No business... need tips on advertising...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TROTTMAN, May 20, 2006.


    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Hey, I have been on here a while and had a lawn service down in Tyler, TX for a long time. However, I have decided to stay in Norman, OK for the summer (where I go to school). I have basically no lawns here right now. I have been trying to advertise as much as I can and in a few various forms. I have put an ad in the local paper, I have printed out 1000 flyers to pass out (and have passed out 350 this week or so), and I have called every property management company in Norman a few days ago and let them know about my services and left them my name/number. I had a few companies say they might be interested, but have not called me back (although its only been a few days). I do have one property management company that has me mow 4 of their lawns, but only every 10 days or so... so even that isn't too great of a deal. I was wanting to get a property management company that had a lot of properties just load me up, but I have had no luck at all with it.

    Do you guys have any tips on what I can do to get some properties? I don't really care if they are residential, commercial, or whatever, I just need to make money fast haha... I'm use to bringing in a good bit, and I got pretty much nothing, so this is a new challenge for sure. Any and all advice would be appreciated. My plan today (since I have free phone minutes) is to call all of the real estate companies and see if they have any lawns that need to be maintained while they are on the market before they sell (a little different than the prop. management companies).
  2. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180


    Just kidding
  3. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    Many on this site have been very effective with flyers. If you need work ADVERTISE. Flyers are VERY effective for me. Find sub-divisons and ADVERTISE. Think about how many clients you want, and how much money you want to make and ADVERTISE.

    Trying to advertise by word of mouth will come in time, but until then, you got to get out there and hustle.
  4. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    You have to actually get out there and advertise, not sit around and call people. You are a little late for advertising for the spring rush but you need to get out there and at least start advertising. Get a graphic artist to design some fliers for your (only cost me $125) and get them printed out in 4/4 color at or and get them out. I did the above and am right at 100% capacity for myself this year.
  5. lawnboy

    lawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Ok this is the key just dont tell anyone i told you. You need to break out your pocket book and send lunch to all the realitors in the area with your business card and a nice letter. Picks us up at least a job at every office. Last time we did it we got about 15k in work.
  6. Wil22

    Wil22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    After I typed this up, I went to a print shop, ran off 500 flyers. Then started passing them out. In the first subdivision I got 3 jobs.

    1. One guy came out of his house and asked if I could install mulch in his back yard

    2. Woman in car stop rolled her window down and asked if I could maintain her lawn.

    3. Another guy called my cell and asked if I was still in the area. He wanted to know if I could clean his back lot, today. Then install mulch.

    All of this happened in about 45 minutes time this afternoon.

    Left there and went to another sub-division, another 3 jobs.

    4. Asked if I could mow her grandmother's lawn and trim a couple of big shrubs.

    5. Another man asked if I could drop a tree. his wife said honey his flyer says he installs mulch. Then he asked me about installing mulch, and said when can you do it. He wanted to know if I could come on Sunday.

    6. Another guy was working in his yard and I stop and talked about his lawn. He wants me to aerate his lawn. Then he asked if I could mow the sub-division at the entrance and around 2 ponds. The pond area's need it real bad.

    I left him and hit another sub-division and passed out more fliers.

    Trottman, decide how many clients you want, then go get them. Like they said don't sit around waiting for work to come to you, go out there and get it.
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    First pick up a copy of Guerilla Marketing by Jay Levinson from Library, that said advertise like crazy. What is the competition doing in your area? Are there lots of companies to choose from? Make your advertising bucks count, otherwise its like tossing money out the window. Target certain areas. If the windsheild time is too much then is it worth it to drive way out to one job and then way across town to another? You may spend more in gas than its worth. Better to have a tight route close to home if you can. You really want signed contracts early in the season, otherwise you are competing on price which will always be a loser. Advertise heavy but stragetically. Once you read that book you will understand.

    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Okay thanks for the responces... Thankfully, I haven't been waiting around for jobs to come to he haha! I have passed out about 700 of my 1000 flyers now (or very close to it). I went into residentail neighborhoods and passed them out as well as took quite a few into 2 real estate companies (where they said they would put the flyers in the individual realitor's mailboxs - and there were like 40+ realitors in each office). The ad the in paper is in as well and I made all those call just because I felt it would be more effective. My question is, when you say do flyers, do you mean walk around and put them on doorsteps like I have been doing??? Its quite a slow process, and the return is poor (I literally get about 1 call for every 200 flyers I think - I passed out 300 in one neighborhood and literally have not had one call there this year - I know its late in the season, but thats still pretty bad).
  9. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    Yes walk and put them on doors. And your return rate is normal.... Don't expect much but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    TROTTMAN LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Okay cool... just making sure. I have definately learned to hate flyers over the years, but I make my own and they look pretty good and I have the cost down to $0.01 per flyer (yes, one cent per flyer). Its pretty crazy cheap, and for real they look pretty nice. Not color, but it still looks semi-professional.

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