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View Full Version : late start this past season, need help on adding customer next season.


berryjam
12-13-2012, 01:03 PM
Hi my name is Jim. I got started late last season. I really only had 5 to 10 customers until a buddy of mine who wanted out of landscaping gave me another 15 or so. What is the best way to get new customers? I passed out hundreds of flyer and nothing. By the end of next season I would like to have 40-50 customers. I am a one man show so I will be working my butt off and I want that. Is it wrong to lowball just to get work? I have no overhead(gas), so I don't need to charge high prices to profit.

LawnCareMan280
12-13-2012, 06:15 PM
Welcome to the forum I am an only man worker too and that's right it is good too work your butt off that is awesome. Yes lowballing is wrong because if you go too high then your screwed. 2 find what all your compettitors cost then make that your total.3 no I do not high price too make a profit because that just ticks off the customer. Hey I only have 3 accounts and starting out in 2013.Hoped this helped!

Travis

willshome
12-13-2012, 06:58 PM
I would not low ball. Starting next year with 20 customers you should find that it will grow fast, people will see you working and will ask you to do work for them. I am growing fast just by being out doing the work. Find people that value your time.

Steve
12-14-2012, 12:02 PM
Hi Jim,

Have you been marketing to the neighbors of your current customers? Or asking your current customers for referrals? That might be a successful path to take.

Is it wrong to lowball just to get work? I have no overhead(gas), so I don't need to charge high prices to profit.

The strategy never really works out. Lowballing attracts picky cheap customers. Which is the worst type to have. Charging a price you can live on is a better way to go. Also, you have overhead, you just might not be thinking of all the things you have to buy. Equipment repairs, equipment replacement, insurance, salary, taxes, etc..

Keep building your social network and hand out business cards and you will find more customers.

berryjam
01-04-2013, 01:06 PM
Can't figure how to put up new post so I'll try this. I'm trying to figure out how many quarts of oil my exmark 48in walk behind needs after I change the oil. Any help from anyone who see this will be appreciated.

Steve
01-07-2013, 12:07 PM
Can you measure how much you take out when you drain it?

nice2weedu
01-08-2013, 05:01 PM
Hi Jim...

I like to use the winter months to re-evaluate/re-invent myself. The down time helps me rejuvinate and become creative. Are you advertising just lawn service on your flyers? Do you offer all phases of landscaping? Customers like " one stop shopping ". Being visible on a job is key. I am routinely approached while I am in the field. If I have to turn down work, I keep the potential customers information. I follow up with postcards that I make myself. I do whatever I can to make sure I am not forgotten. Hope this helps. I have lots of tricks up my sleeveless T shirt and I am more than happy to share!

Steve
01-09-2013, 11:51 AM
If I have to turn down work, I keep the potential customers information. I follow up with postcards that I make myself.

For what type of reasons if the work was turned down, would you keep their information and keep in contact with them and for which type of reasons wouldn't you?

CHEESE2009
01-09-2013, 03:31 PM
If you just started and have already have 20 clients, pat yourself on the back and take a break from advertising, the rest of the client should fall into place over the next couple of years.

My website has brought in a lot of business, considered getting one?

Tricountylawn
01-09-2013, 03:55 PM
find what all your compettitors cost then make that your total.3 no I do not high price too make a profit because that just ticks off the customer. Hey I only have 3 accounts and starting out in 2013.Hoped this helped!

Travis


This post will help no one, Best thing I ever did was forget what my competition is charging and started pricing MY services and knowing MY cost.

Von Bobbeh
01-09-2013, 05:46 PM
Find areas of town that are middle-high class and plaster them with flyers.

Ignore middle and low class areas.

Advertise being personable and secure with no wild crews just rushing the job.
"you take your good time making their lawn perfect" people with money eat that kind of sh!t up. Make that flyer PRETTY, gloss finish full color professional style with your portrait. yes I know those are about $.50 a pop, but IT IS WORTH IT. They will pay you money relative to the respect and trust they have for you, not the size of your company.

The last person you want to work for is someone who wants it cheap, because in the end they will want it so cheap, they wont pay you.

aboveparlawnservices
01-09-2013, 06:11 PM
Find areas of town that are middle-high class and plaster them with flyers.

