When to start ads/ flyers for Spring 2006

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Heath, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Heath

    Heath LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I am starting my business part time next spring. When should I start running newspaper ads and putting out flyers? My goal is to get 15-20 (depending on size) residential accounts to do during the week before or after work and on weekends. Thanks.
     
  2. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    I wouldn't think you would need a newspaper ad to drum up 20 accounts. Just pound the pavement. If you were targeting commercial I would say start now. Since you are looking for residential I would try to start just before the first mow of the year. Try to time it on a 70 degree saturday just before it is time to start mowing, that way mowing is on their minds and you stand a better chance of catching them home. Here is another tip if you are buying flyers or door hangers it is better to buy them in large quantities make arrangements with a local billy-bob beforehand and sell them your overflow
     
  3. Heath

    Heath LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    To save time, do you recommend doing jobs in your own neighborhood? Too much risk working for the guy next door?
     
  4. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    I do a large amount of work in my neighborhood (one full days worth). It works out very good for me considering the price I get for the work and drive time. My drive time is anywhere from 10-45 seconds per job. :)
     
  5. marionlandscape

    marionlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Follow the money if you live in a red zone I would say no but if you live in a wealthy area then yes stay in your area. A good client will have you doing everything for them not just mowing.
     
  6. Heath

    Heath LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I may be jumping the gun, well I know I am, but just looking ahead. Of course when I start next spring I will be continuing to try and grow the business by referals, advertising, cold calling commercial accounts, etc. so I can leave this corporate job ASAP. I wanted to know how you all knew when it was time to go full time and when it was right at that point, how hard was it to hold down the 8-5 job, work all your lawns solo on weeknights, weekends and find time for the wife and kids (which of course are the most important, but they know there will have to be sacrifices with me starting this company.) I want this more than anything, have a solid business plan, have the money saved and the right equipment for now, I just am concerned with time management and not getting fired from the salary job due to starting this lawn business. Thanks!
     
  7. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    Heath,

    I put out around 200 doorhangers yesterday in Spring and two other landscapers had put flyers out for lawn care. If I were you I would start now, you have to remember some people just moved in , some are tired of their current service.


    What you will find is that a lot of people in Houston dont feel that they are getting the service they want, mostly because the people doing the work dont have much of an interest in keeping the clietn happy.

    That should be one of your selling points, that you actually work on their yard.Good luck
     
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Heath,

    A couple of ideas.

    use door hangers. response rate is 1-3% So plan on 2000 to get your 20 accts.

    use postcards. get a local realtor to give you the list of new house closings in your target area and send the new homeowners a postcard. Do this weekly and it will be 5-10 cards. I did this in summer and got about a 2% response.

    On your invoice for current customers, add a line at the bottom, "the best way to say thanks is to refer a friend"

    As someone else mentioned I wouldn't waste the money on a newspaper ad for 15-20 accts especially if the paper covers a large area. Do you really want to have to travel all the way across town. Density is where profit is.

    getting the 15-20 is easy. Getting 15-20 quality accounts takes a bit longer but know that as you get new good customers you can fire / raise rates on crappy ones.
     
  9. liquidforcedude7

    liquidforcedude7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from america
    Posts: 285

    Ive allready started and will go steady till the new year, then start again right before grass starts to grow. Ive allready picked up 3 residentials and 1 commercial this fall for next year
     
  10. FiremanDud

    FiremanDud LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    that's a great idea on calling the realtor, are they happy helping or do you need to ask around?
     

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