small town expansion

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Looking for some tips on expansion in a small town. I'm in a town with about 50k people and covers an area of about 20-25 sq miles.

    I do the post card thing about 2 times a year, but am considering 4-5 small specific mailings vs. 2 big generic ones(do put specials for upcoming services). I do specific targeting on my mailers based on location in my city. I'm growing about 10-15% gross sales a year, but I see that the possibility for multiple mowing and application crews is just within reach.

    While I have the "control your backyard" viewpoint, I have considered moving into other cities. I just need to be able to cover my cost. I'm scared of the initial cost of going to a new city and not having enough business there. My closest cities are....

    Raleigh - 400k people - 45 minutes away - high income and good overall
    Greenville - 85k people - 30 min drive - good income, university, lots of medical
    Rocky Mount - 57k people - 20 min drive - seems to be declining, but still some money there.

    Any tips on things to try to really boost expansion? Maybe specials to get people hooked?
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,160

    If you've been growing 10-15% annually with only 2 postcards, you're doing very well. I think you can do more to saturate your existing area. Do you constantly ask current clients for referrals? Do you cloverleaf at each stop?
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    More customers close together are better. Phast is right, referrals are great. Offer a referral reward, exta app for a referral. Hand pass flyers. Cloverleaf your customer's neighbors. Offer a special coupon for next door neighbors.
    The first 15 days of September are great sales days. After that sales drop off quickly.
  4. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    thanks guys. I offer referrals and give a discount if I get the job. It has worked some but wish it would work more. I advertise referrals, but not what they get. I usually tell them I will discount based on the amount of the sale. Maybe I should just say refer someone and save $25 on the next app.

    The postcards have worked best for me. The Feb mailer is the best. I wasn't very successfull of a fall seeding mailer, but considered it branding. I've strongly considered doing more mailers with a specific service in mind(aeration, pre emergant, disease prevention. etc). The problem is that I might have a fescue, bermuda, and centipede lawn all right beside each other!!

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