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well we started sending out renewels yesterday. also made some calls to people we did one time leaf cleanups for who then liked us and requested we contact them reguarding service this year. i am quite excited and enthusiastic about getting the ball rolling and becoming organized early, as this is my first season full time. not to mention, fert programs are pre pay, and due by march 10th, no if's and's or butt's. also , for those clients who choose a flat monthly payment arrangement, the first payment is due by march 1st. unfortunately, my clients do not share in my enthusiasm and are not quite as eager to get rolling. i've had many say, "ok, yea, just send out the paperwork." but i've had a few say, "who? bob from where? i'm sorry, it's much too early for us to think about lawn service, call us back in a couple months. this is not good for me, i'd like to get everyone who i know will use us, done and on the schedule, because my adds hit the paper in 2 days, and flyers will start going out soon so i plan on spending alot of time meeting and selling services to new clients.when do you guys begin making contact? am i "jumping the gun"?
 

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Tough call bobby...especially with 6 inches or so of snow on the ground. I know a lot of people right now don't want to think about lawn mowing especially after last year and all the rain we got.

But to answer yor question, no, I don't think you're jumping the gun. There are people out there btw who don't wait unitl the last minute to sign up for our kind of services (especially commercial accounts).
 

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i send out my letters to existing customers explaining new services, schedule and contract info in feb. i will start advertising in march. from my customers last year got 25% response by mail 10% response by phone before march the rest of the responses came by phone after march.
 

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Had to do one NEW YEARS DAY a holiday. drug me out in the cold on a holiday. The nerve of some of these people, just becoase he was an airline pilot ands gone most of the time I had to meet him on a holiday. Got the job and he paid me VERY WELL for holidat time lol

Mac
 

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As soon as I get home from vacation, I'll be getting rolling. Dang storm coming, gotta stay in Mass for a little while longer, don't want to do the interstate thing in ice and snow. I should have left yesterday.
Crawdad
 

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There is so much competition here, we started advertising and passing out flyers a few days after the new year. Last year we didn't start until the middle of Feb. and people were saying oh I just signed with so and so. So this Year we started early with some good results. We also started contacting our reg. customers and sent out bills already for the season.
 

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Bobby,
We mailed out 185 Grounds Maint contracts and 160 Lawn care contracts about the 20th of January. We have already received 40 & 35 back respectively. I agree w/ others that people aren't "thinking spring" w/ all of the snow we have around here thats just not melting! If we don't hear from them by the end of February, we give them a friendly call to "**** or git". We can easily fill their slots - not that we'd want to. Be patient!
 

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I send out renewals now for contacts that start April 1st.Hopefully and in most cases by mid March i should have gotten most of the renewals/contracts for '04 back.
 

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I agree with all of you, nothing wrong with preparing early..I commend everyone, your efforts will pay off, because theirs nothing like waiting until the last minute and everyone has already chosen an Lco, what i would suggest to the early early birds.. is do more then one mailing.. or do more then one round of fliers.. hit them now, and then hit them again in march, this way they think of your fliers first before your local competition hits them in march..its better two have 2 or more fliers from your company then the fly by night guys who come out end of march and beg of april. we are already in the Feb, it won't be long for march, and spring to roll around..I plan on doing a round of fliers, and thinking about doing a a direct mail of about 5,000
 

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Definitely not too early here--we've had a lot of 50 degree days, although snow yesterday and 12 degrees last nite. I will be sending out this year's info to all of my last year's customers. Probably before end of Feb. But there won't be many changes, and most of those people I've worked for several years. If I was trying to make some new sales for this year, I would be on their doorsteps on Saturday mornings before now. That's the only form of advertising I've used for a couple of years.
 

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Originally posted by kels
i send out my letters to existing customers explaining new services, schedule and contract info in feb. i will start advertising in march.
Same with me.. Contracts have been printed out and are now in a huge pile on my desk waiting to be sorted, and mailed out.

I'm almost done with estimating commercial properties and I will know the results of their decisions before March 1st.

I just got my first call from a residential today asking about her contract for 2004.

Some people are eager to get started (I think they are just tired of the snow), and some don't want to hear the words "grass" or "lawn guy" for another 2 months.

We are going to start putting flyers and postcards out in about 2 weeks and will keep going until everything is gone!

Good luck!!
 

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I couldn't deal with all the snow you guys get up north. We are having such a mild winter in Texas that I am anticipating having to break out my mowers around the first of March. I am already having people call me saying that they want to go ahead and get things going for the year. I am sending out my mailings to existing clients today, and my advertisments start tomorrow.
 

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I try and keep in contact with my customers year round. I try to call them every 2 months even in the summer. It does'nt take much time once you get good at it and it's nice to call and just ask how things are going. Sometimes you can even prevent future problems just by calling and thanking them for their business. Plus when you call in the spring they know who you are because you already talked to the 3 times over the winter, they tend to see you more a a friend and are less likely to "shop around".
 
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