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View Full Version : How easy will it be to get 40 weekly accounts?


T.Brandon
10-11-2008, 02:22 AM
My goals for the 09 season to have atleast 40 WEEKLY accounts (With yearly contracts) and I will have insurance can anyone give me advise and pointers on how to draw customers and any others. Do you think 40 accounts will be easy to come by?
Thanks,
Todd

Puddle of Oil
10-11-2008, 05:37 PM
in my area, heck no, dont count on getting 40 lawns in one year cuz it wont happen. the best you can do is advertise and do a good job on all your lawns. how many lawns do you have so far? how many years in the business?

KrayzKajun
10-11-2008, 05:47 PM
not easy at all!! takes time and marketing

TXNSLighting
10-11-2008, 07:50 PM
I had 43 by my second year. So it depends on how hard you work and how your work looks.

PTP
10-11-2008, 07:57 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=95391

It can be done.

RickR1818
10-11-2008, 09:33 PM
I wouldnt count on it next season. The economy is going to get worse before it gets better

T.Brandon
10-11-2008, 09:44 PM
Yes and Ask One Krazye Kajun he should know down here in Louisiana in our part every corner is a lawn truck so I think give 110% all the time and work on wheeling and dealing with customers

dnltractor
10-11-2008, 10:44 PM
Amen to that brother , everywhere I look I see someone pulling a rig ... you gonna have to do it the old fashioned way , EARN IT , one yard done perfect at a time and pray for referrals and advertise like heck , I don't have one but I know a bunch of people who say the yellow pages will definitely get you at least 1 or 2 calls a week , I may run an ad next spring I've been in business for 5 years now and I still only have about 12 real solid accounts and the rest are all pay per cuts here and their , but I do a lot more than just cut grass , I also run a tractor and tree service and do some landscaping as well , between it all I have work pretty steady , but it didn't come easy and I won't let it go easy either , I take care of my customers like my livelyhood depended on it , know what I mean verne ...... good luck

T.Brandon
10-12-2008, 12:19 AM
DNl tractor,
How much is it to advertise and add in the yellow pages? Now that you said that its given me an idea! But yes and alot of theses ''COMPANIES'' doesn't have no type of insurance nor license. I will have both for next season. Hows work for you up there in Garyville?

KrayzKajun
10-12-2008, 12:24 AM
im down to 25 good customers!!

T.Brandon
10-12-2008, 12:26 AM
Yeah how much are you averaging a week, and what size are you yards?

T.Brandon
10-12-2008, 12:30 AM
One Krayzee Kajun, To give you a heads up on your website on the main page you are missing the ''R'' in debris. Just to let you know!

topsites
10-12-2008, 03:46 AM
not easy at all!! takes time and marketing

Ain't that the truth, I'm in my 7th year F/T and I don't have nowhere near 40 weekly accounts, not even close.

DNl tractor,
How much is it to advertise and add in the yellow pages? Now that you said that its given me an idea! But yes and alot of theses ''COMPANIES'' doesn't have no type of insurance nor license. I will have both for next season. Hows work for you up there in Garyville?

Thousands.
For 1-2 calls a week.
If you get that many.

And I hate to agree with the rest of the guys because I am afraid
they are right about next year it's going to be even worse.

Then you still have to do a real good job for super cheap :cry:

