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McBride Services
02-25-2009, 11:51 PM
Hello guys,

I live in louisiana and am starting a Lawn service this year. I currently have a fencing business, but with things like they are we gotta supplement the income.

So far I have placed 100 yard signs throughout my area, flyered over 1500 homes, handed out a half a box of business cards, and I have 1 customer. Sad thing is she is my wife's friend.

WTH is going on?

I have never had so much trouble getting the phone to ring.

My flyer was one of yours, the free lawn care one, that I just put my name and number on.

I seriusly had to go back and check to make sure I didn't put the wrong number on the ads.

We have a newspaper ad coming out tomorrow, hopefully that will help.

Am I just hitting it too early? or what?

It's in the high 60's low 70"s everyday here, and lawns are starting to green up and grow.

Any help would be appreciated.

justin_time
02-26-2009, 12:07 AM
Your doing absolutely nothing wrong. The average response rate is between 1% and 2%

People are gonna start watching their money in this global recession.

So I wouldn't worry about it, maybe you'll get the phone calls later on.

StartALawnCareBusiness
02-26-2009, 06:11 AM
The answer is Knuckle Marketing (http://startalawncarebusiness.com/blog/2009/02/knuckle-marketing/)

Keith

lawnsalonforyou
02-26-2009, 10:17 AM
What kind of neighborhoods did you post fliers? My rule of thumb is I go to neighborhoods that are about 3 income levels above mine. Our home cost 171,000 so I post fliers in neighborhoods where I know the homes are 350,000 and and up. I have had a great response...and those folks don't mind paying the 40 to 45 dollars for lawn care because they normally have 2 working parents. Just an idea that worked for me!

Good Luck!!

Totally Green
02-26-2009, 02:06 PM
I live in Minden, La. and started my business last May. I had very little luck with flyer's. Door hangers were even worse. Most people around here don't like solicitor's. I picked up around 30 regular customers last year and most came from a "Bold & Bordered" ad in the local paper and from business cards we put out at convenience stores/gas stations. The Thrifty Nickle (American Classifieds) was a waste. With the economy the way it is, who knows, this year may be a bust. We'll see. Good luck.

Gary

Fresh Cut
02-26-2009, 03:26 PM
Same here man. I started last season and had some bad experiences with the residential clients that I got.
Now I'm at my wits end. Seriously questioning whether or not I want to do this. I love cutting grass, and I know how to market, but what's left to do when you have tried all the marketing plans that you know?
I recently posted about my door hangers not getting me but 3 or 4 calls last year, I'm not sure I wanna go that route again this year. I would rather try the newspaper ad. I'm putting new signs on my truck. And I'm going to try what LawnSalonForYou suggested by targeting neighborhoods with homes that cost $300k or better.

Hello guys,

I live in louisiana and am starting a Lawn service this year. I currently have a fencing business, but with things like they are we gotta supplement the income.

So far I have placed 100 yard signs throughout my area, flyered over 1500 homes, handed out a half a box of business cards, and I have 1 customer. Sad thing is she is my wife's friend.

WTH is going on?

I have never had so much trouble getting the phone to ring.

My flyer was one of yours, the free lawn care one, that I just put my name and number on.

I seriusly had to go back and check to make sure I didn't put the wrong number on the ads.

We have a newspaper ad coming out tomorrow, hopefully that will help.

Am I just hitting it too early? or what?

It's in the high 60's low 70"s everyday here, and lawns are starting to green up and grow.

Any help would be appreciated.

Steve
02-26-2009, 05:00 PM
I live in louisiana and am starting a Lawn service this year. I currently have a fencing business, but with things like they are we gotta supplement the income.

So far I have placed 100 yard signs throughout my area, flyered over 1500 homes, handed out a half a box of business cards, and I have 1 customer. Sad thing is she is my wife's friend.

WTH is going on?

This is a fantastic post! The question I feel here is not what are you doing wrong but look at what you are doing right!

Look what has worked so far. You have 1 customer. Why? Because it's through someone you know.

People buy from people they know and trust. This is so important to remember and it is why you always need to work on marketing through your social network. If you don't have a big social network, then you should work on developing it.

Do things to get to know people. Join organizations. Offer lectures on property care to associations. Clean up different areas of your town and get media attention on you doing it to build up the goodwill you have between you and your community.

Are you a member of any organizations now? If so, what ones? Can you do anything to market through them? Can you do a good deed for the organization to build up awareness of your business and goodwill?

