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Advertising during growing season

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Cosmic Hippo, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Cosmic Hippo

    Cosmic Hippo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    There is a lot of info on here about when to start advertising and the best methods, etc. What are your thoughts on advertizing during the season, as compared to the big ad blitz many of us are doing as the season begins? I know it will vary wildly from company to company based on many variables. But what principles instruct your advertizing strategy after the grass has started growing again?

    Just as a starting point, or figure, I am leaning near 20%. That would be that 20% of my current ad budget will be allocated to advertizing throughout the season; 80% through march and into April. Or maybe I should set aside that same 20 percent but also plan to roll a percentage of profit into it (or price it into my qutoes).

    Or is it just instinct and savvy?

    Your thoughts?
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Yard signs at all my projects.

    Make sure your salesmanship is up to par when meeting all the neighbors who want to talk to you after helping the property value of the neighborhood.
  3. ambersLawnmowing

    ambersLawnmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    I dont advertise that much, plus there are MANY free or low cost advertising efforts that can be put into place before you worry about 20% or 80% of an ad budget. Also i hate driving around when the season is going. I like money and all, but by the 3rd mowing if you didnt relize your lawn was going to grow during the summer and just now called me then i dont want you as a customer.
  4. Cosmic Hippo

    Cosmic Hippo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Good points/ideas.

    Hey, I thought I must be the only insomniac mower around. What are you guys doing up? lol

    We should incorporate, set up franchises.

    Midnight Mowers: We cut your grass and wake your neighbors at no extra charge.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Midnight mowers, that's good stuff. :laugh:

    Only reason I was up is because that's the only time of the day that I can enjoy the peacefulness of quiet. Besides, it was a Friday night. :drinkup:
  6. JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc

    JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Just some thoughts. There is some easy to grab work through the summer at a few different times. During the spring, you're going to get people that do not get the quality job that they expect and will look for somebody else, or the people who had a LCO that never showed up for the job. Through the rest of the spring, you're going to get people who aren't getting the service they were expecting, as their LCO will at some point get way behind because of rain. As summer comes, as everyone always says, the heat will affect LCOs that aren't used to it. Then as summer ends, around mid to late August, you're going to get customers from college students that go to school out of town. Of course, in the fall, you'll get the people looking for a fall clean-up, a great time to sell people on lawn service for the following year. Then, of course, you can advertise for plowing (depending where you are), another prime time to discuss lawn care, or at the very least, send them postcards or letters about lawn service.

    Last year, I stopped advertising after May, but I've been getting calls in the past couple months from people who kept my name and number from April and May. If I advertised throughout the year, I am sure I would have gotten more work, and at the price I was paying, the increased sales would have more than justified the expense. This year, I am planning on carrying that ad throughout the season, adjusting it to focus on the major services I would like to push throughout the season. Of course, I will also be doing door hangers, postcards and fliers during the spring. I will also be sending postcards to my customers throughout the season promoting my referral program. Just some thoughts as to what I'm doing this year, hope it helped some.

    If I were you, I'd just budget a certain percentage and use a % of sales, unless you are prepared for the growth. As your customer base grows, your budget will grow, meaning your nominal response rate will grow, meaning your customer base will grow, your budget will grow, your response rate will grow...think you get the point. Theoretically, this would provide for exponential growth. Of course, we live in reality, so you will not grow exponentially, but if executed right, you will have a continually growing customer base and need to be prepared to handle that while keeping your current customers content.
  7. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    I agree with all the responses so far. I have tried year around advertising for the last couple of years. Both years I managed to get one of two big jobs during the summer that made the advertising $$ spent well worth it. But I didn't get many other calls at all during the summer. So if you don't get that one good account during the growing season, your you may not have a good ROI. Then again somebody may save your ad and call you in the fall. I have had a few customers do that. You also may be the only ad in your newspaper come July after the spring blitz is over, so that could be a good thing.
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I seem to pick up more lawns during the summer months than I do in spring. It seem people price shop in spring and when things don't work out on the cheap side they start calling. I also advertise during July for shrub trimming and in fall for cleanups.
  9. Bowtie_guy

    Bowtie_guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Me too. A lot of people say they are going to cut their own grass this year and after a month of doing it get tired and call someone to do it.
  10. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    We keep our ad's all year long in the newspaper. we add 2 to 3 more ads at the start of the season. simple truth is we get NEW customers all durring the season.

    it really Puzzled me, LAst year at the end of the season we picked up 7 NEW customers.
    I dont know why we go so many then. it just worked out that way.

    I have been keeping a log of when custoemrs call. and when we pick up new ones. and there is NO rime or reason.

    it's JUST WERID

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