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Please Help

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by troc, May 1, 2006.

  1. troc

    troc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Do you guys have any advice on the best avenues for getting clients. I am a first year irrigation business(7 years experience installing and servicing irrigation for large company) and am trying to get things rolling. Contacted and bid on jobs for LCO's in my area but not a lot is coming in yet. Is it growing and starting pains or should I be doing something else?
    I'm running out now to try and stuff 300 mailboxes with flyers before dark.
    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Service directory in your local paper
    Call long standing irrigation companies and beg for overflow referrals
    Supply house referrals
    Lawn Maintenance companies
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,578

    People with busted sprinkler systems do use the Yellow Pages.
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    My beef with the yellow pages is that they are incredibly expensive, and you only get one chance to get put in them for the year. Which means you need to time it right.

    Also, if you do a small 2-line blurb under "Super Irrigation Rain Scape Proffesional's" 1/2 page color ad, who are they going to call?
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,578

    They will call anybody, come crunch time. Even with a single small-print line. It is a drag that you have to set it up so far in advance, but I don't see it changing anytime soon.
  6. troc

    troc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Unfortunately, too late for the yellow pages this year although I plan to get in as cheap as I can next year. Thinking about running an add in a coupon mag that hits every residence in my region. What do you think of offering a free system evaluation as a way to get in the door and then T and M them for any upgrades or repairs I point out, being honest of course. Not like my time is being used fully right now anyway.
  7. justgeorge

    justgeorge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I used Valpak advertising when I started last year, and it worked really well. It's not cheap, but it is effective. I doubled the base that I advertise to this year; hopefully I'll get double the business from it.

    How much ARE yellow pages ads? I haven't even checked into that.

  8. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Interestingly enough I get 3-5 calls per week during the busy season from my Free line in the Yellow pages...it helps to have a catchy name...and be right below a company that offers ETC ... :)

    I had 1/2 page ad in Arizona...2400 per month...I got tons of calls..tire kickers and great calls also....I tracked it that year...amost 100k in business...not worth it.

    I switched to an in column ad in bold red print...and renamed my company for the ad to "A sprinkler solution" to get placement in the top 3 in column...it cost 225 per month and I did over 100k in business again....hmmmmmmmm

    As for Val Pak..I did well with it....but I fine tuned my "coupon" over the course of 8 years....by the 5th year I was sending out 50k per month at a cost of 1500 per month and doing almost 10k per month in business with them.


    Those rates of return above are not great....advertising costs of 1-4% are typical......so it was great at adding customers but not so great as ROI....but in Arizona the clients were much more fickle than here in Colorado..meaning that they would use the coupon and forget about your company...even when you blasted them 5 or more times per year w/ newsletters/postcards....here in Colorado as I add clients I can see they are much more loyal than the vagabound travelers in AZ....but I have not done any Valpak type stuff here yet.

    good luck.

    VWBOBD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

  10. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    We track the source of every new customer.

    Rough breakdown:

    %40 - Relationship with Landscapers & their referrals
    %30 - Customer referrals
    %20 - Supplier referrals
    %10 - Yellow Pages

    There are a few other ways that we generate leads, but these are the most common. I've tried door hangers without much luck. We have never advertised in any publications other than the yellow pages. A reputation for reliability (and the competition's lack of) has gotten us far. I like your ideas on getting started. It sounds like you'll be successful. Good luck.


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