Is working for FREE a bad thing?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jcantrell, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. jcantrell

    jcantrell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Has anyone ever done installations/maintenance for free for name recognition purposes? I'm thinking about talking to some local council people to make a deal that i will landscape/maintain small areas if I can add a nice wooden sign that says the area is maintained by my company. There are also a few very large churches that i could possibly do the same thing. If I got press about it (newspaper/local evening news) I bet I would even get customers from that. Do you think it would be worth it.
  2. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    Make sure that the proposed area is at an intersection or stoplight.

    Driving by at 35mph doesn't let any sort of name recognition register on the driver.

    Now for the unsubstantiated, except in my experience, advice about churches.

    Free services, donations are always acceptable, but don't look to turn any profitable jobs out of the single line in the weekly handout. Handymen with no overhead, low cost providers, advertise in church bulletins.

    I have always gotten more mileage out of helping the Eagle scout projects for the affiliated troop operating out of the church, than advertising in the bulletin.
  3. jcantrell

    jcantrell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    I guess I was thinking a church with 1000 people walking in and out every weekend would see a nice sign that said "property maintained by my company" and i may get some good business out of it. I was also thinking it might be considered a charitable contribution which may decrease my tax liability
  4. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    If your going to do it don't wait for the local paper to contact you to do a piece on your business. Write your own press release or contact them if you are more comfortable with them writing it.
  5. jcantrell

    jcantrell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    I do directmail/doorhangers already, but do you think this could potentially add as many clients?
  6. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    I decided to give back to the city that I grew up in, I am going to meet with someone next week to see if my idea can be worked out or not. I am sure it would receive good p.r. within the city.
  7. jcantrell

    jcantrell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    Let us know how it goes!
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,933

    Each year, I look for a property to mow gratis. The candidate is somebody who is older, living on meager means, or is unable to physically do the job. The choice is mine.

    No, I get no publicity, get no writeup, just the satisfaction that I am in a position to help somebody who needs help. Does it cost me something? Oh yes, some direct costs for fuel, string, etc. But, I make clear that I will do the work on my schedule, and so it may be at the end of the day. This is never a problem, they are just pleased to know that somebody will be there to get the grass mowed on nearly a regular schedule. Often, these folks have far too much on their minds anyway, doctors' appointments, getting to the pharmacy, and other like activities that are bare minimum to get buy. My little effort can take that task right off their mind.

    Some day, and it could be soon, I may be in the same situation. Knowing that somebody could do the mowing for me if I am in need would be important.
  9. jcantrell

    jcantrell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    That's real nice of you!

    Do you do the same people every year or do you find new ones. If you change who you help how do you tell them that you can't do it for free anymore?
  10. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    I wouldn't do it for free I would give them a discount in exchange for letting me put up my signs.

Share This Page