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Uncertain how to advertise...........

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by justcutz, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. justcutz

    justcutz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Planning to start out PT this year and was wondering how to advertise in an area that the properties are quite spread out? For that matter most of the houses on my street can't be seen from the road. I know that door hangers aren't an option for the most part and newspaper ads are not quite in my budget after startup costs. What would you suggest for the best results? Looking for ten account or so.
  2. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Drive by and get their address off of their mailbox. Then send them advertisements. If you end up getting any work from them, do good work. They will talk with thier neighbors. Word of mouth is the best advertisement.
  3. jarroo's lawncare

    jarroo's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    i would get out on foot and pass out flyers door to door and introduce yourself and shake hands i went to a neighborhood and went door to door passed out about fifty or so and got my first job
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Nice job jarroo's lawncare!
  5. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    Signs on the side of the trucks and newspaper adds. You will not get calls saying I seen your add in the paper or I seen your trucks though. You have to realize though that it is important for people to see your name over and over. Flyers are good but not if they have never seen you in town. Realize that in general it takes at least three years to develop an established recognized company. Takes time and money. You have to spend it to make it.
  6. Greenhaul lawn pro

    Greenhaul lawn pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    you should go to your local post office and find out if you can get them to deliver your flyers, this is what I just did, I had to cover the mail man's route which cost 10 cents per house but I did up some real nice black and white on green paper flyers for 6 cents each, and covered two different route's 2200 in Total which cost me $350...

    Hope that helps GLP
  7. CamLand

    CamLand LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,299

    Excellent response...
  8. LawnGrassHoppers

    LawnGrassHoppers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Doporhangers has really worked for us. we are ammazed how well they work. We live in a area of n.e ohio when a ton of new developeents have been poping up like weeds :) ! These developments also have mail boxes at the curb not at the door. It very easy to have one person drive and another passanger afix the hangers to the outside of the box or in the newspaper slot.
    we have left them at businesses also. we put 2 coupons on the hanger and have had a huge response IMMEDITELY!! We have even so far gotten a new commercial account because we left one at a womans house that manages condos! I am so suprised have many people call whent he ground is still frozen and snow is still on the ground!

    We got our flyers from www.adsmark.com/flyerprinting.htm and we were very happy with the guy! :waving:
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ultimately I agree, newspaper ads. If you live in a large city, I would stay away from the big paper and gravitate towards the smaller ones (such as free community newspapers where advertisers sponsor the paper). My paper ad costs 85/week and that $h!7 RULES !!! In addition, there is a new phonebook called the Yellow book and this costs 150/month for ads, but again the prestige of this type of ad gets me a higher asking price and most folk who call through the yellow pages are aware this is a more professional service and the price is a bit higher. From this, I get up to 10 new calls/day when the $h!7 hits the fan, thou average is 3-4/day and yes, it is seasonal.
    Look here: If 9 out of 10 of my estimates are no because of the price, I still have more work than I can handle with 10 calls/day. I've made 60 and 80 dollars/hour during peak, thou average is 35-40 and 30-35 for regular/long-terms. The advantage of the newspaper ad is I can cut the run during the off-season whereas the yellowbook runs year-round but the book ... well, the price thing.

    Flyers suck, sorry. It takes a lot of work, time and money at least equivalent to that of a newspaper ad, and in my experience, the final asking price average is lower than the newspaper-ad price because flyers are kinda unpro.
    In addition, I inevitably always got the 1 or 2 phonecalls complaining about the flyer and I get NO complaints from the newspaper ad. Last but not least, 1000 flyers gets you 3-4 phonecalls and if you are REAL good you can put out 160-180 flyers/hour and you need to put out at least 4000.
    Alas, should you put the flyer in the mailbox and someone complains to the US Post Office, you are then abusing government services and you can be charged 37 cents per flyer, the cost of postage: 1000 flyers will land you a 370-dollar bill.

    The good news? With flyers you can target your advertising with pin-point precision to exactly the neighborhoods you want to work in. On that note, if you are thinking of the most popular neighborhood in your area, so is everyone else. As for me, I like to go to hoods off the beaten path, and away from the fancy rich folk. Middle-class, working americans making their 20-30thou a year is my mainstream customer, even with my current ads. For some reason they seem to have more respect towards me and I catch a lot less of that condescending attitude. If the price is too high, more than a few don't mind a less-than-the-million-dollar-job so long they get a better price. Hey, in the end if you don't need all that fancy weed control and I can blow your leaves in the woods behind your house and don't gotta haul away the stuff, cool by me.

    Far as word of mouth, it helps a little but in my experience you can not survive on word of mouth alone, not even close. Resist the temptation of giving someone a better price because they tell you they're going to send you more business than you can handle or something to that effect.
    So yes, you have to advertise and if flyers you must do because of an initial money issue, then do this:

    For the complaints:
    1) Never put the flyer inside the mailbox. Buy a roll of 1/2 inch masking tape and drive with your car slowly alongside the wrong side of the road. Between mailboxes, tear small 2-3 inch strips of tape off the roll and paste these on flyers which when you arrive at the mailbox, you then tape to the POST.
    2) When you get a call complaining, tell them you just became aware of this problem, ask if you could get their address so you can WRITE down their address and promise them that you will NEVER do this again and sorry about that ... yup.
    btw: after you do that, definitely make sure you don't stick another flyer on that mailbox, not next year, not in five years, not ever.

    The more professional-looking your flyer, the better. Still, I never could get more than $30/hour out of folk with flyers and did a lot of work for 15-20 dollars/hour. I guess in some ways we all go through this, thou ...

    It helps if you design your own flyer - take your time and do it right !
    I've seen photo-copies of hand-written flyers that just sucked, please use something that looks real good. Clipart helps, bold print is good, and short-and-sweet - NO TYPOS!

    Another thing: Design your flyer so it is 8.5 x 5.5 basically the idea is so you can fit TWO on one piece of 8.5x11 paper, one above the other.
    Go to office max and run some test-copies until you get exactly what I just described - Two flyers on one piece of 8.5x11
    Then buy 4 reams of paper and get them to run 2000 copies and ask them to cut your 2000 copies in half, show them where, please between the ads:
    Voila, 4000 flyers. If they don't give you something, ask if you could get the TOP of a box of paper as the flyers will fit neatly inside.
    Then every day for a couple weeks, go out for several hours driving and *COUGH* *cough* spam *COUGH* *COUGH* ... erm, pamphlet the hoods :)

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