While word of mouth from current clients can help you get a steady stream of customers, you can’t rely entirely on referrals to grow your business. There are ways to advertise without spending a lot of money. The goal is to spread the word that you have something to offer. These eight tips can help you get more bang for your buck:
- Dress the part. Employees should have professional, branded uniforms. A golf shirt with the company logo and pair of khaki pants are an easy uniform. Employees are your brand ambassadors. They have one chance to make a lasting first impression.
- Develop your website. Potential customers will see your name and visit your site. If a custom-designed internet site (your URL) is too expensive, use sites like HomeStead.com or Wix.com which provide templates to create a simple website. The website should have information about the business, the services offered, a page to request estimates, and the reason why your business is different. Every business in your category can make grass green and weed-free. Why should prospective customers trust you with their lawn care?
- Take advantage of social media. Create a Google+ page and claim your Yahoo business listing. Both pages are free and can boost search engine rankings.
- Design an eye-catching yard sign. Lawn care professionals are required to leave a sign after the lawn is treated. Hopefully, the yards are you treat are impressive and people driving by will notice your company name and website address on the sign.
- Brand company vehicles. Your trucks are seen by thousands of individuals each week. Every business vehicle should have the business name and contact information professionally decaled on the truck. Custom wraps and vinyl decals are more expensive but last up to eight years. Magnetic signs are an inexpensive alternative to wraps and vinyl decals.
- Ask for referrals. Motivate existing customers to refer new customers by creating a reward program. Leave a handout at service appointments offering a discount off their next invoice if they refer someone who signs up for service.
- Enroll in a referral service. Home Reports and Trust Dale are referral programs based in Atlanta. Angie’s List is a nationwide service, however you can purchase zip codes of the areas that have the most potential.
- Use the four corners program. Have a professionally-produced door hanger printed saying, “I treat your neighbor’s lawn” with your business information. Hang it on the doors of the houses on both sides, directly across the street and diagonal from the treated yard. The hangar is an inexpensive way to reach prospective customers.
Small businesses don’t have to break the bank to get noticed. Successful marketing is possible even with the smallest budget. Stretch your dollar by adopting these creative promotional techniques.