Advertising help please!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Lowcountrylawn, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Lowcountrylawn

    Lowcountrylawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Im new to the law business, just finishing up my paperwork for my business license.I was wondering what are the best ways for a new comer to advertise for a low cost and generate some type of income.Any help would be wonderful.Thanks!
  2. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I'm not one to give advise as I am new but I'm getting ready to send out a few hundred flyers in the mail to people with smaller lawns. If I can get 2-3 responses I will be happy. Just a few gets the foot in the door.
  3. fjay5272

    fjay5272 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I dont have a great deal of advertising experience and because of this I went to a small business seminar at Michigan State University. They said for small businesses statistically the best method was flyers and door hangers. They also said to expect a 1% call back rate on those. We put out about 1,000 and received only 4-5 calls but then again 1,000 isn't a definitive sample. Probably should have put out more like 5-10 thousand. A friend/mentor of ours put out 200,000 each of the past two years and said the 1% rate has been consistent for him. He says it fares better than his yellow pages listing for residential services. Commercial is a different story.

    That being said we talked to various small landscaping contractors in our area and they advised listing on craiglist in your area for Labor/Moving Services and posting every 3-4 days. We have received over a month probably 25-35 responses from that. About 50% end up out of your area and you get some PITA that are hoping you will be a kid charging 15-20 bucks but the other half has been nice. Got a few good brickpaver and trim/weed/mulch jobs out of it. Best of all advertising on there is free.
  4. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    flyers, flyers and more flyers. I put out 1500 last month and so far Ive received 10 calls and landed 6 yearly customers. Then just do good work and be reliable. Its working for me so far.
  5. N&CLandscaping

    N&CLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    How long did you have your ad on Craigslist before you got clients?
  6. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 310

    I think 3,000 fliers gives you a fairly accurate response rate for the particular flier +/- 3%. 1,500 fliers gives you +/- 6% if I remember correctly. If the average is a 1% response, you know your flier is ok. If it is higher, you have a winner flier. If it is less than 1%, you might consider improving the flier--but not necessary if the cost and response rate is good enough for you.

    I've heard from others yellow pages gives low response rate for the cost in this business.

    Someone posted his cost of posting his ad in one of those coupon books that come in the mail. I noticed a local landscaping company advertising there as well.

    It would be nice if someone could come up with a comparison on the cost per response for the different methods. Door-to-door, flyer on mailbox, flyer in the mail, flyer in a coupon book, ad in the yellow pages.

    The response rate from Craig's List seems like enough to build a business, especially if you get referrals from the customers picked up there.
  7. fjay5272

    fjay5272 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    for the howlong in craigslist before response. 24hrs, but its hit or miss we post every 3-4 days and sometimes we get 7-8 responses in a week sometimes 1-2. But like i said, a lot of price shoppers...

    and a lot of people trying to offer you to do some yard work for them if they supply tools and materials if they pay you 10 bucks an hour. depending on how you make your ad look tho should help prevent that i would assume, ie less i'm a college kid with a mower do you want a cut, more this is my profession/company

    has anyone had success from listing on the online yellow pages? its like 25 bucks or something right? just wondered if its even worth that much?
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I would like to throw in my 2 cents about craigslist: It is a classified list!

    For those of you not familiar with classifieds, the type of people who will call you are generally looking for high school kids / lawn boys and are thus not willing to pay a lot (read: less than 1/3 the going rate / 70% off is their price range). This may not mean much to you but I got a slew of calls LOL and I spent a lot of time sorting this out and now I'm also stuck with another deadbeat (people who don't pay because they think they're too good for that), it wouldn't even bother me so much if they can't pay, but of course this one lives in one of the fanciest sub-divisions (why doesn't it surprise me lol).

    I mean, it's free advertising but I wouldn't use it for myself again. I'm not saying craigslist is bad (it's not, far from it) but I feel craigslist is geared more towards part-timers and I've learned that classifieds (like in the newspaper) is not that great a place for a commercial Lco to have your ad (I think the low cost of the ad has something to do with it, dunno...)...

    On the fliers, the best way I can say it is 'UP to 5 calls per thousand' (so 2-3 maybe 4-5, depends).
    Ok so then all the rest of the advice here is very good.
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I post a new ad on Craigslist every week.

    topsites is right, you'll get a lot of cheapo price shoppers. But I have landed two good, profitable residential accounts from craigslist. It's free anyways, so what the hey.
  10. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Had 3 calls from craigslist and had to turn them all away due to screening. Not one met our pre-requisites for service. Heck, none of them even had a CC!

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