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  • When to start marketing??

    I am hoping to go full time this spring. I have 7 customers currently from part time last summer. I feel I need to aquire about 45-50 more to quit my job and do this full time. I am getting 5000 door hangers made up. if I get the 1% average I should get there. My question is when I should get them out there. I am in the Hudson Valley in New York. I was thinking about early Feb, but maybe the end of Feb would be better. Any input would be helpful.

    Thanx
    Stuart

  • #2
    Hi Scott,

    One of the things to keep in mind when you are asking when should I start marketing, as you read on here more, you will see the most successful business owners never stop marketing. They are always looking for opportunities to meet new people and sell their services.

    I was thinking about early Feb, but maybe the end of Feb would be better.
    One guide some of our members use is that they look for the big box marketing material that comes in the newspapers from places like Home Depot. They look for them to market their Spring products. Once they see that, they start to put their marketing material out there.

    Then the next question is, are you putting out 5,000 to different homes or are you going to split them up and hit the same houses multiple times early in the year?
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    • #3
      Do you recall in the past if you received flyer's? If so try to beat them by a week, you are in a little warmer climate area than I am, although we do not use flyer's or door hangers, our marketing is on going but in full force right after the March school brake, my thoughts are based on client feedback, they do not think of lawn care until the snow is gone so you don't want them to forget your company name.

      Also did you perhaps ask your current clients if they could recommend anyone? You already have the relationship with them, even if you received three or four referrals, then if those are sales offer those new clients a free mow for a positive referral or something like that and just keep tapping their network.
      Andy
      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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      • #4
        I was going to do 5000 different. I was just concerned too early, potential customers would lose my info.

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        • #5
          Whens the right time to advertise for lawn care

          I live in london ontario, canada. I spent last summer building a business name for myself doing hardscape, but this year I'm moving my company into the world of lawn care. I would really like to start my advertising early, but when is too early?? the snow should be gone by mid march.....but should i wait that long??

          Any advice on this would be great



          Silverado 2500HD
          12x6 Landscape trailer
          36" John Deere GS30
          abgardenworks.com

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          • #6
            I have reached out to my current customers for referals for the upcoming season. there is a lot of competion here. I don't want to be a low baller. how do I charge market price and get business. do some people give the new guy a chance? I can only offer my word of the job i do along with my references.

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            • #7
              I personally found the answer to that question is with your current and potential clients, if you can find a common service that you could offer that would eliminate some, most or all of your competition, it's raises the bar in that you can advertise the service and since the new prospect would only have to deal with one company, you will more than likely get the job.

              Just for an example, lets say 5 or your 7 clients would like to have their storage shed pressure washed or their garbage cans, Bio Bins etc. it may very well be when you are marketing and you say we can mow your lawn, fertilize, pressure wash xxxxx.

              The focus is to offer something that sets you out from the crowd.

              We are a mid sized company yet some clients tell us they hired us as they see our equipment everywhere, that isn't really true as I only have three trucks, what they see is we are concentrating on one area of the city hard and it has paid off, I have another area to attack this summer and have already started to add to the other area we work and will use the same tactics. What they may see is the guys going for lunch at a common place, us making multiple trips to get all the gear to a site we need etc.
              Andy
              Halifax, Nova Scotia

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              • #8
                What they may see is the guys going for lunch at a common place, us making multiple trips to get all the gear to a site we need etc.
                Andy,

                Do you feel it pays to be visible during the lunch hour? Eating at a popular local lunch time location just to make a presence and be available to answer questions? Instead of brown bagging it.

                Does it make sense to be networking during lunch?

                Do people come up to you then to get a card or talk to you or whatever?
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                • #9
                  Andy,

                  Do you feel it pays to be visible during the lunch hour? Eating at a popular local lunch time location just to make a presence and be available to answer questions? Instead of brown bagging it.

                  Does it make sense to be networking during lunch?

