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JP Landscaping
03-23-2010, 09:26 PM
hey guys,

so I put an ad in the paper:

Free Lawn Mowing
Guaranteed!!

(company name) gives back
to (town name)

contact: Name
555-555-5555


______________
-I'm offering 2 free lawn mowings with an annual agreement
-1 free mowing for each referral who signs an annual agreement
-10 referrals or more = free lawn mowing for the season!

* I figure if somone can get me $10,000 worth of work, and perhaps more if the referral stays with me for more than 1 year, then they deserve 30 minutes of my time each week.

What do you think of this?

I'll keep you posted as to how many calls I get from this. I would think a lot of people will call.

MountainViewGreenskeeper
03-23-2010, 09:35 PM
Love the idea but afraid to impliment could you imagine 10K in work refered from 1 client that would be a wow moment I think..... Would you wait the full year of 10 clients maintained and give them the next years worth of work off when season starts again or how would you work that??? Just wondering....

JP Landscaping
03-23-2010, 10:05 PM
basically an annual agreement for lawn care here is about 30 to maybe 34 mowings. If one person refers to me 10 customers with an annual agreement...meaning 30-34 mows.... I will mow the referring customer's lawn for the remainder of the season. If the the referring customer refers all 10 at the beginning of the season, then they get the entire season mowed for free.

additional work is billed separately, like weeding, mulch, fertilizing, etc.
If they wanted a full maitenance contract we could do that too but the referring customer would only get the mowing, trimming, blowing, and edging free for up to the 34 mowings in the season.

I just finished up a retaining wall job for a lady that works at a hospital. I told her about how she could get free mowing for the season. She jumped at the offer and said she would post my offer through her job. she says she could probably get me way more than 10 customers. I told her if she could get me 20 customers this year. I would mow her lawn for free for 2 seasons!

It makes sense to me if she could get me $20,000 in work this year and $20,000 next year with the same clients. $40,000 or more worth of work for approximately 30 hours of my time in a span of two years.

If we want to split this into $. Then it would cost me about $5 to mow her lawn. times 60 times in 2 years = $300 for $40,000 or more worth of work. figure the return on investment of that 13,333%.

what do you think?

jasonw
03-24-2010, 02:50 PM
Personally I would not even call you. Its misleading and nothing is worse than a misleading add. If you cant get business with hard work and honesty then I would not give you my money "you figuratively speaking of course"

CHEESE2009
03-24-2010, 03:51 PM
Referrals don't work.

Keeping track of all of the incoming information will hurt your brain. You have to be seriously organized.

I'd make the free mowing(s) available in 2011, at least you'll get a chance retaining your customers. You might also be getting referrals late into the season.

Someone might sign with you, but for the last month of the season. Does the homeowner get a free mowing, or the person who referred him to you?:confused:

shadrach
03-24-2010, 07:24 PM
Is all the "fine print" in the ad that you are running?

StartALawnCareBusiness
03-24-2010, 07:42 PM
In my experience, good customers don't like gimmicks. They want good work for a fair price. Customers that are drawn to "free mowing" incentives will game the system and you will find yourself giving away more free mowing than you anticipate without the benifit of long-term customers.

JMHO

Keith

JP Landscaping
03-24-2010, 09:35 PM
First off the stuff below the dashed line is not in the ad. due to limited ad space.

But it's not a gimmick. I am giving them Free lawn mowing with the acceptance of an agreement. Basically they get the 15th and 30th mow free. This allows me to get paid for at least 14 mowings before giving them a free mowing.

The person referring gets 1 free mowing for each referral. They get it at the end of the season as long as the referral is upholding their agreement and doesn't cancel after a couple of mowings.

as soon as the referring customer has referred 10 customers, I start mowing their lawn for free. if the referred customers drops to less than 10, then I stop mowing their lawn for free. That will all be explained to the referring customer.

