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View Full Version : Picking up new customers this late


green-pa
06-11-2007, 08:35 PM
How many of u senior ( or more experienced ) LCO's have picked up considerable # of new customers at this point in the season? It's about 1/3-1/2 over here in IN I think. But I'm planning on getting a 36wb. That's going to cost me like $2500 or more I think. I'm wanting to know how hard it would be to at least get enough new customers this year to pay for that. I have about 25 weekly customers and 5-10 bi-weekly ones now. I think if I just got 3-4 more weekly's it would pay for the monster. I say monster because to me, the scag 36 wb I've been looking at is giant and super heavy compared to my small jd mower ow 21in. My 21 is like 97 lbs, but the scag 36 is about 470!!!

Grits
06-11-2007, 08:59 PM
I am in Florida. So it is quite a difference from Indiana. But I am consistently getting calls and picking up a few new customers. I think it can be done. Also, you could do a couple small landscape jobs and dang near pay that thing off.

Grits
06-11-2007, 08:59 PM
Double post. whoops

bohiaa
06-11-2007, 09:03 PM
dont get it untill there is a need.....

but to answer your Q.... Jsut last week I picked up 4 new customers...

it's gettign HOT now, and people are starting to think it's NOT that much money to pay a guy to cut the grass.....
Of corse that's the way it's going for me... I'm in Texas.....

to helo ya a bit,,,, I almost ordered a quick 36 Friday, and today I'm glad I didn't, I thought I would need it for this 1 new customer.... but it turned out just fine with my ZTR.....

I dont have many Regular lawns " 1/4 acer" a walker would speed me up a Little... But not enoulf to pay for it self NOW...... maybe next season....

try to hold off buddy, I know it's a PITA.... But like you said it's getting late in season for ya... and try to wait untill your customer base can support the price of a walker.

sildoc
06-11-2007, 10:28 PM
I usually pick up 5-10 new customers in july. It gets hot and every fly by night figures out mcdonalds is easier work with more pay. People go on vacation and I do a lot of one times that turn into many years.
I recommend putting the money away for next year and buy then. Keep building your customer base and lawns that warrant a 36"
I bought my 36" the second year in business and still use it daily. Love that machine and was my main machine till 3 days ago when I bought a 52"z. Ahhh life is wonderful.

Scagguy
06-11-2007, 11:27 PM
dont get it untill there is a need.....

but to answer your Q.... Jsut last week I picked up 4 new customers...

it's gettign HOT now, and people are starting to think it's NOT that much money to pay a guy to cut the grass.....
Of corse that's the way it's going for me... I'm in Texas.....

to helo ya a bit,,,, I almost ordered a quick 36 Friday, and today I'm glad I didn't, I thought I would need it for this 1 new customer.... but it turned out just fine with my ZTR.....

I dont have many Regular lawns " 1/4 acer" a walker would speed me up a Little... But not enoulf to pay for it self NOW...... maybe next season....

try to hold off buddy, I know it's a PITA.... But like you said it's getting late in season for ya... and try to wait untill your customer base can support the price of a walker.


Yep....I agree totally with that. Wait until you are dead sure you need it then buy it. Nothing worse than to buy something you THINK you need then turns out you didn't need it right then or worse yet you didn't need it at all. I picked up 5 new clients in the last 10 days. On one of them I sure wish that I had a 48" ZTR instead of my 36" Z. I know that I could use that mower on at least 4 other properties that I maintain. After thinking it over, I bought a velkie to use on my 36" Metro and train my helper on it. New 48" Scag is $6000. New velkie $225. The difference in productivity running a 36Z and 36WB with both of us weedeating and edging vs. buying the 48Z and my helper doing the weedeating and edging is yet to be determined, but I do know that right now I saved 6K by not buying the 48Z at this time.

green-pa
06-12-2007, 01:21 AM
I'm mixed about it now. Maybe I should just buy a pro 21 or 32 or snowblower/s for the winter. I think if I really start putting flyers out again or even knock on doors ( that need cut badly) then I could make enough extra to pay for the $2500-3500 machine. I think I'd need about 8-10 new customers to pay for it ( weekly ones). I'm just itchin' to try one cause I see most of the other guys with trailers and big wb's or z's and I'm with my 21. I'm thankful, but a 36wb would cut back a lot it seems on 1/2 my properties.

