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General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

In need of advice


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:28 PM
hansenslawncare hansenslawncare is offline
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Default In need of advice

I was wondering if I could get some advice for my lawn care company? Currently I have 16 residential snow removal customers, and 1 commercial property that I maintain. These customers are all new this snow season, so as of yet I do not have them signed up for lawn care, etc. I'd like to at least double or triple this amount of customers for the coming lawn care season. Here's what I do have for marketing ideas, etc. 1.) website, hansenslawncare.com 2.) about 2500 postcards that I plan to insert into newspaper boxes around early March, (I plan to insert about 500 postcards at three different weeks all to the same houses each time.)

Basically I am requesting any advice/tips on converting these customers to the lawn care, and gaining more small to mid-size commercial clients as well.

Thank you for any input,

Richard
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:36 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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I wouldnt put a postcard in a mailbox, especially with my name and number. Thats a criminal offense. You either have to use door hangers, tape to door, etc. Just stay away from the postbox.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2012, 08:06 AM
dpld dpld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SECTLANDSCAPING View Post
I wouldnt put a postcard in a mailbox, especially with my name and number. Thats a criminal offense. You either have to use door hangers, tape to door, etc. Just stay away from the postbox.
you can also bring all your addressed post cards down to the post office and get the post card rate which is like half of the standard rate.
they also sell self stick post card rate stamps.
it cuts the cost of sending them out down as well as comes accross more professional.

most people do not like having flyers left on their property and more often then not you come off as a fly by night stalker.

all you need is a street name and house number.

i keep a pad handy and i when i drive around i create my own sudo mailing list by targeting properties that look like they use a professional lawn service.
when i see a nice property that looks like they use a pro they get their house number and street name on the list.

by doing this it ensures that all your marketing goes to people who legitimately could have a need for your services and eliminates the do it yourselfers as well as cuts back on any of your competitors from getting their hands on your promo's.

over the years i compiled a huge mailing list that way and it has yeilded far better results then door hanging and mass mailers and is the sole reason as to whaty i am and what i have today.

the best part is the whole list is in my computer and when i want to do a run i print the whole list on the self stick address labels.

you can go to post cards.com and choose from many styles of landscaper post cards and customize them as you see fit.
they usually cost about $55.00 for 500 cards and they arrive in a week and when they come i slap on the self stick address labels and the self stick post card rate stamps and in about 1 hr i drive to the post office and drop them in the box and wait for the magic to begin for a total cost of about $140.00.

i must also include that after doing it regularly i bought a postage machine that came with a scale and it actually cost a little less that way then the self stick post card rate stamps.

the key is to do it often and mix it up and not use the same card and you will have to do it a couple times to start getting results but by putting your name in their mail box and making sure they see your name regularly it will ensure the next time they need a landscaper they will think of you.

i have about 13 different designs and for all types of services like a spring is here and a snow plow card and a sign up now and save promo for the winter or a time to mulch card for the summer you get the drift.

i also use the mailing list to send out a monthly newsletter with tips and advice as well as i pick a lucky customer to give a free cut for the month to and it creates a intrest amongst the customers in anticipation to seeing themselves as the monthly winner.

if you ever wanted to get into mass mailings this is the only way and forget the companies that send your stuff out with every other company thats willing to get ripped off .
when you mail to a entire area just think of how many cards will get sent to people who would never use a landscaper or even how many landscapers are getting your flyer? i have recieved hundreds over the years from other companies in the val pak coupons.

i always thought how useless it is to have a flyer or postcard from a landscaper being sent to a landscaper.

Last edited by dpld; 01-10-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:56 AM
hansenslawncare hansenslawncare is offline
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@ SECTLANDSCAPING

"Stay away from the mailboxes" alright good advice. I was thinking of placing them in the newspaper box, what do you think, have you seen success with this? I guess I would pretty much throw just about anything out of my newspaper box, but that's just me.

@dpld

Thank you for all the advice. I was considering doing what you suggested with selecting addresses that I specifically thought would need services I provide. I've checked out gotprint.com, they have really good prices on their website. There's also a guy close to me that will print me 2500 cards from $125.00, which is more expensive than gotprint.com,but he's small business and I'd rather support him than a large company. What do you think?

Again, thanks for all the advice. Any thoughts on my website? Anything I should add to/or take away from the site? Thanks...
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansenslawncare View Post
@ SECTLANDSCAPING

"Stay away from the mailboxes" alright good advice. I was thinking of placing them in the newspaper box, what do you think, have you seen success with this? I guess I would pretty much throw just about anything out of my newspaper box, but that's just me.

