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doug1980
06-08-2009, 04:41 PM
Well I had this feeling I would run into issues and I was right. I was hoping to only mow on Base but was told by my boss that it would be a conflict on the Air Force side of the base. So I decided to market on the Army side. Well after asking around I found out that door to door soliciting is not allowed. So the only thing I can do is post a flyer and/or business cards at the Commisary/BX and the gas stations. I won't hold my breath on getting any calls. :rolleyes:

swstout
06-08-2009, 06:25 PM
This is an attention getter. It gets your name out in a way that is remembered. Change the text to fit you.

picframer
06-08-2009, 07:05 PM
This is an attention getter. It gets your name out in a way that is remembered. Change the text to fit you.

Very, Very clever, I like it and you had me until I started reading, my initial thought was what a cute puppy and I love dogs, made me take a read!

XtreemGreen
06-09-2009, 05:04 PM
That is a true eye catcher and would probably work.. But printing that in full color would be pretty expensive..

swstout
06-09-2009, 05:10 PM
That is a true eye catcher and would probably work.. But printing that in full color would be pretty expensive..

I print my own. I have a Hewlet Packard HP Color Laser Jet 1600. Cost $240.00. Prints fullpage flyers at a rate of 12 per minute.

Steve

Steve
06-09-2009, 09:24 PM
Well I had this feeling I would run into issues and I was right. I was hoping to only mow on Base but was told by my boss that it would be a conflict on the Air Force side of the base. So I decided to market on the Army side. Well after asking around I found out that door to door soliciting is not allowed. So the only thing I can do is post a flyer and/or business cards at the Commisary/BX and the gas stations. I won't hold my breath on getting any calls.

I am not sure at all about how the military bases work but I think the most important thing is getting started. Start handing out business cards to everyone you meet. Once you get a couple of customers you will see word of mouth will spread. As you market more, you will become the go to guy for what ever service you are marketing. Just don't give up. Starting small is ok. The greatest journey starts with a single step.

Keep me posted on how all this is going.

kdexpd
06-16-2009, 12:05 AM
Hey Doug
I just started out doing this professionally this year so my advice may not be as great as most, but here's my 2 cents worth. The very first thing I would advise is to market, market, market your business! By this I mean advertise the heck out of yourself. Now don't go blowing hundreds of dollars, but you'll have to spend some to earn some. I got a great deal on my pickup lettering from someone I knew. I didn't go all wild and crazy and cover my truck, I just had the basics put on. A nice and professional looking logo with my name inside and a list of some of the services I provide near the back. Professional is the only way to look in this business. Just put yourself in the potential customer's shoes and step back and look at what kind of a business you are portraying. Think: Does this guy look like he even knows what the heck he's doing? Does he look like he can be trusted? Most consumers want a great service for a great price. We can't always give them the best price, however we can give them the peace of mind in knowing that we are the most professional looking business around. I see these "Mom and Pop" operations around here everyday in their rusty old beat up trucks and even cars hauling their broken down equipment. They show up in stained pants and what was left of lunch on thier shirts and do the worst jobs I've ever seen on peoples lawns. Sometimes I think that they should have paid the customer to do the lawn instead of the other way around. Now would you hire someone who looks like that to come and mow your lawn? Not me! I'd be worried about what they're scoping out to steal while their mowing.
Image is everything! If you look professional, people will expect you to be professional and that's what gets the most business. Take a look at some of the great business logos on this site and customize one that you like for your business. Then take it to a place that makes graphics (or order it online if you don't have someone readily available) and sell yourself. I see you can't go door to door, however you have access to the base from what I understand and driving through with your advertisement on your vehicle isn't breaking any rules. Since I have started this business, I have dropped off business cards at a few places here in town near the cash registers for their customers to take. I have also made flyers on my computer from templates found right here on this site and have handed them out door to door. Ya wanna know what has gotten me 90% of my new customer business? My truck lettering. I make it a point to ask all my new customers how they heard of me, and 90% of the time they say either "I saw you on the road" or "I saw you working somewhere and wrote down your number that was on the side of your truck" I started out 2 months ago with 5 customers. As of today I have 18 residential and 3 commercial customers. Another thing I have done is I customized a door hanger template that I found on here and stapled my business card at the bottom. I took it to all the real estate offices in my area. I would recommend you do that as well. You'd be suprised how many agents call for a home they're trying to sell that needs a few services, and also how many new homeowners call that were recommended by their agent that happened to see your card in their office. Most of the time the agent doesn't have any one particular lawn service in mind, they just grab the first card that they have the closest to the phone. Make that one card YOUR card! And not just one, give them 5 or 10.
So here's some food for thought:
1) Spend a hundred bucks and get you either a magnetic sign or vinyl lettering for your truck. You will make that back with the first 4 new customers you service for the first time (if your average is $25 per cut)
2) Put together some marketing material from the templates offered here.(FREE)
3) Get out and drop some info at your local real estate offices.
(FREE)
4) Keep your equipment and your vehicle clean and neat (Look Professional)
($4-$6 per week)

You'd be suprised what just these few things will do for your business!

