Getting 50+ accounts by next season

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by personallawn, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. personallawn

    personallawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I am starting out a lawncare business next season. I wanted to know if it is possible to get 50+ customers in the next 4 months and the best ways to go about doing it? I only have 5 accounts right now, but I wanted to know if it is realistic to gain that many customers. I know it all depends on how much I advertise, but what are the best ways to gain a lot of customers in a short period of time? I know its going to be hard but I am willing to put all my effort into doing this and any help would be great. Thanks

    Ryan
     
  2. DaveinSWFL

    DaveinSWFL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I am not an expert, new to the business as well. I would make sure that the 5 that I am servicing look fantastic. I would offer referral discounts to existing customers. I would give fliers out letting the neighbors know that you service Mr & Mrs ____ property and that you are detail oriented, etc. If the lawn is the best on the block, they will call. When you meet new people tell them what you do and give a business card out. If they don't need your service maybe a friend does. When I service my properties I wave to neighbors and say hello to evryone who passes by. Shows that I am approachable. Your right, your goal of 50 is difficult, but it is obtainable. Good luck to you.
     
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    That is NOT unrealistic at all.

    My 1st year I had 42, there were NOT all weekly, And some were one time only,
    BUT what will happen is, while working solo " I assume your solo" you will start getting calls and spending a lot of time doing bids and meeting Customers. this will take you away from Working " cutting grass "

    Really to get a weekly Customer you need to spend at least 1 hour with them. Walking there proptery and getting on the same page... Now this is NOT true for every customer or situwation. But It's a GREAT model to go by.

    Once you start getting your name and number out there, and you get 25-30 Customers you WILL HAVE to have some help. This is when the phone will start ringing off the wall.

    If you get 4 bids in one day. just put it in your mind that will take 4 hours outta your day.
    With that in mind. I think you can quickly see that it will be hard to keep up with your customer base.

    Unrealstic... NOT AT ALL.....

    Good luck
     
  4. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    do you work another job with this your are you just working lawns? i have a full time graveyard job plus the lawns. my second year in bus. i had 97 customers mostly weekly and i had a part time guy . i worked 2.5 days a week plus my 50 hours ant night. all my mowers and stuff was new so i did not do pms on them. i figured "it can wait " at the end of that year made good money from both places and my other job went crazy. we started working 16 hours a day 7 days a week. almost for the whole year. my lawns took a tole. i started to cancel some of the lawns and pass some to the other small guys in town.in the winter i had given up most and was down to just 5 lawns. laid off my part time guy and choose to stop doing lawns..last year i started up again with a bus. partner. i have a new look on those type of work. at the time i had no choice but to work all those hours. but now i'vs been there long enough that i can pass on the overtime when i need to..we went from 97 customers to nothing and now were at 26 and can't seem to pass that mark. so think hard and long about your choices your making and good luck.
     
  5. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    If your plan is to obtain 50 clients by April and not lowball the other companies working in your market then I say you have a slim chance but it also depends on how saturated your area is with other lawn companies.

    Now by the end of the season I could see you possibly having a clientell of 50 plus but not by April. Remember that the average responce rate to your advertising is going to be around 2%, so for every 200 flyers you put out you should expect around 2 calls, then you still need to land the client. Most people come into this field with unrealistic goals and get frustrated and leave when things don't work out the way they thought they would.
     
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220


    WOW If you had 97 weekly acconts you must of had a hard decission to make.
    being in Business with a partner is risky, I trust you went to an attorney.
     
  7. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    YOUR ANSWER TO THE QUESTION IS WE ARE TALKING TO ONE RIGHT NOW. WE JUST PARTNER UP 2 MONTHS AGO. AND YES IT WAS A VERY HARD ONE TO MAKE .BUT IT'S ALSO HARD ONE TO MAKE TO WALK A WAY FROM A UNION JOB WITH BENEFITS WERE I MADE A LITTLE OVER 100,000.00 LAST YEAR WITH ALL THE OVER TIME..SO YES IT IS NOT EASY TO DO AND MAKE CHOICES ON BOTH JOBS.
     
  8. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Its rather interesting the diversification of answers you get on here...

    Bottom line.... if you think you can or you think you cant .... YOUR RIGHT
     
  9. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Well, You can have a 1000 accounts but if you get hit with a drought like we did this year, they won't do you a bit of good.

    I lost thousands of dollars on residentials -no contracts- this year.

    Now I am finding that customers that did levelize billing now want to pay-per-service.

    If we have drought this year, it won't be pretty.

    Tim
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well, your attitude is good to have, it never hurts to have high goals.
    I say go for it, just don't be too disappointed if you end up with less or it does not work out exactly the way you had in mind.

    In other words don't let it get you down if you only end up with 30 or 40, that could be detrimental in itself, more so than the fact that you might think it's not enough... I've survived with 20-30 customers before, so the key here is shoot for the best but expect the worst. For example, go for 50 but be happy and content if you end up with 20, now I hope that doesn't ruin your goals but I also hope not to send you down the road to 50 then you get 30 and you quit, see, so, well, take it from here.

    oh yeah... How...
    1) Advertise your BUTT off, you can NOT, I repeat: You will NOT put out enough, never mind too much, so do a TON x 3!
    2) Lowball.
    > Hint: The more of 1 you do, the less of 2 you have to do.
    3) IF you get too many calls, that's great reason to raise your prices.

    I don't want to talk about that, but you don't have to tell me :laugh:
     

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