McBride Services
02-26-2009, 05:18 PM
So I think I figured it all out today.

If you want business, get on the forum and complain about not having any.

Today was great. Got several calls from the newspaper ad, set 4 appts for estimates, got a huge landscaping job, and got a job for some tractor work. I went from having absolutely nothing to having to schedule bids two or three days out because i'm so busy.

I'll be back next week to complain about my efforts not working again so I get some more calls.

McBride Services
02-26-2009, 05:22 PM
What kind of neighborhoods did you post fliers? My rule of thumb is I go to neighborhoods that are about 3 income levels above mine. Our home cost 171,000 so I post fliers in neighborhoods where I know the homes are 350,000 and and up. I have had a great response...and those folks don't mind paying the 40 to 45 dollars for lawn care because they normally have 2 working parents. Just an idea that worked for me!

Good Luck!!

I live in a $350,000 house. They don't have many $750k home around here. haha

The neighborhoods I flyers were all upper end for my area. The average home price around here is over 200k though.

Steve
02-26-2009, 05:39 PM
That is great news! Never give up and keep a positive outlook!

Today was great. Got several calls from the newspaper ad, set 4 appts for estimates, got a huge landscaping job, and got a job for some tractor work. I went from having absolutely nothing to having to schedule bids two or three days out because i'm so busy.

What kind of ad did you put out and what section of the paper did you put it in?

McBride Services
02-26-2009, 05:42 PM
That is great news! Never give up and keep a positive outlook!



What kind of ad did you put out and what section of the paper did you put it in?

Simple ad in the classifieds. Keep in mind this is the smallest newspaper in our area maybe 3 to 4k subscribers.

Here is a copy of the ad

Lawn Care, local business taking new regular customers for the 2009 season. Free Estimates. Fair prices, reliable service call 225-***-****.

Steve
02-26-2009, 05:48 PM
That is fantastic! How long will you run it for now?

MattLuciano
02-28-2009, 01:23 PM
What kind of ad did you run in the paper? Was it a classified, or an actualy advertisement with graphice and everything? I am having some of the same problems with the lack of response to my flyers and im thinking that a good newspaper ad is the way to go. What would you suggest??

Fresh Cut
03-12-2009, 03:45 PM
What kind of neighborhoods did you post fliers? My rule of thumb is I go to neighborhoods that are about 3 income levels above mine. Our home cost 171,000 so I post fliers in neighborhoods where I know the homes are 350,000 and and up. I have had a great response...and those folks don't mind paying the 40 to 45 dollars for lawn care because they normally have 2 working parents. Just an idea that worked for me!

Good Luck!!

Tianna, how do you go about finding homes that cost that much? What research tools do you use to find those neighborhoods? I'm in Metro Atlanta area and it seems that most people in my area don't care much for paying a company to do their property. I'm trying to find those areas where the homeowners value property maintenance and are willing to pay for it. I don't want to just ride around aimlessly. Let me know.


E.P.
Fresh Cut

Little's
03-13-2009, 01:40 AM
The answer is Knuckle Marketing (http://startalawncarebusiness.com/blog/2009/02/knuckle-marketing/)

Keith

Keith you are absolutely correct. I have always been a fan of knuckling. It takes longer than just leaving a flier, but it works wonders. I get about a 5% response from it as opposed to about 1% with fliers alone.

lawnsalonforyou
03-13-2009, 03:04 PM
Hey E.P.! I use the classified and real estate magazines they give out for free at grocery stores. I just look at the photos and prices of home and pick and choose what areas to hit up. Plus since we have just moved to the area in Dec..it has helped me find my way around exploring new areas..and find neighborhoods I would have never even know were there! Try it out! Let me know if it works for you!

Also I went to a big Women's Conference this past week and a lot of people I met are moving to Atlanta in the near future and asked me if I went up that far to service homes...I told them if I have enough clients up there I would. Once I do all my call backs and see who is really interested anyone that's up in Atlanta I'll gladly pass on to you. Atlanta is a bit far for us and I'm getting so busy I wouldn't have the time. As long as you promise to take good care of them because our name is on the line! lol
Let me know!!

Fresh Cut
03-14-2009, 03:37 PM
Hey E.P.! I use the classified and real estate magazines they give out for free at grocery stores. I just look at the photos and prices of home and pick and choose what areas to hit up. Plus since we have just moved to the area in Dec..it has helped me find my way around exploring new areas..and find neighborhoods I would have never even know were there! Try it out! Let me know if it works for you!

