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View Full Version : Need customers ! What works?


jdc21320
05-05-2007, 09:58 AM
I am a start up business with no customers. I inserted over 500 flyers in newspaper boxes, house to house, in nice neighborhoods with a $10 coupon for first mowing along and a no obligation estimate. So far I've only heard back from 2 people. What is the typical response time and how many customers should I expect ?
What should be my next step in acquiring a customer base. Thanks for any advice.

Steve
05-05-2007, 09:26 PM
Hi jdc21320,

Welcome to our forum!

The typical response is like 1 to 2%.

Could we see what your flyer looked like? Maybe we could offer some suggestions?

Have you made yourself some business cards yet? If you haven't you should do that. Then hand them out to everyone you know. Network with the people you know first and work from there.

Also, do you have any history you could share with us about you and why you decided to start your business? Maybe we could come up with a unique marketing angle to make your company stand out from competitors.

tiedeman
05-06-2007, 02:37 AM
I would try business cards, go door to door and introduce yourself, hang up flyers and business cards in local businesses, put ads in local newspapers, make sure to get truck and/r trailer signage, doorhangers, and perhaps try doing some direct mail such as postcards or letters.

Sometimes the first couple of years may be slow until you establish a name for yourself

TigerTime
05-10-2007, 05:06 AM
I created flyers and went door to door. This is working for me right now. I just started this year and I already am looking to hire some help. The response that I have gotten has been great and word of mouth has really improved my business. The gopher team gave me some suggestions and I have used some of them and it really helped. Keep reading in this forum and I know that you will get soome real help. I know I have and my business is taking off.

Steve
05-10-2007, 06:12 AM
Quote[/b] ]I created flyers and went door to door. This is working for me right now
Did you talk to homeowners as you handed out the flyers or did you just put them in the door?

Any suggestions to other lcos as to the best way to do this and when is the best time?

tiedeman
05-10-2007, 05:15 PM
I very happy that everything is working out for you

turf rat
05-29-2007, 06:24 AM
We are getting ready to distribute about 300 door hangers in our neighborhood. We made them ourselves, so the cost of the hangers was around 10 dollars. So if we get one customer it will be worth it.

Steve
05-29-2007, 08:20 AM
Hi turf rat,

Could you show us what you created?

StartALawnCareBusiness
06-06-2007, 02:11 PM
Quote[/b] (jdc21320 @ May 05 2007,10:58)]So far I've only heard back from 2 people.

The first clients are the hardest to get.

What was the outcome of those two clients? *Did you get their business? *Now's the time to put "word-of-mouth" advertising to work. *Give those two customers fantastic service. *Ask them to tell their friends. *Don't offer discounts or any gimmicks, just say "I'm really trying to build up my business. *Will you please tell everyone you know about me?"

Ask them to mention you to their friends at church and work. *Maybe their family members need someone dependable. *

Knock on their neighbors' doors next time you do their lawn. *::Knock Knock:: *"I'm here doing your neighbor's lawn. *I would love to give you a free estimate on mowing your grass." *Be energetic and show enthusiasm...they won't turn you down. *Tell them you can do it right away since you have your equipment with you.

Post your flyer for us to see. Gopher is a master at flyer design and he will help you out.

Steve
06-07-2007, 12:30 PM
Quote[/b] ]Don't offer discounts or any gimmicks, just say "I'm really trying to build up my business. Will you please tell everyone you know about me?"

One of the fascinating things about business is you can get two opposite views on what you should do and both can work.

Keith I have heard both ways of this (offering discounts and not). What is your view on why it's not a good idea to offer discounts or gimmicks when trying to gain new customers?

StartALawnCareBusiness
06-07-2007, 01:04 PM
Hey, thanks for calling me out on that. I've heard it works, too, in certain situations and I've heard people have success in offering referral bonuses, senior discounts, etc.

My view comes from one particular incident. I had several customers in a subdivision. All yards basically the same...$30 jobs. One new, potential customer in that same subdivision said she couldn't pay $30 and asked for a senior discount. I said "Sure" and dropped her price by $5. Before long, every customer in that subdivision called with all kinds of excuses. "My Husband is a senior." "I'm disabled." "I'll be a senior in two years." "Blah. Blah. Blah."

From that point on, I decided that agreements with customers would be very neat and tidy. Estimating lawns is subjective enough without throwing added considerations into the mix.

I've seen on your flyer design that you like the $10 OFF Coupon. That's a great plan to get that initial call.

What other discounts have you found that work?

Steve
06-07-2007, 05:49 PM
Well off the top of my head I was thinking quite often we would see a free mow with a signed maintenance contract.

