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Is too late to get customers now?


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  #1  
Old 06-10-2010, 12:18 AM
Ace's Lawn Care Ace's Lawn Care is offline
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Default Is too late to get customers now?

Hi, I just started a little lawn care company and was wondering if it was too late to get customers being that it is late in the season. I alreadly have the fyler and business cards made I just didnt know if it would be worth it to start this year or the next. Please gave me some advice on what to do; I really want to succedd with this business!
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:42 AM
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Default Why wait till next year

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Your focus should be going around and seeing where the yards look like they need to be mowed. Solicit those properties. I'll be willing to bet you will get some of them. Every first year is always slow, the second year gets better and each year will increase. Let this year be your slow year. Show the ones you get this year the quality you'll provide and you will get referals to help increase next year. It's important to establish a presence. Get your name out there. The sooner you do that the better. Get your company name listed on google maps. Get a website up for your business. The customers you do get, put flyers to homes around them to increase the geographical area. Do this more than once. Once a month is usually good. When doing a yard if you see a neighbor out, stop to introduce yourself, make small talk, become friendly with them and down the line they may use you for business. Be sure to get magnets for your truck and shirts to advertise your business.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace's Lawn Care View Post
Hi, I just started a little lawn care company and was wondering if it was too late to get customers being that it is late in the season. I alreadly have the fyler and business cards made I just didnt know if it would be worth it to start this year or the next. Please gave me some advice on what to do; I really want to succedd with this business!
Thank You
No way, money in your pocket is just that. I gave a bid out this spring and got under cut by $10. The client called back last night and asked if i would still take on her lawn. YOU bet i said it money in the bank.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:16 PM
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I think that is a very important point.

No matter when you get started, there will always be other business out there messing up jobs or quitting mid season and home owners looking for someone new to service their property.

Why not get started today! There is no better time than the present to get started.

Keep us posted on what goes on.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:19 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
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It's not too late. I just got a new lawn customer today for the season and one last week on and off. The full-time customer could no longer mow his lawn due to physical reasons. and the other one is in and out of town so often that she has me mow it when she is away..

It's never too late. Service Magic has been working for me. Got those two leads from them and landed both jobs. I've been landing landscaping jobs thru them too. Check it out, maybe it can work for you too.

Craigslist helps a lot for me as well.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Service Magic has been working for me.
How long have you been using them now? What's your view on how that marketing compares with other kinds you have experimented with?
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:41 PM
Ace's Lawn Care Ace's Lawn Care is offline
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Thumbs up servicemagic?

Thanks for the advice, I sent the fylers out today. Hopefully I get a call but regardless as of now I have 5 customers and the goal is to have around 20 before snow blowing season. I did want to know if any of yous where using service magic and if so, how much does it cost. I am just going to work like a fanatic to build my customer base up. Good Luck to all fellow landscapers, may the lawn be green and their pockets greener!!!
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:58 PM
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You would nto beleive the number of Customers I have gotten because "this guy just quit showing up, I've called and called and get nothing." My advice is Start, show up when you say you will, call back anybody who calls, just as soon as possible. AND SHOW UP EVERY TIME. you will be amazed at how many people will call you. Alos advertise in the pennysave, it's low cost, everybody gets one and you will get calls. Signs, signs are also good advertising, put them up at corners, stop signs, anywhere that people will stop for a minute while driving.
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:06 PM
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Steve, do you use that marketing angle in your marketing? That you show up when you say you will?
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:01 AM
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Absolutely not.

Just today I bid on a lake property. The owner's son mowed the grass but more often than not, the family pitched in and their lake property for weekend get-a-ways had become their lake property for weekend work. After they accepted my bid I asked them about their residence. It was a similar scenario and soon both properties were under a year contract. They also own two office buildings in town so there is potential for future work.

I should add that my website mixed with craigslist is what got me on site. She actually told me that she chose to contact me over all the other ads on craigslist because I had a website and there she saw I am insured. Security was a concern. If you need help/direction with a website, PM me.

Another thing to consider is that mid summer some (not all!) LCOs get a little lazy/"comfortable" and service begins to slide. I agree with the above poster in recommending you look for ill-kept properties first. On the way home from the estimates above, we stopped to fill up the tanks and the newish station's grass was looking bad... mowed trash... no debris clearing... so I inquired and will be returning for a bid tomorrow with the manager. Asst Manager was there and happy to recommend new service.

Point is... and another forum member said it... cash in your pocket, mid season, is still money on the books and you have to start somewhere. Do good work and you will be prime for next spring when all the low-baller operations start knocking on doors.

I do recommend getting contract or service agreements in place for 365 days of service so you know you have the property till at least mid season next year helping to avoid some of the early season price cutters.

One positive note about taking on new clients mid season when their property is in disarray, is that more than likely they are ready to pay a slight premium to have quality service.

Most of all I recommend you be vigilant in providing service (great service) when you say you will. Steve is spot on there. And this IS part of my marketing pitch. This business is about reputation and quality service. Once you build it, you don't have to compete as much with everyone else with a push mower and you can demand your price.

Pitfall to avoid: (residential) properties who's owners typically service and due to summer activities and the heat, let their lawn slide. Basically you work hard to bring their property back to a decent condition then they cancel service and pick back up mowing. This happened to me recently... thankfully I charged the first cut premium so it was not too bad. The property was suspect but came on referral so I took her word. Again, providing a service agreement can avoid some of this. I can see upgrading/buying new equipment and then being left without the property for guys starting out.

It just depends on how you choose to run your business. I try to avoid this scenario because I limit my total clients and it makes it hard to manage business growth in terms of hired help/equipment/scheduling.


My .02 for free.

Good luck! It sounds like you will do well.
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