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Columbianalawns
08-29-2012, 04:14 PM
So, I started this business in March, I've got around 20 accounts, I advertise w/ google adwords, flyers when I'm especially bored and business cards (sometimes). Should I just be content with waiting until next march to send out postcards and flood the areas I want with them? I know its time for fall services should I advertise those through post cards, fliers and what not?

Chaz
08-29-2012, 08:53 PM
So, I started this business in March, I've got around 20 accounts, I advertise w/ google adwords, flyers when I'm especially bored and business cards (sometimes). Should I just be content with waiting until next march to send out postcards and flood the areas I want with them? I know its time for fall services should I advertise those through post cards, fliers and what not?

if you want work you gotta find it, talk to your current clients see if they are interested in anything soon, tell them you are looking for work and if they know anyone who needs some landscaping to pass your name.

otherwise do a little bit of advertising

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-29-2012, 08:54 PM
20 is not bad at all for your first year.

CHEESE2009
08-30-2012, 02:20 AM
20 is fantastic for your first year, congrats!


From experience, the next batch of clients should (or have) come from referrals.

After your first year, you may actually lose several of those clients, because you will want to get rid of them. During my first year, I have learned what doesn't float well with me, for example:

Having less clients allowed me to start relationships
This turned out bad for me, because now (years later) they expect me to still have 20 minutes to spare talking with them.
GOOD + BAD = BAD

Being able to communicate with your clients may seem like a great thing at first, you will feel like a hero, the "lawn guy with a personal touch". This is going to kill you later on, but you actually need to have this learning experience.

Being new, I allowed for my clients to negotiate.
Big mistake, as you grow these clients will become a burden - they take up all kinds of space and resources. If you can't find a way for them to pay you more, you've gotta drop them and break hearts.

Being new, I accepted every lawn
I felt successful having many lawns, however, the majority of my starter lawns were terrible. We're talking hills on top of hills, with obstacles to maneuver around every couple of feet.... Sure I got paid well, but a lot of my time was wasted, a major drop in productivity.

e.g.;

Lots of crap lawns = less time
less time = dead end

lots of good lawns = more time
more time = more lawns

Right now I'm extremely picky. I wont even quote most lawns, and it's one of the best changes I have ever made.


ANYWAY,
For me, I always retain approximately 77% of my previous clients every year, and I receive 37% new business every year (mostly) from referrals.

All of my clients had an optional survey on their contract, but most were too ignorant to fill it out... One of the questions was, "how did you find out about us?"

One customer wrote, "I saw you cutting grass, I walked over and said hello can you cut my grass next year, you said ok" :D




Forgot what we're talking about here... Off topic yet?

Steve
08-30-2012, 11:56 AM
Are you getting referrals? Are you asking for them from your current customers? Are you marketing to the neighbors of your current customers?

xandrew245x
08-30-2012, 03:54 PM
If I had 20 clients right now I would be very very happy.

stevef1201
08-30-2012, 05:19 PM
NEVER STOP ADVERTISING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fall is comming- advertise fall cleanup
Spring is comming advertise lawn maintenance fertilizing spring clean up plant installaiton

etc etc etc

NEVER stop advertising.

Current customers, look for new customers There are thousands of people who are tired of the current company, or the guy quit, or they want something that the current guy does not do.

That is thousands in your area not nation wide.

You have potentialy 1000 customers waiting to hear from you

CHEESE2009
08-30-2012, 06:21 PM
You have potentialy 1000 customers waiting to hear from you

You think I'm some kind of wh0re or something?

lolololol

Chaz
08-31-2012, 08:11 AM
20 is fantastic for your first year, congrats!


From experience, the next batch of clients should (or have) come from referrals.

After your first year, you may actually lose several of those clients, because you will want to get rid of them. During my first year, I have learned what doesn't float well with me, for example:

Having less clients allowed me to start relationships
This turned out bad for me, because now (years later) they expect me to still have 20 minutes to spare talking with them.
GOOD + BAD = BAD

Being able to communicate with your clients may seem like a great thing at first, you will feel like a hero, the "lawn guy with a personal touch". This is going to kill you later on, but you actually need to have this learning experience.

Being new, I allowed for my clients to negotiate.
Big mistake, as you grow these clients will become a burden - they take up all kinds of space and resources. If you can't find a way for them to pay you more, you've gotta drop them and break hearts.

Being new, I accepted every lawn
I felt successful having many lawns, however, the majority of my starter lawns were terrible. We're talking hills on top of hills, with obstacles to maneuver around every couple of feet.... Sure I got paid well, but a lot of my time was wasted, a major drop in productivity.

e.g.;

Lots of crap lawns = less time
less time = dead end

lots of good lawns = more time
more time = more lawns

Right now I'm extremely picky. I wont even quote most lawns, and it's one of the best changes I have ever made.


ANYWAY,
For me, I always retain approximately 77% of my previous clients every year, and I receive 37% new business every year (mostly) from referrals.

All of my clients had an optional survey on their contract, but most were too ignorant to fill it out... One of the questions was, "how did you find out about us?"

One customer wrote, "I saw you cutting grass, I walked over and said hello can you cut my grass next year, you said ok" :D




Forgot what we're talking about here... Off topic yet?

I'd like to let at least 1 client in particular go, how did u go about letting a client go?

jymie
08-31-2012, 08:32 AM
I'd like to let at least 1 client in particular go, how did u go about letting a client go?

I'm sorry but you will need to get another service, I must down size my area of service.

CHEESE2009
08-31-2012, 02:16 PM
I'd like to let at least 1 client in particular go, how did u go about letting a client go?

If a client has done something for me to want to let him/her go, I just do the work for what they have paid me for, then run away and never look back.

