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First potential customer.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by EliteImpressions, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. EliteImpressions

    EliteImpressions LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Posts: 215

    I was comming home from breakfast today with my fiance and we noticed a feret running in the street. Of course she jumped out and grabbed it. We went walking around with our cat in a stoller (always get a lot of weird looks) and had the ferret while I was handing out business cards and trying to see if anyone lost a ferret. We asked one guy if he knew if anyone lost one he said if we give him our number he would check around. I gave him my business card and he asked how much to do he yard so he wouldnt have to do it anymore. I said I would come back later and for him to call me. My fiance took it as I told him I would just come back. I would have done it right then but we were with a few other people and I was dressed like a scrub. Im thinking I should just go over tomorrow and see if he wants and estimate. Also it will be my first customer so I have no estimate forms of any sort. Should I go to staples and get some of the general invoices they carry? How should I dress, etc. Any help would be really appreciated! Oh we took the ferret to petsmart and they will hold it for a few days to see if anyone claims it. And someone is looking to get it already. It was a good day all around.
  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,439

    Elite, please tell me that you have a child in the stroller and not just the cat... :rolleyes: My wife is a brand mgr with a large petfood company and will get a kick out of that one.

    As for the ferret, do you have a local humane society? I can't imagine anyone in the world that would go try to find their lost pet at a retail store.

  3. EliteImpressions

    EliteImpressions LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Posts: 215

    Nope, just the cat. The cat is treated as a son though. The petsmart is only about a mile a way and they have people from local shelters come in on the weekend. So we really gave it to the shelter reps.
  4. Bryn

    Bryn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206


    You answered your own question. Also think of it from a different point of view, how would you judge a person if they came to your door, offering to do work. If you dress like a scruff then you may get paid like a scruff, on the other hand, dress like a business man and they will think you will cost too much. I suggest you clean up, dress tidy, in the clothes you would do the work in.

    Secondly, and this is hard for me, try to dress tidy, and clean everyday, including the days off. Always have business cards in your pocket, and be prepared to sell.

    Hope this helps,

    Best Regards

  5. The LawnSmith

    The LawnSmith LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    An estimate sheet is nice for commercial accounts. If it is a residential property, you might try writing the estimate on the back of your business card. For example:

    (Property Address)
    Trimming = $45.00

    I don't know if this would be a preferred method, but it seems to work for me.

    That way, the customer knows what you will do for the amount charged, and if more work than the standard maintenance listed is requested you can add to the standard price. Dress sharp, but casual, and don't bid lower than what you feel is adequate for the services performed. It may not be bad weather mowing this time of year, but what about in the dead heat of summer? Bid the job as if you are bidding something you will do as a regular.
    This and other websites have sample invoices. There is also some software that you can find that is tailored toward this line of work, but just starting out, you may not find it worthwhile until you establish more customers.


    Thats my opinion

  6. Lawnchoice

    Lawnchoice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 781


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Like Bryn said, its always good to carry your business cards. Last winter, I picked my son up from preschool and stopped at 7-11 to buy him a Slurpee. Some guy saw the sign on my truck and asked me for a card. Didn't have any, my fault for being in "Winter Hibernation Mode". Moral of the story is, you never know where your next lead will come from, so be prepared.

    I had a part-time job in a department store for a few winters, I gave a lot of my cards out while helping people find "just the right coffee pot".
  8. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    I always keep cards in my wallet. And several cards in every vehichle.
  9. EliteImpressions

    EliteImpressions LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Posts: 215

    Thanks for all the tips, I will be going over later on today.
  10. shepoutside

    shepoutside LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    I would also suggest keeping track of your quotes too. Is all to often they will forget what you quoted, or they lose the card. I right down all the detail, so I can refresh my memory too. Now I use quote forms most times, where I have a copy, but still hand out cards too, with prices on the back, then when I can, I jot the details down. Even had a few people tell me I quoted a cheaper price, but is nice to read of my copy, or notes, then if they still argue, I ask to see there card, with the details. Most time's it's lost, but they Remember it was what-ever, then you need to ask yourself if this is a customer you want. Good luck !!!

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