dnltractor
10-12-2008, 10:37 AM
I think you can run a year long add for around 500.00 a year in the phone book . I plan on doing that , also you may wanna check with some of the big guys in your area , they have em in every town because alot of them don't like to do the resedentials and turn them away , you could probably set up a referral deal with them , like tell em to refer all resedential work your way and you'll give them 5% of the top or something like that , after time and building a relationship they will probably not even want the 5% and just start referring it to you for nothing when they see your work and know your good , remember no one really likes referring someone else cause its a reflection of them , its all about relationships and proving yourself in this business if your gonna make it and survive among the vultures who are running and gunning around town with no license , no insurance and pulling in a buttload of work doing it dirt cheap and driving the market down , and alot of them do take pride in their work and do it just as good as you and me but for sometimes half of what we can do it for , because they simply don't have the expenses we have , I am mainly referring to the typical teenager pulling a rig w/ mom and dads truck and equipment , with virtualluy no overhead and everything is profit , thats our biggest downfall in our area , when you go look at the typical 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre size lot and use the general 1.00 a minute rule for bidding and you bid say 60.00 bucks for this size yard and they look at you like your nuts , cause they're are tons of teenagers riding around doing it just as good as you for say 30 to 35 a cut its hard to build solid clientel , you just gotta do your best , always smile , shake hands and go the extra mile let people know you genuinely care about them , their yard etc. build that solid relationship and they'll stay with you , but if your business philosophy is mow , blow and go and count my dough , unless your doing it as my competition is I just described you wont make it ... I hope this helps , anyone else wanna chime in feel free ...Oh and as far as what I average a week , that depends on what time of year it is and how often I'm cutting right now I am making it off tree work and tractor work only cutting every 2 weeks right now , as the grass has slown down alot I quess I average around 300.00 a week off of grass but mind you I do alot more than just cut grass , grass is about 1/3 of my business , but again that figure changes from week to week

topsites
10-12-2008, 03:51 PM
and survive among the vultures who are running and gunning around town with no license , no insurance and pulling in a buttload of work doing it dirt cheap and driving the market down , and alot of them do take pride in their work and do it just as good as you and me but for sometimes half of what we can do it for , because they simply don't have the expenses we have , I am mainly referring to the typical teenager pulling a rig w/ mom and dads truck and equipment

No offense but the load of rich spoiled kids quoting outrageous amounts and then doing substandard work isn't helping either,
just because they have met all the legal requirements doesn't mean they need to get twice what I quote yet do half the job!

Case in point, I saw a 9 thousand square foot lot core aerated the other day.
The person who did it used a tow-behind unit which is just the lazy way of doing it
but that I don't mind except the tines are spaced twice as far apart so it only plugs half the holes!
Fine, all right, and the front looked all right but in the back they only made like two maybe three
passes the entire back yard had HUGE sections of completely untouched turf!
What are these guys quoting, 60-70 and 80, even 100 dollars for this $#!7!!!
Geez, what a rip!

Meanwhile...
I core aerate an acre lot with a walk-behind, and I'm not saying I never miss a nook of a spot but you'd be hard pressed to find
any sizeable area that I did not cover. Takes me 1.5 hours of HARD work, I get 90 bucks for that.

So what are folks quoting for Core aerating 43,560 square feet, 120 minimum but more like 150 to two hundred I'd be willing to say.
Wouldn't be so bad but then they just hop on their riding mower and zoom through there, don't even bother to look
behind themselves and even if they DID do a good job in terms of coverage they still only plugged HALF the holes!

Oddly enough I'm also thinking of youngsters pulling around the truck and trailer with all the shiny stuff mom and dad paid for.

T.Brandon
10-12-2008, 04:41 PM
Yeah, I'm selling my old truck my dad is out of town and being that I don't feel like paying a ton of interest on a truck hes taking me to fiance and 08 f-250 lariat crew cab, I have a new 7x14 trailer that I paid for and my equipment is mine also,But when I do the few lawns I have now I go the extra mile and to please them some times I may get tipped every now and then.I'm going to try my hardest next year even thought its going to only get tougher for us lawn guys, I will spend as much needed on advertisement

dnltractor
10-12-2008, 08:16 PM
keep doing it right brandon , and you'll be around for as long as you want to be , way to go on your upgrade to an f 250 ... my next one will probably be a diesel also you may wanna get an older f 250 w/ the 7.3 , I have 2 friends that both work for verison wireless as field engineers and got 08 f 250s w/ the 6.0 and they get terrible mileage because of the regen feature , neither of them can get better than 13.5 per gal and they dont tow anything , their old trucks w/ the 7.3 rigged the same way got 17 to 19 average , just a thought the market is flooded with used ones right now , you could get a way better deal on a used one . You may see me in marrero form time to time , I am doing sub work for a friend from out in st bernard parish , around aimes and lapalco intersection 07 white reg cab dodge dually w/ red lettering on the door , if you see me stop and chat , would love to meet ya , take care