Also I went to a big Women's Conference this past week and a lot of people I met are moving to Atlanta in the near future and asked me if I went up that far to service homes...I told them if I have enough clients up there I would. Once I do all my call backs and see who is really interested anyone that's up in Atlanta I'll gladly pass on to you. Atlanta is a bit far for us and I'm getting so busy I wouldn't have the time. As long as you promise to take good care of them because our name is on the line! lol
Let me know!!

I'ma go check out those real estate magazines and classifieds asap.

I would really appreciate you passing people on to me, Tianna. I'm in dire need. I can't really afford to keep getting door hangers printed with a 1% response rate. That's crazy to me. There has to be a better way of getting a decent return on your advertising dollars.

SprinklerRepair
03-22-2009, 06:31 PM
Read this thread:

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=8585

This is TRUE market research that cost millions of $$$.

Yours for free.

Fresh Cut
03-23-2009, 12:12 PM
My Door Hanger

Steve
03-23-2009, 01:40 PM
On that is a very nice door hanger! Did you make it? Who do you suggest to print it?

Fresh Cut
03-24-2009, 11:56 PM
Read this thread:

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=8585

This is TRUE market research that cost millions of $$$.

Yours for free.

Do I have to buy it? I'm interested but I can't afford it right now. I really need some work man.

Mr Greenthumb
03-25-2009, 10:47 PM
You should give google earth a try. It's a great way to get a satellite view of areas you may want to target. I use it all the time to scope out new areas to advertise...works great to see size of homes and landscaping.

Steve
03-25-2009, 10:59 PM
You should give google earth a try. It's a great way to get a satellite view of areas you may want to target. I use it all the time to scope out new areas to advertise...works great to see size of homes and landscaping.

Can you explain to new lawn care business owners how they should utilize this tool?

lawnofthemonth
03-27-2009, 08:58 PM
i get about 1 sale for every 100 door hangers that i put out, ive been doing this for 12 years for a big company and 2 months for myself and that return % stays pretty consistent.

i just dont have time to knock on doors like i should but i leave a personal note on each door hanger, people seem to like and respond to that.

Steve
03-27-2009, 11:00 PM
i leave a personal note on each door hanger, people seem to like and respond to that.

What kind of personal note do you suggest leaving?

Mr Greenthumb
03-28-2009, 12:10 AM
For those of you that don't know, Google earth is an attachment that can be downloaded to you computer from google. Once downloaded you can view satellite images of your local area. You can also view the street names to give you a satellite map of your area. Maps of some areas are clearer than others, but overall, google earth can help you discover new areas you may want to target for business.

lawnofthemonth
03-28-2009, 07:20 PM
What kind of personal note do you suggest leaving?

your daughter is hot, can i date her? stuff like that :D

VPS Lawn Care
03-28-2009, 07:39 PM
I run 1 simple add in the paper that is short and sweet, directs them to my web site for more details and ph#'s. cost Aprox $100 a month for add, average about 5 to 10 etimates a month from it and get 1 or 2 cust a month.
the add runs twice a week for 4 weeks

flyers, Door hangers & Mailers: Which ever i do i do 200 at a time, and get real repetitive with it, another words i will send 200 of the flyers to a set of addresses, then the next couple of weeks 200 post cards to the same addresses, then in a couple weeks from that i do door hangers to the same 200 people. My average response out of hitting these 200 people 3 times 3 diffrent ways has been about the same each time i have done this. ( 4 times)
I get around 3 or 4 new clients mostly annual Agreements. Each worth on average about $1080 a year for basic service, my cost for all this is as follows;
post cards printed and mailed through vista print.com cost me $138.92 for 200, door hangers i got 2000 printed at a local printer it cost $115.oo which is a cost of .06 cents ea or $12.00 for the 200 distributed, and it cost me aprox. $20 bucks to print and mail the flyers.
All this is done in aprox. a 6 week time frame.

This all gets memin 4 new clients to 6 new clients, lets just say 4 for the purpose of this. Ok now i have a total of $250.92 cash invested and about 8 hrs to set this all up and distribute. So for all that i average about $4320.00 in new cust income each time i do it per year. This method has helped me double my annual accounts from last year to this year, last year being my first year in operation.
Hope this helps some of you get going , it takes patience but it works for me.