When to market for next season?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brit721, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. brit721

    brit721 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

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    For the guys in and around the southeast (specifically ga. ala. sc. tenn.), When does the "season" actually begin? I realize most answers will be based around climatic conditions, but is there a gauge? Is there a certain month when everyone says ok game time. Want to market my business as soon as possible and through the winter but not too soon that potential customers forget about me. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    Well, I'm always looking for new business year round. Whenever someone calls about plowing, I ask them who or if they have a lawn service and vice versa. New home owners geta freindly hello whenever I see a new face in the neighborhood. But when it comes to advertising in the paper, I put the ad in about the middle of March and leave it there until the end of June. At my current growth rate (I'm solo) I'll probably not advertise next year.
     
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    In florida, Starting Flyers the last week in February and ending flyers the last week of April.

    I advertise in periodic literature all year round, just change my focus from grass in spring to mulch and install work in fall.
     
  4. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    I am assuming that the flyers are for residential (could be wrong)? What about commercial properties? When is a good time for them, are they going over budgets now for next year and is a cold call or fax ok?
     
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Yes I was referring to resi work.

    Commercial work takes work. Advertising usually only helps in the name recognition category.

    I know this isn't the answer you want on commercial properties, but there is no correct time. Good commercial properties take time (or luck). Call today and find out the contact information. Discover who is the person who controls hiring for the greenscape maintenance. Find out what is normally a good time of day to reach them. Then wait a day and call back and ask for them. When you get them on the phone, have a list of questions prepared. To include, when is your bidding window for the greens maintenance contract. Do you have a job spec? How would I go about getting a copy of the spec and how would I get invited to bid at your next opening? When would be a convient time to walk the property prior to the bidding process?

    Be courteous and send a follow up thank you letter.

    Then do what they said as far as window and specs go.

    That is the basic method. Obviously for a single location gas station this is a bit overboard. But if we are talking nicer, larger locations this is the way I would do it.

    You need to develop a database, you need to follow up periodically so they know you are still interested and to keep your name in the back of their head.

    Be prepared to find out that many decision makers are out of town people, many go through leasing companies or property management companies. But, persistance is what wins the contract.
     
  6. dsmrolla06

    dsmrolla06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 305

    Im looking to start advertising for commercial accounts by around next week. Im just going to start sending postcards and things here and there to start getting name recognition.
     
  7. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    In North GA ...March & April for Mowing....... Sept for Fall fert / aerate , overseed, etc. My area winter yard work does not happen much. At least for me. One larger LCO does alot of mulch spreading in teh winter, but I think they have it figured in on commercial props.

    Try different ads & track what is working & spend more on the ones that work & less on the ones that do not.
     
  8. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    Pretty much that is what I do now, getting in with the large management companies is harder than just dealing with individual i.e. Eastern Metals, Morris and Associates etc. One of the biggest problems is that we do long grass work and a lot of it. When I speak to the real estate agent they tell me oh, we just think of you as long grass work and never even thought of asking about finish work.
     
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Then perhaps you should develop a portfolio. This way you can showcase your work of both types. Visual aids never hurt.

    As far as real estate agents go, I try to avoid them unless they come referred by a good friend who is in that business. Too many cheap unscrupulous dirt bags in that business, and always wanting to pay net 90. But if you have better luck it is never wrong to say, hey that property you have listed / manage on 1234 Main. Would you like get that in better shape, and keep it that way? I am sure that would help us both out.
     
  10. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    :D One of the big landscapers here sends contracts out in January. Most of us smaller guys have had to scramble to beat that. Customers don't really think about it until March or even April when the work needs done:D
     

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