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Lawn Care start up

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by The Lawn Guy, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. The Lawn Guy

    The Lawn Guy UKBF Contributor Free Member

    30 3
    Looking for some advice on an initial marketing plan for my lawn care company. I have got almost everything in place to get started so it's time to start moving towards filling a diary. I have put out around 1000 leaflets in my area targeting my demographic (snow has really hindered that) but so far I have managed to get 6/7 clients signed up I have a lot more to put out all will be out before mid April hopefully gaining some more. Advice I am looking for how would anyone on this site go about getting lawn care services? Would money be better spent on a website or Facebook ads or something else ? I have about £500 available to spend. Any advice from other landscaping/lawn people would be excellent as well on how they started.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: The Lawn Guy Member since: Sep 27, 2017
    #1
  2. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,044 1,669
    Congrats on moving forward. As mentioned before I know a bit about this sector as my son started a Lawn Care business a year back.

    6 to 7 clients from a 1,000 leaflets is about standard ( 0.5% ) so keep on with that.

    My son gets all his business from his website, with a small budget Google Adwords campaign ( tightly targeted and i would point out he used to be an Adwords PPC analyst in a different life ) and throughout the year we have been working on SEO such that now most of the leads come from organic traffic.

    £500 is a bit too tight to get a decent website, and an Adwords campaign and get on the SEO road, unless you are prepared to do most of it yourself.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #2
  3. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,670 262
    Leaflet drops are the way to go - keep going! However, a single page website, for now, would help you (you can refer it in leaflets). Try to avoid spending your £500 at this stage.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #3
  4. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,044 1,669
    I'm assuming this is marketing budget, not total cash.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #4
  5. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,864 399
    [​IMG]

    This and lots of leaflets.

    Copyright Vistaprint.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
    #5
  6. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,864 399
    error
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
    #6
  7. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,044 1,669
    ?
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #7
  8. The Lawn Guy

    The Lawn Guy UKBF Contributor Free Member

    30 3
    Hi Alan yes I've followed a lot of the original advice given yes it's £500 marketing budget have a friend to make my website he makes them in his spare time (he works for a company making websites) for a few of the boys, his work seems great and at a good price. He's quoted 250/500 for a website depending on how interactive I want it which seems fair and given his work I've seen and the reviews I've got from friends. I have a FB/Twitter account now so looking at getting as big a base as possible for a early April start was debating a website having had mixed reviews on success and whether it's a necessity as a start up. How is he doing clients wise ? Was winter manageable?
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: The Lawn Guy Member since: Sep 27, 2017
    #8
  9. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,044 1,669
    Some tips for the website
    1) Keep it straight forward, nothing fancy or moving about, just what your customers get and how to contact you
    2) Avoid too much content about you - people actually won't care too much about you, they will want to know what they get and how their lawn can be transformed
    3) Keep it personal - lots of lawn care business try to look like franchises when they are not, certainly at the beginning your customer will be buying 'you' because you are an individual
    4) Don't use 'photo stock' use real photos and at least one with you in it
    5) Avoid putting prices on the website, it gives them a reason NOT to contact you ( you look to cheap / you look too expensive ) better they call you and you chat about what you do.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #9
  10. LiveNetworks Ltd

    LiveNetworks Ltd UKBF Regular Free Member

    193 41
    Wouldn't hurt to have a look at what Greenthumb do.

    Personally I'd go with a one page flyer type web site. Just enough to give confidence to visitors, the area you cover, approx costs, offers and contact details.

    Beyond that, I'd be looking at your local for sale pages on facebook and some area targeted facebook post boosts. You'd be amazed a the response a £10 budget will get on Facebook!
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: LiveNetworks Ltd Member since: Jan 31, 2018
    #10
  11. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    2,841 443
    If you plan to have mostly local customers, I would not forget about putting cards in local shop windows, chips shops etc. I regularly read such cards while in the queue for my fish supper.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
    #11
  12. The Lawn Guy

    The Lawn Guy UKBF Contributor Free Member

    30 3
    I've looked at FB ads and it's something I'm going to go with for brand awareness as much as anything. I've been about my area and put a few in local shops/supermarkets etc as well. Does anybody use leaflets they get through ? Ads in local papers are very reasonable £35 a week covering our 5 local papers is another avenue I will try. Any opinions?
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: The Lawn Guy Member since: Sep 27, 2017
    #12
  13. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,493 866
    I had intended to post more thorough advice, but just a quick thought for now; if you are thinking 'brand awareness', you haven't really got a handle on marketing such a business yet. Go back a step and look at strategy.