Ignore middle and low class areas.

Advertise being personable and secure with no wild crews just rushing the job.
"you take your good time making their lawn perfect" people with money eat that kind of sh!t up. Make that flyer PRETTY, gloss finish full color professional style with your portrait. yes I know those are about $.50 a pop, but IT IS WORTH IT. They will pay you money relative to the respect and trust they have for you, not the size of your company.

The last person you want to work for is someone who wants it cheap, because in the end they will want it so cheap, they wont pay you.

Nailed it!

SECTLANDSCAPING
01-09-2013, 08:50 PM
This post will help no one, Best thing I ever did was forget what my competition is charging and started pricing MY services and knowing MY cost.

Your right and wrong. Your right because you need to know your cost. It doesnt matter if so and so does it for $40 because it might cost you $30 to do it.

Your wrong because if your using the right equipment your cost per lawn is only a few bucks. In a way the more customers you have the lower cost per yard. I have a few yards that I charge a min $30 for and I do them in 5 minutes. Sure I could lower my price I'm making over $300 a hour but why? When everyone is that is legit is going to charge $25-$40.

bruces
01-09-2013, 10:51 PM
This post will help no one, Best thing I ever did was forget what my competition is charging and started pricing MY services and knowing MY cost.

your right and sorta wrong .Knowing your costs is the only way to properly bid ,but its also good to know what your competition is charging because its possible your leaving some cash on the table .If everyone else is $600.00 ,and your calculations have you around $400.00 ,wouldnt it be nice to know you can tack on a few extra bucks and still get the job if price becomes a concern with your customer .

Tricountylawn
01-10-2013, 03:48 AM
Suppose I assumed we all know our market bears. That said, I see prices for 15 to 50.00 for a small yard. I don't need to know what the 30 other company's are charging to know that Im not dropping that gate for less than 35.00.

And beyond that I am more expensive then a good amount of people I bid against so I suppose in some instances if I leave some money on the table I can still sleep at night (as I post this at 3am). haha.

LawnBoy0311
01-10-2013, 05:58 AM
This post will help no one, Best thing I ever did was forget what my competition is charging and started pricing MY services and knowing MY cost.

This is very true. But its always good to know what others are charging. This way you can compare to make sure your in line with what you should be.


For example: Because it's your first year, you wanted to look real bad ***. So you went out and bought everything top of the line. You also think that running all of your equipment with Mega Super Premium gas will make it last 10 years longer. You have your house payments and bills to make, and also your shop bills. You price out your costs and find out how much you have to charge as well as profit margins. You quote $65 on a lawn that your competition is charging for $45. Try convincing the customer why paying $20 extra a week with your service is a better deal. Or on the flip side....your friend is getting out of the business and gives you his equipment. It's not the best, but it gets the job done. You already have a truck to pull the trailer and your wife is still working her 100K a year job and can pay all the bills. You really have no overhead. You quote a customer $45 on a lawn while your competition is charging $65. Your walking away from extra profit every week!!


Know YOUR costs, but also know what they charge.

nice2weedu
01-10-2013, 11:41 AM
For what type of reasons if the work was turned down, would you keep their information and keep in contact with them and for which type of reasons wouldn't you?

Do you want a list? Or just the top ten? LOL. No really. Sometimes while working a job, a neighbor will ask for an estimate for work to be done. Then, before you can blink an eye, the neighbor is telling YOU, how much he will pay. And it's always so low that your actually paying them. But, I will give them a price for lawn service and I usually will get that. If I don't get either, Then I will send them a Holiday Card ( so they don't forget me). On the flip side of that. I have had to drop customers that were too far off the beating path, it didn't make financial sense to keep them on. I would find them a lawn service company closer to their area, However, by keeping the customers information, I was able to continue the lanscaping work for the same customer.

Steve
01-10-2013, 02:39 PM
Make that flyer PRETTY, gloss finish full color professional style with your portrait. yes I know those are about $.50 a pop, but IT IS WORTH IT.

This is an above average way to go and it looks good. Do you suggest any special way to distribute the flyers that is above average too? Or will just sticking them in a door work fine?

Or just the top ten?

Is there a top ten? I bet you have had a lot of interesting experiences with all this.