Thoughts on Yard Signs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dc33, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. dc33

    dc33 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 257

    I'm looking to expand from my typical forms or advertising to grow quickly with my expanding business. In the past Ive always done some sort of fliers or mailings to the tune of about 35k homes or so and it has been very successful. Now I'm looking to find other forms to help the growth along.

    Ive looked into yard signs and plan to order about 250. I figure Ill stick about 125 in my current clients lawns for 10-15 days at the beginning of the year, then mow them to the other half for another 10-15 days. Ill of course inform them of this and if they don't wish for the sign to be there Ill promptly remove it. For the other 125 I'm thinking about placing them in select busy areas, intersection, and neighborhood entrances. I know these will get stolen, vandalized, ceased by local government possibly, or tick of some people etc. Thus this half wont likely last long, and if they do Ill pick them up after a few weeks anyways.

    The place where I'm looking to get them made offers a cheaper on that a few buck lower because the print flakes off after about 6 months, the nicer ones will last great for about 2 years, then fade some. I plan to use and reuse the better one on the clients clients, but was wondering how to approach the areas they will likely get stolen. Go the cheaper route and eat the cost, whether they get stolen or the paint chips they wont be seen or used again. Or get all good signs for an extra few bucks a sign and hope only half of the 125 in busy areas get stolen and I can reuse them?
    Maybe of the 250 Ill order make 175 good signs and 75 the cheap ones and strategically place them in the higher of the high risk areas and leave them, use them, or move them around till the paint fades and hope the other high traffic areas don't get stolen during those 2-3 weeks and can reuse them?

    I'm only being so anal as these sign will about double my advertising expenses so saving $500 or so would be worth it if the busy area sign are sure to not last long, but if there's a decent shot half will be retrievable I would be OK spending more and getting mostly good signs.

    Either way, my clients will have the 2+ year signs that Ill reuse every spring.

    Thoughts on my situation or care to share you experiences?
  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,744

    i'm just curious to why you would spend so much money on advertising when you already have 125 customers? your business would already be well known in the area. seems you could go on word of mouth alone at that point which is free.

    anyways i bought some signs 3 years ago. you can't put them inside the city limits or they take them down. you can put them in customer's yards but i think that's tacky and it's another obstacle you have to mow around. i just put them at intersections outside of the city limits. the city here isn't that big. i don't think i've gotten but maybe 1 call off of them and they are still up after 3 years. waste of money if you ask me. i also tried fliers and that was a waste of time and money as well. i put out like 1000 and got 1 call from them. the only thing that seems to work is word of mouth and i put an ad in the newspaper at the beginning of each season. i get about 5-10 calls from it each year which is better than nothing. every area is different but that is what works for me.

    i also use free web advertising like yellow pages, thumbtack, angie's list, and facebook but i haven't gotten much from those things even though when you search lawncare in my area my company comes up on the first page.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Like the above poster. By this time you should be running a million dollar company.

    why bother, you know or should know the tax benifits of advertiseing in a higher market.
  4. dc33

    dc33 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 257

    oh I have more than 125 clients. Note I said I would rotate them around 10-15 days

    Fliers are hit and miss and so many many factors come into play with them, which is why I get about 35k a year out.
    My best point would be a neighborhood of about 1200 homes, one year I got 23 new clients out of it, in recent years Im lucky to get 2 or 3. Most of the old clients have moved or been foreclosed on. Sometime its gold, sometimes nothing.
    This is why Im asking about this. I prefected my current advertising to work very well, but I know its a crap shoot to get the growth I want in new and existing areas to rely on alone.
    Im branching out in any way I can to get the growth I want quickly rather than building it up slowly as I have in the past, Im finally for the first time going to advertise on my trucks!! Everything in the past was very selective and pointed for the clients I wanted. Now Im opening up for all to see. In the past if I didnt specificly advertise to you, I didnt want your business, now Im being more broad.
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    The more people see your "brand" the better. It will improve your direct mail or door hanger return greatly. On that note yard signs around here are at every corner like campaign signs. They get stollen and run over quite often. I now see guys climbing utility poles to get their signs off the ground!

    Personally I use yard signs whenever my truck and trailer can not be seen while servicing an account. On big jobs I get permission from the customer to leave my sign on their property for a week after Im done. It shows off our work nicely!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. HDLLandscaping

    HDLLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I am just starting out so I see yard signs as a good way to get my name out, as I dont currently want to get to big as I am a full time college student and will be only doing this on the weekends, for now. I bought 5 for my first season and paid $15 each from Vistaprint. The quality is good, and they dont look to bad. I will also be hanging 1000 doorhangers and hopefully that will get me the 10-20 clients that I would like for this year, and then next year I will go from there.

    I do feel though that rotating them after a week wont really help you, and putting out 125 of the signs isnt the best. I would get 20-30 high quality signs and put them at the customers who have the highest volume of traffic going by the property. It showcases the work that your company does to a higher volume of potential clients. I wouldnt waste my time putting them on corners at intersections.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,744

    oops i meant to say 250 customers.
  8. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    I think lawn signs help with branding more than actually bringing customers. People see your name all over town and more than once they start to remember it and then call.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Holleywood

    Holleywood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    $15 for 1 yard signs is expensive i pay tops $3 but there is a minimum of 100
  10. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    I agree. Detail those trucks & trailers & be everywhere on the INTERNET....:usflag:

Share This Page