@dpld

Thank you for all the advice. I was considering doing what you suggested with selecting addresses that I specifically thought would need services I provide. I've checked out gotprint.com, they have really good prices on their website. There's also a guy close to me that will print me 2500 cards from $125.00, which is more expensive than gotprint.com,but he's small business and I'd rather support him than a large company. What do you think?

Again, thanks for all the advice. Any thoughts on my website? Anything I should add to/or take away from the site? Thanks...

thats great, happy to be of any help.

i did not check your site out yet but i definitly will.

also, if you by a large quantity of cards make sure they are not dated like, new for 2012. because if you have too many they will end up as garbage.
like i said its good to have several types for different times of the year but at the same time keeping them timeless.

good luck.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2012, 11:16 AM
hansenslawncare hansenslawncare is offline
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Originally Posted by dpld View Post
thats great, happy to be of any help.

i did not check your site out yet but i definitly will.

also, if you by a large quantity of cards make sure they are not dated like, new for 2012. because if you have too many they will end up as garbage.
like i said its good to have several types for different times of the year but at the same time keeping them timeless.

good luck.
Alright great advice, I'll keep that in mind as well. Thanks
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
about 2500 postcards that I plan to insert into newspaper boxes around early March, (I plan to insert about 500 postcards at three different weeks all to the same houses each time.)
You know we ran into a situation on here a little while back where the newspaper called the lawn care business owner for putting cards in their newspaper boxes. Doing so is actually violates some variation of trespassing.

Check out the discussion. Putting Fliers in Newspaper Box Laws?

With all this discussion, has it changed your plan on what you may do with your lawn care marketing now?
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2012, 06:48 PM
hansenslawncare hansenslawncare is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
You know we ran into a situation on here a little while back where the newspaper called the lawn care business owner for putting cards in their newspaper boxes. Doing so is actually violates some variation of trespassing.

Check out the discussion. Putting Fliers in Newspaper Box Laws?

With all this discussion, has it changed your plan on what you may do with your lawn care marketing now?
To answer your question Steve, yes! I think what I'll do now is take this advice and run with it.

For example, like previously mentioned, I will visit neighborhoods where I currently have customers and note the address of the surrounding neighbors and just "suck up" the postage costs and mail each person a postcard. I might be paying more up front but at least it's legal, the safe route.

Any other advice would be kindly appreciated, thank you!
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:21 PM
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just stick to it and if you can dedicate 150 to 200 dollars a month on it or even every other month and continuously build your list you will make boat loads.

just don't expect to do it once or twice and see earth shattering results in this economy. allthough way back when the first time i did it i got 9 replies and 3 new lawn contracts that netted me 5,500.00 bucks for the season and considering it only cost me like 150.00 bucks to do the run, i would say it more then paid for itself and was well worth the time.

like i said now that you know the secret all you have to do is streamline it so you can do everything in house with minimal cost and time.
keep making your list, every day you go places and pass nice properties just jot them down, get a postage machine its the cheapest way to mail, find a cheap source of high quality post cards and finally get a mailing list software so you can keep all your addresses on file and print them on self stick labels on a moment notice.

one other thing i will add is that even if you are small and starting out get a real business phone line because they come with a free listing and directory assistance for anyone looking for your number.
one easy trick consumers can do when they get a flier in the mail and they want to see if the guy is halfway legitimate is they call directory assistance to see if you are listed.
if you are not that can be a immediate turn off to any potential customer intrested in your services and you definitly come off as ham and egg.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:24 PM
hansenslawncare hansenslawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post
just stick to it and if you can dedicate 150 to 200 dollars a month on it or even every other month and continuously build your list you will make boat loads.

just don't expect to do it once or twice and see earth shattering results in this economy. allthough way back when the first time i did it i got 9 replies and 3 new lawn contracts that netted me 5,500.00 bucks for the season and considering it only cost me like 150.00 bucks to do the run, i would say it more then paid for itself and was well worth the time.

like i said now that you know the secret all you have to do is streamline it so you can do everything in house with minimal cost and time.
keep making your list, every day you go places and pass nice properties just jot them down, get a postage machine its the cheapest way to mail, find a cheap source of high quality post cards and finally get a mailing list software so you can keep all your addresses on file and print them on self stick labels on a moment notice.

one other thing i will add is that even if you are small and starting out get a real business phone line because they come with a free listing and directory assistance for anyone looking for your number.
one easy trick consumers can do when they get a flier in the mail and they want to see if the guy is halfway legitimate is they call directory assistance to see if you are listed.
if you are not that can be a immediate turn off to any potential customer intrested in your services and you definitly come off as ham and egg.
Thanks a lot for the information, what you suggested definitely seems like the route I am going to take. I appreciate the help and the encouragement, without it I'd probably be doing something less effective.
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