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  • Just started and looking for clients

    So I just started my business a few weeks ago and the only thing I need now are CUSTOMERS!! I've got two friends so far, but I definitely need more. My question is how do you get new clients? What worked best for you when you started and what is working best now? Thanks a lot.

    Ryan
    Cut-N-Edge Lawn Care

  • #2
    Hey FlipFlops:

    BTW, I hope you're not wearing flipflops to mow in. Did you see this recent report? Flip Flop Foot

    Tell us a bit more about your business. What type of lawn care customers are you going after? What is your 'comparative advantage' over your competitors?

    Think about this: The mowing season is beginning to wind down over much of the country. Now's the time to think about EOS (End-Of-Season) strategies. What sells this time of year? One is Leaf Raking...there are MANY more. Let's just say that leaf raking is your specialty for the next couple of months.

    Get out there and start advertising. (HINT: Ask Gopher to design you a flyer, he's a master)

    Maybe something like this:

    "Did you have a "FALL"ing out with your lawn care company?
    I won't LEAF you high and dry.
    Let me beautify you lawn today."

    Okay, I know that's kinda silly but you would be surprised how many guys have now gone back to school and decided they don't want to service their customers anymore. This is your prime opportunity to pick up tons of customers. Also, DON'T just sell them the leaf job. Sell them other jobs...overseeding, aerating, let them know that you will do a great job on their grass next year. Halloween is coming up and maybe they need help hanging those ghosts from their eaves and in their trees. Possibilities are endless this time of year.

    I think that NOW is a PRIME time for anyone wanting to get started with their lawn care business. I've always said this time of year is an excellent time to get started. Strengthen your business and build your customer list for the rest of this year and you will be miles ahead of your competition come spring time.

    Tell us more about your business and let us know how it goes.

    Keith
    Start a profitable lawn care business.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Keith. I'll make sure to only wear my sturdy pair of flip flops from now on.

      I live in south Louisiana so it's going to be pretty warm here until late December but I do like your idea about raking leaves and helping people with decorations for both Halloween and Christmas.

      My competitive advantage? Hmm... let me think. Other than the fact that I want my customers to be happy with the work I do and I'll be there on time and when I say I will be, I'm not sure what my competitive advantage is. I'm brand new. I'm using a push mower and an electric blower to start my business. I do have a decent weed eater though... haha. So, I don't have the best equipment out there but hopefully after I have 15 - 20 clients I will be able to afford a new mower.

      Another thing is, I'm not sure how I would charge leaf raking. Compared to mowing I would assume that it would actually take me longer to do, and I would think most people don't want to pay more money for there yard to be raked than for it to be mowed.

      How do I set myself apart from my competition and make a lot of money in the process? I know guys who knock out yards in 20 min because of the mower they have. I feel like I'll be losing money if I eventually get one of those mowers but I'm spending all my time raking leaves and making less money doing it.

      So, I know that's a lot, but you guys are all pros, right?? Help me out!

      Thanks,
      Ryan
      Cut-N-Edge Lawn Care

      Comment


      • #4
        hey flip flops
        I'm in southeast Louisiana too
        When I started , I marketed areas like uptown and areas closer to the city because there yards are smaller and didn't take long.
        Try marketing the areas around Loyola and Tulane university.
        Also I have lots of calls from those areas, i can recommend to you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Ryan:

          Comparative advantage is an old business school concept where you compare yourself on the basis of intangibles like quality and dependability instead of trying to compete on price or width of mower deck. You've identified a few of these comparisons already. Dependability and customer satisfaction are great selling features.

          You are wrong that people won't pay more for their lawn to be raked than for it to be mowed. They will pay much more. The multiplier depends on quantity of leaves and difficulty of the job. A great backpack blower is essential for leaf jobs. Your electric blower will be more a hindrance than a help.

          If you're worried about the size of your equipment, go after jobs other guys won't touch. Are there trailer parks or rows of duplexes close by? Large equipment won't work for those small yards. A push mower is ideal though. Do you think residents of trailer parks will not pay big bucks for lawn care? You are right, they won't. But, they will pay $10 to $15 each and you can knock out bunches of them in a day. This is just one example.

