Questions on advertising pricing and timing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ltbenji, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. ltbenji

    ltbenji LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I'm planning on getting door hangers or postcards as a form of advertising and one idea I had was a flat rate first cut and as a referral bonus. One of the neighborhoods I am targeting all have yards that would be in the $25 to $45 per cut price range. Would advertising a $20 first cut be considered lowballing or would I be shooting myself in the foot over the long run? I do this on the side and all of my equipment is paid for.

    Related question, what do you all think of a flat rate first cut as an advertising tool in general?

    Secondly, when is the best time to try and gain new customers for the 2014 mowing season? The neighborhoods I am interested already have LCO operators and I'd like to get my flyer on people's doors first. I was thinking mid February depending on the weather.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  2. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    I think you're more so shooting yourself in the foot with $25 lawns. I'm brand new, part time with equipment paid for and won't take a lawn for less than $35. If I were you I would offer a % off first cut if that's what you want to do. You can offer 20% off first service which would still bring a $25 lawn down to the $20 you want to do but then you're not completely hosed when someone calls with 6 overgrown acres.

    Lawn site gives a pretty good idea of when to start sending flyers, when you see 100 new threads per day about people getting excited for mowing season it's about the same time a customer will start thinking about lawn care. If you go too early people don't think about lawn care when their yard is covered in snow, too late and they're all snatched up. Your best bet is hitting the same neighborhood multiple times, start a little early to be the first one, hit them right around the same time everyone else is to make sure you're in the mix and hit them one last time late to get them when they're at the oh crap I forgot to hire someone stage.
     
  3. TheBetterDoorhanger

    TheBetterDoorhanger Sponsor
    Posts: 526

    Well when you're ready to start putting out flyers may I recommend A'Deas Printing. We have some great specials for everything from flyers to door hangers starting at just $59! We also have an application on our website that enables you to design your own door hanger. Or, if you need help designing your flyer we have a design team on staff that can help you with that. For more information go to www.adeasprinting.com
     
  4. hokis

    hokis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    I was going to try flyers in mid February. I think a low first mow is a good idea but just make sure not to go too low and make sure they just dont use you the one time and get ride of you. Thats why there are contracts if you want them
     
  5. ltbenji

    ltbenji LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    TTS, my thought was that a posted sale price catches my attention more frequently than a percentage discount. And I also have a very specific neighborhood that I am targeting which should eliminate the overgrown six acres.

    One yard that I am mowing in the area is a $25 yard so I think the $20 is low enough to be an attention getter without being looked at as a lowballer.
     
  6. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,021

    Bid $15 on all of them and you are sure to be a smashing success and make tons of money.
     
  7. Slimreynolds

    Slimreynolds LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    I advertised first cut is free when you sign up for weekly service before June 1st and a referral discount of one free cut for every friend or family member that signs up for weekly service. This was my first year in business so I was eager to get customers. I ended up with 26 weekly mowing accounts!!! 18 of those already want me for next season! This is a great way of advertising if you can afford it.

    I don't know where you're from but in CT my minimum is $35 per cut. Don't waste your time with the $25 per cut lawns unless you have a bunch on one street.
     
  8. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    Likewise the biggest problem I had with the plan is the $25 yards. I understand you're only looking at the one neighborhood now and a flat rate first cut would probably work fine within that neighborhood but what if someone there owns another property they want you to service instead, and what about when word of mouth kicks in and they advertise your first cut rate. Or what if the neighbors start talking and your regular price is $25 for Joes lawn and your regular price is $45 for Bobs lawn, Bob just got a much better deal and Joe is pissed. Also when you have left over flyers and are ready to start advertising a different area you have to toss those and order new ones with your new first cut price. A flat percentage gives everyone the same discount.
     
  9. Chuck Norris

    Chuck Norris LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    If you ever come across in your head and or asking if it's low balling then hint hint it most likely is.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Bryan27

    Bryan27 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    I think the idea of first cut for free with a weekly contract would be a more effective marketing strategy, you also wouldn't be putting that $20/cut number in their head. Once you do a $45 cut for $20, people tend to de-value the service in their head, whereas with a free cut they don't associate it with the value of the service... if that makes sense to you? If you could buy weekly mowing contacts for the price of one cut, how many would you buy?
     

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