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  • wal-mart Ad campaign

    Hey guys,

    A Friend who does fencing on the side told me a good tactic for generating sales leads is canvas the Wal-mart/home depot/lowes parking lots.

    It makes sense because the stores draw customers from the specific area and they most likely will read it before putting it in thier car. Then they will come across it again to carry inside or keep in thier car.

    Another thing too, we have a moderately sized international airport. I am going to go there and flyer those cars. If they travel a lot then they need lawn care most likely or they can afford it!

    The good thing about parking lots is they have a good turn over of customers in a shjort period of time constant traffic!

    I had 5 calls today from my local Wal-mart, I did a test run of about 350 flyers before it rained!
    1995 Jeep Cherokee Country
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  • #2
    That is a good idea. I always wondered what would work better, flyers or printed post-it notes that were stuck to a car window.

    I would think such distributions would have to be kept kinda low-key because Wal-Mart security would probably want to put a halt to it.

    5 calls? Nice work!

    Have any others called you?
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    • #3
      I would check with the walmart, airport, and county or city regarding ordiances. It would be horrible to be thrown in jail or fined for trespassing or littering


      • #4
        yeah thats a good idea


        • #5
          Actually I was considering doing the lowes, home depot here in virginia beach myself and never even considered the airport or walmart. I am glad you received a positive response, I think I will also give that a shot. Canvasing is great but I like to try lots of different things and give myself the opportunity to grow more in new areas so I can canvas them too.


          • #6
            I would be real careful of Wal-Mart. They definitely frown upon this sort of thing. Remember the flack they received from preventing the Salvation Army from ringing bells around the holidays? I once saw a lady with a box of free kittens at the entrance. I imagine she got rid of them pretty quick before she got "caught".

            I have another business that has a store front and I know I would be pretty annoyed if somebody parked it in front of the store I pay ridiculous rents for. I may sound like a jerk for this but I certainly don't let people hangs signs or anything. My jerk response is usually asking if they are going to pay a portion of the rent if I allow it. Well I don't always say that but I have if the situation demands it.

            But my point is that I pay good money to be there I don't want anything else distracting from what I am there for and thats selling my products/service.


            • #7
              Hi Big Lebowski,

              Quote[/b] ]I have another business that has a store front
              What other type of business do you run?
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              • #8
                I guess I should have mentioned that in the first place.

                I own a video store and last year we moved to a larger location to add tanning. Some of you are scratching your head right now going "huh? tanning?"

                Others are aware that tanning in video stores are becoming quite popular with video stores since the video sales are slipping little by little (yes Netflix and VOD downloads etc.). It's a great add-on because we have to be there anyway. Downside? The equipment is expensive. Beds cost from $4000 to upwards of $40k - yes I wrote that correctly $40k! And everyone wants to tan for $1. I have three beds - all bought new. I won't say how much I spent on the latest replacement bed (new this year) but it was more than I would spend on a reasonable ZTR.

                I knew getting into it 5 years ago that it wasn't a long term business for me. I have been all along looking into "what's next?" I have gotten close to re-opening a closed ice cream stand, buying an existing Laundromat and taking over an existing restaurant (many years experience - very tough biz) but ultimately after realizing the minimal expenses plus seeing the success my brother has had (still growing) and my brother-in-law doing it part time as he is a full time fireman, I started looking further into it. I have to admit, I paid $10 for a LOC start up info packet off eBay. But only after discovering other sites offering "selling their secrets". They all seemed like carbon copies of the other one. Just today I found this site. I read the whole 98 page e-book and watched all the shows. Totally great site. Very happy I found you guys.

                I belong to other forums (video + tanning and others) and I have to admit, you guys are extremely nice and very helpful. Those places I don't go to as often anymore are vicious - lots of flaming and lots of angry people.


                • #9
                  I also have a restaurant and a comic store with my husband so yes I do know about someone setting up shop in front of my store fronts. I don't normally feel threatened by anyone doing this IF they are not trying to push in front of my store what I am selling inside of it. The only problem I have ever had is a woman coming and setting up a restaurant cart in my parking lot of my restaurant.
                  I have encouraged new business to leave fliers and cards at my comic store and restaurant. Again, if its not them selling the exact same thing as me right there where I am then there is no competition. If I went and sat in front of the houses of every lawn that one lawn company serviced every day for the entire year trying to convince their customers that I was the better person for the job then it would be different but thats only my two cents worth. I know that it can be beneficial to market with other business because you never know who they will meet that needs the services you provide and vice versa.


