Looking for advice on advertising,

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by LawnsharkMB, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    Just got into the business about 6 months ago. I'm gonna put out 1,000 door hangers in neighborhoods that I already have customers. I have 35 residentials right now and I want to get to at least 100 before the season gets going. Is picking up 65 more customers out of 1,000 door hangers a reasonable expectation? Also, is it better to wait til the first hint of spring comes along to put them out or should I go ahead in late winter to beat the competition?

    I also do 3 small commercial properties and would like to get on vendor lists of property management companies and add a few more. Getting a call back seems to be a difficult task. My next plan was to mail a professional cover letter to each property management company in the area asking to be put on their vendor list. Does this sound like a good plan or is there another way I should go about finding commercial properties to bid on?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. xclusive

    xclusive LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,054

    Picking up 65 new clients from 1000 door hangers sounds a little unreasonable. That means if you got a 6.5% hit rate you would have to close them all. From experience and talking with other people you can expect a 1% to 3% hit rate. Closing them all will depend on your price, competition, and selling skills. I would hold off til the end of winter. You do not want to jump the gun because then potential clients might throw them out since they are even thinking about the spring yet.
  3. Country Club Lawnscapes

    Country Club Lawnscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    From listening to other guys that use doorhangers they have told me that they see about a 1 to 2 percent return on door hangers. I'd rather spend money in other areas then door hangers plus people really don't like to be solicited.
  4. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    If you could get 65 customers out of 1000 door hangers, I would be quite impressed. Like the other posters said, a 1% return is pretty average. 3% is quite good, especially if you land all of those accounts. Honestly, I would expect to see a 1% return, if you happen to get more than that, great if not, you'll just have to pass out more hangers.

    Timing is quite important, if you plan on passing out all your hangers right now, I would be shocked if you saw a .25% return. You have to time it just right, like just as the weather forecasts start to indicate spring weather is actually coming. Usually early March is a good time in my area...only a few more weeks of potential snow and usually the snow starts to melt off then too. That time of year is when many people start to think about their lawns/landscapes.

    You skund quite ambitious, but picking up 65 more accounts is a lot! Are tou sire you are ready to handle that work load. It is typically much better to have slower growth than rapid growth. You never want to bite off more than you can chew. If I were you I would be looking to add more along the lines of 10-20 customers. It always soinds great in your head to grow your company (in your case by roughly 200%) but you have to make sure that you can actually handle it. Going from 35 customers to 100 customers is a HUGE jump. Do you have the equipment to handle the.potential increase in work? Do you have the man power to handle to extra work or do you have to hire people? Do you have backup equipment already so if you have a break down you don't have to waot for your mower or truck to be fixed? I don't want to sound negative, I just want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

    Good luck!!!
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  5. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I am at the point of trying to market more as well. I have two clients right now that want mowing this spring but I do have a list of clients from last year that I will be calling in early March to get them "hopefully" set up as well. I am trying to get more but its a little too early to really get clients interested. I do not have contracts or anything at this time and so far its helping and I always post on craigslist but there's millions of lawn care company's posting daily that offer the same prices and "no contracts" as well. So its hard and I'm TRYING to get higher on google but its really a challenge with so many lawn companys in Charlotte.

    The one thing I KNOW helps is if you answer the phone when potential clients call. Every client I have ever had tells me that they call even the big company's on google and they either don't answer or never call them back.

    Door hangers and fliers don't ALWAYS work and you won't get a ton of clients from them because every lawn company puts out fliers and door hangers. Its very competitive but you never know! Just expect to put out a TON to get that many new clients.

    I am aiming for 30 properties this spring. 6 per day 5 days a week. I KNOW I can handle 6 a day but its getting the 6 per day that will be the challenge.

    Good luck.
  6. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    One thing about the door hangers I didn't add in the OP is that they are not just gonna have the business name and contact information. Out of my 35 residentials only 2 or 3 take more than 30 mins per cut. I'm gonna target these kinds of yards and offer a special price for basic lawncare that includes weed control. I'm hoping this will give me a better than average response. As I said before I would also like to pick up a couple more commercial accounts. I've been calling and walking in property management companies trying to get on their vendor list. I have had no luck so far. My next plan was to send out a cover letter to all the property management companies in the area asking to be put on their vendor list. Like I said I've only been in the business for six months but I figure I have nothing to lose.
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