How far away should I be willing to market/serve?

My service area currently contains about 80,000 people. That’s driving up to 45 minutes away. However, if I were to drive up to an hour and a half away, my service area population would increase to a little over a million people. Is this a good idea?

I charge to make my travel time worth it. If I run into resistance then that’s an indicator that I’ve gone too far.

I suggest fully exhausting your locality. Completely exhausting all possibilities before expanding your borders.


This book will help you answer this question and help with your pricing questions in regards to your demographics from the other day.
Here the link for the book.


Think about this… 3 hours round trip drive time leaves you 5 hours to work in an 8 hour day.

How much work and how much money do you think that 5 hours will yield? How does that compute when you add in the extra expense of the drive and the costs associated with all that extra driving?

Bigger markets tend to have more competition and driving prices lower.

For me, I have a much larger market 1.25 hours away. I would have to buy special licensing (because the city requires it) and incur more expense. Then I would have to market there, which would be a HUGE cost. Unless you are running several crews, it just isn’t worth it to me.


One caution with this tho - it’s not the customers problem if we live outside the larger populous and are wanting their business. Those of us that choose to not live in a well populated area have to live with our choices.

Want to live and work in a small town, rural area? Get used to small town, rural income. Or drive to where the money is,

Most folks in my area all commute 1 to 1.5 hrs to the dfw metroplex for work. They don’t get paid for their mileage nor for their time by their employers. So, for me to drive an hour for my route is not unusual. Yes it’s long at times and the gas and time adds up. But it lets me live in a small, quiet town as opposed to a large city.

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And weekends are for the sweet, quiet- town rest!

I guess that’s the beauty of saying no. The customer says no when they don’t see value. We say no when we don’t see value. Fault is a none issue in my opinion.

I have clients an hour and a half away where there’s dozens of other companies based out of. None of them can offer the value the client is in search of. Thus they have to pay for my services. What I charge is what I charge.

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That post is great Joshua!

It reminds me of this saying…


I live in a pretty rural area. I’ve just started up this year. My county has 30k people in it and an average income of $40k a year. The fact is unless I charge dirt cheap there is only maybe 1 or 2 thousand people in my county would even THINK about using my service, not to mention actually do it. I have 2 large towns an hour away, and 1 large city 1.5 hours away. I am going to HAVE to go there to get the business I need to sustain and grow. It kind of sucks. but that’s the way it is.


That’s what I’m thinking. There is one city of 21,000 people here that make decent money, median income in most of the city is +60,000. Problem is it’s the opposite end of my service area, about an hour away. My wife and I plan on moving there in March when our lease is up. Then, I suspect, it will be much easier going. As it is I already have to drive 20 minutes to advertise. Living in the city I’ll be primarily serving will make it a lot easier.

The other option would be to offer more services, and offer more vital services such as gutter cleaning. It’s rural, of course, and there are a lot of elderly folk who cant climb up on ladders to clean their own.

The overall number sounds good but you would probably have to spend a proportionately higher proportion of your gross on marketing to be competitive. The nice thing about the smaller populations is that although your prices might be a bit lower you can still have a manageable margin while spending proportionately less on marketing.