what is the best advertising?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 1 shot, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. 1 shot

    1 shot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    New to the site but have found some very valuable info.

    Would like to get your input on this topic.

    I have been cutting grass part time as a side job for 3 seasons, with a different full time job to pay the bills. My full time job has not been treating me very well lately and I have decided to take on my landscaping career full time and become my own boss. Currently I have 7 or so customers under my belt. Not a whole lot of words of mouths. I have been pondering whether or not to place a full page ad in the local paper, or do a full page insert in that paper, or possibly even direct mail the most prestigous subdivisions around. My question to the lawnsite world is what do you think would work best or maybe what has been a proven customer getter for you?

    Paper hits 40000+ homes every Thursday.

    Thank you for sharing the knowledge that you have with a newbee.

    :gunsfirin
     
  2. Different people respond to different type ads. Try several things as your budget allows and see what gets the best results for you.
     
  3. Garth Sweet

    Garth Sweet LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Good looking equipment and people working for you.
    We use a covered trailer with or name on the side and it has paid for the $2000 lettering job 10 times over.
    Good work and contact with the customer always gets new customers for us
     
  4. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    Garth Sweet,
    Can u send me a pic?
     
  5. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    I have found that my local paper is utterly useless. Sometimes I don't think tthat ANYONE reads it. (except for me of course!). I have found one thing they are good at though, and thats distributing fliers in the paper for me. For $42/1000, I had them deliver 8000 last year. Got a good return rate. Spent about $500 on that. VERSUS. $700-800 in various ads in the newspaper that didn't get me a single customer. However, its very hard to judge the logo/name recognition it gained me.
    I am trying direct mail this spring, along with more fliers. First question on the phone must always be "how did you hear about us" or you will never know where to spend more $$.
     
  6. jocko1104

    jocko1104 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    The add in the paper got me a good deal of calls, however, they were (for the most part), shoppers that you needed to return the call imediatly for fear of them just going to the next add until they hear a person or AMAZINGLY out of area.

    If you live a bigger city then be prepared to decline business or justify a reason for driving all over town.

    The flyers sound like a pretty good idea. I'll have to check on the prices. I know that the 3 line add in the paper was $145 a month for me. Seemed a little high. The little nickle was around $50 but the problems were the same just magnified.
     
  7. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    We use the yellow pages.
     
  8. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 980

    i agree with jocko. Price shoppers mostly. but, it was a good way to pick up ANY business in just starting up. Beggers cant be choosers. I say, grab all you can then trim bad customers as you get bigger and can refine your routes and customers. You will also find alot of ppl that hire and dont pay there. I dont know why that was, but i had the worst problem there.
    gl
     
  9. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    I'm not saying the newspaper won't work. I do think starting out you have to take budget into consideration. A nice flyer targeting specific types of clients in the areas you want to work may prove more cost efective. Newspaper ads are usually a good way to keep your name out there and in front of your audience, but as mentioned above, it could generate a lot of tire kickers looking for the lowest price.

    Putting your company and yourself directly in their hands is the best way to go initially. It will develop a client base, generate referrals and eventually give you more work than you can handle. It takes persistence and the willingness to get out there.

    Too often (and I'm not trying to offend anyone here) people in this and any service business look at big numbers and think.... If I have an ad in front of 100,000 people, I should at least be able to get at least 1/4 of a percent them as clients. That's 250 people out of 100,000. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.

    The fact is, competition exists and you need to do everything in your power to get in front of your prospects and prove to them why you are the best choice.
     
  10. BigMike

    BigMike LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Good post Sean Adams...I think your philosophy about growing this type of business is right on! Although I am a newbie to this business (2nd year, part-time), I, lick so many in the Lawnsite community, am a student of this industry...always striving for A+ quality and a time efficient operation (from unloading to driving away). This thought can be expressed as an equation:

    High Quality (everytime) + High Efficiency = Eventual Success !!

    ...I know, a bit simplistic, but this is what feel. We should always make an earnest attempt to deliver high quality service to our clients. I believe with a little patience, common sense, and luck, success is inevitable! Go for it!
     

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