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TomsLS
01-07-2008, 02:36 PM
Hi, my name is Tom, and I am new to the site, and would like some ideas for writing a brief ad for my local Shoppers Guide paper.....

I am in Michigan, and am in the OFF season with winter being here, but I am still running a small ad to keep my name "Fresh" in everyones mind thru the slow time...

My lawn service was started last year in 2007, and has slowly built up to $500 +- per week, but I would like to grow it even more.... * *I ran a special for all new customers (residential only), giving them every 5 th. mow free for the '07 season.... * *Worked pretty well, but it is a PAIN keeping track where everyone is on that kind of schedule.... * 90% of *my '07 customer base will continue in '08, even though I am NOT going to continue the 5th. free mow...

Do any of you all have ads that you run in local papers to drum up business ?? * Would you mind sharing your ideas http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Thanks in advance !
Tom

Steve
01-07-2008, 03:00 PM
Hi Tom,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote[/b] ]My lawn service was started last year in 2007, and has slowly built up to $500 +- per week, but I would like to grow it even more.... I ran a special for all new customers (residential only), giving them every 5 th. mow free for the '07 season.... Worked pretty well, but it is a PAIN keeping track where everyone is on that kind of schedule.... 90% of my '07 customer base will continue in '08, even though I am NOT going to continue the 5th. free mow...

This is very interesting! From what I have seen in the past, I have seen the 5th mowing free but only for the first 5th. Not continual.

Are you using lawn care contracts?

I have seen some offer two free mowings at the end of the season if you sign up for a yearly contract.

Also what kind of services are you offering now during the wintr season?

Will these be the services you want to promote now?

TomsLS
01-07-2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks !

Yes, the 5 th. mow free is continuous throughout the season... There was another guy in town doing the same thing, but on the 4th.... I do not use any contracts, with the exception of on my commercial account.... Which has turned into 3 NEW commercial acct's for the '08 season.....

I was going to do snow plowing/ snow blowing this winter, but a BAD broken leg put the skids on that idea, I was set to buy a snow blower the weekend I broke the leg.... It's is now on the mend, and the cast comes off 1/17 (no pity please !).... I may still purchase the blower & hope for more snow....

I like the idea of the last 2 mows of the season for free with a yearly contract ! I may try that this coming season....?

I am of the mind set "Stay Small & Keep it ALL", and want to keep my business small enough for me, and possibly have my 2 sons help me pt. time... Ideally, I would like to build it up enough that I do NOT have to do a whole lot in the winter season (I hate the cold !).... I am flush with the world with exception of a home mortgage (NO other debt), so I think that this can be achieved in one or two more seasons....

My current equipment is:
Hustler 44" zero turn
Kawasaki String trimmer
Kawasaki Back pack leaf blower
Homelite gas hedge trimmer

Tom

Steve
01-07-2008, 03:40 PM
Hi Tom,

Are you involved with your community? Are you a member of any organizations have members who could be future customers?

TomsLS
01-07-2008, 04:08 PM
No, not currently.... * *There is a networking organization that I was going to join this last year, but they meet in another town 25 miles south of me..... * *They meet every Wednesday morning at 6 am for a breakfast meeting, and that is a schedule that I am Not able to keep as I am raising two young sons by myself that I need to get off to school each morning.... * *In the future when they are older, and I am able to leave them home alone before school then I will look into joining....

I am slightly restricted in my schedule with my sons, so my work day is from 7am (when they get on the bus, I leave home) and 3:15 pm (when I need to be here when they arrive from school).... * There is a local "Jaycee's" organization, but with meetings in the evening hours, again these are difficult to make time for.... * I play the part of Mom & Dad, and have ALL of the duties associated with both of those roles.... * I am willing to join something like that, but the problem is the schedule...

Was there any org. that you had in mind ...?? * Or, were these the type that you were thinking of...?

Thanks !
Tom

Steve
01-07-2008, 04:25 PM
Hi Tom,

Well there are a ton of organizations you can get involved with. Yes the one you talked about is one of them.

There are a lot of people on here who are members of organizations like volunteer fire departments or chambers of commerce or LeTip etc.

All of these groups give you a chance to meet and greet people. Having contacts with others makes things happen. It's like being on this forum, you are making contacts with others and you can make things happen by learning things or teaching.

Since your client base is going to be local, you will want to meet others you can sell too. Other business owners in your area are potential customers and here is a chance for you to say hello and meet them. Potentially to sell them your services.

This is something that should not be forgotten and is very important.

So as you are thinking about your marketing, consider what groups you could get involved with. You never know when these contacts will help you.

Next thing I would ask is, could you donate your time somehow to your community or to a community member in order to create good will between your community and your business?

Is there a neighbor that is elderly you could offer a yard cleanup too? Could you take a picture of it and create a press release to get into the local paper? Could you help organize a local park clean up?

What are some of your thoughts on this?

TomsLS
01-08-2008, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the tips.... I will follow up, and check into the Chamber of Commerce.... I had a friend ask me if I wanted to join the "Eagles", but I turned it down, as I am not much of a "Bar" person.... I went with him & his wife, and that is all that it seemed to be, was a "Private" bar for networking.... Just not my thing....

I had thought about donating time to a local elderly person in need of my services, but never pursued it...

I may even check into the JayCee's, and see if one of my neighbors would be willing to watch my kids for the weekly meetings...

Again, Thanks for the tips !! Great Site too by the way !

Tom

Steve
01-08-2008, 12:49 PM
Tom,

Here is another thing to keep in mind.

To market your business and get attention, you have basically two ways of doing it.

You can either leverage your money by spending it on advertising or you can leverage your time by spending it on advertising.

When you are just getting started out, you usually dont have much money to spend so you choose to spend time. How do you spend time? By networking. Doing good deeds. Getting in the paper.

Another thing you might want to do is pick up one of the Guerrilla Marketing series of books. They are all about how to market with little to no money.

Any thoughts on this?