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Advertising for residential mowing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rnh719, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. rnh719

    rnh719 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 43

    My husband started landscaping last year and we really got pretty busy with landscaping jobs but we did a lot of residential mowing as a sub contractor and that was not the way to go! This year we want to get a lot of residential mowing to keep us busy consistently but I'm not sure of the best way to do so. The flyer's we used last year were great for other jobs, mulching, tree removal etc.. but we didn't get any mowing from them. We were going to put a mowing price on our flyer but I've read on here that you shouldn't put a price on your flyer. And no we weren't going to be a low baller and slap a price on a flyer and put it all over town. We were looking at the different neighborhoods we were interested in and coming up with the average price in there. I know that low-balling would hurt our industry as a whole and not be conducive to us making any money. We don't want to waste our time out there mowing by doing it for next to nothing, we just wanted to put a price and hope that would help draw people in. But like I said from what I'm reading on here putting a price on your flyer is a big no-no. So what could we put on the flyers to get homeowners interested in mowing??? Do we put competetive mowing prices... sign up for your weekly mowing while slots are still available??? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. We are getting ready to pass out more flyers and I really need the help =) Thanks in advance!!
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    What are the cons to doing sub mowing work?
  3. rnh719

    rnh719 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 43

    Where do I start, lol? I guess overall we just didn't make good money doing it, by the time the contractor took their fees what got passed down to us was not enough. Honestly when they offered us $25 we thought that was really good as some of their other lots they were only wanting to pay $15 and $22. Knowing what we know now even $25 isn't good as they weren't tiny lots or anything. Also they just didn't have enough homes in one place to make it worth our time. They gave our their mowing to a few different people and sometimes my husband and one of their other subs would be mowing in the same neighborhood! Which of course didn't make sense b/c it goes back to not having enough houses in one area to be worth it. We would be asked to go mow a lawn and we'd get there and the grass hadn't been mowed in months, one time my husband went to a house that had so much trash in the yard it actually had DEAD FISH!! I kid you not, lol. Lastly, we were at someone elses mercy for the billing and it wasn't worth waiting to get our money when we put a lot into and the return was so little. This company we worked through was actually a pretty big company and does a lot of work in our area so we thought they'd be a good one to work for.

    That was just our experience and I'm sure others have had positive experiences doing sub mowing. Being the sub in general is not always fun as you have no control over anything.. if a company doesn't pay you can't call that company. You have to call the contractor and and be a third party. We would just prefer to find it ourselves as the work we did that we found went much more smoothly and our business grew from referals.

    Now that I wrote you a novel on why I hated sub mowing, haha, do you have any suggestions on what to put on the flyers to get people interested without naming a price? We are really anxious to get more advertising out there, this screwy spring and winter we've had isn't helping the wallet!!
  4. grass2cash

    grass2cash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    With my infinite wisdom and all my experience (1 yr - LOL!!) I think your only obstacle is specialization. If you want your core customers to be more interested in your tree removal services, well do that and advertise accordingly. But if you want your bread and butter to be lawn maintenance advertise as such. I guess my real point is that you need to have a niche and stick to it. As a customer I would want to hire someone who "specializes" in the service I'm trying to have done, not someone who can paint my house, cut my hair, wash my car. etc. Just remember the saying, "A jack of all trades, master of none". My approach is to show the customer you can excel at one and then offer the others. A dead fish?!!
  5. rnh719

    rnh719 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 43

    Lol, yes a dead fish! Who does that?? Apparently those people. The reason we want to get so much residential mowing is that last year we made really good money mulching and other landscaping jobs but that stops eventually. So we found that if we had a good amount of weekly mowing that we would have constant money coming in. And like I said we put too much time into building someone elses business by being a sub and having people compliment our work and ask for a card. We had to give out our contractors card. So that's why we want so much residential mowing we need regular flow of money coming in.

    I'm reading through so many threads and some people say they offer the 4th mow or 15th mow free etc... I just still haven't found what to put on the flyer.

    I like what you said about jack of all trades, master of none. Quite thought provoking. But how do you say we specialize in mowing in a catchy way that makes customers want to call? I feel like we need some kind of incentive.
  6. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I don't see anything wrong with putting a price on your flier as a price grabber. There is a big difference between saying "I cut lawns for 30 bucks" and saying "I cut lawns starting at 30 dollars per yard."

    Use something like the later to bring in phone calls and get some estimates out there, and adjust your prices accordingly, only offering that lowest rate for a "strait mow on a small yard."

    Just remember, it is against the regulations of most agriculture and forestry departments to intentionally advertise anything misleading, so be VERY careful with your wording, or you'll get your license revoked and slapped with a ton of lawsuits.
  7. rnh719

    rnh719 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 43

    Thanks for the input Paulup, it is appreciated!! =) I am super careful about what we advertise for sure, I think anymore people are almost looking for a way to "get ya" and be able to sue you. So far we haven't run across anyone like that. Definitley don't need lawsuits, thanks for the advice.

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