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Steve_Blakely
03-15-2010, 11:28 PM
I am a full time graduate student (Physical Therapy) from Louisville, KY and I cut grass becuase it is the only "work" I really enjoy. Plus it also offers me a chance to make money without having set hours. I cut and do other odd jobs within a 15 mile radius of my school (to keep down on travel because of time restraints). I work with my Dad, who is the best/only partner I could have. We currently have around 15-20 yards (we will see the exact numbers in the coming weeks). Sure we do it for the money, but we both really love doing the work.

I have been following this site for some time and love all the little ideas I pick up every time I browse. I thought I would make it official and join up! I would like to meet others who share my interests, and hopefully some from the KY area.

Our business is not large and we don't have the top of the line equipment, yet I feel we do our best work every time we head out. I don't limit myself to just lawn care and I think this works to my advantage. Though I do make fliers, post ads on craigslist, and have a facebook fan page (All Your Lawn Care Needs), my best marketing is word of mouth.

I am interested in hearing from others in my position and those who are more successful than I am right now. I also don't mind answering any questions you might have.

Thanks for looking,
Steve

Steve
03-16-2010, 06:42 PM
Hi Steve,

Welcome to our forum!

It's nice to have you here.

What other kinds of services do you offer and do you find that your lawn care customers want these services or do non-lawn care customers sign up for them?

Steve_Blakely
03-16-2010, 10:21 PM
Other services I offer are just about anything to do with house maintenance. This includes cleaning gutters, trimming bushes, general cleanups, small landscaping and leaves (though this is my least favorite, but is a chance to make a connection so I don't pass it up). I also move items for people, I put together an outdoor patio cover for a hot tub, and right now we are trying to get the bi-weekly truck washing gig at my dad's work and a family wants me to clean out their basement. I found that being flexible and up to doing anything is a great way to learn new skills and also create new customers.

Some of my regular customers ask for these different jobs, some people only hire me once for these jobs. It is a pretty equal mix. But I think the more you put yourself out there and do good, honest work, more work will come your way in the end.

Steve
03-17-2010, 04:16 PM
my best marketing is word of mouth.

Steve a lot of new members seem to have trouble developing word of mouth marketing. Do you have any advice on how to get this to happen? And how to keep it happening?

Steve_Blakely
03-17-2010, 09:45 PM
First, I try to get to know my customers personally. Most of it is listening to them and showing concern. I feel that once they become your friend, they will tell others. I also offer a refferal incentive that may or may not help (a free cut if reffered to a new yard). Mostly though, I try to let my work speak for it's self. When you are working hard and have a good attitude, people seem to notice.

So basically, being a good guy and doing hard work is the trick. A little luck never hurts either!

Steve
03-18-2010, 03:37 PM
Do you ever find that it is helpful to tell the customers that you are looking for more customers to fill up your schedule so if they know anyone, it would be greatly appreciated if they could mention you?

Does taking such an angle help or what is your view?

Steve_Blakely
03-18-2010, 09:01 PM
Yes, definitely. Especially when I first meet a new or potentially new customer. If they happen to say something about maybe knowing someone, I usually always give them extra flyers. The yards I have been cutting for a while, I don't usually stress to them that I need more customers from them, becuase I am just thankful to be doing some work for them. Although I do usually hand them 2 flyers at the beginning of the season, one for them (so I can refresh them on what all I can do) and hopefully one for a friend after I remind them of my incentive.

Steve
03-19-2010, 02:19 PM
Do you find that you market to the neighbors of your customers? Maybe by dropping off flyers in their door or business cards? What's your thought on the best way to build out your route like that?

walkerlawncare09
03-19-2010, 06:33 PM
Came across this post...I'm from southerin indiana 45 mins from louisville. Also new to the business. Dad is also a partner in the business and I agree with not being able to find any better help.

Hope this year is a good one and good luck to you all and hope you all have a good year as well.

Best of luck,
Eric
Walker Lawn Care LLC

Steve_Blakely
03-21-2010, 10:22 AM
I usually won't drop off flyers unless I have actually met the neighbor and they know who I am. Usually they will notice my work or I will talk to them.

About my route: I only cut within a 15 mile radius of my school, becuase I go to school full time and don't have the time or the funds to make my way around the whole city. So I can pretty much go to any of my yards at any time.

WalkerLawnCare: I am glad to hear someone else thinks like me. Good luck to you and your father this year!