Whether you run a lawncare or tutoring or cleaning business, here are some ideas on how to get customers for your service business:
1. Many service businesses advertise in local ad magazines and coupon services such as ValPak. Study your competitors’ ads particularly their offers and come-ons for first-time customers. Offer free services that would help you land their account such as free lawn analysis for lawncare businesses or free consultation for an interior design business. The key is to entice the customers to try your service for the first time.
2. Place ads in your local newspaper. Understand the cycle of your business. For a landscaping business, it is best to advertise in late February to mid-March as households get ready for the spring. For a tutorial business, it is best to advertise at the tail end of summer when parents are starting to think of school. Make sure that you write effective ads that speak directly to your client.
3. Use referral marketing. Many service businesses thrive on referrals, so make sure that you talk to your existing customers and ask them if there’s anyone that may benefit your service. Your existing clients can be your biggest help in spreading the word about your business. However, give them a little encouragement and make the act of referring your services to others worthwhile for them. Consider offering your existing customers a discount off their monthly service fee for every account that they refer to you.
4. Send or drop off well-written postcards, flyers or doorknob hanger outlining your services to homes in your target area. Give a bonus or promotional offer to prospective clients for responding to your flyer, such as 15% discount for your first lawn mowing or 10% discount for trying your cleaning service.
5. Do direct mail. In addition of going door to door handing out your promotional materials, you can use direct marketing to reach your target audience. Direct marketing is a very effective way of reaching potential customers for your lawncare business. You can either create brochures that provide details about your company or a postcard that highlights what your business is all about.
6. Network with your competitors in your area. Yes they are your competitors, but sometimes they will have requests for their services that they can no longer do – and they may instead give those accounts to you.
7. Put on a professional image. Your appearance is important! As much as possible, present yourself in a clean and tidy manner, and depending on your business, look as professional as you can when talking to your potential clients.
8. Maximize the advertising opportunity of your vehicle. Your truck or car is one of your most effective — and cheapest — advertising tool you can ever have. It’s your walking billboard. Be careful though if you live in an area with strict homeowner’s association that disallows business vehicles by the residents parked in the neighborhood.
9. Use the Web to market your business. A website is one of the most important marketing tools you can have. Your site will serve as your online brochure, allowing you to sell your services 24×7. But unlike a brochure, you can easily change or update information contained in your website. Your website can also give your customers 24-hour access to you via email.
10. Use the Web to advertise your business. With or without a website, use the Web to get the word out about your business. You can advertise in classified ad sites such as Craigslist, Kijiji.com or Google Base. Ensure that your business is listed in Online Yellow pages such as Whitepages.com and YellowPages.com. If there are directories or websites about local businesses, make sure that your site is listed in there.