How I got off the ground...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Whitey4, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I can't seem to make a copy of my door hanger that will work here... I could email it to one who might volunteer to post it for me, but here was the copy, double sided, grren type on bright yellow stock.

    (business card)

    * Complete lawn & garden maintenance

    * Fertilization programs for turf and shrubs

    * Weed, insect and fungus control

    * Free pH testing, soil tests available

    * Spring and fall cleanups

    * Plantings from ornamentals to annuals

    * Aeration and over-seeding

    *Pruning and mulching

    * Lawn renovations

    $50 off spring cleanups with ad!

    We care for your property as though it
    were our own. As the owner, I will be
    on site whenever work is performed.
    We don’t use large crews, so we can
    offer professional, personalized service.

    Name, phone

    Reverse side

    I have formal training in horticulture,
    am a volunteer gardener at the prestigious
    Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay
    and am a NYS DEC Certified Pesticide
    Technician. I am trained to effectively
    control pests while minimizing the use of
    herbicides, insecticides and fungicides with
    absolute minimum risk to children, pets or the
    environment. These control materials can be
    used very safely when properly applied.

    When we do a fall cleanup, we will make 3
    visits for a single competitive price. Leaves
    don’t all fall at once, and they will get blown
    onto adjacent properties in the high winds of
    the fall season. We would pick up leaves on
    our own property more than once, and we
    will do that on your as well.

    The best way to prevent weeds is to have a
    rich thick lawn, with turf that has healthy
    root growth. This is our goal.

    When we prune hedges, you will see
    us use hand snippers. The repeated use of hedge
    trimmers will eventually result in an over grown
    shrub, or one that has bare spots. These problems
    can be avoided with proper pruning techniques,
    which must include hand pruning.

    We strongly recommend soil testing, as soil
    makeup is the easiest thing to change, unlike
    the weather! Creating the right environment
    for all the things that grow around your
    most important investment and where you
    and your family live is what we are all

    We will care for your property
    though it were our own!

    John White (phone)

    That was it... one color, nothing fancy. FYI, I have dropped ALL of the cheap mow and blow accounts from last year, and started from scrtach this year.

    Only 800 door hangers, I'm up to 13 customers, and expect to be at 15 by Tuesday. 9 are full service apps & M, 3 are full maintenance with some apps, one is apps only. Every account is within 3/4 mile of my house.

    I have no signs on my truck or dinky little trailer, except for the NYS pesticide business signs. I have only failed to close 1 account from the phone calls. She was a nightmare, a price shopper. I drive a '98 Chevy S-10 with 8 foot bed. I use a stock logo on my business card. NO frills.... but how many people can say they got an almost 2% new customer rate from a door hanger?

    I've said this before, and I am predudiced based on my market demographics, being in a fairly upscale area but with small properties, but I think folks here worry too much about image, signage and fancy four color flyers and door hangers.... even what colors their equipment is.

    My door hanger may have too much verbage for many prospects to read, but for those looking for better service, it isn't.... my results say so. The pH testing is a major sales hook. Being a full service company, one stop shopping is another big competitive advantage. I have another 1200 door hangers to get out, but am so buried in work at the moment I don't have the time. By the end of this week, with my spring cleanups done, I'll get another 500 door hangers out.

    So far, it looks like my average billing per account will be around $1800 a year. Just got a $500 install with mulch job. Just two mugho pines and two Fothergilla plants... and 18 annuals of my choosing.

    My point is, and I got into some debates on this when I first joined this site.... people want competant quality service. All the frills, the truck signage, four color flyers.... don't mean much for a solo operation. If you can convince people you are different and better than the next guy, the customers will come in. Knock some snow off the shrubs in the winter once or twice.... lay a tarp on your bare turf seeding job when a heavy spring rain storm is forecatsed.... that is what will get referrals, not expensive image building stuff.

    Do a free pH test, and tell your customer they just saved some money if they don't need lime. In the long haul, it is quality of service that brings success, not image. Image is fine... and next year I might even get a sign on the truck and trailer, but so far, I don't need it. Low key professionalism and low pressure selling.... it's working for me.

    I understand we all have different philosphies and strategies, and one is not inherently better than another, but I thought I would bring this back up as a subject now that my plan has seemd to so far worked out very well. My approach WAS just opinion, but now it seems to be backed by fact by early returns. In any case, good luck to all us newbies....:waving:
  2. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    you can send it to me if you want... Matt @ ill post the pics for you.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Sent.... and thanks! :usflag:
  4. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    had to cut the doorknob holes out to keep it big enough to read...but here ya go.

  5. 06HD BOSS

    06HD BOSS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    i like the color combo, but i think it has too many words. you should try and get across as much info as possible with the least words possible. and simple wording too.
  6. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    Yea, I was thinking the same thing, but at the same time its informative of your qualifications and whatnot...

    -boss did you guys get sleet up there or just rain?
  7. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    i agree.maybe use all that info to put in a nice looks nice
  8. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    The back is very busy, I agree.... I never expected many people to read all that, but many actually did. I think a near 2% new customer sign up rate sort of says it works. I was hoping for 1%. I think people looking for a new LCO DID read the whole thing. The prospects that called had read the whole thing.

    When I do a quote, it's a page and a half, a full type written property analysis. I mention specific plants if they are distressed, I tell them how thick the thatch is, and make detailed recommenadtions on any problems I may have observed. I add several handouts... one pager on IPM, a two pager on ferts, and one from the USDA on irrigation recommendations. I think this is why I have closed all but one account that called me.... and I'm NOT low balling.
  9. kleankutslawn

    kleankutslawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    well keep up the good work!

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