise in areas in between to fill in the rest of the space in between. You see waht i am saying?

    matt
     
  9. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 603

    no, I dont see why you wanna drive all over the country to cut grass. Think about gas, u gonna drive 30 min one way to cut a yard for $35 then turn around go 30 min drive again to cut another yard at $25???

    Newspapers are a waste, just like phonebooks.........get creative
     
  10. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,101

    We have papers here that only go to certain cities. I only advertise in the cities where I work.. no wasted money or energy.
     

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