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ryandimotta
10-26-2011, 06:21 PM
I Started my Lawn Maintence Company early this year, i have only established 15 accounts. I am in central fl lots of people do lawn work here and i was wondering what would be the best way to get my name out there to expand my bussiness? many of the neighbor hoods have no solicting signs so i can go door to door. Any i deas? my truck and trailer have signs on them. My prices good form what everyone has told me. Any Ideas???

Steve
10-26-2011, 07:16 PM
Up to this point, what do you feel has worked for you so far? You must be doing something right to land those 15 clients. Could you scale up what marketing you have been doing up to now so far?

ryandimotta
10-26-2011, 07:33 PM
I have passed out flyers only got 3 customers out of 500, most of them are just family friends and one saw me at a gas station. I know advertiseing is expensive but im on a low buget.

grass guru
10-26-2011, 09:58 PM
I started my lawn care business June of 2010. I used free advertising (craigslist) and picked up 26 accounts. Worked with a property preservation company and provided lawn service for another 26 accounts. This year I advertised in april may and june and picked up another 35 accounts. I dropped the property preservation company, and a few others from the year before, and now maintain 50 accounts/week. Some were word of mouth, some are neighbors of clients, but 80% are craigslist. How is craigslist so sucessful for me when so many others don't have much success?
Do this in the "no soliciting" neighborhoods. Drive in and look at every lawn, and write down the address, and how much you would charge. Do this for every property! Then go home, and use public records to get the names of the homeowners. Once you have all the info, write up estimates for each property, what you will provide, and how much it will cost. Starting out, charrge them on a per cut basis. You can always change it to monthly contract after first year. Mail the estimate to them. Do it in 1 neighborhood at a time and see what your feedback is. If you have a customer in that neighborhood, pay them to advertise for you. Tell them for every customer they refer, you will give them a 10% discount on lawn service for the year. Would you rather pay your customer $20 a month to persuede their neighbors and you gain $200 a month and don't have to move your truck or the printer and you may get $0 back. Pay your customers, they love the savings, and you'll love the added client base. People don't know how much lawn care costs. Most think its too expensive. They are surprised to hear how reasoanable it actually is.
Sorry for the book.

Hedgemaster
10-26-2011, 10:58 PM
First full season here. Low budget? How about NO budget?

I was at the point where I started to sweat over spending $40 on business cards, but I advertised on Craigslist and now I'm up to roughly 50 regular clients.
I was hesitant to use CL initially due to the spam that comes with it, but I found that by designing an ad and saving it as an IMAGE, I could avoid the spam bots because they only "see" phone numbers and e-mail in TEXT form - they can't see the info in an image. (but PEOPLE can)

I ran my ad and added some text under it for search engine purposes, and it worked great.

ryandimotta
10-27-2011, 03:07 PM
I will try all of this I was going to try the drive thru and look up names but i didnt know if it was a type of soliciting or not thanks for the help i will try all of them and get back to you THANKS!!

Steve
10-27-2011, 07:47 PM
Worked with a property preservation company and provided lawn service for another 26 accounts.

Whats is your advice on how to get this kind of work and why did you ultimately decide to move on from them?

ringahding1
10-29-2011, 11:47 PM
I will try all of this I was going to try the drive thru and look up names but i didnt know if it was a type of soliciting or not thanks for the help i will try all of them and get back to you THANKS!!Build a website for practically nothing per month!

ryandimotta
10-31-2011, 06:32 AM
Ok so i put 4 ads on craigslist but wasnt sure what catagory to put them under so i used house hold services and farm & garden services what do you think i should put them under? What worked best for you all? any suggestions on what i should put as a title to catch eyes?

JeffK26
10-31-2011, 07:59 AM
Take a look in both sections and see where most of the other lawn care ads are. Put yours there. The first link is my wife's ad to give you an idea of what stands out...she's getting a lot of calls, most of her customers are telling her they're calling because her ad stands out. Not posting mine until i get insurance this week....

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/crs/2676434726.html

Here is what i'll put in my ad, have to make a couple corrections...

http://cache.nebula.phx3.secureserver.net/obj/NTI1N0I5QkNDMTg4NjY5REM3MDA6ZWNiMWUyZjc3OTVmZDE2Zm RjZWFhOWZkOTI1OGNlYjU=?uid=bc1da9b8-93c3-44f7-baf5-a2d4dc9926b0

grass guru
11-01-2011, 01:45 AM
PTake a look in both sections and see where most of the other lawn care ads are. Put yours there. The first link is my wife's ad to give you an idea of what stands out...she's getting a lot of calls, most of her customers are telling her they're calling because her ad stands out. Not posting mine until i get insurance this week....

