What to expect when advertising

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Matt's Mowing Service, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Matt's Mowing Service

    Matt's Mowing Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Hi, I'm new to this site and I currently mow 7 yards. I also do hedge trimming, leaf removal and pine needles. I really enjoy it and make pretty good money. I would like to get up to about 12 yards next season. The reason I only want that many is because I'm still in school.

    My question is how many door hangers should I put out if I want about 6 more yards? What should I expect? I know that word of mouth is a good way, but what other things should I do to get more clients? Also, when do I need a business license? I would really appreciate your help! Thanks!
     
  2. Andy31

    Andy31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Minimum you will need is 5. But in reality you will need to hang around 500 - 1000. You can expect around a 1% call back on the door hangers then you have sell them on your service/estimate. Make them nice, but you don't have to go all fancy with pictures, and full color printing. I made my first batch of hangers on safety green paper (3 per sheet) with black ink. They were heavy stock and I had a hole drilled in the tops and used rubber-bands. Cost me about $60 from a local printing shop,and a BUNCH OF HOURS hanging them.
    I am going to try mailing out postcards to see what response I get then I will know what works best in my area.
    I can't help you will licenses in NC but I am sure you could google SC Dept of professional licensing or whatever they call it there, and call them. Is there age restrictions for NC licenses?
    If you are interested in seeing what my flyer looks like you can check out my pic thread.
     
  3. joshman108

    joshman108 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    I prefer signs. Put up a sign and you target only people that need you, rather then you putting up thousands of door hangers on doors of people who dont need you and hoping someone responds. Signs are alot more efficient for such little effort.
     
  4. Matt's Mowing Service

    Matt's Mowing Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Thanks guys! I will consider the signs.
     
  5. Andy31

    Andy31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Are you talking about yard signs or what? I don't feel comfortable leaving an advertising sign in my client's yards, let alone I am sure it is not permitted by most HOAs. What kind of response do you get with these signs?
    I figure only the local neighbors would be driving by the yard and I can hit them with a door hanger and be done with it. Plus I have been getting calls months after I hung the hangers, so some people really hang on to them.
     
  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    First you need to define your tarket market, once you've done that you can send out post cards in that market only, why waste money and time handing out door hangers and flyers to just anyone, expect a 1-3% return so you need to get about a thousand out. You want to be able to have quality customers so go to the area's where people have enough disposable income for your services, I'd say households with incomes of 100-120k + would be where you want to be, but I don't know your area so do your research first.
     
  7. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I preferred to go up to neighbors of clients I already had and talk to them when I was in the business. Go up to them and tell them you take care of X's property and sale yourself/brand.

    Hanging door tags never was my thing. The areas/neighborhoods that everyone goes to for hanging tags get hit heavily by competitors and other businesses.

    I seem to have a door tag, bag of rocks with card inside, etc. show up daily at my house. They go straight in the trash and I do not even look at them. I live in a large neighborhood(manicured lawns) with homes ranging starting at 300K.

    Maybe try and hit places that do not get bombarded w/ ads.
     
  8. Matt's Mowing Service

    Matt's Mowing Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Thanks for the reply's! I put out 80 door hangers last spring and got 3 more weekly yards and 3 one timers. Where I live there aren't really any real expensive neighborhoods. I can only think of 2. There is usually not much door hanging around here so I guess that's why people seemed to pay attention. I'm planning on doing door hanging again next year and maybe signs if I get any yards in the right area.
     
  9. In my experience, nothing.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. mlavin73

    mlavin73 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    I tried advertising once. I believe I mailed out 200 post cards to homes I was interested in maintaining. Of those 200 post cards I believe I picked up one new customer. I think having a website is important. My website has generated a lot of calls and I think the company I host it through only charges $13 a month. I think you need web presence because alot of people when looking for something now head to google over opening the phonebook. I have found the best form of advertising has come from my existing customers. Most of my new customers have come from my existing customers. If you do a great job for your customer...and tell them you are interested in taking on more work, they may be able to refer you to friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, etc. Maybe you could start a referral program where you will give them 1 free lawn maintenance with a new customer.
     

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