Best advertising method for the value....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by advantage landscaping, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    Looking at advertising first time - hopefully for next spring or earlier.

    What do you guys like to do? I've gotten a couple of refreals by word of mouth but I want to expand a little quicker than that. I am looking at distributing flyers but shy away from the whole "door-to-door" thing, not to mention I hate it when people come to my door.

    I know you can't just go around sticking things in mailboxes as it is illegal. Is it worth it to spend $100 or more on a mailing? And what percent of responces do you usually get? ( Like 1 in 10 or such ) Don't want to spend the money if I can't get it back!

  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I like postcards. Response? 1 in 10? I wish. More like 1 in 100.
  3. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,534

    Sounds like you should give up now if you don't want spend any money towards your business. You got to spend money to make money.
  4. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Flyers are GREAT but americans have to use door hangers.

    Not all advertising is equal, try to make it timely to the service you're offering and try to get ball park prices on it.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    What I usually do is run small trial size ads in local publications, it helps if they're either a type of community newspaper or something home related. Just run one of their smallest size ads for like a week...
    If I get even one call and it's not the most absolute weirdo, then I'll consider trying a slightly larger ad, but it depends on cost as well.
    I've gotten as many as 5-10 calls / day but it varies, 5-10 / week is nice too.
    Just so you can gauge who is who, if even the smallest ad gets no response I would only try bigger if it's cheap.
    Because I've spent $600 before and got like 5-6 calls, none of which turned out (stuff like ppl looking for a job lol)...

    As a rule, one can expect to pay about $10 / customer when new, the price goes up with the years, I think I'm paying closer to $60 but I tell you, advertising doesn't cost, it PAYS! And as has been said before and I'll say it too: Advertise Advertise Advertise !

    You still have to run trials thou, more than a few publications are a total waste of time, some turn out so-so and eventually you hopefully find that one that's a virtual goldmine. Stay away from classifieds, they tend to attract price shoppers galore.
    Even a 1x2 box ad will do, if they have that small.
    Then gauge the response and take it from there.
  6. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    I may be mistaken but I think I seen where you wrote in another post that you are 16 and don’t have a trailer? If this is the case your first problem is most home owners will not look at you as a business owner simply because of your age. Second, you only get one chance to build your name. If you get phone calls from an add and you can’t deliver, these people will remember you for next time and call someone else.

    Being 16 you shouldn’t have many bills to pay. I would recommend finding a subdivision somewhere and offering extremely low mowing. Maybe something like 15 dollars a lawn. Use these customers to get some experience. Let’s face it. For the average subdivision a single person could mow AT LEAST10 lawns a day with ease because there is very little drive time. If you can get them for $15.00 dollars a lawn that is still $150.00 a day.

    Don’t give up!!! If your really 16, you will have something to be proud of by the time your 20. keep in mind, the best advertising is the word of mouth. Since you don’t have to pay for a shop, employee or to many other things, I would recommend focusing on PR. There is more to this then just making a pretty lawn! If you talk with your customers they will feel like you care and in return help get your word out. Don’t get to pushy with asking them to spread the word!! Makes you sound desperate!
  7. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    If I already make $50 and up per lawn why would I want to charge $15? I mean thats an awful price I would be getting like $6/hr. And I don't think people care if I have a trailer or not - I am still hoping to have one for next year though. Even without one, the customers don't know until I get there and by then I have already priced them and they have said yes.
  8. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    I do agree about the age thing, and that is the first problem I am having. I think I am going to start a new thread for that and see how it effects prices.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Look, I'm not doubting that you'll have problems but I'm 40 years old and there are always those who treat me like I'm supposed to be their little lawn boy, come hither and feefee on my foofoo with single finger gestures and the firlyfanz and all that.

    I've tried everything to get them to respect me, 20 grand in equipment and still I get it, I will say it did improve considerably but as for those who still want to think that I'm going to be their loveable pet they can dote on, I just don't deal with them.

    I figure if you have pride in what you do and see yourself as a business owner, then if someone wants to think they're better than you that is their choice, but your choice is you don't have to take it.

    Good luck

    Other notes: Now if one of them were to hand about $80,000 my way, I'd gladly become their live-in slave for a year. :laugh:
  10. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    I wasn’t putting you down at all, please don’t think that. I am just saying at your age you are not going to find many people willing to give you a chance. On top of that you already posted somewhere else that you are not insured. No offence but you might find a few people to allow a uninsured company mow there lawn for the price as a insured company (not to mention as soon as they see you they know you don’t have the experience of a older person) but your not going to find many. At the same time you might be making $50.00 a hour but going by all of your post I would say your not getting enough hours. I don’t care if your making $500.00 per hour, if you only working 10 minutes a week it is nothing to brag about. Most residential lawns are only about $35.00. if you offer to do them for $15.00 or $20.00 this late in the season you can raise there price at the beginning of next year. Not only would you gain a for more customers they will see your willing to work and do a good job, you will also get your name out there and gain some more experience (not to mention get enough hours to be insured). Hope you the best but….lets just make you understand…. In no way am I putting you down. In this day and age I am impressed that a 16 year old is trying to do something other then play video games and chase women!

    By the way, I have a friend of mine that has been mowing for two years and has a good number of lawns but has no trailer, he works out of a truck. I think he is nuts but it can be done. He has a 36 inch WB, one weed eater, and a blower.

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