Word of mouth is certainly the best way to get people through the door. To achieve that you need to network, provide great service, and wait. In the meantime, I'd like to suggest some items to keep in mind while trying to achieve our goal.
Stick to a design with similar colors and a unique logo. Make sure that your identity is consistent throughout your marketing materials including your price-list, business cards, web page, flyers, signs, etc. Depending on your type of business, some items may be more important than others, however, make sure that whatever you do you don't skimp on:
1- Website: A well designed website sets you in a different arena and allows you to compete with the best of the best on the same size screen. I highly advise looking into a small consulting agency who specialize in building sites for companies like yours for a good price but yet keep it clean and professional. There are some smaller marketing and consulting firms that focus just on websites. Do your research and make sure you are getting the type of site you want (informational, eCommerce, etc.) for a reasonable price.
2- Business Cards: Again, finding a small company specializing in your type of business will enable you to get 1 on 1 attention from someone who can design the card to match your identity and not charge you an arm and a leg for it. Your card is what you are using to network and to remind people of who you are. Make it be a good impression. Make sure you find a full service ad agency that specializes in small and medium size businesses and can give you enough time. The larger marketing and consulting companies often do not have the time to spend on talking about your company strategy or marketing goals. They will just want you to give them the order so they can move on to their next client. Using a smaller company and explaining exactly what you want will give you better results.
3- Signs and Flyers: Signs and Flyers are also key to a business's success as they get more visibility if placed in a good location than most other forms of advertising, dollar for dollar, signs are probably still to this day the best revenue generators. Make sure you consult with an agency whose had enough experience and understands color combinations and design techniques that can balance your identity while maintaining effectiveness of the ad. Again, larger marketing and consulting companies will most likely not be able to spend the time with you that you need in discussing what types of signage you need and what the message should be. Look for a local company who works with small to medium-sized businesses.
4- Door hangers: Door hangers get incredible qualified visibility as they are hung on doors of people in the area you are marketing to. Effective hangers include messages like "we've serviced your neighbor's yard and would like a shot at yours". Door hangers are pricey and can get overwhelming due to the amount of work involved in them but you can either find some businesses in your area that may want to share the cost with you or search for local companies that run coupons in the form of door hangers. Most larger marketing and consulting companies run these ads in a larger scale and access thousands and thousands of homes, which may not be what you want. Again, find a local company who can work with your specific needs on a smaller scale and who can spend the time with you that you need.