With the economy taking a down turn, there are going to be many new opportunities for entrepreneurs to get started with their own business. A lot of times people will think about starting their own business but if they have a full time job, the job will most likely take priority over starting a business. But if you get laid off, you then can jump on the opportunity to finally start the business you wanted. Here is a great question and a great example of an entrepreneur taking advantage of his resources and his knowledge to get his new business off the ground. In the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum he wrote “Hi I am totally new to all of this. I mowed lawns while I was younger and through high school in my neighborhood and can do just about anything there is. I was just recently laid off at a excavating business because people are not wanting to build new houses or buildings right now.
Right now as I am just starting it is frustrating trying to get new accounts. Beyond lawn care, I also am doing snow removal. I am not too good at this whole internet deal but I managed to start up my own website as well. I am trying to make a flyer right now with my plan to make around 1,000 flyers and just start going door to door. I do not know any other way to just get my name out there.
What are the best ways to go out there and get customers? Are there any suggestions out there to make my company look better than the others? I just want my company to stand out more than others so we look like we have been in business and so people would come to me more than other lawn care businesses
Thanks to everyone that helps!”
I think first off you should jump on promoting services you can offer now that can make you money now. If your new business doesn’t start making money quickly, you may lose interest in it or others around you may push you to consider other alternatives. There is nothing like making a profit to show the nay sayers they were wrong and you were right.
So how do you do this? Get on the Gopher Forum and download some of the winter snow plowing templates. I have a bunch of them for snow plowing and holiday light decorations. Edit the flyers as you need to and start handing them out to family members and friends. Get business cards made up and hand them out to everyone you know. In fact, give them a couple each. Tell them you are just getting started and you would appreciate any work you can get.
Review the concentric circle marketing chart I posted in the forum and on my blog. It gives you a graphical representation of what you should be doing. Market to your inner core first. That would be friends and family. Have them become spokespeople for your business and have them help get the word out about your business too by telling their friends, co-workers and community organization members. Hang up flyers where ever you can, such as in local stores. Go door to door and hand out flyers that promote your winter services. The more people you meet, the better your chances are of landing a new customer.
You had also asked about standing out more so than others. First off you have to remember, people will prefer hiring someone they know vs someone they don’t. So if someone knows you, that is the best way to stand out. Second off, you can get yourself set up with a uniform. Figure out a color scheme you want to wear and get a shirt and khaki pants along with a hat to match. This will help you look professional and presentable. Then get signs for your truck and trailer. If you need a business logo, remember I have hundreds of free lawn care business logo templates you can download and use from the Gopher Forum. Thirdly answer your phone and always be friendly and approachable, this should help you win many people over.
Lastly if you have time, you should consider doing something that is both a good deed for your community and a publicity stunt of sorts to attract media attention. Since you will be offering snow plowing, why not consider starting a volunteer group that clears walkways and driveways of elder members of your community. Contact the local paper and tell them you are looking to form this group and you will be heading it. Have interested volunteers contact you at your business number or contact you through your website and ask for those senors in need of free service to contact you as well. Possibly offer it on a scale of the neediest first. This could be a great way to get your picture in the local paper and get the word out about your new snow plowing service. It will also build up goodwill within your community and free publicity. One simple article could really get your business launched.
So try these ideas out and let us know how they all work. Join in on this discussion at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum here.
Listen to this on the GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Podcast here.