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View Full Version : New and wanted to say hello!


MrLank
09-24-2010, 07:18 AM
Let me tell you if I would of known about this site about 3 months ago, I would of been in heaven. Just finished the Class 1 - Lawn Care Business guide and was very informative. My name is Chris and about 5 months ago I was laid off from my job. I am 27/married and I have 21 month old twins(girl and a boy.) I applied at around 20 to 30 jobs in my old field of commercial truck driving with no luck. I'm one of those guys that has always provided and was killing me not bringing any money in. We had some money put back and I threw around the idea of starting my own business. Wife wasn't all in at first and still might not be lol. I've always taken pride in my lawn and landscape. Its that feeling when you done with it, and you just walk around on the sidewalk thinking to yourself "thats a damn nice looking lawn." Waiting for my first customer before I spent any money and never looked back. Started my business late, June 7th to be exact. I bought a 42" Toro Timecutter and a 34" cub cadet which was used(for fenced in backyards.) Ordered shirts/business cards/quick books/2 signs/2 car magnets. Posted on every possible free advertisement site. Currently I have 21 weekly customers with 8 about 1 and a half weeks and 2 small commercial accounts. Within the last couple of months though I have serviced 56 people. Many were due to the heat wave or mower broke, things of that nature. Most of which were just a one time thing but I started reading this forum a little over a week ago and sent out the Thank You letters. I've had multiple responses from those one time customers asking for other services(gutter cleaning/mowing again/bush trimming/ etc.) Finished my snow removal contracts last week and sent out a letter stating..."summer may be almost over but still a lot of work needs to be done. If interested in fall clean-up or gutter cleaning give me a call. Winter is right around the corner and I’d be more then willing to take care of your drive, so you don’t have to pick a shovel up at all this winter. Contracts for per clearing or seasonal (payments spread out monthly for 6 months) available." Sign 2 seasonal contracts yesterday for $850 each.

From my experience is if lawn care is something that you love and really enjoy to do, your customers will notice that with every attention to detail that you put into their lawns. Although I am just now stumbling onto this site, I must say if anyone was going to get into lawn care business then this would be the site to come to. Currently I have my brother in lawn working on my site and I'd be more then willing to link up with this forum. So much useful information.

Although things have been going so good, there is still a lot of work to be done. Going to try and get as many certificates as possible before next lawn seasons. That also depends on whether Iowa will get killed again with another huge snow fall.

Well thats my story. Wanted to say "Hi" and look forward to getting to know a lot of you guys as well as bounce any ideas I might have off your intelligent minds.

Chris

Steve
09-24-2010, 06:44 PM
Hi Chris,

Welcome to our forum!

You seemed to have done really well with everything! We see many new business owners have such a tough time finding new customers and getting things started, what do you attribute your ease of growth with?

What do you feel most new business owners need to do more or less of in order to grow?

MrLank
09-25-2010, 01:05 AM
Hi Chris,

Welcome to our forum!

You seemed to have done really well with everything! We see many new business owners have such a tough time finding new customers and getting things started, what do you attribute your ease of growth with?

What do you feel most new business owners need to do more or less of in order to grow?

I don't know if there is once specific thing that I can attribute my growth to. I think that you have to put yourself ALL IN. I don't own any special certificates, or anything of that nature. One thing that I do own is the knowledge of lawns. When I decided that I was going to start my business and I was just waiting for the first person to call, I'd be online reading up on anything and everything to do with lawn care. I go the extra mile for every customer. I offer many incentives. All but 4 of my accounts came from referrals. Any customer that wanted more then a one time mow, has stuck by my side. Go the extra mile for every customer. I treat every lawn like my own and like I'm being watched. Let me give you an example of what I saw today....Local company guy is on his zero turn, stops and picks up a cup that was in his way. Rather then set it at his feet and ride with it until he could dispose of it, he tossed it back behind him where he had already driven a path. Whether you know someone is home or not because it doesn't really matter. Some little things like piling limbs and taking them with you when you leave. Pulling a couple overgrown weeds. Edging the lawn when not asked to. ALL customers notice these things. Any new customer that you leave a business card with, give a couple extra. If the NEW customer isn't home when you serviced their account, call them later that night and ask them If the lawn looked good or if there is anything else that they needed done in the yard. Not many businesses call you that day to make sure you are satisfied with you purchase. Talk to them and make sure they know that their needs come first. You might be considered the "spe******t" in lawn care but the customers are always in the driver seat. You just need to make sure you are their friend in the passenger seat and not one of those annoying back seat drivers.

If someone is referred to you from a current customer, give that customer $5 off their next mow. If you have someone willing to sign a seasonal mowing contract, offer them 10% off if they sign up before a certain date or 5% off if they refer someone. 10% really isn't that much but in the customers eyes it means alot... ex: 35mow x 32 average mows in a season = 1120 x .10 customers discount = 112., So your still making $1000 and still have the chance of them referring you.

Must go sorry. Anymore questions just ask!

Thanks,
Chris

Steve
09-25-2010, 05:09 PM
With your seasonal mowing contract discount, do you offer the 10% off if they prepay for the year or is that 10% off each payment if they sign up by such a date?

Also have you ever been in a situation where you get one customer referring multiple new customers and wanting multiple referral discounts? What would be the best way to deal with?

Do you find customers are really focused on getting their referral discount or are they simply happy to refer you just because they like the work you do?

MrLank
09-26-2010, 10:38 AM
With your seasonal mowing contract discount, do you offer the 10% off if they prepay for the year or is that 10% off each payment if they sign up by such a date?

Also have you ever been in a situation where you get one customer referring multiple new customers and wanting multiple referral discounts? What would be the best way to deal with?

Do you find customers are really focused on getting their referral discount or are they simply happy to refer you just because they like the work you do?

I didn't sign any seasonal contracts because I started so late, but I did just do it on 3 snow removal contracts. I'm advertising that if my customers sign a seasonal contract before Oct. 15th they'll receive the 10% discount off.

I did have one customer refer 4. They were all neighbors. She was paying $40 for her lawn and I knocked it down to 25. I was making $160 just off her neighbors a week so I figured It was worth it. Now if I was going to have to travel to multiple houses that she referred, then I would of put a limit of 2 discounts for referrals.

I haven't ran into that situation yet. If a new customer calls me, first thing I ask is how they heard about my services. If they say that joe schmo referred them then I just automatically log into my quick books and take the $5 off. Then I send the customer who referred them a letter thanking them and that I lowered their weekly rate. Then I send the new customer a letter saying welcome and offer them the $5 off for a referral.

Steve
09-27-2010, 10:09 AM
I did have one customer refer 4. They were all neighbors.

This is just amazing! You are going to be swamped with customers in no time! Do you have plans on how you are going to handle all this as it grows?