    Brand awareness is expensive and completely unnecessary for such a business.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
    #13
  14. The Lawn Guy

    The Lawn Guy UKBF Contributor Free Member

    30 3
    I'm all open for advice marketing etc isn't my strong suit and I'm looking more for help than claiming to know anything. Basically everything I've done and am doing to get work has came from advice, help and some basic common sense. The "brand awareness" thing is something I had read about clients knowing who you are and trusting you more based on previous knowledge of what you do (potentially hogwash) but for few quid on my targeted demographic it sounds plausible and is worth a go as in my area I'm totally unknown.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2018 By: The Lawn Guy Member since: Sep 27, 2017
    #14
  15. leadresults

    leadresults UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    20 2
    Always always knock the doors or drop a leaflet into the neighbors of the customer you are working with. Our local gardener (and driveway company) do this, they knock the doors and tell you about the work they are doing at 'number 5' at the top of the road, one customer can easily turn into 4 - 5 more!
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: leadresults Member since: Mar 8, 2018
    #15
  16. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,044 1,669
    And I always send them away ( especially as I have sign saying no cold callers ), this is typical 'sales process' of travelling workers - we are just working round the corner cutting trees down I see you have a tree ....
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
    #16
  17. leadresults

    leadresults UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    20 2
    I always ignore all the ads on TV, I leave the room. However companies still spend tens of thousands doing it. Some will, some won't....
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2018 By: leadresults Member since: Mar 8, 2018
    #17
  18. cjd

    cjd UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    15,380 3,051
    Some thoughts. Your business is necessrily local so do the things that small local companies do.

    1. Put an advert in the free village mags that are distributed. Do a deal for say, 6 months.

    2, carry on with the leaflets but target larger houses with older inhabitants.

    3, Get some business cards printed and leave them with the people you've done work for to give to friends and neighbours.

    4. Put an ad board up outside the house you're working on while you're there.

    5. Brand your van - include a telephone number.

    6. Make sure you can always be contacted - consider an answering service.

    7. Put your business cards/leaflets in local shops that take them. Supermarkets too.

    8. You need a very simple web site explaining what you do. Gather testimonials for it.

    9. Visit rental agencies and leave your card - absentee landlords often use the agencies to get gardening work done and most have maintenence contracts,

    10. Vitally importantly - do a good job. You need repeat busines and referrals so do everything properly at a resonable price. The sort of people that pay someone to regularly cut their lawn will want someone they can trust, not only to do a good job but also to turn up on time, look decent and not rip them off. A lot of them will want to talk, so let them, be friendly and pleasant ... for a few minutes at least.
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2018 By: cjd Member since: Nov 23, 2005
    #18
  19. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    2,299 622
    Lots of good advice above. 2 things to build on

    1. When leafleting etc, don’t keep going wider and wider, build awareness by leafleting the same area every few months

    2. In the area. When you are on site, let the neighbours know you are there (in a good way). Put specific cards through their doors stating when/where you will be. Have an A-board and sign written vehicle. Door knocking may not be your thing, but done well can be very powerful. Particularly if you have a neighbour for testimonials

    Oh, and ask (gently) for reffrals.
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #19
  20. NigelAzz

    NigelAzz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    I would do an irresistible offer and create an ad on Facebook and target people within a certain radius. This will make people make use of the offer and you'll have the chance to build relationships with these people and they start using you as a service.
    If you just boost a post it will go in front of people who don't need your service. You need to target specific people that are likely to buy your services. Hope it helps.
     
    Posted: Mar 28, 2018 By: NigelAzz Member since: Mar 28, 2018
    #20