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buying accounts vs marketing: which is best at what time?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cjermaine30, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    there are a ton of varables involved. when a contract is written. it may or may NOT state "when or if the company is sold" in the lawn business, I would say this was left out.

    And your right, you will have to spend time with the customers, again. this is TIME. also something I left out. when purchaseing anything in the Business field. " YES EVEN CUSTOMERS" check to see if there is DEBT. DEBT IS TRANSFURABLE........ what if a customer has PREPAID. for the year ?

    when it comes to TIME. Mine is at 125.00 Per hour. it's impossable to get any from ME. sales people think it's RUDE for me to NOT give them TIME. it's the oppisit..... IT"S VERY RUDE FOR ANYONE TO WANT ANY OF MY TIME....
    excuse me sir, may I have 15 minutes of your time.??? WHAT ARE YOU MADDD.....

    time with customers should be cherrished... there giveing you there time and vice versa....

    long and short of it....you will have to work 150% harder than the last guy, to keep these purchased customers..
    when you NEED to be getting your name out there.

    Watch THIS..... " OLDEST TRICK IN BOOK" and YES I do it.

    lets say you call your comptishion.

    you tell him, hey I over booked myself, would you go cut this lawn for me, I'll pay you what's It's bidded out for......?

    He says YES. you bid it out at 60.00, you pay him 40.00 YOU pockett 20.00
    Now what you have done is keep him Busy, he CANT get more or NEW customers, His time is taken...

    NOW you keep doing this, at the same time, your building your name larger and larger, your keeping him busy, he's using his equipemnt, there's NOTHING FOR YOU TO DO. But get the customers. and pockett money.

    he's busy running YOUR ROUTES... the customer has YOU as a contaic. NOT HIM

    IT'S WIN, WIN, WIN for YOU.

    next thing you know, the only name the entire town knows is YOURS.


    oldest trick in book...

    Best of luck to you
  2. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Posts: 309

    If you have been reading books about marketing why would you ever think about buying accounts with no experience. Have you ever heard of the phrase "circle of influence" or "loss leader".

    Circle of Influence:Go thru your blackberry and call every person you know and tell them you are starting a lawn business. That means call "EVERYONE"! Your lawyer, dentist, priest, daycare provider, lady at the gas station, every single person you talk to is a potential customer. That can easily turn 3...

    Loss Leader:Mow your parents place(or whoever) few buck to cover gas. Then you talk to neighbors while you are mowing, then you can possibly turn 2 to 3 on the same block. 1st few yards give them a deal....1 always turns into 2 or 3. Once people start seeing you on the same block at the same house at the same time every week. People start asking and talking.

    Circle of influence usually can turn up at least 8 accounts within a few weeks....you have to tell people what you are doing. When you eat a good burger you tell people..then they go...and it goes from there.

    I dont think you should consider buying accounts until you are mowing 30 to 40 accounts a week. Buying 10 accounts will have a better return than tagging 5k homes.

    good luck....
  3. GreenShoesLC

    GreenShoesLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

  4. Matt S

    Matt S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

  5. cjermaine30

    cjermaine30 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

  6. clintonlawncare

    clintonlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    My 2 cents:

    Typically the rate of return that is generally known for "flyers/door hanging" is much lower with services vs. pizza places etc. So while any advertisement is good and productive, you must realize that the numbers are much different.
    example: you hang 5000 flyers advertising your mowing service vs pizza shack hangs 5000 also. your return will be much much lower generally speaking since the customer is dealing with a decision to commit to a weekly/monthly/yearly service and $bill$. while the pizza flyer amounts to a one time $10-20 commitment.

    For this reason I prefer advertising in local newspapers with a professional advertisiment that can cost as little as $30/month!!!
    This method takes little to no time and targets people who are interested in YOU not the other way around. I have gained a nice amount of business this way and put no time and very little capital into it at all. From those accounts word of mouth and doing a beautiful job @ a good rate has made up the vast majority of my business.

    Best of luck....
  7. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Advertising in newspapers can be dramatically different depending on where you live. In smaller cities, it can be cheap, like $30 a month. In a large city, like Houston, it was like $90 or so for a one month advertisement.

    However, check this out, in large, non metropolitan cities where the population isn't that internet savvy yet, newspapers may still be the cream of the crop for advertising. In McAllen, Tx, the Rio Grande Valley, a 3-4 line ad in the newspaper will cost you $300 a month, unless you sign a contract with them.
  8. NarNar

    NarNar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    What you said above is correct, I do want to add that. Make sure you look get to know the paper you are advertising with. Some papers group all the services together and the add that you paid for will be in a pool of other's advertising the same service. At this point it becomes a size and wording game, to get the most attention.

    In reality, unless you are purchasing accounts out right, word of mouth is the best. Save your money.
  9. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Word of mouth is good, but slow. I say for fastest results, advertise online. Certain restrictions apply (tm)
  10. NarNar

    NarNar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    True, but that is also relative to how well you work, how well you network.

    I would also suggest joining different networking organization's, some do cost money, but the returns is much better... I look at it like purchasing an account.

    For Example, I joined the Chamber cost me a few hundred dollars but, I have landed 4 accounts. So it has paid for itself, plus I continue to meet new people and potential clients.

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