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To Late In The Season To Get Thing Off Ground?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by XOFMOT, Jun 15, 2001.


    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    I'm brand spankin new and I'm Ready to get things a movin' here in the northeast, I know it's the middle of June, but....

    What time the the year (if any) does everyone feel wold be the ideal time to start a HEAVY advertising campain. Would it be a waste of money to do some HEAVY advertising(flyers, newspaper, church bulletins and so on)NOW? This late in the season?

    How about FALL CLEANUPS? Start advertising about that when?

    Thanks in advance to all that respond!
  2. Dennis

    Dennis LawnSite Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 155

    Now is the best time in the South, All the new boys are starting to see that it gets hot in the summer and are trying to sell all their Equip., That leaves a lot of pissed customers trying to find a new LawnBoy.
    I wouldn't spend a lot out of pocket yet, but several Hundred Flyers in special areas could prove helpful. Good Luck!!!
  3. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    i would say, if it is middle of june now, just get a job with somebody for the rest of the season and learn how to price, get jobs, do the work, etc. if you can get some jobs for yourself that is great. but really if you have no or very little experience get a job for somebody. you will thank me in the long run. you can get a job with companies around here that will treat you descent too. not just pick you up and whatever. they treat you well, pay, benefits, etc.

    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Matt, Thanks for all your input!

    I understand you 100% when you say to go to work for someone and learn. I have 2 problems with that:

    (1): I work a "REGULAR" full time job at the present time and want to start this business venture off PART-TIME. Can't see a LCO wanting me to start work at 5PM

    (2): Can you really learn any "BUISNESS ASPECTS" working for someone in this industry? I think the main reason they hire workers is to help out on their work load, not to show a worker the "INSIDER SECRETS" of the buisness.

    Yes I know there is more to learn other than the buisness end of this industry, but I already know how to run and operate equipment properly (employed years back by an LCO)but as always..Thanks for your input!:)
  5. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    XOFMOT, you mentioned in most of your posts that you're only going part time right now. Then don't go crazy with an all out "heavy advertising campaign". No need to for just a few accounts.
    First it will cost money to run ads. Second it will get calls from all over the place and you should try to target a specific, tight area to keep drive time down (I beleive you had even mentioned wanting to target a certain area that seems to be overlooked by other companies).
    As far as it being too late in the season. I don't think so. I just put out 100-110 flyers two days ago and hooked up 2 new accounts from them that same morning (remember, in an e-mail to you I mentioned a 1% response being a pretty fair expectation?).
    So if you're only looking to go part time right now, then just put out about 1,000 flyers in the area you want to work and see how it goes. This should only cost you about $50-60.
    Good luck.
  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Sometimes it is hard to give advice here, because not actually knowing anything about your market makes it difficult.

    I can only go by how things are for us.

    And for us, the calls are now slowing off. We are only getting about 4 week. And they are usually calls from people looking to get their hedges trimmed. Any calls we get for grass cutting now are for the most part bogus accounts. People that are only interested in getting their grass cut every three weeks. Heck, just last week we got a call from a small medical office/building. They hadn't had their grass cut at all this season.
    At this point, we are too busy anyway, we aren't wasting our time even giving estimates for these calls.

    So for you, I just don't know how many calls you will get at this time of the year. Seems like it could be a little slow. I wouldn't go full fledge ahead and use all of your advertising dollars now that's for sure.

    But I definitely can see you advertising for fall clean-ups. I bet the leaves in CT are pretty fierce, and I'm sure you will get the calls for clean-ups no problem.

    Maybe advertise a little now for the grass cutting, but really go at it full speed come early next year.
  7. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    I'd say the best time of year to start an advertising campaign is two weeks before grass starts to grow in your area, for me i'm zone 9 in CA and my time is the first two weeks of march, but that's just me.. anyhow advertising at this time of year is going to be high in cost and low in returns, if you have a newspaper to advertise in and are considering it, wait until fall because you'll get too many calls that are spread out and you'll end up getting lots of one-time jobs, tree pruning, clean ups, but nothing repetetive most likely.. if you have someone to pass out flyers for you, this time of year will help to supplement your business, but your probally going to end up struggling to keep customers over the winter anyhow, even more so because you will not have been with them long enough for them to really feel bad about stopping service for the winter (this might not apply really if you have snow over the winter where you are, it never snows here, just gets slow).. anyhow if you do get customers now make sure that you talk with them as often as possible and get to know them, but better yet make sure they get to know you, that way you'll build up their loyalty, and believe me you'll need it to get a good start again next spring... i would hold off on a larger scale ad campaign until spring, try calling or talking to lawn guys in your area and ask them if you could sub-contract stuff off of them for say a 15% fee, that's what i get for subbing out stuff and it seems to work quite well for me and those i sub out too, this way you can gain experience and you don't need to advertise, plus if you or someone who wants to help you out come across a job that is too big for one person you'll have more man power...

  8. Lawn Wizard

    Lawn Wizard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Here are the tactics I used. I live in a medium size town very near to a Metropolitan area and there are Hundreds upon Hundreds of LCOs in my area.

    At the beginning of April I printed up 100 flyers and passed them out around my neighborhood (About a 5 block radius). By the time I returned home I had recieved my first call :)

    So I continued to pass out about 900 more flyers door to door but also leaving them in pharmacys and the like around my neighbor hood.

    Through out April the calls were flooding in.

    By the middle of April I was busy with cleanups from the winter, seeding and the like.

    At this point I took out a small $25 add in the Local community newspaper. And that has worked out very well also.

    Ive kept that small ad running since and still get calls every week for new service. People see the ad every week and eventually it clicks in their head "Hey this guy must be doing something alright!" and they call!

    I would definately say you are a bit late in the season for a big start but put those flyers out and take out an ad in the paper your bound to get some calls!

    Never know when some one might get tired of doing their own lawn, get tired of the heat, or any number of reasons.

    Good Luck and Dont lose faith!
  9. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    I disagree with most of these guys... Up here its just starting to get hot, which means people are just starting to get sick of mowing their own lawns, which means advertise now! Plaster your area with fliers, and get some jobs... 1000 fliers, 10 jobs, sounds good to me, no? I am printing new fliers as we speak. I started last year, late june, and got 8 customers from 600 fliers... Good luck to ya!
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I'm kinda with these guys, with a season like this, there's no time like the present. It may be a slow start, but it's an earlier start than if you wait. The way this grass is growing, many people can't even keep up with their lawns. Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Once you get out there and working, you will get alot of people just stopping and asking you about work. (providing your workmanship is acceptable). Anyway, if you have the security of a full time job, then what's it gonna hurt? It will just be a jumpstart on next season. Also, look around your area for some places that need the help. THESE are good candidates for a start on your business. If you drop them later, then so what? Atleast they are providing some work for you in the meantime. Just don't go low because you don't have that much work. You'll find yourself crossing a line that makes it not even worth it. Keep it worthwhile. Good luck!:cool:

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