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Marketing suggestions?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smith068, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. smith068

    smith068 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I've been working for a landscape company for 6 years. During this period of time I have also been doing alot of side work. I have a bachelors in business and would like to start increasing my number of accounts to a point where I can sustain enough work to support myself and eventually run a successful company. I'm looking for any suggestions that have secured business in this field.
  2. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    where you from? Different tactics generate different results across the country.
  3. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    My company is in Georgia, middle to upper income outside Alanta FYI The other guy is right market and area will play a part!

    I have an advertising budget of $5800.00 per year, I know that sounds like a lot, but here is how it breaks down:

    Door Hangers – 10,000 per year $800.00
    Bandit Signs – 100 Per Year $150.00
    Post Card Mailings – 6 Per Year (MAR / APR / MAY) Lawn Service and Mowing (SEP / OCT / NOV) Fall Clean up, Holiday Lighting, and Landscape Lighting. (3000 per mailing $4,860 per year)

    I get about a .6 return on customers who sign up or approximately 80 new accounts per year from the post cards. If the average is $100.00 (low end) per month per new customer, then we gross $8000.00 per month or about $96,000.00 in new sales agreements.

    I use bandit signs at intersections where I have a captive audience. The signs are off the road, but visible, Important to make it harder for the local folks to have to work to pick up your “illegal” sign. Ever see the real estate signs on the side of the road, they last a weekend or little longer, then the city or county “Sign Marshal” goes and collects them. If they have to go far off the road or they are higher than they can reach, the sign stays put. I have had some signs in the same intersections for 3 years
    The signs need to be short and quick I use a three line sign green on white Got Weeds? My Logo, and phone number 877-4GR8-LAWN, I get 100 made up at $150.00 Lawn Mowing? My LOGO 877-4GR8-LAWN

    The door hangers and signs are for company branding and we get another 20 to 25 customers out of this. So for a $5800 investment each year, we have in the past three years grown by over 100K per year, and we keep about 95% of our customers, so after the first year, they are even better sources of revenue, and we have a better opportunity to upsell or add additional services.

    Talk to Bob at Plan-itgraphics for design help http://www.plan-itgraphics.com/ tell him Tom for Evergreen sent you and Club Flyers for Reasonable Printing http://www.clubflyers.com/ Club Flyers will give you free biz cards and post cards as long as you are willing to let them advertise on the back.

    I know it's tacky, but free (you pay for shipping) is great for new LCO's. I still get the free postcards and use them as throw downs in resturants, car dealer/repair/car wash waiting rooms. A great front will make them forget the back side and if you add 5 new customers what the hey! Ther are free (about $20 for shipping)

    Good Luck my friend, experiment, but don’t get too wrapped up with a lot of different marketing items or ideas.

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    My methods are fliers, direct mail, word of mouth, my truck and trailers are covered in logos and myself as well as my employees always wear company gear. I feel that name recognition is as important as anything. I know it's simple, but it seems to work.
  5. smith068

    smith068 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    im from the Pittsburgh, PA area
  6. nnj18

    nnj18 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,860

    Here's what I'm doing this year...

    - 5000 direct mailers
    - 2500 door hangers
    - 1000 business cards
    - 50 jobsite signs
    - website
    - signs on trailer
    - referal program

    I wish I got a .06% return on it....try more like .01-.02%.
  7. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    I get between a .05 and .06 response from my post cards, no Sh*t It's the quality of the post card and the benefit / offer. Spend the money and get the best post cards you can get. See what works. I know that in the past 3 years our response has been .05-.06 response with a closing rate of about 76% on the responses. Make tham want to buy, provide a need, and make them want and need you service. Than follow up with continued support and emails. Again this i my results in the south, maybe different in other parts of the country.
  8. smith068

    smith068 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thank you for the ideas. The time that you took to write that as well as the detail that you went into (budget and pricing) is greatly appreciated.
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    It does depend on where your target area is,
    that sounds like a ton for me anyway.
    we do around 2,000 a year, " small town"
    with my experance any advertisement is good.
    it's not hard to get your name out there, the hard part is keeping it out there.

    I joined the Chamber of commerance, and that alone opened up doors for me that otherwise I couldn't have reached, also we have done free work. you would be amazed at the meida attention you get from helping Low income people, and or cleaning up a cementury that's has been long lost forgotten....

    Best of luck to you
  10. OrangeToys

    OrangeToys LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW MO
    Messages: 1,034

    I am needing the same advice.

    Im in the Springfield Mo area, what are some things that I could do that are effective?

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