Lawn care signs or bandit signs as they are called at times are an interesting and unique way to promote your lawn care business but do they work? Why are they referred to at times as bandit signs? That’s because they are almost always illegal to use. Let’s check out this question asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. A lawn care business owner wrote “Does anybody have experience with putting out lawn signs on highway exit ramps and busy intersections to attract business?
If so, what are some things I may need to know? What kind of return should I expect from my advertising dollars if I go this route?
I’m asking this because I’m not at all satisfied with my return on the door hangers that I have been using. I have tried the door hangers and I’m not satisfied with my return no matter what neighborhood I put them in. I’ve even talked to people, shook hands, etc and gotten nowhere near where I’d like to be.
I need more business. I feel like I’m getting left behind and only getting occasional customers that other lawn care guys don’t want.
I DONT’ WANT THESE PROBLEM CUSTOMERS!!!
I want regular customers that keep me busy and don’t cause problems.”
One business owner suggested “here is some information on lawn signs. I used them a lot as a health/life insurance agent years ago….
1)In most counties they restrict or forbid temporary signage without a permit, Now your not going to pull a permit for every sign (or any sign for that matter) so every now & then I’d get a call from the county saying these are illegal signs & that they removed some & those will be destroyed & that they recorded where others were. If I didn’t remove them they would collect them & fine me per sign. (sometimes I went & got them, other times I did not) I never did get fined though. But the county will often pull them in a couple days so, I advise you to put them up on a friday night & at least then they’ll typically be up til sometime monday or tuesday.
2) A bit of advise. have the signs made profesionally but don’t spend a ton on them. If possible keep it a simple one color design. Don’t buy the stands.
Go to home depot & buy ladder wire. It will typically come in 12′ pieces, It’s metal stuff typically used in between courses of cinder block when building homes to add reinforcement so it will be in the construction supply isle (all the way to the left in most home depot stores). Get a cheap pair of bolt cutters & cut the ladders into smaller sections to use as your stands. You can usually get about 4 stands per 12′ section. They are stronger & cheaper that way. And cheap is good since they will be removed by the county sometimes, others will be taken by locals who want to cover your sign to make a yard sale sign!”
Another said “I do like yard signs , but you need to know how to use them.
I use them every weekend but I work close with code enforcement and find out were to put them and what days they work. I only put the bandit signs out on Sundays now because the code enforcers work Monday to Saturday here. This is for the city part of town. Now the county is a little easier, they rarely ever take my signs down. If fined the fee could be $500 per sign. But most of the time it’s a smack on the hand.
Something else I do is get smaller yard signs and put them in your costumer’s yards. Not full time, move them around. People will see them while walking the dog or just driving by. Keep trying you will find something that works well for you!
One of the biggest and best advertising I have done was that I went out to all business owner in the area and talked to them about my business and put a stack of my business card on their counter with holder.
You will be surprised on how many people want to help and pass on referrals.”
A third business owner said “I wouldn’t recommend putting all your lawn care signs all out at once. I don’t know where you live or how big it is but I would put a certain small test amount out…….look at the results. (see if they are mowed over or taken down, check them daily) Figure out the ’schedule’ and post accordingly. If they mow Fridays then take them down Thursday. Put them back up when they are finished. I only have 3 up with my lawn care business. Two in customers yards and 1 waiting to be torn down on a side of the road.”
After some experimentation here is what the lawn care business owner said who initially asked about the bandit signs. “I have updates. One customer has agreed to allow me to put one is his yard and I’m going to put some out on a busy parkway median on the way to where I have a few yards. I saw that they mowed the median yesterday. I went down that road Sunday and I noticed it wasn’t cut, but saw the tractor w/ big mower attached parked on the side of a big hill. I figured they weren’t cutting because it was Sunday and it was raining.
Monday it was all cut down. Gotta get out there and put out some signs, I’ll probably start with about 5 because the parkway is kinda long. Maybe 2 at two different intersections and 1 strategically placed in median.
First night I put the signs out, I got a call the next morning and I have been getting calls steadily since I put the signs out. Somewhere around 3-5 a day. Some from the signs I put out on the busy parkway, others from signs I put in customers yards. One customer that has gotten me a lot of calls lives on a corner lot @ the entrance to a subdivision, I’ve gotten 4 or 5 calls from that sign alone!”
I hope this discussion on yard signs and bandit signs has helped you consider using this sort of lawn care marketing. If you have questions, please get on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and ask.