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View Full Version : Darrin needs marketing help


Steve
06-26-2007, 04:45 PM
Our friend Darrin contacted us and asked for help with his lawn care business. I am going to include the letter he sent along with the flyers so we can all offer him some advise and suggestions.

Quote[/b] ]you said "If your business could use a GopherHaul, please email us." so, I'm contacting you. I have seen your flyers and such on your web site/forum. I have been in the business part time since 2005. I made my own flyers based on what I saw on those web sites. The first year I had 8 customers, The second year, I had problems with my truck and got a late start, then my 36" w/b broke and I didn't have the $400 for the part. I had 3 customers and only a 21" mower so I stopped advertising. I got a new (used) 48" w/b for free (cost me $55.33 in parts and about 8 hours to get it going) in July and did some more advertising. Got 1 call, didn't get the job. This year I spent $3,300 on new equipment and repairs and advertising. Put out about 1500 flyers so far this year (I'll include them) and only got about 3 calls. I really need help BUT, I don't think I can afford it. Anything you guys can do would be greatly appreciated.

The "free lawn service 4" flyer was put out once, about 200 of them in one area, I got 2 calls, no jobs. The coupon was put out in another area at about 100, no calls. Purrfection flyer 4 has been put out at about 1000 houses, 1 call. As you can see by the numbers, something is wrong, VERY wrong. I did not expect any jobs out of the flyers but, more than 2 calls would have been nice.


Thanks in advance

Darrin Alsdorf

Now let me include the flyers he sent.

The first flyer is his perfection flyer.

Steve
06-26-2007, 04:46 PM
Here is the coupon flyer.

Steve
06-26-2007, 04:47 PM
Here is the free lawn service flyer.

Steve
06-26-2007, 04:57 PM
Hi Darrin,

Here is my take. First off I really like what you are doing. I think your flyers are creative and being creative is a good thing.

Since you said you aren't getting a good response, I think I would get rid of the need for having to sign a contract. That might be scaring people away. I would also suggest using the free flyer "make the switch" we have in our flyer section.

Above and beyond all that. What else are you doing for networking? Are you handing out business cards to everyone you know? Are you talking with your neighbors? What's their response to your desire to service their lawns?

Are you using community bulletin boards in local stores?

Are you doing anything to get media attention in your area? Performing good deeds to others is a great way to accomplish this.

Do you have truck or trailer signs?

Please give us more feedback.

Also, anyone else who wants to jump in, pleased do.

Little's
06-26-2007, 11:29 PM
I was curious about something. When you send out the flyers, are you mailing them, dropping them on doorsteps, or something else. In my experience, knocking on doors and speaking to the people that answer can get you a lot further. I knocked on about 200 doors and left business cards with the people that answered, I left the businedd card at the door if no one answered. Of the 200 doors I knocked on, I got about 10 customers. It took about 2 weeks for all the calls to come in. It worked great for me. Hope this helps for you.

Darrin A.
06-27-2007, 06:24 AM
I am putting cards and/or flyers on community bullitin boards, cards in any business in the area that allows it, handing out multiple business cards to anyone I talk to. I also have a policy on business cards.... once I take it out of my wallet, pocket, whatever, I am not allowed to put it back. My truck is lettered. I am a volunteer EMT with the local ambulance corps but the policy there is that you can not proffit from it at all. I have a green light on my truck so those that are aware of what that is used for, know that I am a volunteer. I only put must sign up on the free mowing flyer to ensure that I keep the customer longer than 5 weeks.
I put flyers on doors and talk to people who are around when I do that. I haven't actually knocked on doors. I am not busy this weekend so I will probably start that Saturday.

Steve
06-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Hi Darrin,

Quote[/b] ]I am a volunteer EMT with the local ambulance corps

You can use this in your marketing! Have you considered when you are treating your patience, if you see a certain patient really needs help, you could go back and clean up their yard for them. This would be a great media story. "Local EMT and lawn care business owner volunteers to assist a neighbor."

Use this connection in your marketing. Let people in your community know you are a volunteer. I would really consider including this information in your flyers as well. We have done this before with volunteer firefighters.

Maybe do some kind of community clean up of a public area? Have everyone meet up at the squad house. Have the local paper there to take pictures.

Maybe do some sort of fund drive. How many lawns can you cut in one day for free? Have people sign up to donate money to the squad. Maybe like a walkathon where people donate based on how many miles they walk. You could go around asking people if they would donate to the squad and have others help you get more donations and people to sign up for you to cut their lawn. Maybe do this over a weekend.

People could donate $.25 or $.50 per lawn or whatever? Get the newspaper involved. This would be great promotion for you and a fund raiser for the squad. You would become a local hero!

What's your view?