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View Full Version : Phenomenal growth


FrankenScagMachines
01-15-2004, 02:19 PM
I often read on here of guys that got 20 or 40 customers in just a couple weeksí time. I can see 20, but 40? Whats the secret to this great growth? Iíd like to have about 25-30 more residentials in addition to what I have, if theyíre the same size as what I have anyway (larger ones need less of) or the equivalent amount of work in commercial properties. I could go bid like crazy on commercials and bid low since I have no living expense but I prefer not to do that method! I like my residentials fine just need lots more of them. How do you all do this? Whats the best way to grow quickly? I donít wanna start crews or anything, just want to have enough to need to turn down work or hire a helper.
Thanks.
Eric

bobbygedd
01-15-2004, 03:48 PM
i often wonder myself how one can get 20-40 new clients in a season. i do alot of estimates each year, and land very few. i do know a guy though, that got 135 accounts in just one year. but, his average mow was $18, and he went under the following year. it seems to me if you are charging a good rate(not too cheap) it will take alot longer to grow

olderthandirt
01-15-2004, 03:55 PM
BS alot

FrankenScagMachines
01-15-2004, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by olderthandirt
BS alot
:p kind of what I thought. I have gotten around 20 new customers last year (03) but it took more than a couple weeks and at the end of the year I only had about 10 or 12 of them left. Several moved or quit for reasons not related to my business. My fliers did not have a great response and the weather was not good (cold and windy) right up to the time the grass took off, by the time I figured out my fliers weren't working well I put ad in paper, that worked pretty decent considering the ad was later than the grass growth and no time & labor to use that method of advertising.

olderthandirt
01-15-2004, 04:19 PM
Eric don't worry about how many you do it does not matter! I would rather do one job for $100 than ten jobs for $10 its still adds up to the same amount and the person thats willing to pay the $100 is gonna get the best job money can buy they won't complain and they won't want to drop me becuase I'm making enough $ that I can spend a little extra time to make everything just perfect before I leave.

Mac

FrankenScagMachines
01-15-2004, 04:24 PM
True, but I just want more work either way ;)

DLCS
01-15-2004, 04:32 PM
Seems like alot of it has to do with price. We had a guy here put flyers in the newspapers, most residential lawns $15.00 . You would see this guy everywhere but funny thing is the following year he dissapeared. I guess it just seems to me that if you grow to quickly more than likely your too cheap. I'm sure there are certain circumstances that would differ.

freepoint15
01-15-2004, 04:49 PM
Best method of acquiring new customers for me has been through the use of doorhangers.Not only are they very afforable-they also allow you to target desired nieghborhoods.Grouping lawns as close together as possible is key.Do not under sell yourself with low bids-not only will you make little money,but also wear yourself out.Goodluck.

BigEd
01-15-2004, 06:07 PM
My first year I had around 40 accounts, but I live in a pretty well populated area and the surrounding area is well populated.Every year I run paper adds and put out door hangers(5,000).I have right around 85 accounts now, this is my 4 year in business.I think it depends on the population of your area.

FrankenScagMachines
01-15-2004, 06:09 PM
Ok my town is 39,000 people and almost 70,000 in the county. Whats my potential?

yourlawnguy
01-15-2004, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by FrankenScagMachines
Ok my town is 39,000 people and almost 70,000 in the county. Whats my potential?
Whats the average income? Do these people have time to mow it themselves? Can they afford to pay someone to do it? Are they retired with money in the bank and too old to take care of it themselves? These are some of the variables you have to look at. Remember every market is different. You need white collar professionals who don't have time to mow their own lawn. Or elderly people with money to spend. If people have the time and energy to do it themselves then they don't need you.

FrankenScagMachines
01-15-2004, 06:56 PM
Eric,
I realize that. We have all kinds literally. Pretty diverse community. Incomes I do not know. We have several big factories though and offices, doctors, stores, etc.

yourlawnguy
01-15-2004, 07:17 PM
You need to figure out how to make yourself stand out against your competition, find your niche and make yourself visible.
Do you have any deed restricted gated communities? If you do these are good places to target as they are usually more picky about the appearance of their lawns and can afford you. These are also the kind of areas where if you get one you will probably get the neighbors as well.
Remember make yourself known and network with other service companies in your area.

hoagie
01-15-2004, 07:47 PM
Some thing I've found works awesome... and I always get the price that I want.

When I do happen to land a new account (referal, friend of a friend, ect), first thing I do is introduce myself to the neighbors and sort of shoot the craap a bit... be friendly.

"Hi, I'm Hoagie, very nice to meet you. I'll be maintaining Mr. Burkes property this season, so you'll probably be seeing us here quite a bit. If you ever have a have a problem, a question, or need any help w/ something feel free to c'mon over and ask me or one of the guys". Then something like "So how about those Pats!" Or something that particular person seems like they will be able to relate to.

My helper is a real talker, and a joker too (some times too much) so people love him.

Alot of guys couldn't be bothered w/ socializing, but it's worked out well. I see it as a time investment in the company... and I enjoy it quite a bit also.

People love to do business w/ someone they like and feel as though they can trust. Usually if I don't get the neighbors account in a week or two, they end up calling me next season.

burnandreturn
01-15-2004, 09:00 PM
I live in a gated community just north of Dallas, TX. Pretty high end place. Know most of the board members, some real well!!

