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View Full Version : When to start Flyering


NDALandscape
02-12-2008, 11:32 AM
Hello, Im new to the group. For the past couple weeks I have been observing and taking everything in. This will be my 5th year of business, 2nd year doing it on my own. The first 3 yrs were wasted with a bad business partner with no motivation or drive.

This is the first year I am spending money on marketing and the first year I am getting into lawn care. Before I kept it to a minimum; Fertilizing, Aeration, Thatching & reseeding. I am still not equiped as well I wish, but its a start. To give everyone a quick overview of what I am working with (not sure if you care or not). 1995 Chevy 2500 ext cab, 2003 6x12 single axle trailer, 2003 Ariens ZXR1742, Some old Club Cadet walk behind, Echo SRM 260 Split boom, Echo PB-610 Backpack blower, Some basic scott spreaders. Thats what I am using for my lawn care. Now I only landscape on the side, I work a full time job in the as well. Its not uncommon for me to work 80+ hrs a week during the summer. My goal is to make it my full time job starting in 2009.

I live and work in Upstate New York. We have been getting alot of Ice Storms this year, and I am not sure when the weather will break. I am having door hangers designed and printed up right now. I am hoping to hand out about 500-1000, if not more. I always thought the end of Feb would be ideal. We have been getting high winds. In the range of 30-75mph. Which is abnormal for up here. Should I hold off until March? Or is that gonna be too late?

Thanks
Nicholas

Steve
02-12-2008, 12:25 PM
Hi Nicholas,

Welcome to our forum. It's nice to have you here!

What other ways are you marketing your business? Most people that are into marketing would say you should never stop marketing your business. You should be doing it all the time.

Like for instance now, are you using craigslist to get the word out?

Are you sending out prepay letters to your current customer base to get them to prepay for the year for a discount in their fee?

What are your thoughts on this?

NDALandscape
02-12-2008, 12:47 PM
Well I dont do much marketing due to the cost at the current moment. Coming into this year I had alot of equipment issues. Which ended up taking a toll on me. In the past I was all referal base. I couldnt believe how much business I got my first year. I started with one client who is a friend of the family, my old truck, a shovel & a wheel barrel. Once I completed her job, I ended up booking 7 more jobs just from people walking by and seeing the work. That took a snowball effect. I ended up turning away customers the first year due to lack of time and equipment.

I am also posting flyers inside other business, coffe shops, BINGO halls. I havent tried craigs list yet. Its free, so I mind as well. I also signed up for this advertising company called Pazaz. When you order take out they send a booklet of flyers out with it.

Steve
02-12-2008, 01:22 PM
I think you are really gonna be impressed with craigslist. A lot of our fellow forum members use it and are getting great results! Make sure you check around the forum to pick up some of the marketing angles that are being used with craigslist to promote lawn care businesses.

Did you put together a website yet?

NDALandscape
02-12-2008, 04:04 PM
I have not put together a website yet. I do have a marketing team working on the flyers and have offered to put together the website for me. Unfortunatly with my old business partner things between us went real sour. Make a long story short, he has all of our before and after photos of all of our big jobs. We no longer communicate. Which is for the better. Im sure by the end of this season I will have more than enough to choose from to start a website.

I am going to get on Craigs list tonight. Any idea when people start the door to door marketing with flyers? Like I mentioned before I am in Upstate Newyork and the weather wont even break unitl Late April Early May.

Steve
02-12-2008, 04:25 PM
Did you see we have free lawn care web templates? They have before and after pictures in them. Maybe they will help you.

As far as the flyers go, this is my take. I would figure out which area I wanted to target. Then hit them three times all the way up to the season's beginning. Split the time equally but I would start getting the word out asap.

I would also have some kind of inducement to get them to prepay now and save a certain % or offer another inducement. A dinner for two maybe?

What's your view on this?

NDALandscape
02-12-2008, 04:54 PM
Thats not a bad idea with the hitting the market 3 times. I think I am going to do that.

Now my girl friend was trying to convince me to offer 5 free cuts with a contract. Does that seem extreme or reasonable? My season goes from May to Nov at the most. We have been getting droughts which means most of august is a wash.

Steve
02-12-2008, 05:51 PM
Hi Nicholas,

I think it's always much better to hit a smaller group of potential customers, multiple times, than it is to hit a large group only once.

The more they hear about you, the better your chances are of selling to them.

As far as your inducement for a contract. What I see most of is two free cuts and usually those cuts are performed at the end of the season in case the customer tries to get the free cuts from you and then cancel your services.

What's your view on that?

NDALandscape
02-13-2008, 01:24 PM
I like your mentality Steve. I think I will focus more on 300 houses, 3x than a 900 houses once(just an example).

As far as the giving out free cuts goes. I think I will offer them at the end of the season like you suggested, so that I dont get burned.

Steve
02-13-2008, 03:24 PM
Nicholas,

Keep us posted on how everything goes. Also keep thinking creatively on how you can get more attention for yourself and your business.