          Keith
          Start a profitable lawn care business.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks QuickClean. However, I live in Lafayette, LA so Tulane and Loyola are a little far from me.

            So Keith, how would you go about charging for raking and bagging leaves? Also, tell me about aeration. I've heard of it, but I'm not sure what it is or if I'm capable to do it.

            Also, I'm looking to purchase a ZTR mower within the next couple of months. I'd like to stay in the three thousand dollar range. I've heard good things about hustler but they're about six grand. Any recommendations?

            Comment


            • #7
              Save yourself some money and knock on doors. It works wonders.
              Northern California

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi flipflops01,

                What ever you have to work with, that's what you should always make out to be your competitive advantage. If you have to hand rake leaves because you don't have a gas powered leaf blower, then right there you got a competitive advantage.

                You say each lawn is hand raked. You market that you are meticulous. You are not like the big mow, blow and go companies. Each lawn gets your individual attention. Also if the home owner ever has a problem, when they call you they talk to you the owner. Not an assistant. Also, you are environmentally friendly. Gas blowers exhaust damaging gases into the atmosphere!

                See now you got all that going for you!
                - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                • #9
                  hey flipflops, have your tried craigslist to advertise ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have only used craigslist. i charge by the hour for raking and bagging i charge them for the bags they use plus hourly rate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Quote[/b] ]Save yourself some money and knock on doors. It works wonders.
                      I am going to start doing this soon. When I first started I didn't have the courage to and when I went to hand out flyers if the customer was outside I would skip their house.
                      I never really knew what to say. I'm comfortable talking to customers now though after a season of doing it. But I still don't want to knock on doors. Even though I'm going to have to.
                      What do you say when someone answers?
                      Besides introducing yourself.

                      How should the dialogue go?

                      Probably after I get a few out of the way I'll know what to say.
                      Rob
                      Green Image Lawn & Landscape

                      \"If you don't feel the same way about Friday nights as you do Sunday nights, then you are not doing the right thing.\"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just say " Hi I am Brandon Little. I own Little's Lawn & Landscape. I am in your neighborhood introducing myself and offering free estimates on work. Is there anything you would like me to look at today?" ****if no**** "Ok, well here is my card, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call." ****if yes**** "Id be happy to look at it and offer some advise."
                        Then look at the work they are interested in, find out exactly what it is they want done and tell them what you would charge. I have found that the longer you can talk to them, the more likely they will give you the job, so don't rush it. It is only tough the first couple of times. I have a lot of experience talking to customers, so for me it is real easy. Good luck!
                        Northern California

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                        • #13
                          What really worked for me, is setting up some yard signs around Stop signs, traffic Ligths in nice neiborhoods and the best was, on the exits of Wal-Mart or big supermarkets. Then give away your Business Cards, very important, this will look like you are serious in this business and profesional, (got some really cheap in a local print store, or you can go to vistaprint.com). Maybe you might not be so lucky cuz the cold season is around the corner, but I t really worked for me in the summer. Def. im doing it again next year.
                          Good Luck.

                          -CleanCut!-
                          .Fernando/CleanCut!.
                          36\" Scag Kohler 15Hp Walk-Behind
                          Toro Trimmer
                          Echo PE-200 Edger
                          Stihl BG 55 Blower

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                          • #14
                            Fernando,

                            Did you get any calls from the town at all about the signs being up? Was there any negative fallout from this?
                            - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                            Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                            • #15
                              What do you guys feel about those Grab a Tab flyers at the bulletin boards at grocery stores and such?? Any good templates on here for one?? I know this time of year is dead and a horrible time for me to be starting my business, but whatever it takes to get a few things going would be great. I see a few ads in the newspaper under services, theres a section for yard work, but I'm sure that's just too expensive. Any suggestions on what is the best method of advertising with the best results?

                              Thanks,

                              ANDY

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