Best Of Luck and keep us informed!!

Kendrick
Cedar Lawn Care Services

Steve
06-16-2009, 12:13 AM
As of today I have 18 residential and 3 commercial customersAs of today I have 18 residential and 3 commercial customers

Kendrick,

Can you share some insights into how you landed your commercial accounts? Being new in the business, how was this process different from landing your residential accounts?

kdexpd
06-16-2009, 01:26 AM
Hey Steve

Landing commercial accounts can be tough, however I have found that getting your information out there can be a big help. One of my secrets to getting one of my commercial accounts was just sitting back and letting the other lawn service guys do my work for me. When I first started getting my business going this spring, I was becoming frustrated because every place I went to market my business already had one of the other lawn services and had had them for a few seasons. I was getting pretty discouraged. Until it dawned on me one day. Heck, these other lawn service guys are pretty much doing my work for me! I started noticing that their quality of work was really getting laxed. They were mowing it when it was really wet, leaving tracks and huge unsightly clumps of grass all over. It was obvious they weren't keeping their blades sharp on their mowers because they were missing spots all over. And the thing that shocked me the most was they weren't even trimming! At all! It really looks like hell when you don't trim around the electrical poles, service boxes, and even curbs near the highways and streets. Now I admit, sometimes you can get away with skipping a trim job here and there, but only when it isn't going to be obvious from a block away (literally!) These businesses rely on a professional appearance (much like we do) and they want a nice neatly trimmed lawn, much like what was promised to them in their pricing when their lawn service bid it to them. The way I see it, these guys are just setting themselves up for someone like me to come along and say, "hey I can do the same service for the same price, but I'll actually live up to my promises". Now, yes, this is probably a good way to make some lawn services pretty ticked off, however my answer to that is if you are doing your job right, I should be no threat to you. This is business, not personal.
Now one of my commercial accounts was obtained because of what I mentioned earlier in the post. I went to all the local real estate offices and dropped off my door hanger with my business card stapled to it. It just so happened that a guy in South Carolina had 6 buildings behind the real estate office in the same complex that had his previous lawn service go out of business. So he called the real estate business and asked if they knew of anybody who did lawn service. Like I mentioned before, most of the agents don't have a particular business in mind when they recommend someone, so she just grabbed my information and passed it on. I was the only lawn care business that had cards there. Now that was just blind luck, not something you'd really learn in business school, but hey, it worked for me and I continue to stop by these offices frequently and ask if they need anymore business cards. It lets them know you are proactive with your business and if you make small talk with some of the agents every time, you make friends and next thing you know, they are recommending you over the other guys..great P.R.! It's just human nature to hire someone you know a little about rather than just a name in a phone book. Aside from the graphics on my truck, my best reason for new customers is by word of mouth. I offer a free mowing for every new referred customer that signs up for the entire season. Something else I learned from the templates on this website!
One last word of advice:
When you service someones lawn, or perform any service for that matter, don't just try to do it as fast as you possibly can and then move on to the next job. Yes, speed and efficiency is a good thing. BUT, take some time to visit with your customer. Get to know them, their needs, and their concerns. Ask them how their vacation went or how the family is. You'd be suprised how fast you'll get referrals when they realize your human and not just like the machine you operate all day. You also gain trust, which is HUGE in the referral process. Next thing you know, you're not just servicing the old lady across from your other account, your servicing her family and her family's neighbors, and their neighbors too. Word of mouth can be a wonderful thing. Let it work to your advantage!

Kendrick

Daamon
07-01-2009, 10:50 PM
Can someone post a link to me for he "Have you seen... such a beautiful lawn?" flyer with the Jack Russel Terrier on the front? I've followed all the links and I just can't find it anywhere. There is another with some other spaniel dog on it... I dont want that one. Thanks guys.

Steve
07-02-2009, 05:26 AM
Daamon,

Were you able to download the flyer from the second post in this thread that Steve made? He attached the file.

roclin
08-26-2009, 07:41 PM
Well I had this feeling I would run into issues and I was right. I was hoping to only mow on Base but was told by my boss that it would be a conflict on the Air Force side of the base. So I decided to market on the Army side. Well after asking around I found out that door to door soliciting is not allowed. So the only thing I can do is post a flyer and/or business cards at the Commisary/BX and the gas stations. I won't hold my breath on getting any calls. :rolleyes:

If you knock on the door to ask if they need your service I'd understand soliciting, but just going and leaving a card or door knocker should be ok. Your not asking your letting someone know. How about the flyer from the newspaper kid, if they still have one?