We all like to see the results others get from their lawn care marketing. Sometimes a marketing idea really takes off and helps propel a lawn care business. Other times, disappointing results can lead to the end of a lawn care business. Here is some insight from a new lawn care business owner who experimented with some different marketing techniques and shared his results on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
He wrote “Well, it appears I’m not the only one in my area offering lawn care services. I’m just getting started with my business and it’s just me and my truck. Thankfully it is a long bed. I don’t even have a trailer yet. I purchased what equipment I could new and bought everything else used or had on hand.
I have a family member who runs his own lawn care business in another part of the state and he is in his 3rd year. He has helped me out with a variety of stuff so far and I am thankful for that. I work a full time job that may/may not be facing some upcoming cuts. For now I am an afternoon and weekend man. I hired a graphic artist to do my logo, biz cards, truck magents, and door hangers. I’ve spent a fair amount of time and money on the distribution of the hangers about 600 or so far with 400 more to go.
I’m not involved in any social organizations but I have helped out the local church where my daughter goes to school with a lot of fund raising. I was thinking about seeing if they would include me in their monthly news letter. Maybe I will do some kind of property clean up? It might help get me more customers.
I am kind of concerned about doing too much to get the word out because I don’t think my current job would like it too much if they knew I was doing this on the side. It frustrates me and I feel holds me back so I may have to cross that bridge when it comes.
After my first month of all this marketing I have come to the realization my door hangers were just about a bust. The cost to design, print, and distribute them was pretty high and it generated only1 single call! That one call turned into a 1 time job. It was a simple weed thatch job that needed to be trimmed, bagged, and sprayed. I got $175 for 4 hours of work! It’s not bad for my first job but still very disappointing.
I did get the church to promote a clean up day and that was kind of a bust too. They told everyone to be there at 11am. Well, people instead showed up at 8am and most of the work was done before I even showed up. I did get a little exposure with signs on my truck and walking/talking but no calls from it.
I just can’t believe I have only had 1 call so far. I was hoping to get at least a 1% return on the 1,000 door hangers that were passed out. Now I am stumped and am looking at what to do next. There are A LOT OF GUYS OUT THERE!! I don’t wan’t to be a lowballer, but I would like to land a couple of jobs. I am thinking I might do a newspaper ad in the service directory and join the other 10 dudes there. I’m also in the process of building a website and then putting some money into pay-per-click ads. Maybe craigslist too? Beyond that I just don’t know.”
You can’t let any of this discourage you. Talking to people face to face is really important. Ask your customers and everyone you know for referrals. Hand out business cards to everyone you meet. Put a little more effort into your marketing than you find your competitors are doing and you will see improved results. Most importantly, don’t give up. Over time, you will gain more customers and create more word of mouth for you and your lawn care company.