Has anyone advertised free mulch?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MOWEMJEFF, Mar 28, 2008.


    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I've been trying to come up with a good advertisement to put on my spring fliers going out with invoices on monday. I just got an idea to offer a free yard of mulch when buying 4 or more. I sell mulch for 40$/yd and charge them hourly for installing and I get the mulch for around $25/yd. So if they bought 4 just the mark-up alone would cover the $25 and people love it when they think they're getting something free. Plus this might attract more high end customers who need in the 6-10 yard range and its just going to require labor. Think this is a good idea? And if you don't state your logic and be polite about it.
  2. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Messages: 558

    Id make sure they understood it was for the mulch not the labor and its just one yard not 20% off the total bill

    Around here all the guys I know just give the customer an installed per yard price

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Well I was thinking of headling it "FREE MULCH WITH SPRING CLEANUP*
    *one free yard with the purchase of 4 yards of mulch

    and I've always billed my customers with 2 charges, materials and labor. Man hours counts the time on the site including drive time to get to the job. I've found when I say $75/yard and they need 6 yards they think wow $450 is steep. But if I say well the cost off the mulch is $40 per yard delivered plus my hourly rate they're just thinking hmm $240 ok sounds good and they get billed for 4 man hours at $45/hr I still get $420 and I didn't lose the job because they thought I was ripping them off. I'd rather lose $30 billing that way then not get the job.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Many moons ago we changed over to a per yard install price. Has worked really well for us. Our flyers offer a discount off of mulch installation. We do set a minimum of 5 cu.yds for a job. We also offer additional $ off if they sign up or are already signed up for lawn maintenance. We call it a package deal. Basically, the more work you give me, the more I'm going to discount my services. And customers LOVE discounts.

    And don't forget about upselling. Do you need weeding? Leaf cleanup? Bed Edging? Pruning? Etc.
  5. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    I am not offering anything but my service and i have mulch jobs out my butt. I am going tomorrow to do a 16 yd mulch job and then still have a 20,14,10,6,and two 4 yd jobs to do yet. I am hoping to get all these done along with the 13 spring cleanups i still have to do before i start mowing. I actually rented a Brown bed edger today and want around and edged all the beds.

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I second that people love discounts and I am going to offer something. Sooo many of my customers are 1/4 acre or less though and 2 yards is typically enough for 75% of my jobs, my goal is to get some higher end clients this year who will need at least 5 yards.

    I'm also gonna charge a one time spring fee of $60 to remove any dog waste before I even start working. I've read many threads on this and I think it is bad business to tack on a charge for it if you happen to get it on the equipment, either pick it up and include it in the weekly cost or deal with it, don't just throw $20 on there when they're not expecting it I don't care what the contract says. Half the time I grab a spade and pile it up for free anyways. I've always said a little brown on the nose is better then on the clothes(I suppose its not really the same if its on your nose and clothes, but the customers love it)
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Between thursday and friday we did 64 cubic yards of mulch (23 man-hours). 4 Jobs. All 4 were from the flyer advertisement of 10% off and the package deal for lawn care. After running the numbers last night we made out very well after expenses. More to do this week coming up.
  8. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 950

    Finished 35 yard last week and have 45 more to go, I'm really starting to dislike much, though it does smell a lot like money. Luckily I just run the tractor these days, but after a day of breathin' it it still really sucks.
  9. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,585

    we offerd buy 5 of anything mulch,soil,trees,stones etc. get one free does a home owner know the difference between 5 yards or 6 espically when most of my houses are 25-30 yard of mulch,or just mark mark up all your products %20 then give them the discount. the discount is just to get them to call you after that it is all about you and the way you sell your company.

    MOWEMJEFF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Ya I know it sounds shady or bad business but I know the people who own my local nursery fairly well and when they give me 2 yards they give me huge bucket fulls and never shake the extra off the top so its really like 3 anyways, so if someone got that deal I'd probly only pay for 4 anyways in 2 seperate trips, in reality it really is probably 5 yards or darn close.

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