                  Do people come up to you then to get a card or talk to you or whatever?
                  Getting a coffee first thing in the morning is a very very big deal where I live, at first we were having our what are we doing today meetings at my property until sometime in June when I herd the first comment we see you everywhere, so we started having coffee at a very high traffic drive through, I think this is where a lot of people seen us.

                  Yes people come over and talk to us on a regular basis and yes we have picked up quite a few jobs this way, even while sitting in the coffee shop, I guess when you see three trucks and up to 16 employees in uniform, people get the idea you are huge.

                  Some of the crews brown bag, especially the excavation and wood cutting, the mowing, pressure washing and spraying crews tend to hit the Sub Way's. It is rare to have an excavation crew leave a site, not really sure why as they are free to go for lunch, they also tend to work longer hours.

                  We should be networking every chance we get if we can handle additional work.
                  Andy
                  Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                  • #10
                    Getting a coffee first thing in the morning is a very very big deal where I live, at first we were having our what are we doing today meetings at my property until sometime in June when I herd the first comment we see you everywhere, so we started having coffee at a very high traffic drive through, I think this is where a lot of people seen us.
                    This is fantastic! Should a lawn care business owner be paying for the morning coffee and breakfast or should this be up to each employee?

                    It would be interesting to track how many jobs came through the marketing like this. Then you could figure if it would cover the costs of paying for the crew to eat at the location daily.

                    Or maybe rotate the meeting area around to different locations to branch out and make a showing where other people might see you and engage you in a conversation.

                    I would really like to start my advertising early, but when is too early?? the snow should be gone by mid march.....but should i wait that long??
                    Ideally you should be offering different services you can market all year long and not waiting for a small window of opportunity to distribute flyers.

                    Have you contacted your current customer base already to get them signed up for this year? Do you have them on an annual contract?
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                    • #11
                      I pay for the first round of coffee, some of the guys will grab one for the road, some have breakfast, actually most of them do, I eat at home before they are even up Anyhow its a complete write off tax wise so it's all good and it keeps the employees tight and sometimes they will switch jobs for the day, one might not want to mow but want to work on a chipping crew, I personally don't care as long as the job gets done and you are fully trained.

                      As for how many jobs we received this way last year dollar wise just a rough guess but $30 to $40 thousand in gross sales, 70% excavation/landscaping and 20 % wood chipping and 10% leaf jobs. Just rough numbers but I bet I am very close as this is one area I do not keep exact numbers, probably should.

                      I had everyone signed for this year that we did last year before December 31st and for the first 50 referrals that end up with us spraying the person you refer, your first spray will be free up to the value of the referral, I have around 30 to look at and keep them in order. I never mentioned this on the mowing side as spraying is where the profit is.

                      The private or gated communities are 3 to 5 year contracts.
                      Last edited by picframer; 01-18-2010, 07:24 PM.
                      Andy
                      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                      • #12
                        Is it worthwhile to do something similar for lunch and buy lunch or is that not a wise move?

                        Maybe just you going out for lunch with one or two people would be better?
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                        • #13
                          Advertising with door hangers.

                          This is the first year that we will be advertising with door hangers. I was trying to post them for you guys to view and give me your opinion, but I can not get them to load.
                          Attached Files
                          sigpic
                          www.bnclawncare.com

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                          • #14
                            but I can not get them to load.
                            Can you make the file a little smaller? Or you can email me it and I will attach it for you.
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                            • #15
                              I had ordered pizza to a job site, only because I didn't know who else delivered! Hahaha!

                              Nothing looks more cheesy then a busy worker with a slice of pizza hanging from the lip. Mmm, I can taste the dirt already!!!!

                              I often take workers to lunch, though at the end of a busy week I invite them all to one of the several $80.00/ plate restaurants. We look like fools there dressed in grass gear, while everyone else is looking like James Bond.

                              Other than that we hit up the delis, nothing beats a smoked meat sammich!!!

                              I remember the day we were all farting non stop, good lord. We had to turn on the equipment to block out the sound.

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