Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > General Business Discussions

General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Getting Commercial accounts


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 02-17-2005, 04:36 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,807
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

This article was put together thanks to Richard Murphy of Landmark Design LTD, Matt Ruesch of Matthew’s Lawn Service, Mark Witcher of Specialty Lawn Care, Andrew Harrigan of NV Lawn Specialists, Dan J. of Mastercare Lawnscape, and Jason Hisch, the president of ************* Turf Mgt. Inc.. Thank you for all your insight.

Getting Commercial accounts without commercial references



When you know that property is out for tender, bid on it and show interest, let them know a five year plan, and how you can improve the current landscape, even just by implementing a weed control and fertilizing program.

Property managers don't rely on experience (most of the time) they want someone that can adapt to their ways. *You might be working for the property manager, but they are working for hundreds of people, at just one address.”

Matt Ruesch of Matthew’s Lawn Service suggested to get your start with small commercial properties. “If you have any friends, relatives that work at a small commercial building see if you can get some kind of reference to do the job. I was also asked about references from commercial properties when all I had was residential. I told them I have been doing it for a while, worked for other companies servicing commercial, and have just started out on my own. Gave them the choice to sign a two week agreement so they can get a feel for the kind of work I do before being committed to a full year. Take pictures of bigger residential jobs and show them to potential commercial jobs. I guess just sell yourself, show confidence that you can perform good quality work.”

Mark Witcher of Specialty Lawn Care said “From my own experience I have found that most larger clients want someone with a proven background in large properties. As stated by others, you need to start with the smaller commercial properties and build a client base and resume. My company specializes in large retail complexes and apartment complexes now. But we didn’t start there. We first did banks, restaurants, retail stores and similar sites that were under 1 acre in size. You just can’t expect an owner to hand over a contract for services worth $30,000 or higher to someone who has never done anything larger than a $50 lawn cut. They want to be sure that the contractor will have the experience, manpower and equipment to handle a job of this size. We all have to start at the bottom and work our way up.”

Andrew Harrigan of NV Lawn Specialists “And to expand on what Mark said, you can get your foot in the door with the "low-end" commercials by knowing your residential customers a bit. Odds are you have customers on their HOA board, customers that are in decision-making roles at their jobs, customers that are also business owners. If you let them know you're looking to get into the commercial market, they might be more than happy to give you a shot.”

Dan J. of Mastercare Lawnscape located in Shelby Twp., MI added ”Not trying to be redundant, but start smaller first has been the advice. How do you do that?

1. Networking. This is a scary term for some, but it means that you use every contact you can think of to get a job! If you have friends or family, you have a job that's yours for the asking. My brother works in the offices of a machine shop. I just asked him to see if his boss would accept a bid. Now I'm cutting the lawn. Who cuts the grass where your family works? Are they part of a HOA? Kid brother who waits tables at a local restaurant? The guy who cuts your hair? The gas station near your house? Does your accountant have an office building? Your dentist? The list is endless. IF you start writing a list of contacts you know, and where they work (small places are best) you'll come up with an impressive list of opportunities. Very few small companies will turn down the offer for you to submit a bid. What do they have to lose?

2. Once you get a handful of these jobs and prove yourself. Contact the decision-maker and ask if they've been happy with their service. I assume the answer will be yes. Then all you need to do is thank them for their business and ask if it'd be okay to list them as a reference. Why would anyone say no? Now you have experience and references.

3. Now you go into an industrial park with tons of small businesses. Some small, some large. Send a letter addressed to "maintenance dept." Even if they don't have one, they'll get it to the right person. Simply send them a letter describing your company and services. Tell them you'll be in the area next season, and may I submit a bid. Put a tear-off on the letter where they can answer "Yes, please submit a bid....and give a place for name and phone." And, put the box there for them to check off "No, we're not interested in looking for a better service provider at this time." Most people like me hate cold calling. You'll get plenty of people willing to accept a bid. It might cost you a few bucks in postage (I would include return envelope). But, lawn care is usually last on the business owners mind. Don't ask for a phone conversation or face to face quite yet. They have other things to attend to. The letter is not an "in your face sales pitch" and leaves an opportunity to say no. People will be interested from your letter, and they'll give you a name and number to call. This prevents you from wasting time getting by secretaries, and harassing people who don't want to talk. There's plenty of work out there....go after those who want to talk with you!”

