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I was thinking about having some small,nice-looking wooden signs made up that read,"Beautifully maintained by so and so" and placing one in my yard(best-looking lawn in my neighborhood) and maybe several others around town in other yards if the owners will allow it.Has anyone done this and had any success with it?How about flyers?I do plan to run a small yellow-page ad but it will be several months before the new phone books come out.I only have a few customers so I"d appreciate some tips on effective advertising.Thanks. Jim
 

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Allstar,

It didnt generate any leads for me, but i assume it may boost name recognition. Give it a whirl...worst case would be you have signs sitting in your garage waiting to see daylight again like mine.
 

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signs work but dont spend alot of money on them so if they get stolen or thrown out it is no big loss
go online and look for companies that silkscreen the signs
what cost 35-40 bucks each at the local sign shop i got online for 3 bucks u do have to order at least 100 but what a deal
 

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the signs will get your name out there,I can not remember getting any calls from my signs, they are about the size of a sheet of paper, they are almost 5 years old now, we clean them every week with fantastic, have not lost very many due to theft or weather - have lost a few to the weed eaters.

the only advertising I have ever done is
1.) Letter your truck do not use magnets. we have gotten many new customers just because they seen our truck in town somewhere.
2.) Only put fliers/ door hangers on properties you really want. I printed up 1000 fliers 2 years ago, each year I target less than 20 propertis about 10 call and i close about 5 = 25% sucess rate( and still have enough fliers for seceral more years.)
3.)WORD OF MOUTH !! this can make or break your business. good word of mouth will get around town, Bad word of moth will get thru town 1000000 times faster. if you have a problem be a man and take care of it asap. do little stuff for you customers , like take their garbage can to the road or bring it back in, let them know their car tags are about to expaire, send them birthday cards and christmas cards keep your name in their heads as much as possibe.
4.) tell you customers and potental customers that you are not any where near the cheapest but your price is fair to you and your customer ( I have yet to lose a customer to a low baller, we are usually 15.00 - 20.00 higer than other lcos in the area, mostly 1 acre yards)
 

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Dr Mow gave you excellent advice. I too (in fact I'm doing it this morning on a couple of commercial properties on busy highways)use nice signs where the properties look really good. Like today(SUnday) I will put one of our signs on the largest account we have on a busy road. Thousands of cars pass this place per day and the turf , plants and flower displays get quite a number of complments according to the guy who manages this property. I leave the signs up from early am to early pm and then pick them up this evening.(they are closed on Sundays by the way)

I dont expect that a single call will happen short term, because we are now past the prime time for flowers, mulch etc....but....what signs will do for you is get your name out there,,,,and then when someone needs something, they may remember your business name.(we only advertise in the commercial white pages in the phone book. I've had more than a few people tell me they wrote down our phone number months ago as they were impressed with how things looked on a certain property.

If you are persistent at putting your name in front of people over and over again, you will get a response....but over time...not instantly. THese guys here on LS say it over and over and over...that word of mouth is your best advertisement. Once you start getting these referrals, they will build upon thesmselves and you may end up actually getting more calls then you can handle.....all of this assumes one thing...THAT YOU DO ABOGE AVERAGE WORK and the little extras that Dr Mow mentioned above. Too often we all talk too much about the lowballers and the cheap customers. Yes they are out there in large numbers....but I can tell you from only being in this biz full time for a couple years, that there are many people who want quality work and someone who will be reliable and professional....and they are willing to pay for it too. High quality work and good customer service is almost a lost art in our society....so when you provide this, you give people a reason to refer you, and keep you as their service provider....good luck and be persistent.
 

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It depends on your area what will work for you. In a large area, signs and word of mouth doont do much. Yellow pages works great for me. I used to do alot of flyers, but havent had to do any in about 4 years.
 

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Be careful where you put those signs. I have several cities/associations around here that will land you a court date. There are laws against posting signs in yards. Just something to think about.
 

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Originally posted by DUSTYCEDAR
signs work but dont spend alot of money on them so if they get stolen or thrown out it is no big loss
go online and look for companies that silkscreen the signs
what cost 35-40 bucks each at the local sign shop i got online for 3 bucks u do have to order at least 100 but what a deal
This winter I am making my own. I have the signs with H stakes, at $1.25 each and the screen. Just need to get the screen "burned" and then order ink and squeege. I probably will have around $2 per sign, 3 colors, both sides and can change what I want the sign to say without waiting on somebody. But, I hava the time to do this only in the winter.

MATT
 

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where did you get the stuff to make your own signs?
 

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Originally posted by ffemt1271
where did you get the stuff to make your own signs?
I can't help you there, if I give you the web address I might get banned.

Good luck
 

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I can tell you how I made my signs. Not quite as fancy, but effective. I think the key to signs is that they have to be bold, large, and at a place where people come to a stop. With this in mind, my last signs were made from dark green corugated plastic (around here it is about $6 for a large sheet, which should make around 6 signs the size I make them) I use 5 or 6 inch cardboard stencils you can buy at the hobby store or possibly hardware store, and spraypaint. If this is done carefully, the sign will be very readable, even though I usually get some overspray. All I really have room to put on the sign is "Lawn Care" and my number. Cost per sign this way is pretty low probably cose to $3, and it generally seems to much more effective than flyers, in my area. If the signs don't use large letters or are in a place where people come to a stop they will probably get little or no calls, no matter how professional they look.
 
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