Can I get a shot of encouragement??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mulchmaster, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. mulchmaster

    mulchmaster LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 212

    I don't know what I am doing wrong. About the 20th of march I sent out 2000 postcards to select areas I wanted to target, then on the 25th 500 more. Also I went paper box to paper box depositing another 1500. I mailed about 50 letters to an area I know people are looking for an lco. And Yesterday I did another 800 in paper boxes. So far 6 calls! What the %$&# ?? They all went to good areas, the weather was great around each delivery date, and the postcards looked great. I don't know what to think.

    I started to advertise in the local paper and found 32, that's right, 32 other lcos advertising there. :dizzy:

    Any ideas??

    Thanks for listening. Andrew
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Welps, start printing your own flyers and pass them out at the tune of 200+ / day and keep doing it, the figures you speak of are normal for my area, likely the competition ratio is similar but you only have 36 others (I have 200 LOL!). If I do flyers, I can plan on doing 20k, and either the cost of having someone else doing it is prohibitive or I can't justify the labor, so I run an $85 / week ad every week from middle of march until end of May and that fixes it (mostly), but if you are feeling financially challenged then flyers it is so long you can swallow free labor.
  3. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    Run an ad in your local newspaper and see if that helps
  4. mulchmaster

    mulchmaster LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 212

    When you say run an ad in the paper, where do you run it? I have looked into putting an ad in the service directory, but I don't think that would work very well, mabey I am wrong. I have a couple thousand extra to spend on advertising and don't know which way to go.
    Thanks Andrew
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    *Shoots*....hang in there the calls will come.
  6. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 273

    So basically you have put out 4,850 pieces, right? You should get about 4.85 customers from this, based on my reality. The whole 1% response rate is so misleading and I bit on it, hook line and sinker last year. Well, after 250,000 doorhangers last year, I found that actual customer sign-ups (which is all I care about, was more like one per thousand (1/10th of 1%). It is a big darn difference. Perservere.
  7. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    no offense, but you aren't doing something right or you have way too much competition if you are signing up 1/10 of 1%.

    Mulchmaster. maybe patience will pay off, especially if you are advertising for mowing services. But, the reality is, if you have 32 LCO's in your local paper and there is nothing that separates you from them, your chances aren't good.

    Did your postcards point out anything that separates you from the pack? Imagine you are the homeowner and you have gotten literature from 5-10 LCO's, is your postcard going to make them pick you?
  8. mulchmaster

    mulchmaster LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 212

    Turfdoc, I just got a call from cards I mailed on the 20th, so mabey patience is what I need. My cards had a very nice picture on the front with a 20% discount on the back, list of services ect. All but one of the flyers I came across while going door to door were copied on plain white paper, so I at least have eye appeal. I did not run an ad in the paper yet, but I talked to them this am and looks like a 1/8 page ad in full color run at 3 different times may do the trick.

    Thanks Andrew
  9. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I feel ya mulchmaster! There is a ton of competition in my area as well. I think it's just the nature of the beast. It seems like for every established company, there's another ten guys like me tryin to get started around here. I think people aren't too impressed with the flyers and door hangers and they get so darn many each year. I'm lookin into direct mailing and/or an add in the newspaper but if I do that, I have to sell my bike and fully commit to the business full time instead of part time to justify such a sacrifice. What do you think Topsites? I'm gonna look into it fully but what kind of response do you get from the ads vs. mailings?
  10. ooo

    ooo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    My direct mail self mailers gets more calls in a week than the newspaper in 2 months. I get atleast 5 calls a day since they came out, and I only sent out 1500. I think alot of those neighborhoods have their own home owners associations. I hear more complaints (just for estimates) about guys not showing up, cancelling over and over, being late, and etc. I come prepared, there when I say, send estimate when I say and that i believe eliminates half the competition. People talk in these communities.

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