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  • 14% unemployement rate

    Hello All. I live in oregon and we currently have the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation (just a tad behind Michigan). In my county our unemployment rate is almost 14%. This is my first year looking to start part time. I've landed a few jobs, but all by 1 have come from family or friends of family. All of my marketing has fallen flat. Over 1,000 door hangers and only 1 call. Advertising in the paper, not a call yet. Updating my craigslist add every 2 days, no calls. I'm starting to feel like my market is just too over saturated. I have a normal 8-5 job and see at least 1 or 2 LCOs on the road every day. Sometimes up to 5 or 6 (this is only a 7 mile drive). What's happening in your areas? I'm considering direct mail or google as my next advertising campaign, but am starting to feel like I am pissing my money away.

  • #2
    Well, you can expanding your marketing message or you can also experiment with your services offered. When you talk to your different family and friends are they telling you what their view is on paying for lawn care at the moment? Are they cutting their own lawns more often?

    Have you thought about offering other services that many homeowners can't or won't do? Are there things your friends and family are saying they need help with?
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    • #3
      Well, you can expanding your marketing message or you can also experiment with your services offered. When you talk to your different family and friends are they telling you what their view is on paying for lawn care at the moment? Are they cutting their own lawns more often?

      Have you thought about offering other services that many homeowners can't or won't do? Are there things your friends and family are saying they need help with?
      Most of them are doing it themselves. Even some who have over 6 figure incomes. Others have always had the same guys doing it. I don't want to lean on them to fire there guy to hire me, just doesn't feel right. A lot of the work I've been doing is non-mowing jobs. Like clearing a weed thatch, Spraying herbicide, dropping some bark, replacing dead trees etc. I'm not sure what else I could offer, I'm sure you have some ideas? Growing season is in full swing now with temps in the 80's.

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      • #4
        Most of them are doing it themselves. Even some who have over 6 figure incomes. Others have always had the same guys doing it. I don't want to lean on them to fire there guy to hire me, just doesn't feel right.
        I think just making it known you are available. For instance, what if their sewer line backs up? Could they call you to snake out a line? You can rent snakes for $50 for half a day and charge a couple hundred to do the service. Most home owners aren't going to do that themselves. There are plenty of other services they won't do either.

        This isn't about leaning on them to fire their current person. Everything is in a constant state of flux. New people move in. Old people move old. Your long time handy-man moves on to somewhere else. These things go on day in and day out. All you want to do is be that friendly face they know they can call to solve their problem.

        Maybe a fridge magnet would keep you around until they were ready to call you.

        A lot of the work I've been doing is non-mowing jobs. Like clearing a weed thatch, Spraying herbicide, dropping some bark, replacing dead trees etc. I'm not sure what else I could offer, I'm sure you have some ideas? Growing season is in full swing now with temps in the 80's.
        I would keep letting them know you can help with all sorts of things. Changing a hard to reach light bulb. Cleaning out gutters. Fixing a roof leaf. Trimming back a tree. Reseting a mailbox. Replacing a sidewalk?

        I bet if you asked around, each person has a to do list for their home, they never get to.
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        • #5
          I put together a flyer concept for you that could help.

          It gets people thinking about their long to do list. Everyone has one and no one ever gets it done.

          To Do List Flyer

          I hope this helps inspire you.

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          • #6
            Thanks Steve!!

            This has given me more to think about. While I have wanted to try and focus on my core business (mowing and maintenance) I might need to branch out a little to try and find clients. I am interested to hear from some of the other guys, both new and old (maybe experienced is a better word)

            My brother who is also a LCO in a different area (2 hours north) says he hasn't got a single new customer call, but stays busy with his returning. He runs in the paper, 2 x phone books and has a website.

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            • #7
              This has given me more to think about. While I have wanted to try and focus on my core business (mowing and maintenance) I might need to branch out a little to try and find clients.
              Ultimately as an entrepreneur we all have to figure out what is easiest for us to do and what makes us the most for our efforts. Sometimes you roll with the market to see what pops up. And sometimes what pops up is even better than what you initially thought of going after.
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              • #8
                Hello All. I live in oregon and we currently have the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation (just a tad behind Michigan). In my county our unemployment rate is almost 14%.
                Im in Shasta County CA. We are over 16% unemployed, but work is flowing in good right now. Keep your head up and keep looking, the work is out there.
                Northern California

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                • #9
                  Im in Shasta County CA. We are over 16% unemployed, but work is flowing in good right now. Keep your head up and keep looking, the work is out there.
                  Thanks for the response! I didn't know things were so rough in NorCal as well. I'm a little down, but not out. More newspaper advertising started today so I'll keep my fingers crossed. What kind of advertising has worked best for you?

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                  • #10
                    I actually got some work from advertising in a small community newspaper and there were 50 other ads in there for lawn care. I got 2 rototilling, 1 fertilization,
                    1 top soil/mulching and 1 complete lawn care job. Ran the ad for 1 month. I got nothing from 1000 flyers and craigs list. There are tons of people advertising on craigs list in my area. Last week passing out flyers there were at least 5 other LC flyers in the area I targeted. They were blowing all over the place. It looks like less mowing and more of other services for me this year especially with all the $20.00 guys out there. Heck there is even a guy offering to mow FREE for a month!!

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                    • #11
                      I actually got some work from advertising in a small community newspaper and there were 50 other ads in there for lawn care. I got 2 rototilling, 1 fertilization,
                      1 top soil/mulching and 1 complete lawn care job. Ran the ad for 1 month. I got nothing from 1000 flyers and craigs list. There are tons of people advertising on craigs list in my area. Last week passing out flyers there were at least 5 other LC flyers in the area I targeted. They were blowing all over the place. It looks like less mowing and more of other services for me this year especially with all the $20.00 guys out there. Heck there is even a guy offering to mow FREE for a month!!
                      I know what you mean! I put out almost 1000 doorhangers. Paid good money for the design and printing. Full color and glossy with a 15% off offer with a 1 yr agreement. Got 1 call for a 1 time service. Glad to hear about your newspaper response. I was hesitating as I see like 20 other guys in there, but they must be there for a reason. I'm debating a "new movers" direct mail purchase. Seems like a good area for me to market. Anyone else ever try it?

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                      • #12
                        I'm debating a "new movers" direct mail purchase. Seems like a good area for me to market. Anyone else ever try it?
                        It seems like we have had a bunch of members do something similar with real estate agents and they have liked the results. How does the new mover direct mail service work?
                        - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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                        • #13
                          It seems like we have had a bunch of members do something similar with real estate agents and they have liked the results. How does the new mover direct mail service work?
                          It is through a direct mail marketing company. They get a list weekly from the USPS of people who have changed to a new address. They design and mail an offer to them. I can choose the zip codes I want to target and time timeframe in which they have moved. Seems if I can get folks who moved into a place less than a 2 or 3 weeks ago they should be a great lead.

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                          • #14
                            How much do they charge for such a service? How do the prices break down?
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                            • #15
                              How much do they charge for such a service? How do the prices break down?
                              $0.48 each with a minimum of 250 per mailing. That's all inclusive. Design, lists, printing, mailing. Also, the first buy you get an equal number free. So if you buy 250, you get 500. Seems like a good deal and something to try.

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