KTO Enterprises
06-12-2007, 09:19 AM
We finally just started getting some rain. More in the past 9 days than in the previous 9 weeks. Now that grass is starting to grow again, people that bought houses since november are starting to see a need for service, I have had more calls in the last 2 days that I had in any week time frame for the past couple of months

Prestige-Lawncare
06-12-2007, 09:56 AM
I'm mixed about it now. Maybe I should just buy a pro 21 or 32 or snowblower/s for the winter. I think if I really start putting flyers out again or even knock on doors ( that need cut badly) then I could make enough extra to pay for the $2500-3500 machine. I think I'd need about 8-10 new customers to pay for it ( weekly ones). I'm just itchin' to try one cause I see most of the other guys with trailers and big wb's or z's and I'm with my 21. I'm thankful, but a 36wb would cut back a lot it seems on 1/2 my properties.

I usually read all of your posts ... since we are both located in the same general area. What kind of got me though was how you mentioned that the season is almost 1/3 to 1/2 over. It's only the first week of June ... you can mow up till the first part of November, and then there are leaves too.

When it comes to your particular situation, I somewhat disagree with some of those who say to wait on buying a new mower. I know you started out with the JD homeowner mower from Lowe's .. so I see it as upgrading your equipment to commercial ... which is what you wanted, or needed to do ASAP.

Larger mower means more productivity, which means more work accomplished in a specific amount fo time. I have three friends who are in this business as well, and their schedules are full. One buddy is in his 2nd year, and I help him from time to time when his schedule gets to overwhelming for him because his son (who is supposed to help him all the time) decides he doesn't want to work.

** (You know ... (off your subject here) ... talking about his son not wanting to work ... I can remember lying about my age when I was 14 so I could get a job ... now-a-days people 25 - 30 yrs old don't want to work, and they still want to live at mom and dad's house! What's up with this?)

Anyway ... I say if the mower is a good deal .. I would go for it. The work is there ... and like I say ... your productivity will go up with the larger, better mower.

ThompSon
06-12-2007, 11:52 AM
I picked up 25 new customers yesterday and only been running for about 2 weeks or so

nobagger
06-12-2007, 12:46 PM
I dont know if I would say the season is 1/3-1/2 over...We usually mow til' November in NWPA. But we are still getting calls from people who's "guy" stopped showing up or just went out of business. We picked up 2 or 3 people in the last couple of weeks due to reasons stated above. Just keep advertising and see what you get. I had another lawn service give us 2 just this past week, one signed and the other has yet to call. Figures, the one yet to call is a 2 acre lake front property :laugh:

Pitbull05
06-12-2007, 01:05 PM
I am in NC, and the way I see it is the season never ends for work. There are plenty of things to be done in the (off months), leaves, gutters, and I even cut once a month in the off season, but this is for contract cutomers. There is plenty of money out there. Go get it!:walking: :walking:

green-pa
06-12-2007, 01:05 PM
I picked up 25 new customers yesterday and only been running for about 2 weeks or so

Let me get this straight...25 new customers....in one day!!!??? Did u buy someone out or something? How did this happen?

green-pa
06-12-2007, 01:09 PM
I am in NC, and the way I see it is the season never ends for work. There are plenty of things to be done in the (off months), leaves, gutters, and I even cut once a month in the off season, but this is for contract cutomers. There is plenty of money out there. Go get it!:walking: :walking:

I wish I could know if there was enough of this off season work ( Nov-March) to keep as much income as mowing/trimming. Probably not. But anyway> how much do u charge for gutter cleaning and how much for leaves? Do u just mulch/bag em with your mower or use a blower or rake? And does this leaf removal usually happen once, twice, or 3x between those months for each customer?

Pitbull05
06-12-2007, 01:21 PM
All prices are determined by the amount of work/time involved. When cleaning leaves I blow and rake, but disposal differs which changes the price. If I bag and remove it cost more, and I I can put them on the customers curb for trash pick up it is a Little less. There are so many variables in pricing it is hard to give you a figure. The frequency of leaf clean up depends on the customers yard. If I get a call for a one time it usually cost more, but most of my contracts are 12 months and either weekly or biweekly so this is normally covered in the contract and this goes for the gutter cleaning also. These are just services I offer and try to sell them to my customers in their contracts. Look into pressure washing. There are attachments for pressure washing that really make gutter cleaning easier the dragging a ladder around the house. (been there)

KTO Enterprises
06-12-2007, 01:30 PM
Same here. I contract biweekly 12 months a year. We are mostly centepede so weekly service over the summer would be bad for our lawns. Just have to bag excess clippings. Winter time leaves and whatever else I can do to make my self look busy.

