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-   Starting a lawn care business. (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=32)
-   -   advertising (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=6507)

landonkade 05-24-2007 10:24 PM

hey, i have been in the lawn care business for 6 months. The advertising i am doing is lettering on my truck, sign on back of trailor, business cards, and newspapr ads. so far i have abot 20 customers. My wifes aunts husbands brother-n-law, owns a company in FL started with a push mower and advanced ,buying out companys and there equipment and only been in business for 5 years and now owns $300,000 in lawn equipment, and covers 95 miles from FL to AL. The key pointer the aunts husband told me was, just excellent customer service. There is no really way i can talk to him to see how he succed. any advice

Steve 05-25-2007 10:11 AM

Hi landonkade,

Are you doing this full or part time? What kind of goals have you set out for yourself that you would like to achieve this year?

landonkade 05-25-2007 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ May 25 2007,10:11)]Hi landonkade,

Are you doing this full or part time? What kind of goals have you set out for yourself that you would like to achieve this year?

I am currently doing the lawn care part time, pior to a regular full time job. i do the lawn care sometimes during the week when i have time. On the weekends i do it full time on saturday and sunday. The lawns are in order so *i wont burn much gas going to one another.

My goals are to by the end of the year to be doing lawncare fulltime and to gain alot of customers and gross $70,000 to $100,000 a year for the first year and be known real well, and be a full blown company by the middle of next year. Also to gain several commerical accounts and more equipment.

Steve 05-25-2007 08:38 PM

Those are some great goals!

Have you thought about how you will position yourself differently from the competition? What will make your company stand out?

Are you involved with any community activities you can use to help promote your business? Are you involved with any civic groups/organizations?

landonkade 05-25-2007 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ May 25 2007,8:38)]Those are some great goals!

Have you thought about how you will position yourself differently from the competition? What will make your company stand out?

Are you involved with any community activities you can use to help promote your business? Are you involved with any civic groups/organizations?

The way i figured that my company would stand out is the quality of the work and being on time, and treating the customers like family with a great attitude.

And some time or another get a enclosed trailor that will stand out really well. i see alot of companys with no name on there truck or trailor, thought that was kinda weird

At this time i am not involved in any community activites. I would like to do so i think that would help my company out definity. Also i am not involved with any civic groups orgainizations. Would i have to register at chamber of commerces or something like that




Steve 05-26-2007 09:30 AM

I wanted to get up online some of the pictures Matt sent, so others can jump in here and offer their opinion as well.

Here is his truck. I think this is good. You are keeping it simple and the lettering does stand out against the color of your truck.

Steve 05-26-2007 09:32 AM

Matt also has fastened a sign to the back of his trailer. This is another good move.

Steve 05-26-2007 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]At this time i am not involved in any community activites. I would like to do so i think that would help my company out definity. Also i am not involved with any civic groups orgainizations. Would i have to register at chamber of commerces or something like that

If you wanted to join up with the chamber of commerce, yes. You can find out when your local chapter meets and go over there to get involved with them. You will meet a lot of other local business owners which would be beneficial.

Now something to think about is this. When you have more time than cash, you should use your time to market your business. When you have less time and more cash, then leverage your cash.

You seem to have a lot going on now with a fulltime job so what I am wondering is which would you rather utilize to market your business? Money or time?

If it is time there are plenty of things we can come up with. If it is money, are you placing ads in the local paper?

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Also to gain several commerical accounts and more equipment.

When you are getting started it is easier to stick with residential clients for a while. If you get a chance, review the free book Be a Lawn Care Business Rebel, because it talks about pitfalls of commercial accounts.

I also think going back to the basics, you need to hand out as many business cards as you can to everyone you know. Get them displayed at as many store counter tops as you can.

Maybe do some good deeds for your community and then get the press involved to write a story about you. Can you help a vet with their clean up? etc.

Have you been using any flyers yet or door hangers?

Do you have many family/friend contacts in your town that work in the area? Do they know people that could really use a hand cleaning up their yard? Can you make a good human story out of it and draw attention to your business?

As you sit there and kick around these ideas with your wife, family and friends, think about something good yet outrageous you could do that would take a little time but attract a lot of attention. I bet you will start coming up with things you could do this weekend or next.

Let me know what you are thinking.

StartALawnCareBusiness 05-27-2007 05:31 PM

A couple of thoughts from me.

1) Advertising. As far as media goes, I found that newspapers offer the most return for your advertising dollar. Choose the placement of your ad carefully. I had little luck with display ads and regular classified ads. Instead, does your local newspaper have Business Classified ads? Or Business Listings Ads? These really seem to bring in the customers. You pay 1 month at a time. The cost in my area is often $150 for a month in a paper with circulation of about 100,000. Well worth the cost in my experience.

2) You say that you want to work on commercial accounts. You are probably a bit late this year to get very many commecial accounts as they most likely have already been bid out. However, it's never too early to begin cultivating relationships with purchasing managers. Pay a visit to your local city hall purchasing office. Get your company put on the bid list. This is the list they use when they are sending out contract applications on lawn care work. Also, tell them that you will do "non-bid" clean-up work. You might be doing dirty work like vacant yards but it gives you an inside foothold with your local government. It's a step-up when big contracts come up for bid. School systems, public utilities, apartment complexes, large factory complexes, etc, all have mowing and upkeep contracts. Get your company name in front of the decision makers. They will remember you next spring...or this summer when their regular grass mainenance companies aren't dependable.

Good luck and welcome to the business:
Keith
www.StartALawnCareBusiness.com

landonkade 05-27-2007 11:11 PM

i will find out when the local chapter meets. The full time job that i have is orkin pest control. But i want to do lawn car full time, i enjoy it alot better

the other ways i advertise is the local newspaper and signs for the front yard when i finish a job. The 1st time i advertised in the paper i got a lot of responces, but the 2nd time i got very little. I think when i did it the second time everyone already has who they wanted.

I also thought about doing referral letters to gain customers that way also


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