Advertising for spring 07

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by thefed, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 350

    I have a buddy who's got a very small lco. I decided to help him out a bit this year with my marketing and business experience (have built from scratch 2 very successful companies in the past...both service related).

    Yeah, yeah, word of mouth is everything...he knows that...but he needs some more accounts! So this is what I'm proposing

    Advertisig area is about a 15 mile radius from his home. Population is probably 250k, and LOTS of competition...mow season starts mid april, while cleanups begin even earlier

    10000-13000 post cards door-to-door (Actually newspaper box to newspaper box...that way the bulk can be delivered by him and a few friends by car quickly)30% early march, 30% late march, rest early april

    200-300 direct mail letters, personally addressed, to new homeowners in the area with new home purchases of 150k and up (get these from the recorder's offics). sending these out mid/late march

    3 small classified ads in different papers, simple, run from march1-may1

    signing him up with 2 online referral companies liek servicemagic

    Hoping for a response of at least 75 potential customers, them is on him

    does this sound like relistic expectations in your experience?
  2. BTLS

    BTLS LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 109

    sounds good to me. what's the total cost? If you post the cards or flyers, we can give you feedback as well.
  3. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    Overall, it sounds good although you may have to tweak it a little as you go.

    One thing that I would add though and that is that it is going to take a lot of quoting in order to get those 75 accounts. Let's say that you get 1/2 of the quotes that you give - that means that you have to go to 150 properties and spend time with the customer. At 5 per day it will take you a month doing just that. When are you going to have time to mow during the growth period?

    Also, if he is going to be advertising, that also takes time away from estimates and mowing and answering the phone.

    The ad campaign is good and if you can develop a system to deal with these other issues, I think that you have a good chance of success.
  4. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    I ran classifieds almost all season last year, and got calls all season. They are very inexpensive to run, so even if he dosen't get the late season calls he hasn't lost much.
  5. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 350

    to clarify, i was hoping for him to GET 75 calls, and close whatever percentage of THAT. Im sure he and his help could figure a way to get to the estimates if they indeed come in like that....even if it comes down to no face2face time with customers, and getting the info over the phone, then leaving an est @ the home...not the best route, but a route nonetheless

    that's a problem im sure he'd enjoy

    ill get up the postcards for critique
  6. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Got some good ideas.

    Flyers are also quite affordable to stuff in newspapers.

    With all that stuff, he might really benefit from a website ahead of time, as I mentioned in the thread about websites, started 2 days ago in this forum section.

    Why send all that stuff out, and not have a website, or single nice webpage ready for the recipients.

    Ads are okay in papers, but I've had better results with flyer inserts. Probably because people can easily slide them out.
  7. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 350

    oh he's gonna kill me...i did develop him a website, BUT forgot to add it to the postcard for the first 5,000 post cards ordered.
  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Stamp them.

    No crisis.

    But on some occassions when I forgot something on a form, I went to staples and ordered a self-inking stamp. Even by hand, a lot of units can get zapped with missing info.

    For me, it was an address omitted from a contract / billing form. Because I don't mail billings. Their copy becomes their billing on completion. So the stamp allowed my kids to whip-out 400 forms in under an hour for correction.
  9. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Run them through a printer might be an option. if they're glossy use an injet.
  10. thefed

    thefed LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 350

    they are glossy, and dont take stamps too well. i'll have to figure that one out later...or maybe just let the first 5k go out without a webpage...

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