First year flop

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BLC14, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,308

    As others said, don't be discouraged. You haven't flopped. You need to change your mindset in a hurry. Some of us live in different areas with different markets. Some can build a business fast, others it takes longer. But I believe it takes years for ANY lawn care company to build a company to it's fullest potential. As others said, you shouldn't be on Lawn Site complaining, but rather out marketing. When you get that mindset you'll gain you the customers you are looking for. I started out this year and gained a but load of customers, but I had a mindset of pretty much going ALL OUT. When I started marketing in February, I was passing out thousands of flyers, stopping old ladies in the grocery store, and giving pretty ladies at the convenience stores flyers, when I seen someone walking their dog or working in their yard, I never passed them up. I've posted this on ls before, I've approached hundreds of people, went from being a shy person, to a slick salesman in one spring, out of the hundreds I've approached, only two literally told me to F off or literally MOVE ON, and I didn't take no offense to it. Change your mindset, you didn't fail, get out there and get to work.
     
  2. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    Keep grinding. Your business will build momentum, but it takes time. Each year you'll grow. Work hard, do the best you can, and keep your head in the game.

    Get a part time job working nights somewhere to keep money in your pockets if you need to. Just don't give up, because once you hit a stride, if you're good at what you do and smart, it won't stop.

    Also, there is no beginning or end to sales season. Just keep working on building and it will grow. Never stop selling.
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  3. Keene Landscaping

    Keene Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    As others said keep going. It's my first year as well, I may have put out 700 DOOR HANGERS have 3 mowing clients and pretty sure I'll get the bid I have in the morning. I'm also slammed with spring clean up and mulch jobs. I have 3 backed up right now. I get off my full time job and go right into the business. Sleep is for broke people. Good luck and keep at it.
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  4. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,569

    I feel like a broken record. But, presentation will open a lot more doors than many people think. If you keep everything looking sharp, people notice.

    Doorhangers worked fantastic, for me. I could target only the areas I wanted to work, versus EDDM blanketing everyone and costing me for every one.

    Don't ever say "No", "I don't....", "I can't....". I never tell customers any of those words. If there's something over my head, I find someone who can do it. If you facilitate the process, you're still the customer's hero. I do everything from cleaning gutters, detailing cars, moving crap around, to whatever they may need done. I don't care. If they're paying, I'm working.

    It takes time to build up a solid client list.
     
  5. THORNTON SERVICES LLC

    THORNTON SERVICES LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 405

    One important thing I think that a lot of people have failed to mention is the local lawn care company's in your area , most successful company's have a very hard time finding help and actually turn away work all the time we do. This is the work you need and nothing works better to land the job than a referral , go speak to lawn care guys you see out , tell them you are new , do not be a prick and try to act like you are better than them etc give them your cards and ask them if there is work they do not want to refer you for it , even offer to subcontract mow for them so they can make some money on it as well you should be booked up by the end of summer with crap , then the trick is trading in the junk for the good stuff over time as your reputation becomes better. You need to be out there , forget all the adds and postcards etc that costs money , get a nice vinyl image on your truck , get you equip looking organized and professional , business cards and get out there people want to hire people they see out doing work , just my opinion but I see no reason why you shouldn't be extreamly busy this year start at the bottom and work your way up. Good luck.
     
  6. Rich2014

    Rich2014 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hey guys, I myself am just starting out this year and have had ups and downs so far. A huge benefit for me is i used to work for a printing company who is helping me with with my advertising. If any of you need business cards, door hangers ect any printed materials at all, I highly recommend Onestopprintshop.net call and try to talk to john. hes a great sales guy and very helpful. their prices are great ex. 1000 high gloss front and back side print business cards for $36.

    anyways even with that in my pocket i have had a hard time getting jobs. i have 1 commercial property set up waiting for contract to be agreed and signed, and 1 full season lawn. But just yesterday while out mowing that 1 yard i got a call for an emergency mow that took me 20 min to do. an extra $20 in my pocket. They only need 1 more cut before they move to their new home and nothing may come of it but they were very pleased with my quick work and response time. Claimed they will refer me to friends and family. so all in all a good day and good lead.

    Try Social Media for sales leads, Facebook, Twitter, Ect. I have a business page for my company on Facebook, have followers and have had a few leads from it. Biggest thing is getting your name out there and being seen.
     
  7. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    This is really good advice. Another idea I had was to build a custom made billboard that hinges to my vehicle (or trailer) that lifts up with two pins. And when you're at a job site, just lift it up inviting neighbors to come talk to you. Word it in a way to entice them with a local area discount. I mean if you're already parked there, you won't lose time and gas traveling, just give the neighbors a nice discount and get some extra work in.

    Advertising on the job site using a giant billboard, now that's something I've never seen anyone do, but could be effective.
     
  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,103

    That's what enclosed trailers are for. But at $5 a yard you're going to have to mow 800 yards just to pay for the trailer. And then another 400 to turn it into a billboard.
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  9. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    In my mind, enclosed trailers aren't as effective. They are seen from the side view, and lawn guys park along the side of the road. Having a swing up custom made billboard that stand maybe 8 to 10 feet tall would be seen from locals driving up and down the street. Also have the sides on the enclosed trailers implemented with graphics. Though around here, I'm not sure I've seen anyone using enclosed trailers. Not sure why, but most are open trailers.

    The point is being loud and as noticeable as possible.
     
  10. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,569

    So you're telling me, people driving down the street don't see the rear of a box trailer? Well, I hope they don't rear-end the thing, since they supposedly can't see the back door and the logo that's on it. And, if you're leaving the back door down while working a job, you're advertising to the world what's inside and inviting a passerby to help themselves. :confused:
     

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