Jason Hisch, the president of ************* Turf Mgt. Inc., told us “In order to sell large commercial accounts or what we call (HVCP) meaning Highly Visible Commercial Properties. First, you need a photo on a postcard displaying your equipment line (fleet of mowing equipment) along with your employee's and a bit of info about your company. Second, you need to follow up and follow up. Touch base and re-touch base. (litter the city with your signs) Don’t be afraid to continue to call upon them year after year. It usually takes six times of talking with someone before they are willing to meet with you. Third, know your stuff, meaning your Industry. Just a little bit of Turf grass knowledge will put you leaps and bounds above the common competitor. Lastly, become full service, these type of clients need someone with extensive knowledge in areas of sprinkler systems, lawn Care, shrubbery work, and Lawn maintenance and snow plowing. If you don’t or can’t provide these services get there, because if these clients are your hope for the future then you need the above skills. Also, I disagree about working your way up through the ranks. Yes, that is the common place, but Lebron James's exist in Lawn Care also.”

Wow! Now that is some amazingly insightful information for those who are making the jump from servicing residential properties to commercial. By taking this powerful information from these business owners in the know, you can get your company to break out of this catch-22. Good luck to you and let us know if this article helped. Remember, you can make it happen. Dream it, build it, Gopher it!
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 02-22-2005, 09:31 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,807
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
There was an error in our article. Jason Hisch is the President of Greenskeeper not (*************) Turf Mgt. Inc..

Very sorry about that Jason.
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-11-2005, 09:10 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,807
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Great News! This article was published in the April 2005 edition of Irrigation & Green Industry Magazine.

Thanks to all the forum members who helped in creating this article.