T.Brandon
10-12-2008, 08:54 PM
No problem man will do! If you ever get caught in a bond or can't make it let me know!

dnltractor
10-12-2008, 09:18 PM
10-4 If you want pm me and give me your cell number and I will add you to my address book and if I can't make it out their I may give ya a call

Shuter
10-12-2008, 10:00 PM
Very easy, just buy my company. 50 accounts.

T.Brandon
10-12-2008, 10:53 PM
Shutter,
Your a little to far away lol.

But yes definitely low ballers and the " local lawn cares" are hurting us who is Licensed and insured and giving it 110% into every yard we do and not just want a pay check.I'm young but I love seeing a beautiful finished product and also seeing a smile on my customers faces! That's my motivation

jonhumphries
10-13-2008, 08:04 AM
Within my first year in business, I had 40 new accounts when everyone else was moaning because business was so slow and they couldn't add any. You have to hit the street and talk to people...and then when you get the opportunity, do excellent work. Put out flyers and even do free work for your friends if you have to. You cannot beat word of mouth business. At this point, I've cut back to about 30 "good" accounts. ie...they pay on time and aren't jerks, lots of extra stuff, yearly contracts, etc. I'd rather have 30 to 40 good ones than 100 I had to haggle with.

Good luck. If you hustle, no problem. If you drive around waiting for the phone to ring, get a night job.

T.Brandon
10-13-2008, 08:26 AM
Man no doubt about it I hustle very hard and defintely not scared of work.I bust my ass on all my yards (perfection is the key, not speed) I rather spend and extra 5 mins doing it right than zooming throught it you know.But deff for 09 I dont care what I have to do I will have 30-40 + accounts. Do you guys think insurance is a large factor in our business, Meaning do we gain more yards by having insurance?

dnltractor
10-13-2008, 11:23 AM
definitley get insurance , its crazy not to carry it . I carry 1 mil liability 50,000 on my equipment and it runs around 1800.00 a year for both but you can get less for less some friends of mine who only cut grass carry 100,000 general liablility and its around 500.00

greenbaylawns
10-13-2008, 12:16 PM
8th year in and have 65 mowing accts and do 50 to 55 every week. I set a goal this year to mow mon thru fri and don't go home until I hit $300 for the day. Saturdays are only for a rain day or all the bushes and tree's ect. that my customers need done also. Sundays I don't work. I also have 40 5 step granular fertilizing customers that gets done in between everything mentioned above. Hard work, yes but it's worth it

BigGreen1
10-13-2008, 02:01 PM
T. Brandon,

I've had limited success with yard signs. The big bang for my buck has been
the local paper. Now I'm not talking big papers I'm talking the small area papers.
I have everything set up with the paper beforehand. The week before it first warms up have it put in there. When the weather finally breaks people go "holy sh*t we need to get someone for the yard". Last year I was looking to pick up around 6 more yards. I called Friday, the add came out the next Wednesday and by Friday(2 days) I called the paper and told them to get that add out of there. You usually need a five week commitment. It was $54 per week. I would run it every week for the first three then every other for two or three weeks. The adds were 4 by 4.5. Go big it needs to be seen. PM me if you want to talk more. It was the damnest thing I've ever seen.