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/crs/2676434726.html

Here is what i'll put in my ad, have to make a couple corrections...

http://cache.nebula.phx3.secureserver.net/obj/NTI1N0I5QkNDMTg4NjY5REM3MDA6ZWNiMWUyZjc3OTVmZDE2Zm RjZWFhOWZkOTI1OGNlYjU=?uid=bc1da9b8-93c3-44f7-baf5-a2d4dc9926b0

Why do you think people are so open to her ad, and call her instead of the ad above or below it? I can put an ad up and 2 or 3 weeks later I'm still gettin calls "saw your ad on craigslist". Even tho an average of 10 new postings a day bump me down. The reason... I have prices in my ad. Much like your wife, I say where my prices start at .25 acres, .33 acres, .5 acres, etc. People are lazy. They don't want to call 3 or 4 different lawn care companies and set up a time to meet to get a quote. They want ballpark figures, and if it is close enuff to their budget, they will jump aboard. I'm about 25-30% higher than most other lawncare companies, but people see my onine price, call me and ask for an exact amount, and then sign up. Once they see my work, they love it, and stick with me, even if someone solicites their business for less money. Building a relationship with your customers, paying attention to detail, and doing "the little things" will keep them on board. People don't mind paying an extra $20 a. month for great service vs good service.

When you set up your plowing ad, state your price. I say, single wide drives starting as low as $x.00. Double wide drives starting as low as $X.00. Call (111)222-3333 for your free no obligation quote.

Steve
11-03-2011, 12:13 PM
Not posting mine until i get insurance this week....

Keep us posted on how you decided which insurance to go with and how it works out for you.

JeffK26
11-03-2011, 06:17 PM
Ryan, are you giving the facebook ads a try? Are you looking into using any of the advice here? Good luck!

Guru, thanks for the tip...I don't know why i didn't think of putting pricing in the ad, especially since the wife does it...

Steve..will do. I've whittled it down to USAA...They're a financial and insurance group dedicated to active duty and veterans. I have my truck insurance with them and it's the cheapest around with more coverage. They actually go with The Hartford with their business insurance and USAA acts as the agent. I've been very happy with USAA with my truck insurance and financial....

Norcal
11-05-2011, 01:29 AM
I have passed out flyers only got 3 customers out of 500, most of them are just family friends and one saw me at a gas station. I know advertiseing is expensive but im on a low buget.

Ok I am going on 3 years I started april of 2008 by january I think I had 15 to 20 same deal here there is alot of other guys doing the same thing.
I got in the local paper and this year a good ad in the phone book the first year I used craigs list out of desperation and it was free and I got alot of calls but not many permanent accounts out of craigs list.
Last year I ended the season with 26 accounts and then by christmas i lost 8 due to people moving one died ect.

Being in the paper and the phone book if you sing up for a year contract You get a better deal as month to month I pay a $100 a month for ads and now I have 77 singed contracts and I now that 4 are temps so I should still have around 70 accounts to start the next season if you have signs on your truck you can write off the milage for the year. If you think you cant afford to advertize you really cant afford not to I could hire someone just to answer the phone on the 10 to 15 calls I get a day for bids for regular service one times and clean ups. Advertize as much as as you can

jymie
11-05-2011, 10:54 AM
I started my lawn care business June of 2010. I used free advertising (craigslist) and picked up 26 accounts. Worked with a property preservation company and provided lawn service for another 26 accounts. This year I advertised in april may and june and picked up another 35 accounts. I dropped the property preservation company, and a few others from the year before, and now maintain 50 accounts/week. Some were word of mouth, some are neighbors of clients, but 80% are craigslist. How is craigslist so sucessful for me when so many others don't have much success?
Do this in the "no soliciting" neighborhoods. Drive in and look at every lawn, and write down the address, and how much you would charge. Do this for every property! Then go home, and use public records to get the names of the homeowners. Once you have all the info, write up estimates for each property, what you will provide, and how much it will cost. Starting out, charrge them on a per cut basis. You can always change it to monthly contract after first year. Mail the estimate to them. Do it in 1 neighborhood at a time and see what your feedback is. If you have a customer in that neighborhood, pay them to advertise for you. Tell them for every customer they refer, you will give them a 10% discount on lawn service for the year. Would you rather pay your customer $20 a month to persuede their neighbors and you gain $200 a month and don't have to move your truck or the printer and you may get $0 back. Pay your customers, they love the savings, and you'll love the added client base. People don't know how much lawn care costs. Most think its too expensive. They are surprised to hear how reasoanable it actually is.
Sorry for the book.

Excellent idea here. I just posted in this thread: http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=15077

What I have done to help me increase my business, I hope that helps you as well.

Steve
11-07-2011, 04:06 AM
now I have 77 singed contracts

That is fantastic Norcal.

Could you rank what you considered your best marketing methods? Like your top 5 favorite?

Which do you feel have been most worthwhile and which are your least favorite 5 methods?