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osbornl1
05-04-2012, 04:44 PM
Ok I have been lurking around here for a while and Have read tons and tons of info.

I'm in the Dayton Ohio area and am having issues getting business. Professional name yard signs door hangers insurance certifications the whole 9 yards.

I have handed out about 1000 door hangers got 4 yard signs out and have only had 5 customers. 2 more wanted estimates but never returned follow up calls.

When I hand out door hangers I have included a price list for doing mulch and lawn treatments for their yard as well as a coupon.

I'm trying go full time as im out of work and am trying to cater more towards the landscaping and hardscaping side of the biz as mowing is incredibly competitive in my area.

It's getting very depressing and I'm low on funds so new forms of advertisement are out of the question right now.

I have thought about offering Lawn Education Classes one on one or at a group rate. I would provide soil sample plants fertilizers herbicides pesticides etc as well as eduction to do it yourself. Figured the class prices and product markup would be nice profit plus it's something completely different from the norm.


Any pros have any advice? Should I try and partner up with strictly mowing guys? Throwing them a cut for each paying customer?

Thanks everyone in advance

Larry

SECTLANDSCAPING
05-04-2012, 05:04 PM
Your doing everything right. Thats the way business is. There can only be so much work in each area. You have to keep doing what your doing. You might end the season with less then 5 customers. Eventually the other dozen guys that have a few customers will give up and get a real job. Then you get the call.

90% of my customers are word of mouth and its free. I still spend on advertising even though its only about 1% effective. A lot of people make the mistake and think advertising is for getting jobs, its not. Its for brand awareness. You stay at it and theyll know who you are when there looking for service theyll call.

Think of Mcdonalds. They dont expect you to stop watching your favorite show to get a burger because their ad is on. There putting the idea in your head so when your out, you think Ill get one from here. In our case the flyer is tossed by then, thats why its important to hit the same houses multiple times.

osbornl1
05-04-2012, 05:58 PM
Just thought of this. There are tons and tons of local pizza places in the communities I service. I can print up flyers cheap I have a laser printer at home.

What if I advertised on their boxes. Maybe meet with the owners talked to them and offered their company 10 dollars per job as a finder fee?

PineHillLawn
05-04-2012, 06:05 PM
I use Craigslist and post/repost ads everyday. That has been the best for me but at the same time you get responses for estimates from the yards you dont want. I have about 20 ads that I have made on CL and I check it everyday before I head out to mow and then once I get back. Any ads that are ready to repost, I do. I may have 5 ads, one after another with a different title. It works good for me, but also when I'm out mowing, I put flyers and door magnets on any door close to my yards that either need mowing or are some I'd like to do. I also started a website on Vista Print that helps give potential customers a sense of professionalism, and makes them think your serious about what you do. People get burned by the fly by night outfits to often and it can make them gun shy. Stick with it and if you want it bad enough you'll do what ever it takes.

PineHillLawn
05-04-2012, 06:06 PM
Just thought of this. There are tons and tons of local pizza places in the communities I service. I can print up flyers cheap I have a laser printer at home.

What if I advertised on their boxes. Maybe meet with the owners talked to them and offered their company 10 dollars per job as a finder fee?

That or offer to mow the place for free in exchance for the pizza box flyer!

Hedgemaster
05-04-2012, 11:59 PM
Your doing everything right. Thats the way business is. There can only be so much work in each area. You have to keep doing what your doing. You might end the season with less then 5 customers. Eventually the other dozen guys that have a few customers will give up and get a real job. Then you get the call.

90% of my customers are word of mouth and its free. I still spend on advertising even though its only about 1% effective. A lot of people make the mistake and think advertising is for getting jobs, its not. Its for brand awareness. You stay at it and theyll know who you are when there looking for service theyll call.

Think of Mcdonalds. They dont expect you to stop watching your favorite show to get a burger because their ad is on. There putting the idea in your head so when your out, you think Ill get one from here. In our case the flyer is tossed by then, thats why its important to hit the same houses multiple times.


