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-   -   New to the biz-slow start (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=17199)

berryjam 08-17-2012 01:53 PM

New to the biz-slow start
 
Hi, I'm looking for some advise on getting new lawn accounts? Got a late start in the season and have picked up a handful but thought I would have had more by now. Tried flyers...nothing! Does anyone out there think buying accounts is good and what are they worth? Any help out there would be awesome, thanks!

Hedgemaster 08-17-2012 02:01 PM

Where do you live? Is it rural, or are you in/near a large city?


I don't know how the rural guys do it - gotta be tough. Here in the city, there's always someone looking for service. Craigslist may not be the most desirable place to advertise, but if you need work, you need work.

berryjam 08-17-2012 04:13 PM

I live in the rural and it's brutal.

xandrew245x 08-18-2012 06:06 AM

I live in a rural area, but its in between two nice sided cities. There are a lot of upscale housing developments around here, I even see a lot of the people living around me having their grass cut by someone else. In fact 3/4 of my neighbors that my property borders have someone else mow their grass. One has a relative do it, and she already declined my service offer, the other one has a company do it and she said she might switch at the end of the season, and my other neighbor just hired someone :mad:

Hedgemaster 08-18-2012 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xandrew245x (Post 114557)
I live in a rural area, but its in between two nice sided cities. There are a lot of upscale housing developments around here, I even see a lot of the people living around me having their grass cut by someone else. In fact 3/4 of my neighbors that my property borders have someone else mow their grass. One has a relative do it, and she already declined my service offer, the other one has a company do it and she said she might switch at the end of the season, and my other neighbor just hired someone :mad:


Mowing for neighbors that you know can sometimes cause "friction".

I don't mind if it's someone nearby, but I've decided not to work for any immediate neighbors.

xandrew245x 08-18-2012 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hedgemaster (Post 114560)
Mowing for neighbors that you know can sometimes cause "friction".

I don't mind if it's someone nearby, but I've decided not to work for any immediate neighbors.

I could see that being a problem if I actually new my neighbors. That was the first time I ever talked to any of them!:p

PVMS 08-18-2012 08:09 PM

Flyers work, you just need to put out enough at the right time of year. Look at other ways to get your foot in the door for mowing, like weeding, pruning and cleanups.
Get to know other local contractors by asking to give them a hand for a day, and you will be suprised at how much excess work will come your way.
A large portion of my work comes from other contractors.
Most importantly,...study direct response marketing before you write your next flyer.
A simple list of your services with a phone number is weak advertising and a waste of time. Use a bold offer, open to everyone for a limited time.

Sprinkler Buddy 08-19-2012 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by berryjam (Post 114522)
Hi, I'm looking for some advise on getting new lawn accounts? Got a late start in the season and have picked up a handful but thought I would have had more by now. Tried flyers...nothing! Does anyone out there think buying accounts is good and what are they worth? Any help out there would be awesome, thanks!

Buying accounts, Bad Idea in my opinion. Hang in there, it will grow. Your lucky to have a hand full when getting a late start in the season. Word of mouth will grow your business, it often happens slowly but it doesn't cost you a dime in the meantime. Lawn services are a dime a dozen in our current economy, everyone trying to make a quick buck. Sooner or later your preferred customers will find you if your in it for the long hall. I use an inclosed trailer which has my company info. If you don't have that, advertise on your vehicle, don't forget your back window, that's most visible.

Spend advertising dollars where they will give you the best ROI in the long run. Good Luck! :-)

LawnBoy0311 08-19-2012 11:18 AM

Here goes my answer...hopefully it will help you.

It's late in the season. The hotter weather has cooled down, and school starts again soon. The family vacations have stopped and people are now back into the "end of summer routine". The ones who have a service are probably not looking to change, mostly because they will finish the year with their current lawn care company. BUT, its not all bad news. Offer some fall clean ups...planting, mulch, shrub/hedge trimming, weeding, etc. This will help get your name out there, and keep you in mind for next year. Keep putting your name out there...if they don't know you have a company, they won't call.

I use craigslist a lot for advertising. It's done wonders for me, but it depends on how you use it. Make your ad different. Go on craigslist and go to the subtitle "Services" lawn + garden. You'll see exactly what I'm talking about when making it different. Using titles like Lawn Mowing, Lawn Care, Professional Lawn Care Service, Hire Me For Lawn Care...those won't have a big impact for you. Make a creative title thats different, something no one else is using. For example- "The grass COULD be greener on the other side". Its different and curiousity will get them to click on it. Make your ad work for you!! Many people say craigslist has "tire kickers", they have something in their ad that makes them attract these tire kickers. In your ad include:
-What you do (Any services you provide)
-Who you service (townhouses or multi million dollar homes?)
-Your service area
-Include free quotes if you do them
-Website & contact info

Every few days, log into your craigslist account and make sure you repost your listing. Make as many listings as you can too! Best times to post: 7am and 8pm. 7am is because usually people are just getting up or getting to work. 8pm because they relax for the night.

Thats my secret to craigslist, it works. It's all about the title of your ad and the info in your ad. Good luck and keep advertising! This year may be slow, but next year could turn out amazing...get your name out there!

xandrew245x 08-20-2012 09:21 AM

I am going to try something different and out of the ordinary for advertising. Usps offers a service called every door direct. For a pretty cheap price you can pick a mail route, targeting certain areas to mail too. You just take your mailing material to them, appropriately bundled and labeled, and they will print the addresses and drop them off at the route you choose.

I plan on sending a letter telling potential customers about my business, and what services I offer. I am also going to include a business card, referral coupons and special offers. I don't know how well it will work, but its way cheaper than postcards, and I feel you can send them way more information.


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Read more about these lawn care business marketing categories.
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GopherHaul, Podcast
How to Estimate - Services To Offer:
Aeration, Apartment / Condo, bed edging, Color Change Plantings, Dethatching, Edging, Fall Leaf Cleanups, Foreclosed Homes, Gutter Cleaning, Hardscaping, Hedge Trimming, Home Safety Inspection, Irrigation, Landscape Project, Lawn Mower Repair, Mowing, Mulch Jobs, Outdoor decoration, Parking Lot Cleanups, Pet Waste Removal, Pressure Washing, Property Management, Snow plowing, Stump Grinding, Tree Removal
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Lawn Care Business Books:
Lawn Care Customers:
Buying customers, Commercial Customers, Customer Retention, How to get, Residential Customers
Lawn Care Employees:
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lawn care equipment:
bed edger, Lawn Care Truck, Leaf Sweeper, Mower, New Arrival, Trailer, UltraVac
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Seasonal Promotion Ideas:
4th of July, Armed Forces Day, Christmas, Election Day, Fall, Halloween, Memorial Day, Spring, Summer, Valentine's Day, Veteran's Day, Winter:
Software:
Estimation Software, Landscaper Software, Landscaping Business Software, Landscaping Estimate Software, Landscaping Software, Lawn Care Business Software, Lawn Care Estimating Software, Lawn Care Software, Mowing Software
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