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Another thread on " How to advertise"

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I know the door hangers have been mentioned a ton of times.Ive tried the door hangers and I get good responses, but no jobs! The door hangers seems to attract people looking for VERY VERY cheap labor.
    My question is for all of you successful businesses. How did you start advertising? I cant afford to get in the phone book, and by not having enough work, I cant gain from word of mouth. How did you guys do it? Did you bulk mail? did you put bulk flyers in newspapers? What are the small tricks that got you your first accounts to get you on your feet?

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I started off with flyers, and yeah, I too dealt with some cheapo's. But I gained quite a few customers off of them.

    HOA newsletters are good too. Cheap to advertise in, and at least for me, I get calls from them.

    I would go out on a limb and guess that even in LA it is still kind of early in the season? Don't get too discouraged.
  3. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    Put your business cards wherever you can, maybe a local senior center or the 7-11.You can try going door-to-door and selling your services. Mow one of your family members houses for $20 the neighbors see it, they tell their friends etc.. Make flyers and hand them where allowed, maybe at the senior center, the flyer would be easier for them to read. IMO nothing beats word-of-mouth advertising. (check your pm's stevenf.)
  4. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Messages: 979

    when I put a second truck on the road a few years back i put an ad in the local penny saver and local boster for 2 weeks each got more call then I wanted
  5. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I advertise online only.

    Of course you're pretty much going to need a website for that.

    And usually, you need to be in a large metropolitan area for it to work as well as it does for me. This year, around 1-2 customers a day, sometimes as many as 5 like I got yesterday.

    In any case, check out www.craigslist.org and keep an ad posted on there with your contact info so people looking there have a chance of seeing your name.
  6. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    just keep trying all the forms of advertising you mentioned until you find one that works for you.its still early so keep your head up and stay at it.
  7. Bluestem

    Bluestem LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    My most successful kind of advertising besides word of mouth has been post cards. There are printing places where you can design online and get some stuff for free so that's what I used at first. I was having a hard time getting started in one high end neighborhood and sent post cards to every house. I picked up a few from the post card. Then I contacted realtors who had homes for sale there and picked up mowing agreements on some that were for sale but unoccupied. From that, I have been able to really get a strong foothold there that contnues to grow. The best advertising is an example of your work for folks to look at. Look for unorthodox ways to get properties in areas you want to be in. For example, I got my first property in a nearby town by trading services with the owner of the body shop in town. He painted a bunch of equipment for me and I mowed his place for the year. By the end of that year, I had several properties around his and I ended up keeping his property for cash in the following years. If there is new construction, contact the developer to see whether they need mowing until the houses sell, then try to sign the buyer. Contact your local government and see if you can do nuisance mows for the city (these suck, but you can charge a lot so it works out). My first year, I just tried everything I could think of. Be creative.
  8. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I contacted PSprints like mentioned above and they want $1,034.00 for 2500 post cards maile and $1,700.00 for 5000! Is this what I should look to pay for bulk mailing??!?!?!?!?!
    If so, How can I get addresses for specific neighborhoods so I can bulk mail myself?
  9. herberg

    herberg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    this is my first year also - i had a few snow accounts from a realtor friend of mine. people relocated - houses empty.

    the snow carried over to the lawn - so, i figured i was already in the area, might as well send out postcards. i got mine from www.overnightprints.com and picked up 250 for about $50. Very professional, printing front and back.

    Drove real slow up and down writing down every house in teh neighborhood that i've got the realtor houes in. Sent them out, got enough for me to make it more than worth while to drive over and spend the day in each neighborhood.

    They were used to seeing me there in the winter, so they knew i showed up when it was 10 degrees outside, figured i'd do the same in the summer.

    as far as insurance - i've got $1 mill in liability. My equipment isn't anything special, so it's not covered. And I put everything on a trailer so i didn't need any commercial vehicle insurance as i am using my blazer and didn't label it - hint - put the company name on the trailer only. I got the insurance for $252 for the year - includes snow removal so long as i don't use a plow mounted ot a truck.

    IT can be done on a shoestring. Starting out - FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.

    Now - this all being said - it'll be interesting to see where i'm at in 12 months.

    Good luck!:dancing:

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