                  • #10
                    WOW! These are some great stories! Can we see some pictures of your establishments?

                    I think your business insight and pictures will help many others reading this to seriously consider what they are doing before they start their businesses.

                    Clean Lawn, what has been your experience with the comics and restaurant business? What have you liked or disliked about it? What would you suggest to others interested in getting into those businesses be wary of?

                    Big Lebowski, have you ever considered doing something like pizza and movie rentals? Where you could order a pizza and have it delivered along with a movie? Or something like that? What have you liked or disliked about the movie rental and tanning businesses?
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                    • #11
                      Well just as any business it has it's ups and downs. I would say that the video business has been pretty good to me over the last 5 years. My income needs have outgrown the limits of this business. It is well established and I have my wife and 3 other part time employees - as can be expected of a smaller semi rural area. We are not blockbuster and we are not in the lions den as I call it. No big video chain or independent would want to open up shop where I am because the area population pull is too small for them to profit. Whereas a small independent could survive very easily.

                      I would say the biggest downside to running your own business (something younger entrepreneurs wouldn't necessarily appreciate) is the lack of benefits in terms of health care etc. The positive benefits are obvious to most, flexible schedules & money potential etc. My business doesn't allow me the luxury of affording health insurance for me and my wife. I would be working for the insurance providers. I am pretty uncomfortable with not having any. Paying as you go can quickly turn into - going and really paying for it. Such as losing your business and more if something terrible and expensive happened. I currently have my "foot in the door" with a job that is only fill-in occasional work. However since this company does state work, they are required to offer certain wages and benefits. Which is full company paid medical and more. It's got to be the most crazy awesome benefits I have ever seen. Well anyway I guess I'm just saying that being your own boss is great if everything goes your way and you have some safety net. Without it, you could be in big trouble.

                      Starting the lawn care business will allow me to get in at my own pace and jump out if needed without having leases, deposits and other obligations to worry about - like you would have in a store front location. These people want to get paid regardless and they will not think twice about shutting you off, locking you out, ruining your credit or taking legal action. You wouldn't necessarily have this issue with lawn care. You could sell or give away accounts if need be. This is a real nice luxury to have. This even goes for a situation where you get a job offer where you can make the same money or more and with great benefits. You could literately walk-away from this business without hurting yourself just by taking minor steps upon exiting.

                      So enough about that. I JUST built the web site like last week. After seeing the food cart guy down the street had a website and after an employee mentioned that we should have one, I put one together in a day. So it's not big flash and it's not completely done but it is there. Yes I felt the need for a disclaimer. But I have some photos of the store on the website. Here's the link.


                      • #12
                        Oh I forgot to address the pizza thing. Yes I have thought about it. We would kill it here. But unfortunately I live in an area that has stupid amounts of pizza places. I even have one in my plaza just 3 doors down. There are 3 pizza places in less than a mile and several more just 15 minutes away. Not to mention the convenience stores have pizza too.

                        A popular add on for video is take and bake. I would definitely give this a try first and then if it worked out try delivery if we weren't so saturated enough already. My only option would be try it after a one or two places close. BTW, most of these pizza owners are video members, they would not like me very much if I rolled something like this out. It would however be pretty close to a no-risk venue for us. What's the worst that could happen, I eat a lot of pizza over the course of a year or so?


                        • #13
                          I forgot another thing. I did try a combination deal with the former owners of the pizza place in my plaza. It was like pulling teeth to get my money since we set it up for him to collect the cash, and then he would give me the money afterwards. This ticked off the other pizza owners and they stopped coming in - this went on for some time even after I stopped the cross promoting. They are back now.

                          Once the new guy took over and I met him. I knew I definitely did not want to be attached to him in any way. I won't even patronize his business. Even when I forget to bring lunch, I have it delivered from another place if I need something. Mostly I bring my lunch. A much wiser, healthier and cheaper route. Bringing healthy food to work forces you to eat healthy. A problem I would have if I bought my lunch everyday.


                          • #14
                            I wanted to bring this post back up because it had some good marketing ideas.
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                            • #15
                              Steve, I am glad you brought this post to the top again. It's fun reading back on old material we may have forgotten.

                              Personally, I think putting fliers on cars in parking lots is a bad idea. In addition to it being against many ordinances and in violation wal-mart's 'no solicitation' rules, it gives the potential of negative advertising. I'm more often annoyed when I have a solicitation under my windshield wiper than I am happy to see it.

                              What are your thoughts?

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