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2 ??'s regarding phones and yellow pages....

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Jon99, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    1. Is a seperate business phone a must to start a business???

    2. I live in a rural area in Illinois, a town of 100K people is about 15 miles away and the Chicago suburbs are about 35 miles to the north... Should I run a yellow pages ad in the local directory only or also run an ad in a couple suburban books??? Or would I be better off running a few ads in several papers?? Or just distributing fliers in the different areas???? I am having a hard time deciding if I should focus on the area closer to me or the area thats further away, yet more populated and wealthy... Any suggestions???
  2. 1. seperate phone probably not a necessity but I'd go the extra $ for a seperate line. Will be more business like and you get a listing in yellow pages.

    2. Whats your ad budget? Some areas yellow page ads can get $$.
    Flyers are a less expensive way to target only those houses you want so you can fit the lawns to your equipment.
    Truck signs also very good adv.
    I'd start closer to home to reduce travel time.(assuming there is work to be had) How much competition is in your area?, Its possible to do just as well serving middle and lower income neighborhoods that have been passed by, instead of fighting for a piece of the wealthy neighborhoods.
  3. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    In my area business line is required
  4. Just Cut

    Just Cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    A business line is not required in my area, before I was committed to a business line I had potential clients mention when they finally did get a hold of me that I should really consider a yellow page ad because they were having a hard time finding out how to contact me, after I got one I received calls from all over, I have had to ask what there location is so I was not running out of my route areas, As far as fliers go my response rate has been 4%, my rate of secured business from that 4% has been about half, I have had great success by word of mouth in closing the sale, and a fairly good response this year with truck signs, advertising in the local paper has been a great way to secure new business and keep my routes tight :)
  5. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    We have one line with two no.'s. Our personal line rings once and, the business line rings twice so we know who is calling for what.

    Looked at and ad in the YP's also. They are spendy but, they do generate business. The salesman told me that when you get an ad they run a test to see how many calls are actually coming in from just the ad itself. He said that the no. in the YP's is only used in the YP's, meaning that that no. is only used in the YP ad and not on your trucks, fliers, business cards, etc. As we both fingered threw the YP's he told how many calls different companies were getting from their ad. Most of the bigger ads were getting anywhere from 20-35 calls per month. And after the end of each month they would get a hold of the company to see what their closing rate was vs. calls that had came in for that month. He also mentioned that if you do get the ad that, location in the YP's were important. He said you gotta look at the big picture when getting an ad and, not just looking at how much they cost per month. I still haven't decided wether or not I will be doing this just yet.

    Don't know if this answers you question but, I thought I would throw this in here.
  6. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778


    Anyone that would suggest you only use the phone number in the yellow pages is crazy. How many phone numbers do you want floating around. Also, I have never heard of the phone company....."running tests"....you must have a better phone company than I do. I think he was pulling your leg to get you to buy a bigger ad. Don't listen to that guy. If I was you I would demand a different salesman.
  7. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Bob- The big difference between my local area and the areas to the north is growth, both residential and commericial... My local area does have a lot of competition and is very price sensitive, but I am sure I could get accounts... The area to the north is not only wealthier, but is booming right now..

    I know a guy in the business that has two crews, one works in this area and the other hits the suburbs and he says as long as you have the acounts it works well...

    Plus I worked in the city (80 miles) for 11 years, going to work 40 miles away would be easy.. :)
  8. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    What he meant was that no. in the phone book is for the ad nothing else untill the test is complete. You can't put that no. on your trucks, cards, fliers, etc. It's for the YP's only. You still have your own no.'s. When people call that no. the phone company can knows that the ad is generating calls. Alot of people may never see your trucks or cards, so they look in the phone book.

    I understand what you are saying and that's why I didn't do it. I just called him to get a bold 1 line w/name and number. He said it wasn't worth doing that. That's when I knew it was time to hang up.
  9. RWADesigner2

    RWADesigner2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    The way that NUMBER FOR THE YP works..is that the number in the phone books...that the prospective clients..calls..is forwarded to your actually business line. The use for this system is for one reason..TRACKING CALLS FOR MARKETING PURPOSES. We just bought 3/4 page full color ad and it cost us $1165.00 a month...o.k...ya..alot of money for one ad..but hopefully well worth it..anyways...we have a "CALL GARANTEE"..on how many calls that ad show produes a month..like 75-100 calls. well if it does then "Great"..but if not they are to re-enburse us for the difference of call it didn't generate. This system also lets you know if this marketing tool is working for you ..and if so..which areas are calling you more..than others..stuff like that..

    I think it is a great option to consider.
  10. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Had a friend do that special phone number thing for their business (not lawn care) a few years ago. The thing that puzzled her was how the reported number could be so high when the phone wasn't really ringing with lots of inquiries. It just made her wonder if they had something going on that boosted the numbers.

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