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"Clustering" accounts

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by weeders1, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. weeders1

    weeders1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I think this is my first post! I love this site.

    We had to move a few years ago, and now I am in my second full year doing business in a new area of the state. It hasnt been easy getting new customers all over again. I got a few accounts in different areas that werent near each other hoping to gain their neighor's accounts as well but it didn't work out the way I planned. After spending too much on gas and time wasted I decided to politely discard the accounts that are the furthest distance and focus on my best customers areas, where I spend the most time every week. Ive been advertising in the local paper and in church bulletins of the areas I want to focus on as well as direct mail, new mover mailers and craigslist (haven't gotten the best customers from CL, but thats besides the point). I have a website and am on google places and yelp (with 2 great reviews!). I have tried to incent my customers to refer me but I think the neighbors seem to be happy with the service they are getting already. Im getting frustrated! Any suggestions?
     
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    I was hoping you had some. You are doing the right thing. Direct mail does work but it gets expensive but could be the best bet. I have gotten some of my best clients via personalized / mail merge letters hand signed with postage stamps and hand written addresses.

    It is labor intensive and expensive. Next would be mass mailing post cards.

    Clearly the best way to go is getting customer referrals.
     
  3. weeders1

    weeders1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for the reply. Direct mail is expensive! I'm behind the beginning of the season, but I would like to try the direct mail service the post office has, Every Door Direct with a postcard printed from Vistaprint. Funds are limited right now because I am starting all over again so I hope to do that soon.
     
  4. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Hang in there and keep digging.I had to do the same thing with the gas issue.
     
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Well one school of thought is to try to account for expenses and budget accordingly. I know reality is often different. Still worth trying.
     
  6. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    I don't know if I would have just let go of those accounts. The accounts are an asset in getting in with other contractors. That may benefit you as they may return the favor giving you accounts that would help you out of their area. That way when you get leads in their area you can send them their way and vica a versa. It couldn't hurt.

    I have three guys that referd customers to me as they are over booked. Now I am full also. So when I have some one ask if I can work for them they have to be very close in my area or I won't even consider them, I take some extra on if it is worth it because you will loss some the following season, and try to refer them to some one I know will take good care of them. (I don't just give leads to just anyone, that would reflect bad on me if they didn't follow through.)

    Just a thought?
     

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