Growing in a small town

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmasterswilson, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,945

    I am in a small town of about 50k residents. We are growing and have good number of bigger companies (firestone, BB%T bank, Merck, etc). I am curious what successfull ads and marketing guys in similar locations have had.

    Most if not all of my business has come from friend and referalls. In the past I listed my company in the phone book with little success, so I dropped it. It was quite expensive due to town size. Last year I tried direct mailing and sent about 2-3k oversized cards to the top income earning homes. That didn't work very well.

    I understand that marketing and ads are an expense that many times you must eat in order to gain business.

    What have you guys in smaller towns had success with? Phonebook? direct mailing? website? truck/trailer signage?
  2. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,131

    I have tried and continue to experiment with many types of marketing. I am a member of a networking group to share leads. I advertise in HOA newsletters, post on craigslist, send out direct mail, google adwords, put out doorhangers, and cold call. I have also tried newspaper ads, newspaper flyer inserts, ServiceMagic, SuperPages, and coupon mailers all with varying degrees of success. You have to try different things and see what works for you. One thing is for sure you marketing material needs to be professionally designed. I see a lot of homemade garbage, particular on this site, being passed off as "professional".
  3. vanncann

    vanncann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    I've had good success with newspaper ad's in the late winter or early spring. Once all the other LCO's get their ad's in the calls slow down considerably. Have had some good luck with truck magnets or stickers along with the smaller yard signs, will try the bigger ones this year.
  4. tjacks96

    tjacks96 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    50k is considered small town. I have to drive an hour to reach a town of 50k. Try living in a town of 700. I always laugh when someone considers 50k a small town.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i live in a town of about 20K. most of my business comes from word of mouth
  6. FastMan

    FastMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    I put ads in my local newpaper. Very effective, and low cost. In small towns you live or die by the quality of your work, and the nature of your character.
  7. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,945

    When doing direct mailing what do you guys think is a good household income cut off? I was thinking of doing 75k +. Guess it really depends on how many you want to send out.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I personally wouldn't allow income levels to decide who might call me,
    I've got folks on disability who are glad to pay every bill I ask for and
    folks who earn millions apparently ain't got a nickel to their name.

    Some are happy to pay, among those there are a few who can't seem to throw enough money my way, I kid you not these
    folks fall between paying upfront and paying extra to boot and are almost always very generous, a rare breed perhaps.
    Then there are some for whom 20% off the going rate is still 100% too much, with these folks the haggling ain't over until
    the fat lady sings and then just to piss me off their check bounces or they just never pay, which rules the other extreme.

    Some live in a trailer park, others live in a million dollar mansion.
    But either check is as likely to clear the bank, that much I know.

    And that may or may not be the rule but I don't think actual income defines whether or not they can afford my services.

    That it does.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010

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