It’s funny to think about cutting grass as I look out on ours and it’s completely covered with snow (about time Mother Nature! you’ve been weak to DC all season!), but with Spring around the corner it seems the hustlers are ready to pounce. And rightfully so.
If there’s one thing I hate about home ownership, it’s all the upkeep. Now lawn mowing isn’t the worst of them – it can be nice out there under the sun! – but I’ll admit there are plenty of times I put it off for whatever reason makes the most sense at the time. I feel like it’s one of those things you have to “be in the mood” for similar to re-organizing your closet or cleaning up the house. If you’re not feelin’ it you can be miserable. Same if there’s no music blasting to keep you sane ;)
And this is what the hustlers count on.
The other day I took Baby Money out for a walk, and immediately as I turned the corner I saw a perfectly placed memo taped to a tree (who knew duct tape worked on bark?). It was one of those ads with those “fingers” at the bottom cut conveniently so you can pull off a little sliver with the persons name and number on it for future reference. As if no one kept cell phones on them at all times :)
Here’s the gist of what it said:
“$20 to have your lawn cut. Or $40/mo to have it cut every single week.”
Now I’m no mathematician, but $10 a cut is a ton better than $20 a cut. So immediately my attention was caught. “Only $40/mo? To never have to cut my lawn this Summer? Awesome! Sign me up!” Only to realize that our grass doesn’t really NEED to be cut every single week, haha… maybe not even every *other* week!
But I’ll admit it’s damn good marketing. A) You first throw out a high crappy number that I doubt anyone would take (we don’t have large yards in this community), then B) You can get the same exact service for half the price. Only you’re now paying double what you normally would because, again, you don’t need your grass cut every single week. On the other hand you’re also paying for peace of mind which admittedly could make the entire price tag worth it by itself.
It reminds me of the time when I wanted to get a “yes” from my parents back in high school for a weekend trip w/ my friends, but everyone told me they’d say no and to ask them on a bigger crazier trip first to set it up right ;) So I did – I asked to go on a *week* long trip that was happening w/ our school (which of course I didn’t want to go on) in hopes they’d turn it down and then be more keen on the smaller, weekend getaway, haha… And it worked!! I mean who knows if they would have said yes anyways, but I’d like to think our scheming played a nice part in this particular case ;)
Back to lawn mowing though, I think we’ll have to pass since it’s not really that cumbersome to do ourselves every few weeks, and the fact we’re moving in early Summer doesn’t warrant it either. But oddly enough I’ve considered running my OWN lawn cutting service too and ran the numbers/timing/effort/etc just to see if it was worth it. And the magic number for it to be the case was actually $20 a lawn :) But I was in no position (and still not) to start yet another gig purely for the money. I feel like you really have to LIKE this one to pull it off with an ounce of sanity still left, unless of course it was your full-time job and our livelihood depended on it.
Anywho, food for thought for any of you starting your own services in the near future, and how the power of marketing can really do your business some good. We’ll see if any of my neighbors take these Yard Hustlers up on their monthly peace-of-mind service here, but if the now balled up ads crumbled next to these trees are any indication of their future success (maybe an environmentalist got pissed?) the future doesn’t look too good for them. Womp womp.
Would you pay for such a service? What about starting your OWN in your neighborhood?
[Photo by Qfamily]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!