And I do honest hard work. this is a way to get the phones ringing. ad space is limited so you need to be catchy to get phone calls. when they call about the ad. I will explain it's that simple. I give them a free no obligation estimate. if they accept, then the 15th and 30th mow are Free.

this way it doesn't matter what time of the year I get them started. Whether it's in the beginning of the summer or the end.

And referrals DO work. We all talk about word of mouth being the best way to advertise. referrals are word of mouth. A home owner tells his neighbor, friends, or relatives and that's how a lot of business is produced.

Steve
03-24-2010, 09:39 PM
You never know how any marketing idea will work until you try it.

But like Scott said, keeping track of referrals and all that gets very tricky. So be prepared.

JP Landscaping
03-24-2010, 09:47 PM
True. It is a little more work but not too complicated. I do this with my landscaping clients. I'll offer them like 1 yard of free mulch or 1 free hour of labor or something of the sort with every landscaping referral.

I always ask the new clients where they got my info from. A lot say from a friend or relative and they tell me their name. I then go home to my list of clients and write the name of the referred customer so I have all this info. After I get paid from the new customer, I write to the referring client to thank them and ask they would like the yard of mulch or a free hour of labor. Some take the mulch some save the hour of labor.

I had a customer refer 3 other landscaping customers and she accumulated 3 free hours of labor that she used up for a fall clean up.

I think little things like this are what makes my business personal and customers like that attention.

What do you think?

Steve
03-25-2010, 06:49 PM
Do you ever talk to your customers and tell them you could really use their help to grow and would like to know if they could refer anyone to you? Even hand them a few business cards to hand out?

There are many ways to do this.

jasonw
03-26-2010, 01:58 AM
You never know how any marketing idea will work until you try it.

But like Scott said, keeping track of referrals and all that gets very tricky. So be prepared.

I agree. What happened when you loose track of one or 2 and someone dose not get there free mowing? Then word spreads like wildfire that you are a cheat. Your business is destroyed and all because of the fine print.

jasonw
03-26-2010, 01:59 AM
Do you ever talk to your customers and tell them you could really use their help to grow and would like to know if they could refer anyone to you? Even hand them a few business cards to hand out?

There are many ways to do this.

Steve, are those heels in the add in your post hard to mow lawns in? LOL:)

JP Landscaping
03-26-2010, 08:46 AM
I do talk to my customers and hand them a few business cards when i'm done with their work. It's gotten me quite a bit of work. But the thing, is that this is my first year really focusing on lawn care. Last year was mostly landscaping. I only had a few yards.

also, there are a couple of lco's here that are doing similar things. They will give a mow or two mows free and a free mowing with a referral. I've seen them a few years already so it must be working.

You see I want to focus on getting more lawns because it's steady income. Landscaping has ups and downs. with this economy its hard to tell if you will be as busy later in the summer as in the spring.

JP Landscaping
03-26-2010, 08:50 AM
Its actually not too hard to keep track of. when you get a new client. ask them who referred them. They will give you a name. write the name next to your clients name in your clients list. if you lose that list on the way home. call the new client up and ask for the referral name again.

JP Landscaping
05-20-2010, 09:10 AM
This paper in town sucks!

I paid for the ad and didn't get a single call from it. I posted the same ad on the local grocery store announcements board and got 2 calls.

Last year I also advertised in the paper for my Tax Prep business and landscaping and got 0 calls.

door hangers work... I passed out about 60 the other day and got a call the same afternoon. A guy wants flagstone delivered to his house and some sand. I'm making about $100 for just delivering him the flagstone. Go doorhangers! lol Though I still have about 4600 left to pass out!!

Steve
05-20-2010, 05:08 PM
I paid for the ad and didn't get a single call from it.

What section of the paper did you put the ad in and how did you word your ad?

JP Landscaping
05-25-2010, 10:32 PM
I put the ad with all the other businesses and mine was the only lawn care/ landscaping ad.

wording was:

Free Lawn Mowing
Guaranteed!

JP Landscaping gives back
call (number)