Promotions really need to be worded carefully so they can't be used outside their intended purpose. Also they should be used to gain new customer, but once you have them as customer, you are then giving away profit.

That's my take at least.

hawthornelawncare
01-12-2011, 01:26 AM
Hi turf rat,

Could you show us what you created?

Hi steve do you do any help with flyer design? ive been trying to create a good flyer with no luck. i can create basic flyers but im wanting something with alittle more kick to it

hawthornelawncare
01-12-2011, 01:29 AM
I have someone looking to barter service for some lawn care. The client says her husband does graphic design and marketing. How should i go about this. Being that graphic design and marketing cost alot more then lawn care. I dont want to feel that im doing so much lawn work for some design work. What would be best way to go into bartering services? If you have bartered your lawn services for other things please share your stories here on this post.

Steve
01-12-2011, 02:28 AM
Can you figure out how much you feel their graphic design services would be of value to you and then equal that value with one or multiple lawn mowings?

hawthornelawncare
01-13-2011, 02:27 AM
I am a start up business with no customers. I inserted over 500 flyers in newspaper boxes, house to house, in nice neighborhoods with a $10 coupon for first mowing along and a no obligation estimate. So far I've only heard back from 2 people. What is the typical response time and how many customers should I expect ?
What should be my next step in acquiring a customer base. Thanks for any advice.

welcome to the site and as others have said your responce is gonna be low. you will always put alot of flyers out but you will get a low responce. just dont get discuraged

Steve
01-14-2011, 01:14 AM
I look forwards to seeing your flyer when you get it completed!

irvinjr
01-23-2011, 04:24 PM
I had someone contact me for an estimate on there property they gave me there address n i look it up on the property appraisers web site i found out that the property is 50 x 140 = 7000 total square foot i charge $3 per thousand sq. ft. So i told her i could cut it for $20 Per Cut, $40 Bi Weekly, n $80 Monthly during the rainy season which is from July 1st - Oct 31st She agreed to the Per Cut n Bi Weekly but the Monthly she said was to much. My question is do u think that's to much ? What can i do to get her as a customer ? I am licensed n Insured n my business is registerd through the state of Florida. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank u !

Organic
01-23-2011, 05:35 PM
Bartering is good. I belong to atlanticbarter pm me for more info

jymie
01-23-2011, 06:22 PM
I had someone contact me for an estimate on there property they gave me there address n i look it up on the property appraisers web site i found out that the property is 50 x 140 = 7000 total square foot i charge $3 per thousand sq. ft. So i told her i could cut it for $20 Per Cut, $40 Bi Weekly, n $80 Monthly during the rainy season which is from July 1st - Oct 31st She agreed to the Per Cut n Bi Weekly but the Monthly she said was to much. My question is do u think that's to much ? What can i do to get her as a customer ? I am licensed n Insured n my business is registerd through the state of Florida. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank u !

So she is ok with $40 for bi-weekly cuts, but not ok with monthly $80 cut. Let me get out my calculater, 2 cuts in one month $40 x 2 = $80, so she will pay the $80 anyways....I would say to her $70 if its just one cut, explain it will take longer to clean up, grass will be taller and you will need to do more trimming etc...

Yard Elements
01-23-2011, 08:58 PM
$80 a month for 7000 Square feet is pretty cheap!

I do some small lawns for 35 per cut not a huge deal.

The best way to get cutomers I have found is, as they trickle in do a little extra for each client. Always do more than your paid for. if you bid your jobs right you will have time for this and it will build word of mouth fast. I have been busy all year so far and I am booked through feb.!. No snow here yet either. Just my take. I don't like gimmicks either, I like to keep it simple. They needed my services so they called, I provide them they pay me. A win, win. Has worked so far or me the first year was super slow, but now I have as much work as I need until I hire someone.

irvinjr
02-07-2011, 03:08 PM
So she is ok with $40 for bi-weekly cuts, but not ok with monthly $80 cut. Let me get out my calculater, 2 cuts in one month $40 x 2 = $80, so she will pay the $80 anyways....I would say to her $70 if its just one cut, explain it will take longer to clean up, grass will be taller and you will need to do more trimming etc... Hi ! Let me refraise that she agreed to $20 per cut but she only wants to get her lawn cut every two weeks from March - nov She's not interested in monthly service during the rainy season. How can i convince her other wise ?

Steve
02-09-2011, 08:27 AM
Some lawn care business owners will charge more for bi-weekly mowing because the grass is usually longer, which makes the job longer and put more wear and tear on the machines.

Is that something you could consider doing?