There is much truth in this.
I worked in advertising for 10 years prior to doing this. (I was a graphic designer) One common complaint from advertisers (to the sales staff) was that they didn't get the results they had envisioned. Most times these comments were from one-time advertisers. (we were a weekly pub) You can't really expect miracles from running ONE ad, no matter how good the design is.
REPETITION is key. People remember you when they see your ad on a regular basis. They may not need you today, but when they do, they know who to look for.


The same is true while out working. When people see you on the same day every week, they remember you. I place lawn signs out at every job so people see my name as they drive by. I don't expect clients to come pouring in overnight as a result of my signs, but I'm seeing an increase in clients as a result of my exposure.

I just had someone approach me today for a quote as a result of my sign. Last year, a woman went out of her way to stop and talk to me because she recognized me from seeing my signs as she would drive by while I worked around the corner from her place. I took her on as a new client a few weeks ago.




Also, the OP mentioned limited funds for advertising. While results likely vary per location, Dayton is a relatively populated area, so I would expect Craigslist should bring a few calls and it's free.

JLM
05-05-2012, 10:39 AM
Just thought of this. There are tons and tons of local pizza places in the communities I service. I can print up flyers cheap I have a laser printer at home.

What if I advertised on their boxes. Maybe meet with the owners talked to them and offered their company 10 dollars per job as a finder fee?

I posted this idea about a few weeks ago.

Long story short I was mowing a small pizza place for free inturn my flyers got a ride on the box.....Ain't workin.

I had a friend and a family member order pizza and guess what when the order arrived NO FLYER :mad:

I have cancelled the agreement as I was providing service with NO result.

JLM
05-05-2012, 11:13 AM
landscaping and hardscaping side of the biz as mowing is incredibly competitive in my area.

So be comptitive then... compete to win not to fail...any type of competition requires training. Going through this is normal dont sweat it,stay at it.

It's getting very depressing and I'm low on funds so new forms of advertisement are out of the question right now.

So what you need to do is market with your mind not your money. Door to door sales works if you stay at it.

Try doing a few jobs for free for friends and family ask them to talk about the great job that you do....Free word of mouth.

Offer you services to a small church for free. I bet that the preacher will help you gain members of his fellowship.

The few small hours you do this FREE work will pay off for you.

op25ttfd
05-09-2012, 05:36 PM
I have spent money on fliers, signs, and all the other promotional ways but Craigslist free posting is where I have gained all of my business. I am very thankful for Craigslist thats for sure. Yeah you will get calls from company's trying to get you to pay them for advertising but I got more calls from customers than telemarketers.

Darksteel
04-05-2014, 12:04 PM
REPETITION is key. People remember you when they see your ad on a regular basis. They may not need you today, but when they do, they know who to look for.


This is good advice! It's like how MTV & the radio keep playing the same crappy song over & over again, forcing it into your head until you start to like it & eventually buy the album.

I remember an absolutely horrible song back in the 90's, my friends & I all hated it. But a little while later one of my friends said "ya know? That song ain't so bad, I'm starting to like it."

kslawn
04-05-2014, 03:13 PM
You can call your local radio station and see how much it is for an add to run for a month or...

We have a radio station where I'm at and they have a morning show called Tradio, and its on from 9:00am to 10:00am and you can call in for free to sell stuff up to $1000 or to look for stuff. You can also call in or go in to the station and do a 'paid add' which costs you $15 for a week to run an add. I haven't run an add for my business yet because I'm pretty full right now, but other Lco's do it.

Its a great show to listen to and a lot of people do. if you have something to sell or trade it usually doesn't take long for someone to call you on it.

Other than the radio I like the others said, you can't hardly go wrong with Craigslist.

Steve
04-06-2014, 12:00 PM
Those are all great ideas.

When it comes to radio advertising though, I have yet to hear any positive results from it. Has anyone found radio advertising to be helpful?