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 offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
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 offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
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 offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
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
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 05:56 PM
Today 11:56 AM
by achri12
15 3,096
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
Today 11:08 AM
by achri12
20 2,308
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
Today 10:53 AM
by Just for Cuts
8 176
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
Yesterday 10:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
16 478
Pics for website
tbtigers03
11-21-2014 05:40 PM
Yesterday 10:01 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 104
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
Yesterday 05:56 PM
by AGPS
9 274
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 12:45 PM
Yesterday 02:42 PM
by stevef1201
22 6,091
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
11-21-2014 09:48 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
174 13,951
Hello from Kentucky
TRV
09-30-2014 06:42 PM
11-21-2014 09:38 PM
by TRV
6 1,252
Contract or no contract?
TRV
11-20-2014 09:18 PM
11-21-2014 09:33 PM
by TRV
3 141
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
11-21-2014 08:02 PM
by stevef1201
4 303
Billboards for marketing
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-16-2014 08:39 PM
11-21-2014 07:05 PM
by acrajchel
13 359
Belt dealer problem
googus
11-21-2014 08:45 AM
11-21-2014 06:36 PM
by Steve
2 93
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
11-21-2014 06:32 PM
by Steve
7 198
How to: Use Thumbtack...
acrajchel
11-17-2014 06:39 PM
11-21-2014 06:07 PM
by acrajchel
15 457
What is going on with...
biglee
11-14-2014 03:04 PM
11-20-2014 02:50 PM
by biglee
40 914
My advice for new guys
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 09:32 AM
11-19-2014 01:47 PM
by biglee
10 468
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 02:23 PM
11-19-2014 12:39 PM
by acrajchel
28 1,829
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 10:19 PM
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
by acrajchel
14 1,427
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 05:14 PM
11-17-2014 07:34 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,175
sod job
SGlawncare
10-30-2014 09:21 PM
11-17-2014 07:10 PM
by acrajchel
7 739
Customer wants me to...
Mr. Mow
11-09-2014 07:13 AM
11-17-2014 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
10 508
Hello!
Brian3137
11-11-2014 07:15 PM
11-17-2014 06:46 PM
by acrajchel
14 451
small biz in Phoenix,AZ
anthonyramos1
11-08-2014 09:35 PM
11-17-2014 05:59 PM
by acrajchel
2 311
Client won't pay...
WesleySnips
10-30-2014 03:53 PM
11-17-2014 05:37 PM
by acrajchel
22 1,344
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
11-17-2014 12:59 PM
by Steve
2 235
Need help on deciding a...
Brian3137
11-10-2014 06:32 PM
11-17-2014 12:44 PM
by Steve
12 499
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 10:51 PM
11-16-2014 07:54 AM
by stevef1201
8 1,580
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 08:55 AM
11-15-2014 08:44 AM
by avetslawncare
14 1,686
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
11-13-2014 08:35 AM
by jrs.landscaping
81 31,798
The most dangerous part...
Steve
10-06-2014 03:45 PM
11-12-2014 05:05 PM
by stevef1201
14 1,656
A little hang up in snow...
stevef1201
11-08-2014 07:05 AM
11-12-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
4 408
Bi-weekly winter...
lxarth
11-04-2014 08:37 PM
11-12-2014 10:06 AM
by WesleySnips
9 605
taking first steps...
sizemorelawncare
11-10-2014 08:24 PM
11-11-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
1 304
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
11-11-2014 08:12 AM
by Just for Cuts
4 362
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 01:03 PM
11-11-2014 07:56 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 1,308
How the unregister?
alive101
11-04-2014 07:39 AM
11-10-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
4 585
Belt adjustment question
googus
11-05-2014 06:43 AM
11-10-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
5 497
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
11-10-2014 01:25 PM
by Steve
2 330
Podcast
Shark1611
11-07-2014 05:42 PM
11-10-2014 11:41 AM
by Steve
1 292
hi, from Minnesota
rjklohn
11-07-2014 02:21 AM
11-07-2014 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 305
New to snow plowing
SS.Lawncare
11-05-2014 04:00 PM
11-07-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
6 539
New Member
tonyap
11-05-2014 10:35 PM
11-07-2014 01:15 PM
by Steve
1 350
New to the business
jcurr33
11-05-2014 03:21 PM
11-07-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
1 403
Lines
Matther777
11-04-2014 02:19 PM
11-07-2014 12:54 PM
by Steve
1 440
hello, new to this site
tonyorwig
10-31-2014 10:49 PM
11-04-2014 02:24 PM
by tonyorwig
3 636
Aloha from Hawaii.
Gary R
11-02-2014 12:44 AM
11-03-2014 03:02 PM
by Steve
1 542
Pavers
crieg122
10-28-2014 03:49 PM
10-31-2014 01:49 PM
by Steve
6 853
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 02:59 PM
10-31-2014 12:56 PM
by Steve
5 1,170
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 10:19 PM
10-31-2014 10:53 AM
by Max Wagner
30 3,284
» Popular Tags
2wd 4wd apartment complex bark billy goat brushcutter charge christmas collections edging employee problems equipment rental exmark ferris first truck foreman georgia gopherhaul gravely hills holiday how much to charge husqvarna hydraulic jobs kawasaki labor cost landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lighting lighting brass outdoor lights managing a lawn care business marketing mowing mr dave mulch mulch price new business ordinance past due podcast push versus ride redmax savannah scag v-ride seo shreaded small engine repair starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business sulky toro tractor auger trailer trimmer rack truck new used landscape walk behind walker won't return wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:22 PM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:22 PM.

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