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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Can't seem to get regular customers


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2008, 01:15 PM
sataprab
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I have only picked up a few regulars from Craigslist, most of our business has come originally from post cards then word of mouth. I am hoping to pick up some more commercial soon, I am going to try calling and then mailing a follow up letter. I have to disagree with knocking others work, it only makes you look despirate. Just my opinion.
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2008, 01:29 PM
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Can you tell us a little about what you did with your postcards? How many did you send out? What response rate did you get?

Do you have a scan of it so we can see it?

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  #13  
Old 05-09-2008, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]What response rate did you get?
This isn't exactly lawn care related but it does give a good indication of the response rate of a Craig's List ad.

I have a friend who is trying to sell a horse farm. He hired me to develop a web presentation. I also assembled a flyer to place on Craig's.

During one 24 hour period, the flyer was viewed 274 times. Of those views 72 unique visitors came to the site.

He is getting many inquiries already. Additionally, a few people want me to design advertisements for their large scale property sales.

The ad is: http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/rfs/672486592.html

The entire ad is hyperlinked leading interested viewers to the website.

This is a tremendous response rate for a single free ad.


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  #14  
Old 05-09-2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (sataprab @ May 09 2008,2:15)]I have only picked up a few regulars from Craigslist, most of our business has come originally from post cards then word of mouth. *I am hoping to pick up some more commercial soon, I am going to try calling and then mailing a follow up letter. *I have to disagree with knocking others work, it only makes you look despirate. Just my opinion.
Desperate NO, enthusiastic and willingness to hustle YES.

There is nothing wrong with being willing to go the extra mile and say hello to some ones neighbor. Like I said before it's all sales, therefor it is all about numbers.

JL
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2008, 03:01 PM
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Keith,

Very nice work. Now that we are talking about craigslist, I am wondering what is your view of using flyers as you did in that add versus text or a mixture of both? How important is text in an ad so search engines can find and display the ad?
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2008, 03:40 PM
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Steve:

If you look at my ad, you will see I make use of both text and image. *I failed to use an alt text tag though which is important and I simply forgot as I was coding the html.

An alt tag attaches text attributes to an image.

For proper SEO, you need to make use of all three.

I think you have to define the purpose of your ad. The sole purpose of the horse farm ad is to get people to visit the website so they can learn more and then contact the seller if they are interested. My friend is not interested in fielding dozens of calls asking questions that are already outlined on the website. This is why no phone numbers are listed and navigation to the website is easy.

I have posted text only, image only, and combination ads. I really feel the combination works best as a whole solution if you are concerned with SEO. However, if your only concern is for the customer to call right away, I've found big image based flyer ads work best.

I think a lawn care flyer should promote the LCO's phone number prominantly. The LCO wants that phone to ring. He wants to do as many estimates to qualified leads as possible...that is his main concern. The sale is made at the doorstep.

Keith



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  #17  
Old 05-10-2008, 08:14 AM
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Craigslist helped me out when I started, now I mainly get my work from contractors and home builders. These guys pay and they have tons of work from full landscape installs to insatlling new lawns on new homes. If anyone get a chance try hooking up with builders or big time contractors. I just landed a nice deal with my contractor. He is doing construction work to a 30 story building and the owner of the place has other buildings around the city and was looking for a new landscaper. After a few hours walking around with him checking the properties I found areas that the other landscaper did not do well on. Like edging, not trimming around the pines, all the beds around the building still need a spring clean up.

I gave him a price on all the properties and I was under the other guy about 6% cheaper. Plus I got all the spring clean up for all the buildings, Re mulching about 130 yards for all the buildings and maintenance for the yr.

I was pretty stoked when I landed this account. It just bumped my income to the 3 digits and this is just my 2nd season in bizz. Now I just need to make them happy to keep them around for a long time.



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Old 05-10-2008, 09:45 AM
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Great job Pete!


Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I think you have to define the purpose of your ad. The sole purpose of the horse farm ad is to get people to visit the website so they can learn more and then contact the seller if they are interested. My friend is not interested in fielding dozens of calls asking questions that are already outlined on the website. This is why no phone numbers are listed and navigation to the website is easy.

I think a lawn care flyer should promote the LCO's phone number prominantly. The LCO wants that phone to ring. He wants to do as many estimates to qualified leads as possible...that is his main concern. The sale is made at the doorstep.
Keith, this brings up a thought I had as I read this. When a lawn care business is advertising on craigslist, is the goal to answer as many questions as possible before the potential customer calls or should you lead them to calling you and asking you questions?

I can see one side where you don't want to be swamped with calls that are not pre-screened, but is it worth your time to talk with people and will this help the selling process?
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2008, 07:55 PM
SerranoLandscaping
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I've notice from past experience with craigslist customer is that they are cheap and they want the best deals. They will tell you things like yea but the other guys is 200 bucks cheaper. I just walk away and tell them have a great day.. They sometimes call me back to talk some more and work a deal but I never budge my prices. Im in here to make money not to make a few bucks. Im in to make 400-500 bucks in a day.

Try to keep your prices set and never go lower. Cause you just wont last long in business that way.. Gas is very expensive and everything else is going up.

If they try to argue about a price you give them, just tell them. " have you seen the gas prices" I raise my price %10 due to the gas price and I will again if it hit 4.00 for reg gas. I spend about $1,500 a month in gas to drive my truck. I'm sure some of you spend more or less..

But craigslist is a way to get your business name around and this will help you grow it helped me a ton. And like I say dont lower your prices if they try to give you excuses like but the other landscaper is this much cheaper. Tell them then give him a call..
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (SerranoLandscaping @ May 10 2008,9:55)]I've notice from past experience with craigslist customer is that they are cheap and they want the best deals. They will tell you things like yea but the other guys is 200 bucks cheaper. I just walk away and tell them have a great day.. They sometimes call me back to talk some more and work a deal but I never budge my prices. Im in here to make money not to make a few bucks. Im in to make 400-500 bucks in a day.

Try to keep your prices set and never go lower. Cause you just wont last long in business that way.. Gas is very expensive and everything else is going up.

If they try to argue about a price you give them, just tell them. " have you seen the gas prices" I raise my price %10 due to the gas price and I will again if it hit 4.00 for reg gas. I spend about $1,500 a month in gas to drive my truck. I'm sure some of you spend more or less..

But craigslist is a way to get your business name around and this will help you grow it helped me a ton. And like I say dont lower your prices if they try to give you excuses like but the other landscaper is this much cheaper. Tell them then give him a call..
Wow...$1500 a month is crazy. I drop about $75 per week, so $300 a month I guess, one tank gets me about 320km or so. Just got a new truck, my old one was even better, only dropped about $45 per tank.
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