Am I doing something wrong?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Turf Professionals Inc., Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    I have been advertising since March. Flyers, Newspaper, Yellow Pages (which has not come out yet), door knockers, business cards, yet I am not even working 10 hours a week!. I am currently working a full time job, but I want to be full time in my business. I feel like, I could do more if I was working on my business full time instead of someone elses. I need a lot more work for that to happen though. I have not gotten a phone call in two weeks for new work! What am I doing wrong? I know it is not my work. I have been doing this off and on since I was 16. I opened my own company because this is the only thing that I have any knowledge about and I am tired of making money for some one else. Was it this slow in your first season? I just really had high hopes and it is not working the way I wanted. This late in the game, I know I cannot quite my full time job this season. Does it get any better the 2nd season. I keep hearing how so many are backed up! There is a local that has passed me some business. I would not even have the accounts that I have without him. Any advice would be helpful.
     
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    there's Jsut no way to 2nd Guess the public,,,,,

    sounds like you got your ads out kind of late
     
  3. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    I started at the same time as you. I don't have any good news for ya. I'm in about the same boat. I got four new customers last week and I'm home early today because I lost two of them today:drinkup: First one was "just moved in", way overgrown/thin/weedy, but they agreed to weekly service to get the yard going, paid cash for the first week in advance so I set the irrigation system (works better when 'On') and cut last week. Today I pull up and Mrs. comes out to say they don't want it cut this week they'll call;) I say that's fine but now that it is growing if it's overgrown it will cost a LOT more.

    #2 wanted EOW while her husband is deployed. If that's as often as the grass needs to be mowed that's fine. I triple-cut her seriously overgrown centipede last week at a great discount while suspecting there is no way this irrigated daily lawn will go EOW. Today it's on my route so I stop to see and sure enough it's at 5" and climbing. I tell her either $40 a week or $60 EOW, she'll think about it and let me know.

    I went for 2 weeks with hardly any calls and then got 10 plus requests to bid 2 condos in one week. The calls come from the craziest places. I have an ad in the little town weekly and get a few from that. I have cards all over the place and one po-dunk restaurant gets me at least 2/mo. Monday I went to drop off a check for an ad in the "Mom's Club" newsletter and that lady hired me. I don't really know what a Mom's Club is but I get more business from that then the paper.

    When my door hangers get here I can at least fill in the idle hours walking those around. And hope to get a couple late season folks to pay for the cost.

    Keep doing what you are doing and do what Bohiaa says; "Talk to everyone about grass. They either have some or know someone who does."

    In the meantime keep your chin up and don't give up the day job.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    Thanks for the replies guys. Thanks for the motivation! I just want it so bad I can taste the dang grass in my mouth and I can feel the dust in my eyes!
     
  5. greenpepper

    greenpepper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    That's exactly what I'm doing...Keep advertising and keep talking about grass!! Everyone has a yard that needs cut...a lot of people don't have time to cut grass, or their time is worth more doing something else. This is my first year and I don't have a single account. I just started this week, I'm part-time but I do have a license and I'm fully insured! I'm not quitting my day job just yet but I'm thinking spring '08 will be the time to make the leap. I have to say I'm encouraged by the feedback I've received from the people I've told about my venture and I've had several leads but nothing concrete! Push...Push...Push!!! I'm back out this weekend handing out another 500 flyers! Business cards all over the place...*kung fu chops towards crotch*

    Hang in there brother, we'll get there...

    I should post pics of my equip!
     
  6. mx315

    mx315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    I took over a company in March and took it kind of slow for the first two months just to make sure we didn't get too busy, but June and July have been really good. No advertising... just word of mouth and calling everyone I know to tell them I had a new business. I sat down last night and made a list of people I could call and was on the phone today calling business owners and GM's that I know, to let them know about my new business. I learned a long time ago in the auto industry that you can never be afraid to ask for someone's business. One phone call to a guy that used to be a bartender, that's now a commercial real estate agent, turned into five commercial maintenance accounts and one install for a new office building. Call anybody you can think of or start calling in favors.
     
  7. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    What do your ad''s look like? Are they attractive to your target market?
     
  8. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    Is it dry there or something? Seems like you would have more by now. My first full time season was good & have done better each year... not much growth this year due to early season drought.... Don't give up , just keep advertising in the places it works & stop the ads that do not pay you back enough. Also get to know people.... the more you know the more u grow. Also tell people u do know that u are looking for new accounts. They may not know until you tell them. Good luck
     
  9. sancho_man_orlando

    sancho_man_orlando LawnSite Member
    Posts: 216

    I picked up 5 new customers yesterday and about other 15 new ones in the past 2 months.

    $32 a month in my church bulletin
    $250 large trailer sign 4 ft x 3 ft
    $150 labor to pass out flyers
    $35 fee to copy & cut flyers @ office supply store
    $100 vinyl lettering on both doors of my pick up truck

    Next on list, new t shirts, more flyers, vinyl letter the sides of my truck bed, business cards.
     
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    HOA newletters are nice to advertise in...and cheap too, anywhere from $5-$20 a month. I used to list all these services and stuff but found it's more effective to target the hot sellers. In March..."Mulch and lawn cleanup. Call 555-5555" April...LAWN MOWING... Oct/Nov...LEAF REMOVAL

    Like echandia said, what do your ads look like? You want to catch people's attention. Don't put your company name as the header. Nobody know who you are, nor do they care. You don't have the brand recognition of McDonald's yet.
     

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