I was thinking since I'm gonna go full time this year maybe some graft, extortion, lean on the property owners or their dues go up sort of thing. I have to put to use all that stuff I watch on TV. Small community politics. Thaught I'd have a couple of big guys go door to door wearing black suits and sunglasses with contracts.................haha

pjslawncare/landscap
01-15-2004, 09:21 PM
When I still worked at my old job these two guys wanted to start mowing(one was a little dumb & the other a little lazy) and they asked me what method I use for advertising. I mentioned that I use flyers and target areas I want. Well, they decided to print up 2000 fliers and included"your yard $15.00" on every one of them:rolleyes: . After putting every one out on every size yard they were bragging about how many customers they got so quickly. Now it was march and they didnt even have a mower yet :eek: . They made a trip to the dealer and purchased a used Snapper commercial 21" and the second day out they hit a metal pipe and bent the crank :mad: . Then they bought a 36" wb and tapped themselves out with blowers, trimmers and a trailer. I saw them every where till mid summer when one quit. I ended up with a few of there customers they were charging $15 for I charge $30. They had customers pritty mad becouse they just stopped showing up. I remember the one guy latter telling me "I dont know how you do it and make any money":(
Just sort of a funny story :D :D :D :D

Aleman
01-15-2004, 09:25 PM
I think it depends where you are. The guy that I work with went from ten accounts to over 80 in less than a year, and hes not low balling. Most of his work comes form word of mouth..We get in a neighborhood, do a good job and the next thing you know we are doing 5 or 6 on the same street.

MudslinginFX4
01-15-2004, 09:28 PM
It it were that easy to pick up contracts so many people wouldn't be going out of business year after year, oh and also people wouldn't be asking the question that is being asked in this forum of how to get yards, they would just come floating to us.

DennisF
01-15-2004, 10:20 PM
The quickest way to increase the number of accounts you service is through word of mouth advertising. The only thing that sets you apart from any other LCO is the quality of your work. Look at it this way...anyone can cut grass, but it takes a dedicated professional to manicure a lawn. The LCO that can manicure a lawn and can make that lawn stand out from the other lawns around it will be the LCO that everyone wants. I can't emphasize enough the importance of the quality of your work and the effect that it has on getting new accounts. Believe me if you provide quality service that is competively priced... you won't have to look for new accounts. They'll find you.

nelbuts
01-15-2004, 10:38 PM
This brings back memories.

When I came to my area in 1986 houses were going up everywhere. All you had to do was put an ad in the local paper and you would get 15-20 calls per day. You could lad about half if you wanted. Only thing there though was that you had to be the first one there to give your estimate. Cause who ever got there first would get the job did not matter what the bid was.

Now we have building everywhere. I place no ads now. Don't need the problems.

Kelly's Landscaping
01-15-2004, 11:11 PM
Some BS, some low ball, but not all some worked for long periods of time for other landscapers and knew what they were getting into. If you take the time to plan out your entire year before you even begin then your in much better shape then the guy that says tomorrow I'm gona buy me a mower and be a business. I think if you have an idea what things are really gona cost you then you go in knowing what you need to get for jobs and are a lot more motivated then some one that doesnít know what their doing.

Eric I got 65 lawns this season itís my first season in business for myself I donít low ball and I didnít BS you. Iím 33 and have been doing this professionally since I was 18 years old so when I do talk to my customers I come across as actually knowing what Iím doing. You can do hundreds of estimates but if you cant close them then you wont grow very fast. We did some aggressive advertising this season both newspaper and direct mailings and thatís what it took to get the calls this coming spring my goal is 150-200 new accounts. One other nice thing about having been in the trade for 15 years is I have personally trained a hundred employees and many have become foremen so getting them, as I need them isnít the scary nightmare it is for many.

Something to consider though is my advertising budget for this year is 10k when your where you want to be you donít need to advertise when your growing you do.

mowinmoney
01-16-2004, 12:18 AM
Networks are the key, word of mouth in small towns will go a lot farther than any advertising campaign. If you can get a couple highly credible customers and provide quality work word will spread. May take a couple years, but it works.

TotalCareSolutions
01-16-2004, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by Kelly's Landscaping


Eric I got 65 lawns this season itís my first season in business . We did some aggressive advertising this season both newspaper and direct mailings and thatís what it took

Looks like newspaper and direct mailings worked for this fella up in Conneticut....guess thats your answer.

Whats your average $visit? Are these clusters?

Phishook
01-16-2004, 02:07 AM
I'm in the same boat you are eric. I need business fast.

I hate to say it, but your age might slow you down a bit. "quoting" a news show from who knows where, but the average american prefers an adult to do business with. And guess when the Average American thinks you become an adult?
27, not 18 like the law says.

BTW BHB, sorry I didn't give ya a price for that. Have no idea what would be fair. Got something to trade?

Ron Greenwood Jr
01-16-2004, 03:45 AM
Very possible to get 40 or so lawns try having your local paper insert ads for you. You know like the ads that come out on Sunday. you can send like 25 thousand for like $1000 worked awesome for me cheap too, oh ya you can choose the area you want to send them.

FrankenScagMachines
01-16-2004, 05:40 AM
Thanks everyone.

Phishook, Sorry forgot to reply i'll go PM you now.

Ron Greenwood JR, I wanted to do that this year too. What was your response rate on those? What time of year did you run them (March? April?) and how many times did they run? I was really interested in that method! Thanks!
Eric

Kelly's Landscaping
01-16-2004, 12:36 PM
Ok TotalCareSolutions here you go ummmm I got a lot of pairs a few triples and one cluster of 10 lawns on a single street. Average price is $30 half my list is over $30 per cut a lot of $40-45s and one is $110 per cut. Then I have the beach fronts that are $10-25s and they happen to be the most profitable lawns I cut I do 8-10 lawns per hour in that area and no only 2 lawns are at $10 and they are the size of my trailer.

Tbarchaser
01-17-2004, 12:13 AM
Eric,
I told you how to get more work than you can handle!
PERSISTENCE!!!!!!!!!!! Works for me,
Just like dating if ya ask enough ya get some!