Using lawn signs to promote your mowing business.

Most every lawn care business owner is always looking for more ways to attract customers. Sure you can hand out flyers or door hangers, they will take some time out of your schedule. But have considered using lawn signs on the yards you are actively mowing? That is what this entrepreneur did and he shared his story with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. It seems the idea worked quite well and helped him get more customers that fit into his mowing route.

One lawn care business owner wrote “several weeks ago I went to give an estimate to mow a lawn. Long story short, the homeowner owns a local marketing company that does silk screen shirts and other such items. When I mentioned that I was looking to have some shirts and lawns signs made, he asked if I’d be interested in bartering, trading some mowing  for some merchandise? I said sure!

I quoted him $40-$45 to cut his lawn and he offered me two (2), two-sided, 18×24, full color, colorplast lawn signs with upgraded heavy-duty stakes.

Here they are.

lawn signs

lawn signs

He suggested doing a vertical design, as it will stand out from the millions of standard 24″x18″ horizontal signs that litter the landscape. This made sense to me and I used the same layout for both, but used different text for the headers.

As a designer, I was torn between going with a stark, generic design using text only that could be easily viewed from a distance, or a more colorful design that has more visual appeal.

Since most of the places I’ll be placing these lawn signs are either at intersections (where cars can stop long enough to view the sign), or along sidewalks where there is pedestrian traffic, I went the more colorful route.

I designed them, emailed the PDF files to him, and in a few days, he had them ready for me. I cut his lawn again today. We spoke of having some t-shirts printed in trade. It’s a win/win for both of us. I just have the two signs for now. I intend to place them in the lawns as I work - not leave them in any one spot.

When creating the design, I considered using headlines that were either offers, or just something brutally simple like Lawn Mowing, but decided against it for this round. Maybe I’ll do another set of signs that way in the future. I wanted more of a wow factor in these signs.

I tried to balance readability with eye catchy design. I could have made them more easily readable from a distance by using text on a plain background, but I kept thinking of all the places I work where people walk by. The pretty colors should draw them in and they will be able to read what the sign is about.

Something to consider is, in a future redesign of the lawn sign is I may have an arrow on it that says take a business card and have it pointing to my velcro stick on business card dispenser. I might even experiment with different special offers on the card only, so I could change the cards out at different times of the year.

I placed the lawn signs out while cutting two lawns yesterday. I noted that people were looking at them as they drove by. When I saw people walking or driving by I would smile and wave to everyone - saying something like ‘what a beautiful day for a walk’ to those passing by. I figure if people are going to see your lawn sign, you want them to associate a nice guy with your business. This may even get them to tell a friend about you.

At another lawn I was mowing, I saw a lady waving to get my attention. She wanted to know if I trimmed hedges and asked if I could stop to look at a few things she needs done. She saw the sign, but wanted to get a business card too as she said ‘I’ll forget your number by the time I get home.’ This is proof you can make it without spending a lot.

I picked up a new customer AND one-time cut today because I had the signs out.  The signs are working.

I was just finishing up mowing and was getting the trimmer from the truck when an SUV came to a stop and the passenger side window lowered. ‘Do you work for this company?’ a female voice asked. ‘Is this your company?’ she again asked while pointing to the lawn sign. I chuckled as I replied ‘I am the company - it’s just me! How can I help you?’

They told me they were very dissatisfied with their current lawn service provider and said they saw my truck and signs here every week, so they wanted to ask if I could help them out.

Long story short, I stopped by after I was finished and we talked for a good twenty minutes about the property, the lack of care that they were receiving from their regular service (the place was a disgrace), and the types of services I could provide, as well as the things I can NOT do.

I find that people really appreciate honesty much, MUCH more than hearing someone blow smoke up their butt, telling them about all the services they can perform (but can’t). I explained that some of their plans were slightly beyond my scope at this point in my business’ growth and the client was fine with that. Most people I’ve talked to like this are fine with having me maintain the lawn/hedges while they hire someone larger to do some of the things I do not offer yet.

Oh, I almost forgot the most funny part. She told me that she kept seeing me around the neighborhood and after discussing letting the other guys go with her husband, said ‘I’m going to talk to that guy I see down the street all the time’, but by the time she would come by, I was gone.

When she saw my sign today, she said ‘OOOOHHH!!!!, I gotta get his info!’ She drove out of her way down the street to me and held up traffic while I took down her info. The signs identify me. With regular use, people start to notice. Then they hunt you down and hire you!

The signs work in mysterious ways. At another one of my regular client’s lawns, I noted a truck drive slowly past mine, then a minute later it came back up the street and stopped near my truck. I paused, as I wasn’t sure why he stopped where he did, and then I saw him looking at the yard sign behind my truck as he was writing on a piece of paper.

Then he noticed me and rolled the window down. He asked about getting a quote for leaf removal at his home around the corner. I gave him a card and he said he’d call when the leaves were done falling.

Speaking of getting noticed, I think that there are little things that can help draw attention to your truck, or sign that make people notice you, and get them thinking about things they may need done. For example, I nearly always put cones out when I’m parked. I think that leaving my truck cap window open is more notable than when it’s closed, and it doesn’t hurt to leave a rake, or blower in sight during leaf cleanup season - even if you’re just mowing a lawn.

When I’m finished trimming hedges, I place my hedge trimmer attachment where people driving by can see it. I think it tells people you’ve got some serious equipment - that you’re not just some homeowner out trimming his hedges. None of these attention getting methods cost a penny to do, yet are advertising just the same.

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
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The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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