You will hear people tell you that answering your phone is crucial. In fact, they will tell you that you should have a real live person answer your phone every single time it rings. That would be nice. I am all for this, but sometimes we have to be realistic. Depending where you are with your business, it just may not be feasible for you to pay someone just yet to answer your phone. And if that is the case, more than likely, you yourself are not always able to answer your phone. This is the reality of owning a business. However, if you are going to have voice mail answer your calls, why not use it effectively? This is not just about being different. Utilizing your voice mail is also smart. So how does a common voice mail message sound for a lawn and landscape company? "Hi, thank you for calling Four Seasons Lawn Care, no one is available to take your call at this time, Please leave your name and number and someone will call you back as soon as possible. Thank you for calling and have a great day." Ok, not a bad message - short, simple and to the point and sounds professional (assuming there are no dogs barking in the background or kids screaming). But what about something like this... "Hello, you have reached Four Seasons Lawn Care. Today is Monday, June 18th and we are in the office today. We currently have a special offer on summer fertilization and weed control services. If you are interested in learning how we can get rid of all of the weeds in your lawn, let us know. Please leave a detailed message and someone will call you back before 9:00 pm. Thank you for calling Four Seasons where we always do our best to give you the very best." Simple, still to the point, shows the caller it is not just some stale, rarely checked voice mail box and you make a promise to call them back by a certain time. People appreciate this. Don't be afraid to be creative, or even humorous, just don't confuse or offend anyone.