i have to agree this is the wrong time of year to look for customers, but you might get a few who are tired of mowing or tired of who they hired.
i started in march by knocking on doors. mostly just yards that needed mowing. for the first month or so i was averaging a YES for every 20-25 knocks... not too bad, although most of those did not turn out to be clients. some had broken mowers, some were under doctors orders to take it easy, etc... but some did stick and are still clients today.
by the time May arrived almost everyone who was hiring was already in bed with someone and my 1 job per 20 knocks went out the window.
my method was business cards and a personal knock and talk.
i already have plans for this winter. i plan to hit every business i can. i am also gonna build and implement a website in the off season.
then come February i plan on mailing out flyers and start knocking on doors again. along with running a craigslist ad and ads in the small town's newspapers that i service.
i currently have about 17 accts and wanna grow that big time, so i plan on a combination of the above to gain more clients..
oh and word of mouth can go a long way. i have gained several clients through referrals. in fact, i just got off the phone with a guy who hired me for a 1 time shot. he used to be in the business and knows a lot of people in his gated community. he asked me for extra business cards and promised to talk me up to his friends and neighbors...