New guy, $1200 in advertising and 8 accounts...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Jon99, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Still about 2 weeks away from the mowing season, should I be happy with 6 small residentials and 2 banks or should I consider the advertising a flop????
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    What form of advertising was it? It takes a while for ads to fizzel out. 1200 / 8 = 150 per job a little high.

  3. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I spent about $1000 on print ads, which most will be running for another 5 weeks.. They were 13 week ads, all small town weekly papers. I also placed an ad in the large daily paper for two weeks, but thinking about running it for a few more days at about $34 a day...

    The other $200 was for 2000 flyers, which took a lot of time with very little response..
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    You will get more calls. Seems to me like most people wait until the last minute to line up lawn service. When they look out at their yard and it is shaggy and overgrown, then they will decide it is time to find someone to mow it. Of course, they will expect you to do it the same day they call.:D
  5. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236


    We need some apple to apple numbers to compare... Total cost of advertising (still in working process) has totaled 8 accounts, but how much per month are those 8 accounts bringing in???

    How much do you figure each account is worth to you??? How many referals will come out of these 8 (or more) accounts???

    I have sold 8 businesses for 6 months gross plus equipment cost and probably averaged .5 referals per customer....

    I don't know your figures yet, but if you only averaged $75.00 for these 8 accounts = $600.00 + probable referals (300.00) = $900.00 per month in business without the ad even running full course.... $900.00 x 6 months gross = $5,400.00 value plus the money you make during the time you service them...

    Wouldn't you invest $1,200 to turn it into $5,400??? Sounds like it's doing rather well, and still has more to go... It's a long term investment...

    Good Luck, Clay
  6. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    The 6 residentials are all small, 5 postage stamp lots that I am doing for $20 and a 6K SQF yard I am doing for $25.. The one bank is $35 and I will mow all year, the second bank is $40 and I won't begin mowing until June when construction is completed.. So I am guessing I will gross about $6K from these properties, plus hopefully a few referrals during the season...
  7. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    This fall line up a yellow pages ad. No other advertising will yield more business for the buck. The phone book publishers usually give first timers a discount. Nothing too wild just do a standard business ad with one in lawn care and one in landscape section of the yellow pages and an automatic listing in the white pages. This should run $ 800.00 tops. My first ad was discounted to 1/2 price.
  8. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    A while back when I tracked my costs such as this a little more closely - I determined a selling price of closer to $500.00 per new customer. Ever hear the expression it's more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing?

    What are your real costs?
    1) Printing costs for flyers/brochures, etc.
    2) Assembly time to get mailer/flyers ready if relevant
    3) Delivery costs of advertising (labor to deliver or postage to mail)
    4) Receiving phone calls and screening potential customers
    5) Making sales calls
    6) Placing the bid and following up
    7) Accepting the contract - training the crew for the job.

    Since you used print ads for a portion of the budget - you skip some of the assembly costs. If it's a print ad you might then have design/art costs for laying it out instead.

    Excluding mistakes that might be made since it's a new account, which costs you money, by the time you add in your time for all of your sales in the season and then divide by the number of actual contracts are returned, you'll be surprised at home much it truly costs.

    $1200 for 8 customers... or $150 a piece. I would say it's still early. You should get at least 15 to 30 phone calls out of the flyers. From that depending on your closing rate - you ought to pick up something from those that justifies the cost.

    It sounds like you need some good sunshine/weather on your side for good timing with the ads and you'll get a few more phone calls. You might then try downsizing your add and running it longer to keep a presence depending on your budget.

    Good luck.
  9. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Glad to see ya back Lawnlad, seems like you took a little break from lawnsite. You always have some good advice to give.

  10. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    I had a tough time thinking about the landscaping while I was plowing this winter - I read some posts, but couldn't get my brain to warm up enough to post. Thanks... good to be back.

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