Prestige-Lawncare
06-12-2007, 02:16 PM
I picked up 25 new customers yesterday and only been running for about 2 weeks or so

Twenty five (25) in ONE day? Unless you bought them off of someone, or took all of them over from someone ... I would say that is probably a record!

Either way ... Congrats!

Like I have said before ... it's never to late. The only way you lose is if you DON'T try to get new accounts. Like the old saying goes in sales ... you won't get the sell unless you ask for it!

sildoc
06-12-2007, 03:44 PM
I could pick up 25 in one day if I charged 10 bucks a lawn and picked up dog shirt also.

MeadowsLawnCare
06-12-2007, 04:37 PM
I could pick up 25 in one day if I charged 10 bucks a lawn and picked up dog shirt also.

LoL, around here i think i would have to charge $5 a week to get 25 in one day.

ThompSon
06-12-2007, 07:33 PM
man this guy that my dads know decided he cant work in the sun(because of heat stokes and what not) anymore so my dad was the first one to talk to huim about it so i got it but still need look at lawns and what not

MOWEMJEFF
06-12-2007, 07:50 PM
If your running a 21 inch homeowners I'd have bought the Scag yesterday. If your doing this in the long term and made a business plan or have taken business classes you would know not to plan for tomorrow, but 2-5 years in advance. Have you ever turned away a lawn cause it was too big to push? People have probably hesitated approaching you because you don't look professional enough. Go out and get the bigger mower, it will save you tons of time, go knock on the doors of people who need catch-up cuts and charge them up the a$$. The time saved will allow you to invest some more time into advertising and such. Go around to some of the local realators and give them your biz card, go to some LCOs and tell them that your taking on work if they are not. Theres plenty of large companies in my area that turn away work everyday because they have full scheduels, I approached a company that is stopping all mowing operations and strictly doing hardscaping and I picked up 10 accounts from them last week fo free. Buy the mower and find the work is my advice.

APV's Mowing
06-13-2007, 12:59 AM
ok wtf is a PITA???

sildoc
06-13-2007, 01:33 AM
ok wtf is a PITA???

pain in the a$$

green-pa
06-13-2007, 11:02 AM
If your running a 21 inch homeowners I'd have bought the Scag yesterday. If your doing this in the long term and made a business plan or have taken business classes you would know not to plan for tomorrow, but 2-5 years in advance. Have you ever turned away a lawn cause it was too big to push? People have probably hesitated approaching you because you don't look professional enough. Go out and get the bigger mower, it will save you tons of time, go knock on the doors of people who need catch-up cuts and charge them up the a$$. The time saved will allow you to invest some more time into advertising and such. Go around to some of the local realators and give them your biz card, go to some LCOs and tell them that your taking on work if they are not. Theres plenty of large companies in my area that turn away work everyday because they have full scheduels, I approached a company that is stopping all mowing operations and strictly doing hardscaping and I picked up 10 accounts from them last week fo free. Buy the mower and find the work is my advice.

THanks Jeff for the advice. I'm going to look at those scags again and see how they run. I wonder if the mower joints sell any trailers on the side? I don't think I'm going to try and use my truck bed for a 470 lb wb. The Ramps cost about $100 anyway I think. So I may as well find a trailer. Even if it's only a 5x8. At least that will last me thru this season and then I could trade it in for a 6x10 or 6x12 next year ( or sell it if need be). I'm just hoping that like u say, with the extra time I'll save, be able to pick up 5-10 more weekly customers which would close to if not totally pay the beast off by winter so I'm not working my butt off in the cold trying to pay for it also along with all my other bills.

APV's Mowing
06-17-2007, 03:08 AM
ooo wow ok im dumb haha thanx man

Novaowner
06-17-2007, 07:29 AM
I am in NC, and the way I see it is the season never ends for work. There are plenty of things to be done in the (off months), leaves, gutters, and I even cut once a month in the off season, but this is for contract cutomers. There is plenty of money out there. Go get it!:walking: :walking:

I was at Fayettenam for 13 years! When I left in 03, Hay St. was getting pretty well cleaned up, and families were actually walking there on Saturday evenings. I'll bet it's even better now.

Are there many LCO's there now? When I was there, there didn't seem to be too many operating, but then again I may just not have noticed.

Grits
06-17-2007, 01:31 PM
I picked up 4 lawns this week and am going to estimate one today.

RutledgeLawnCare,NC
06-17-2007, 02:10 PM
sent out 100 flyers ...1 quote in 4 days