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-   -   Where my customers @? (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=17278)

Columbianalawns 08-29-2012 05:14 PM

Where my customers @?
 
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 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Columbianalawns (Post 115102)
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 09:54 PM

20 is not bad at all for your first year.

CHEESE2009 08-30-2012 03:20 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 12:56 PM

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 04:54 PM

If I had 20 clients right now I would be very very happy.

stevef1201 08-30-2012 06:19 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 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevef1201 (Post 115164)
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 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CHEESE2009 (Post 115132)
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 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaz (Post 115201)
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.


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