__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Help Spread the word...
Sprinkler Buddy
12-02-2015 08:41 AM
Today 11:15 AM
by Greg_TopYardServices
12 1,162
back surgery
Bradcook21
01-28-2016 08:51 PM
Yesterday 08:04 PM
by Chilehead
12 292
hello all
romanlandscape
01-29-2016 03:46 PM
Yesterday 10:20 AM
by Bradcook21
6 185
Finding open bids?!?
C&DPropertyManagement
Yesterday 01:48 AM
Yesterday 01:48 AM
by C&DPropertyManagement
0 47
Lawn Care Book Ranked #1
Steve
02-06-2016 12:36 AM
02-06-2016 12:36 AM
by Steve
0 72
Hi
Sellers Lawn Care
02-02-2016 01:48 PM
02-05-2016 08:03 AM
by Sellers Lawn Care
4 143
Collecting payments from...
Niagara Mowing
02-03-2016 05:21 PM
02-05-2016 08:00 AM
by Niagara Mowing
7 195
SMS assist? The good,...
jcurr33
01-27-2016 10:24 PM
02-04-2016 11:53 PM
by Steve
5 216
I need some help...
Anise
02-04-2016 01:39 PM
02-04-2016 11:51 PM
by Steve
3 108
Customers dodging the...
Rocky
11-06-2015 06:22 AM
02-04-2016 03:41 AM
by C&DPropertyManagement
7 1,471
Offering a "Trial"...
wybut076
02-01-2016 06:27 PM
02-03-2016 08:26 PM
by Just for Cuts
7 228
Iowa Caucus Predictions?
Steve
02-01-2016 06:31 PM
02-03-2016 12:40 AM
by Steve
1 89
Laying White River Rock
DiamondLawnCare
02-01-2016 08:27 PM
02-03-2016 12:17 AM
by Steve
1 106
Networking for a...
jcurr33
01-30-2016 09:26 PM
02-01-2016 06:27 PM
by Steve
4 178
Customer giving a 1099?
apmAkron
01-27-2016 07:22 PM
01-31-2016 08:55 PM
by Chilehead
6 243
happy to be here
redrobin
01-29-2016 10:45 AM
01-31-2016 08:44 PM
by Steve
1 127
Thought's on an "E-Z...
jcurr33
01-27-2016 10:48 PM
01-31-2016 08:38 PM
by Steve
4 206
Changes
Knaubone
01-30-2016 10:56 PM
01-31-2016 08:31 PM
by Steve
1 113
Thoughts on this Exmark...
googus
01-28-2016 04:24 PM
01-28-2016 08:09 PM
by Chilehead
1 137
1st year in
jcurr33
10-18-2015 05:07 PM
01-28-2016 07:49 PM
by Chilehead
6 4,129
Need opinion on zero...
Mr. Mow
01-24-2016 05:42 PM
01-28-2016 07:41 PM
by Chilehead
10 348
Opinion on liquid vs...
Bradcook21
01-25-2016 02:03 PM
01-28-2016 07:38 PM
by Chilehead
9 296
Finding property size
Gageslawncare
01-25-2016 11:08 AM
01-28-2016 12:05 PM
by Gageslawncare
10 302
Tiger TG 2661 Commercial...
lawnman1959
01-25-2016 08:12 PM
01-27-2016 07:57 PM
by Just for Cuts
5 232
Spouse as a dependent?
Steve
01-26-2016 01:51 AM
01-27-2016 10:44 AM
by Chilehead
3 191
Hello All
C&DPropertyManagement
01-23-2016 12:21 PM
01-26-2016 01:24 AM
by Steve
1 172
Credit Cards - What's in...
Shark1611
06-16-2015 04:04 PM
01-23-2016 03:43 PM
by C&DPropertyManagement
17 7,668
Start My Own Business?
mowandblow1980
01-12-2016 08:43 PM
01-19-2016 07:00 PM
by Steve
12 620
State of the nation 2016.
Steve
01-12-2016 12:05 AM
01-19-2016 06:57 PM
by Steve
6 368
little help? first big...
Brian3137
12-31-2015 12:39 PM
01-19-2016 06:54 PM
by Steve
23 1,062
Hi everybody...
Greg_TopYardServices
01-14-2016 08:10 AM
01-19-2016 02:47 PM
by SC93
12 445
What's your next...
Steve
05-15-2015 12:54 PM
01-17-2016 08:48 PM
by Homeland unlimited
25 7,911
Plow controller problems
scaypa
01-12-2016 05:49 PM
01-16-2016 10:46 AM
by scaypa
4 283
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 12:18 PM
01-15-2016 07:23 PM
by tannerduncan
1,244 428,024
Pricing issue
Mr. Mow
07-07-2015 07:15 AM
01-15-2016 11:20 AM
by djlandscaping06
23 5,387
New College Course
Dr. D
01-14-2016 01:45 PM
01-14-2016 05:35 PM
by Steve
1 203
Yelp
Shark1611
01-13-2016 10:00 AM
01-14-2016 05:32 PM
by Steve
4 259
New to the forum from...
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:23 PM
01-14-2016 08:34 AM
by Doug Green
2 236
Facebook advertising
Just for Cuts
12-13-2015 08:49 AM
01-13-2016 10:20 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 904
Choosing local business
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:29 PM
01-13-2016 06:12 PM
by Steve
2 396
4 Seasons Landscaping LLC
Doug Green
01-12-2016 12:56 PM
01-12-2016 12:59 PM
by Doug Green
1 256
2016 business goals
OxfordOS
01-09-2016 04:19 PM
01-12-2016 08:36 AM
by mowandblow1980
15 550
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:32 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:32 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy