Advice & Opinions Needed for New Company

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LawnCosmetics, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. LawnCosmetics

    LawnCosmetics LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I'm new to the site and I've been searching for a Marketing/Advertising Forum and have not come across any. I don't want to post my question in the wrong spot so I guess I will try it here.....

    In regard to advertising - I'm debating on getting my truck "lettered" or get a "magnet" to put on the sides .... Which would you recomend?

    In preperation for Spring - what do you like to do to help promote new business? Flyers, ad in the paper, bulk mailings? Which of these would you do to announce your business has opened?

    When starting your business - how did you determine pricing? Did you call around to other local lawn care companies and ask for pricing or did you just pick a $ amount that you thought sounded reasonable?

  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,812

    Don't call other companies, have you neighbor or mother get an estimate from a couple of companies. Also ask your sales leads what did they pay last year.
    Vinyl decals are inexpensive. Remember your truck is a traveling billboard (and you don't have to rent the bill board). Take full advantage of it and get signs that are really big. Ask the sign shop about what is best and ask to see some of their work photos for ideas. Signs on the glass are also nice. Tailgate, too. Magnetics are OK--their main advantage is you can take them off when parked in front or a bar. Also magnetic signs are easy to change for the season or special deals or big sales. My magnetic parts of the lettering say "Just say no to" and then depending on the season.."Crabgrass" "Weeds" or " Grubs". Click my name to see my pictures. You could say something about moles, fungus control, seeding, fall cleanup (in fall), Free lawn analysis, first app free, Mother's lawn half price for Mother's Day.
    Brochures passed by hand are probably the best marketing method--its tough exhausting work. First week of April is best. Knock on doors if you can. Remember it costs about $80 in advertising to get one sales lead.
  3. LawnCosmetics

    LawnCosmetics LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Awesome tips! Thank you so much! I'm great with people naturally and can talk my way into just about anything so I like the idea of door-to-door for handing out fliers.

    Also, I like that idea of combining vinyl w/ magnet to change out specials. Maybe when parked outside of a "spirited establishment" I can put one BIG magnet over mine to advertise "Sobriety Makes for a Boring Party" !!! (kidding)

    Thanks for all the input!
    Alyssa ~
  4. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    I agree door to door has been working for me in the past, you need to be good with sales tho, it takes a while and few screw up in front of home owner before you get decent. Just remember, the first impression they have on you is in the first 3 secs.
  5. LawnCosmetics

    LawnCosmetics LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Thank you - I don't think I will have a problem then.... I'm not being conceited or anything, but my father had his own business in Home Remodeling and Contruction and he taught me at a VERY early age how to deal with people and it has paid off for me over the years.. I remember he would take me with to some of his estimates and make me take notes so I would know! People are naturally comfortable with me, so I hope that will assist in landing some solid jobs....
  6. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    I got a guy that asked me for a quote and a month later he had a mow rig. Now I know he just wanted to set a price. Now he got his price but nothing else. Had he walked up and just told me what he was thinking he would have gotten alot more than a price. I'm not worried about him taking my work so he could have learned a ton that would save him in the end. But he wanted to be undercover so now he can work it out.

    I would get you some books and learn your local plant material, pest, and soil issues. You cant sell nothing. If you can walk up and sound smarter than the other guy, then you win. Even if he does every thing you can talk about, your service sounds better
  7. LawnCosmetics

    LawnCosmetics LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Good point.... There aren't too many lawn care businesses in my area, which may help me, or hurt me.... But there is a favorable sized Landscaping business that doesn't concentrate too much on typical lawn care. I plan on trying to get a meeting with the owner and actually tell him what I plan on doing and ask him a ton of questions on how he got started, etc.... maybe if I can build a level professional courtesy with him, then he can throw the small stuff my way and the things that are too big for me, I can do the return favor..... I'll let you know how that works out....

    Thanks for the tip!
  8. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    Just full of questions aren’t you…ha-ha jk

    I didn’t read anyone else’s posts so if anything I say is a repeat just throw it to the side.

    Yea truck lettering and door magnets work but only when cars are driving next to you. If you’re at a lawn they won’t work at all. The possible customers will walk over to you instead of calling you. Go spend the $200-$300 dollars on a huge tailgate sign for your trailer. Anyone behind you will read it the entire way down the road. If it’s as big as mine (talking about my signs) no one will miss it.

    Bulk mailing works but you can not completely focus where you want your customers. This will lead to running everywhere for estimates. News paper ads bring low to no paying customers looking for deals…don’t bother. Flyers work awesome if done correctly. You can focus where you want your customer base and they are cheaper then other forms of advertising.

    Remember with flyers you will get out of them what you put in them, make a good flyer and fold it. Put it in a door hanger with a BUSSINESS CARD. Business cards are very important to flyers. Most people will throw away your flyer but keep your card. I am still getting phone calls from business cards that I haven’t used in 2 years.

    As far as pricing…I messaged you before I seen this post. The way you come up with it is by figuring in how much it costs you to operate per hour then add what you want to make per hour. Add some more for difficulty and if the customers shows they are hard to get money out of then really stick it to them to make it worth it. Most large zturns cost about $16.00 per hour to operate including paying someone to run it….hope that helps?

    Always always always go with your gut feeling about the potential customer. If you feel uneasy about them then get your money before doing work. Most of the time your gut will let you know if your about to get screwed.
  9. MowinMopar

    MowinMopar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Flyers, Business Cards, Direct mail, existing customer yard signs.....I have gained numerous customers using this approach.

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