Tim

American_Lawn
10-15-2008, 04:27 PM
This winter, if I dont have any work to do, I plan on spending time helping around the community. I will be getting my truck painted and lettered, you wont miss it. Also, go buy about 5-6 polo's and put your name on them and wear them everywhere you go. FREE ADVERTISMENT. I have about 60,000 people in a 10-15 mile radius that I can advertise to next year. I have two crews for the mowing and one for flower beds. I will be out doing bids and running the office. I will atleast mail out 30k. If I dont land 50 accounts out of that, then this industry is doomed. Do whatever you can to get your name out. I plan on getting my truck done once things slow down in the next few weeks. I am sure I will get calls from that. My goal next year is atleast 100 weekly accounts. I dont care if they are jerks or not, not all of them can be perfect. As long as they pay ontime and they are happy with our work, its a success in my book.

accuratelawn
10-15-2008, 06:38 PM
40 in one year can be done.

Advertise and WORD OF MOUTH.

My first year I got 10 lawns from a newspaper ad. I did them on my only day off from my full time job. Pass out your card to all neighboring lawns. I earned a couple more from WOM that first year.

Watch for commercial equipment for sale and ask if they are gettin out of the business. Try to get some accounts that way.

Let you currrent customer know you do commercial accounts also. I picked up a $175 mow this season that way.

Keep your ears open for guys getting out. Buy their accounts. I purchased 43 accounts with some equipment (crap) for $5300. He financed it. Shortly after he moved on, I asked if he would discount the note if I paid it off early.
He did at 40%.

Pay a reward to exsisting customer for referals.

Work evenings and weekends for better visibility in residentail areas.

Earn new accounts by providing great service.......not a cheap price. You will loose all the tightwads quickly to the next lowballer.

It takes time, but it's worth it. I now have 105 great accounts.

tradeyouraccounts
10-16-2008, 01:00 AM
Give good incentives for referrals like a % off a month’s service with any customer that refers another.

P.Services
10-16-2008, 01:08 AM
i think 40 is a doable number. i only have 30 my first year and only did fliers by myself for 2 days. next spring im going to devote $10k to gaining at least 120 residental accounts to keep one two man crew busy and i would also like to obtain 5 or so large apartment complexes or condo's to keep a 4 person crew busy.

T.Brandon
10-16-2008, 06:59 PM
Sounds like you have a huge game plan for the 09 season!

capnsac
10-17-2008, 03:00 AM
No offense but the load of rich spoiled kids quoting outrageous amounts and then doing substandard work isn't helping either,
just because they have met all the legal requirements doesn't mean they need to get twice what I quote yet do half the job!

Case in point, I saw a 9 thousand square foot lot core aerated the other day.
The person who did it used a tow-behind unit which is just the lazy way of doing it
but that I don't mind except the tines are spaced twice as far apart so it only plugs half the holes!
Fine, all right, and the front looked all right but in the back they only made like two maybe three
passes the entire back yard had HUGE sections of completely untouched turf!
What are these guys quoting, 60-70 and 80, even 100 dollars for this $#!7!!!
Geez, what a rip!

Meanwhile...
I core aerate an acre lot with a walk-behind, and I'm not saying I never miss a nook of a spot but you'd be hard pressed to find
any sizeable area that I did not cover. Takes me 1.5 hours of HARD work, I get 90 bucks for that.

So what are folks quoting for Core aerating 43,560 square feet, 120 minimum but more like 150 to two hundred I'd be willing to say.
Wouldn't be so bad but then they just hop on their riding mower and zoom through there, don't even bother to look
behind themselves and even if they DID do a good job in terms of coverage they still only plugged HALF the holes!

Oddly enough I'm also thinking of youngsters pulling around the truck and trailer with all the shiny stuff mom and dad paid for.

For my area, quoting 6.50 per 1000sq/ft is the going rate. So that property would have been worth around $260 to you.

T.Brandon
10-17-2008, 09:20 AM
You aren't lying I see them every where all my yards a extremly competitive and You may pay more or less but not knowing the service youll get is diffrent!