Service Directory

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jocko1104, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. jocko1104

    jocko1104 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    I just got off the phone with my local newspaper (austin, Tx) inquiring about a placement in the service directory.

    $312.00 FREAKIN dollars!!! for 30 Days?

    Does this seems about right or a little high? I suppose that you have to spend money to make money but this seems ridiculous!

    What do y'all pay?
  2. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533


    I don't use the big city paper near us (Houston Chronicle), I use the small town weekly produced in our community. The cost is $50 for 4 weeks.
  3. Lawn Wizard

    Lawn Wizard LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    I use the smaller community based papers myself, and they run anywhere from $38 a month to $50 a month.
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I haven't used newspapers but have advertised in neighborhood newsletters, welcome to the neighborhood packets, smaller outlying areas that have their own phone books. This lets me target areas that I prefer to work in and cost is cheaper.
  5. walker-talker

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


    I usually have great results in the service directory. I don't really use it for mowing, but for the extras, like aeration, dethatching, scalping and overseeding. Make your ads short and to the point.
    Something like this:

    --------- FREE ESTIMATES-------------

    You get the point.
    On average my add cost 80-140 dollars in a city of 400,000
    You will want to be sure to be available to answer the phone at all times. If the custmer does not get through, they will go to the next listing. I work 3rd shift at my full time job. I sleep during the day, with my phone, pen and paper on the night stand.
    Take you a small ad and just see how it does. $312 sounds a bit steep to me.

    Good luck
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Sounds about right to me. 'course it all depends on how many lines, etc.

    Way back when I used to advertise in the service guide (btw, not the best method of advertising, and also attracts the low-end customers more), I used to pay about those rates for an ad like this;

    Professional Weekly Lawn Care
    Pruning, Clean-ups, Mulching, etc.
    (503) 555-1212

    Being as I don't service all of the Portland area, I found that it was best to list the area of town I was in. That kept out unwanted calls from areas I didn't service. It also had the side effect of drawing people in my area to call me rather than the other ads.

    One last tip; I very rarely found it worth it to advertise in the Service Guide except during the spring time. The rest of the year I didn't usually get enough calls to warrant the advertising expense.

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