Most new lawn care businesses start out with a lot of time on their hands and little money. You may think this puts you at a disadvantage, but that is not the case. It actually is the exact ingredients you need to find success in your lawn care marketing. As you will see in this discussion, the key to success in lawn care marketing is found in the quality of your campaign, not in the quantity. A new business owner brought this up in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
He wrote “I started my lawn care business as a part time extra income deal. I really enjoy it and want to expand it to be my full time income. I didn’t start until late June and currently have only 7 customers. I feel I will need to get to approximately 50 customers to achieve the income I need. I have already obtained my business license and am in the process of getting insurance. I really need some advice on when would be a good time to start marketing to residential customers. I don’t have much money to spend on it and I feel like my timing is very important. If I am too early, will my flyers be misplaced or if I am too late, will they get some else. Any advice would be helpful.”
One lawn care business owner said, “in my opinion, there are two ways to do this, either you go for pinpoint shots or you go for shotgun blast marketing. If you are going for shotgun blast marketing, you have to expect it to bring lower returns for more money. You will have to figure out your budget and if you only have the money to do one round of fliers or door hangers, you should distribute them right before the season starts in your area. If you got enough to hit them more like 2-3 times then I would start a month before the season then do it every 30 days. You’ll need a min of 5,000 fliers if you get a 1% return and then it’s up to you to close the deal. I would say you need 10-20,000 if you want to do more than one round.
Around here it will take you about 20 seconds per house to hang door hangers. So 3 houses a minute. That’s 180 an hr. Or 1440 in a 8hr day. Do that for 3 days and you knocked out 4320 hangers. At 1% that’s 43 call backs. 2% would be 86 call backs. 43 + 7= 50.
If you are going for pinpoint marketing accuracy, you will need to spend time talking to people, but also less money. Personally, I like the idea of anything where you are making person contact with your potential clients. That does more than one thing. First, it lets you leave a good first impression. Second, if they let you give an estimate, you can do a better follow up and in one way or another, possibly get the sale with your contact right there.
For me personally, if you mail me something, or hang something on my door, I will probably file it with all the rest of the junk mail. If I can connect a face and a name to it, have a need for what they are selling, and if I like the person, I am far more likely to hang on to their material than if I get it in the mail, etc. I am also far more likely to use them on the spot. I tend to reward a good sales person, if it is done right and in good taste (if I have a need for the product or service).
One thing I would like to mention about placing anything on a garage door is that I have noticed a LOT of people open their garage door when they pull onto the street or when they are like a block away. Now I know that is a terrible idea, safety and security wise, but people do it so their door is open when they get there and are ready to drive in. Now lets think what if going to happen to that magnet or flier if it is stuck on their garage door. The door is going to be all the way open before they even get close enough to see that anything was on the door. Just a thought….
So with all that said, consider going out in the evenings (or Saturdays) and knocking on doors for a couple hours. When I have a slow day, I will do this all day long. I find that after about 6pm or so people tend to be home. There are down sides to this as well but in my opinion, this is the best time to do it if you want to make contact with the person and probably going to be the time when you get the best results as well. Something that I would caution you on is, when it starts getting dark outside, STOP KNOCKING ON DOORS! When people can not see you without turning on the porch light, they do not want to have you knocking on their door. Especially not to sell a lawn mowing service. Besides, at this point you would not be able to get a good look at the yard anymore to give them a good estimate.”