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Onegirl
08-21-2010, 10:22 PM
How long does it generally take to get started really good? I have went door to door, mailed out post cards to several neighborhoods and passed out flyers. I have a total of 4 homes. I know it takes patience and word of mouth, but I am ready. Fall is around the corner and I have already started on Fall cleanup flyers and etc. to keep me going in advertising. I do not have the manpower or equipment to handle anything commercial, just keeping it residential at this time. Just wondering, needing that piece of mind I guess. Thanks.

mark123
08-21-2010, 10:40 PM
It took me 18 months before I had a profitable month.

cleancutlawncare5382
08-22-2010, 08:24 AM
You and I are at about the same level. I started out this past spring in the buz and picked up 5 clients relatively quick. I was filled with optimism, thinking this was going to be easy.

Since then I have slipped to 3 full time mowing clients with no new leads coming in. I too have done heavy door-to-door, newspaper ads, craigslist, flyers at grocery store.

In this area it seems people are more interested in their lawns in the spring. I plan to start early next year ( mid March ) and focus more of my marketing $’s then.

I have kept detailed records of all quotes and one-time-jobs this year. These addresses will be receiving flyers throughout the season, fall clean ups and spring time flyers. My thought ( hope) is next spring will be bigger then my first.

Don’t give up and be proactive.

wellbiz
08-22-2010, 11:24 AM
I also started this spring. As of now I have about 20 weekly lawn clients and cut two days a week. The other 2-3 days I fill with landscaping jobs (mulch, weeding, hedge trimming, etc).

Website advertising has brought me the most clients. I also run an ad in the services section of the local paper which keeps the phone ringing with clean-ups, mulch jobs, ect. I handed out flyers, networked, had a craigslist ad, but these were not very productive.

I am planning to do a big push with door hangers in a few weeks for fall clean ups in a local area I want to expand into. Also working on some postcards for direct mail campaign...

It took me about 10 weeks to really fill up my time (starting the end of March). After that I have picked up @ 2-3 lawn accounts a month. Lawn estimates really slow down the end of june.

Now the phone is starting to ring again as some of the fly by night companies are going out of business or dropping the ball on quality.

I would say keep up the good work and keep advertising and talking to people. Let your current clients know what services you offer besides lawn cutting. You will be suprised at how many might not know that you do weeding, or hedge trimming. Always follow up on your estimates and always send a thank you to current clients after you complete the job.

Steve
08-22-2010, 11:48 AM
Do you all find there is a time early on in the beginning phase of a business when you have a lot of energy, but the business just isnt there to catch up. During this period do you find some new business owners get discouraged and give up?

What is the best way to push through this time frame?

cleancutlawncare5382
08-22-2010, 01:02 PM
Website advertising has brought me the most clients. .



Never tried to build my own web page, How do you get started? Does it cost anything?

jymie
08-22-2010, 10:45 PM
Never tried to build my own web page, How do you get started? Does it cost anything?

I used frontpage from microsoft to build my website. After you build the website, you will need to get hosting for it. That is through any where that you buy the domain name from such as godaddy.com. I use filezilla to upload any updates to my site or changes to it that I need to make. You can also hook up with a service that makes it much simpler that would cost you a small amount to host it per month and all you do is input you information it asks for. I dont remember the one I used at first, but do a google search and you can find one that suites you.

wellbiz
08-23-2010, 07:57 AM
Never tried to build my own web page, How do you get started? Does it cost anything?

Its not too hard. I just used godaddy.com. They have dozens of templates you can use. The challenging part is the search engine optimization and trying to get a good organic listing on google. I think I set mine up for under $150.00. There are cheaper options I am sure.

Chachi
08-23-2010, 08:36 AM
Never tried to build my own web page, How do you get started? Does it cost anything?

I use 1and1.com and used a template from this site for mine. It is really cheap and the templates here are very nice. I am in the process of rebuilding my site with my own work, but for just starting out I'd use a template off this site.

Also I started my biz in may of this year. It took off to where I had 12-15 customers until july hit with the heat and no rain and now I am down to around 8, not because of my work only because of lack of rain and grass not growing. I only had one customer drop me for another company so far and funny enough they called me back over the weekend for my services. I dropped 4 customers cause they were intolerable. That is one thing I am not afraid to do is get rid of clients that are ridiculous.

Steve
08-23-2010, 11:24 AM
I dropped 4 customers cause they were intolerable. That is one thing I am not afraid to do is get rid of clients that are ridiculous.

What pushed you over the edge with these customers? How should a lawn care business owner know when enough is enough?

TouchtonsCLC
08-23-2010, 11:25 AM
This is our second year and we've doubled our first year clients, but we only have about 45 full-timers. Hubster mows 4 full days a week during week A, 5 during week B. I hope in the next two years we'll be able to bring someone on to help out. We don't have any commercial accounts, yet. Most of our clients have found us through Craigslist. We send postcards out to neighborhoods we want to work in for fall clean-ups (vistaprint.com offers these free periodically) . We also advertised on the back of our kids' school carpool signs this year. We'll see how that goes.

We also have a website. We just did a freebie at webs.com. Not ready to pay for one just yet. There's a link in the signature to our site. Google Ads sent us a $100 voucher to use their service. It brought about a few clients. We're listed on Google places, as well. I blog monthly, partly to help us rank better in search engine crawls.

Hang in there. We have up and down weeks all the time.

Chachi
08-23-2010, 01:11 PM
What pushed you over the edge with these customers? How should a lawn care business owner know when enough is enough?

Rudeness and the whole they think they are god attitudes. I started my biz because I wanted to work for myself and I hate my office job I have. I love being outside and working. I'd say they should know when enough is enough when they do not enjoy what they are doing. Why do something you hate to do? I am pretty sure we all started in this biz because we love it and our services will always be needed.

mburse1977
08-23-2010, 08:06 PM
I Started in the spring of this year. Spent most of the money on help equipment and adverting.I do not plain on making any profit this season this is why i keep my other job tell i get things going and it has been hard working both.

In the long run it will pay with my current business plain i plain on making about 9000 off of three crews maybe a little more depending on what the cost wind up being at the end of season. IT takes time and planing to run a business so maybe it is time to sit down and write up a plain and what your golds are and what needs to be done to meet them.

I have about 20 active clients and about 20 off and on clients that call on me from time to time. Had on commercial account but things out side of my control that fell through.I expect to take my Averting that worked and try new things for the next season and take the 20 and turn that number into 60 next season. Keep in mind i started with little investment and am adding as i go so i have no loans plain on doing this debit free.

Key is in the plain and what you should be doing to get there. Think of what you want to get out of it and what has to be done to do it. Then write it down on paper and think of things that can be done to get there.

Steve
08-24-2010, 03:28 PM
Rudeness and the whole they think they are god attitudes.

Do you think this has anything to do with being a newer business? Can customers sense if you need them badly and then they take advantage of it? Or do you think this happens at any business level?

OldRedFord
08-25-2010, 10:31 PM
I started back in June. So far I have 14 properties and 5 customers. I have found a good way to get the ball rolling here is to get in touch with anyone you know in the real estate field. That is how I got 10 of my properties.