Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drsogr, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Well...I think I am getting out of the phone book industry. I spend roughly $150 a month (even in the offseason) to get about 10 calls a month during the peak season (approx. 8 monthes a year). These people who call out of the phone book call 6-7 different people at the just to get quotes. I think I could do better with my own advertisements. What do you guys think?

    The only issue I have is my former customers being able to contact me without a presense in the phone book. The big bonus would be that I could spend my advertising budget in a much smaller area.

    Has anyone ever gotten out of the phone book and been happy with the results? Has anyone ever gotten out and wished that they wouldn't have?
  2. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    we use multi phone books, radio, trucks and other signs and shirts, flyers, etc.
    20 calls a day this year. 2 years ago before we downsized... 50+ calls a day.

    flyers this year is raking in the calls. most aint even callin for price. they callin to sign up. we only passed out half the flyers, too.
  3. cochino12

    cochino12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    are you in the right phone book? stay out of the smaller companies books, less people use them. Does your ad stand out from the other companies? You might think about creating a better ad or increasing size, bigger ads get almost all of the calls. good luck
  4. gqnine44

    gqnine44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Great work Mr President! What percent of your gross do you spend on advertising? What has been your most successful tactic?
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    our annual ad budget is $8000. sign shop, shirt maker and radio station are all customers, so we spend about the same they spend with us each year and is almost an even trade. one phone book used to be a customer and gave us all sorts of free ads ($3-4k a year). it helped them sell more ads to other lawn companies by showing them what we had done previous year and our results. they sold out to names & numbers, though.

    if you design the right flyer for the type of people in your area... that has always paid off. biz card size ads or bigger in yellow pages is a sure bet around here anyways. just having your name plastured all over a bunch of trucks and trailers all over town attracts a lot of attention.
  6. toac

    toac LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    if you have a true business phone line through the phone company they have to at least give you a line listing.
  7. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    The only advertising we do is, various phone books, signs on the company trucks, both work and estimating vehicles.
  8. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    My phone book ads have kept me busy...that is why I am so hesitant to get rid of them. I haven't had the time to do any other advertising because they have kept me in work. Well, I take that back I did send out some direct advertising...about March.

    The things I really hate about the phone book are.

    Calls from all over the area..I spend lots of money on gas. I also spend lots of time driving

    I get calls from people who have already gotten 6 other estimates and are basically wasting my time.

    I get calls from people who just want ideas on how they can do it themselves.

    The costs seem to go up every year....significantly.

    The things I like.

    I do not have to do works for me year round.

    I get a modest return out of it.

    I get opportunities that I would have not otherwise had, because I would have never advertised to those people.

    I have been thinking alot about this lately and I think that I probably should stay in the yellow pages, yet focus my direct advertising closer to home. I am trying to grow my business and to do so, I need to use both forms of advertising more effectively.

    Has anyone with a yellow pages ad every put....we work in this area, and this area? It makes sense to do it, I know that I am drawn to those companies that I know are in my are when looking in the phone book.
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    i got a new yard today. lady showed me with ad she called in book. 2004 YP! its still working! she even went and got lunch for me before i got there.
  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    That hilarious Brian. I am sure there are a lot of older people that keep their old yp's. I know when I worked at my last job we had a phone book laying around from 1993.

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