There are some clients you just can't confront without humiliating them, good luck!

Steve
09-04-2012, 11:25 AM
Should I just be content with waiting until next march to send out postcards and flood the areas I want with them?

Has this information helped you alter your marketing plan?

Columbianalawns
09-05-2012, 05:35 PM
im just confused with what marketing methods to use and what will work best, im thinking an oversized post card maybe with "eddm"

AkersLawn
09-05-2012, 06:04 PM
You fellers think there is any money in this?

jbungard1856
09-05-2012, 09:32 PM
How do you guys feel about buying,selling and trading customers?

jymie
09-06-2012, 07:20 AM
How do you guys feel about buying,selling and trading customers?

I think the best way is to hand out business cards to everyone you meet, when you go to the grocery store hand people your card, in fact in all public places that you go do this. Politicians when they want your vote, they shake your hand and hand you literature about them. Do the same for your lawn business.

CHEESE2009
09-07-2012, 09:46 AM
Cost-effective marketing has to be 'cheap'.

We have a very low response rate, so I spend money on business cards that act as my advertising. They look professional, and I save money.

Printing out your own colored flyers is much more expensive and time consuming (quality paper, ink, folding, and even holding them going door-to-door). If you have flyers/pamphlets done professionally, you are throwing money away!

With business cards, it's about $50-60 for 2000 of them. All you do is grab a big handful and go around sticking them in door jams.

Make sure to leave space to write your estimates on them, along with expiry dates for the work you are advertising.

aduttonater
09-10-2012, 08:21 PM
All of my customers come from online advertisement. I have business cards in my little pocket ready to hand out to each person that I provide an estimate for. I don't waste my cards passing them out to random people ( This is a waste of marketing material).

If I am lucky enough to generate a call from my online advertisement (Which I'm receiving at least 4-6 calls per day now), then I can set up a time and day for an estimate.

As long as I make my appointment for the estimate, hand out my card, evaluate the work. I say your looking at around $150 to have this work done. This is where the negotiation happens.

Some people will say okay and hop right on your price, others will try to low ball you. Hold your ground and stick with your rates. I tell people before I go out for an estimate that it's a minimum of at least $125. This eliminates those low ballers that want to only pay $40 for over 5 hours worth of work.

Anyway, create a formula that works for you , and stick to it. If you can generate income by utilizing free advertisement online methods, you will save yourself plenty of income, time, and hassle.

Steve
09-11-2012, 10:27 AM
I tell people before I go out for an estimate that it's a minimum of at least $125.

When you say that, do you ever find customers get fixated on that number and if you price a job higher, they tend to balk and complain?

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-11-2012, 12:07 PM
When you say that, do you ever find customers get fixated on that number and if you price a job higher, they tend to balk and complain?

I do the same thing when asked over the phone for a price. That way I'm not wasting my time. If you tell them the service starts at x amount and goes up depending on size they have nothing to complain about. A customer usually cant guess the size of the yard, gutters , or anything helpful for you to bid.

Columbianalawns
09-12-2012, 03:53 PM
Im trying to stay as local as possible, the business card idea seems like it would be a good one but I dont think it won't get "name recognition" with my business.
Honestly I really dont care how I get customers I just need them, Im striving for a minimum of 30 bi weekly accounts. I have gotten a few calls from my google adwords ads but nowhere near what I thought I would get especially when I get a load of clicks and no calls. Proly the landing page but im working on changing that. Come to think of it, I dont think they are running right now anyway.

Columbianalawns
09-12-2012, 03:58 PM
By the way, when someone does call I get info obviously and let them know itll be a minimum of 30 and .50 a mile. And I sometimes offer 45 for full maintenance but not many people go for it but hey, I make more out of them when they decide they need the shrubs trimmed and weeds pulled.

@ Steve, My marketing plan is almost non existent right now other than adwords,
I really want to do postcards and eddm them but i'm to ocd about the way they look. So I end up never doing it.

Hedgemaster
09-12-2012, 05:28 PM
If someone quoted me a "price per mile" on top of a mowing quote, I'd hang up and call someone else.

Just sayin'

LawnBoy0311
09-12-2012, 07:11 PM
If someone quoted me a "price per mile" on top of a mowing quote, I'd hang up and call someone else.

Just sayin'

I agree 100%.

Columbianalawns
09-12-2012, 08:58 PM
point taken.. I wont be doing that anymore, good looking out..

SECTLANDSCAPING
09-12-2012, 11:09 PM
point taken.. I wont be doing that anymore, good looking out..

Go ahead and add it to the price just dont tell the customer. If they say your high just say I'm coming from _________. I already spend 20 minutes driving before I show up and I still have to get back.

aduttonater
09-13-2012, 04:12 PM
When you say that, do you ever find customers get fixated on that number and if you price a job higher, they tend to balk and complain?

Nobody really ever fixates on the price. Since it is a minimum, they already know how much they will potentially have to shell out. In my ads I put a ballpark range of a minimum $125-$350. So if I'm slightly higher then the minimum people don't balk. I also forgot to mention that these are for average family homes with standard front and backyards. Properties that have over an acre of weeds or additional trimming or any service will need to be estimated. The price will most likely be higher then $350. If I quote $750 for it they may say ok, in which I can work and profit, or if they say no then I don't have to do all that crazy work. Hope this answers your question.

stevef1201
09-13-2012, 05:30 PM
. If I quote $750 for it they may say ok, in which I can work and profit, or if they say no then I don't have to do all that crazy work. Hope this answers your question.

I find that if I quote 'high' I dont get the job that I didn't want to do, However sometimes I do, so I just go down to Home depot grab a couple of Mexicans and put then to work. They get the job done I pay them 50 each for the day, and make good money-and still dont do the work, WIN WIN