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 talking to everyone and have businesses cards for now since theres snow on the ground but I wanted if people would find it strange or be completely uninterested about there nexts years lawncare services already since they still have a few months of snow here(I live in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY). What would be a couple good ways to advertise now while its cold? Maybe going door to door in neighborhoods I know with older people(even though it's cold, I'm young and don't look to harmful so they might let me in and I could tell them about my service and how it will benefit them).

    Someone replied asking if I work solo- I work solo and I have a friend that will help me anytime I'm going to need any.

    Any suggestions or advice would be great. Thanks

    Ryan
     
  2. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,060

    Hey Shane,
    What is your other job? I too am in this boat, but no where close to what you have/had.
    I have been in this business for one year now and only have 10 clients. Out of those 10, two are commercial. I was really trying to go after commercial for next year but they are hard to get. So I am now putting a lot into door hangers, fliers, paper adds and such.
    Thanks, Jay
     
  3. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    Its possible. I did it last spring. You should set aside $3k for advertising depending on your market. I suggest get a good logo made, nice website made, possibly yellow pages (I didn't do yellow pages), and doorhangers / directmail. I did doorhangers last year, switching to direct mail this up coming April.
     
  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    I am going to do the doorhangers this spring. Looking to go from 20 to around 50 weekly lawns.
     
  5. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    i work for a company that loads perishable goods for Ralph's food for less nugget markets and a few more. last year we took over for Ralph's on the delivery of goods.so last year it was pretty busy for us and we are leveled out and i have enough guys in seniority below me to pick the shifts and times i want . so this year it will be a lot easier. i too will be working hard this year to get commercial accounts ... good luck we all need it....
     
  6. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Geat adivce if you enjoy working twice as hard a smaller piece of the pie.
    I realize that lowballing seems like a good idea in order to attract more clients but you only end up working harder for less money.

    Example:
    Lets say your competition charges $35 per lawn and you decide to lowball and charge $25 for the same lawn and lets say each week you both earn $2000. You will need to cut 80 lawns per week while your competion only needs to cut 57 lawns. This means you need 23 more clients then your competition to make the same amount of money.

    If you price the jobs right you don't need as many of them and at the end of the day you haven't worn yourself out. Work smarter not harder.
     
  7. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    I like that.
     
  8. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,315

    Lowballing is a good way of establishing a customer base, but it could attract the wrong customers. If someone isn't willing to pay $99 or $119 or whatever price per month for services, they shouldn't be getting them. If you lower the price to say $79/month and you start getting bites, it might be a challenge to raise your prices later on. With the higher prices, you also get more respect from the more affluent clients and will be able to attract people that you WANT to service.

    It's always people's first instinct to lower prices to get clients, then raise them once they're maxing out their schedule. This is fine because you will learn to drop the less profitable clients in favor of the easy to deal with and prompt paying ones.

    If you do choose to lowball, your first few months (possibly the fisrt season) will be full of headaches as you try to establish your business. This is something everyone incurrs so its no big deal, I just wanted to warn you.

    As for the original question, YES it is possible to get 50 clients by April. What I suggest is doing aearation in March/April to kickstart your business. I say this for a few reasons:

    1) Its a service that people make a decision on when you're at the door. Yes or no right on the spot.
    2) It pays AMAZING if you can keep busy.
    3) Its a gateway to getting mowing customers... "Mr Smith, I also provide regular lawn care services. Would you be interested?" If they say no, reply with "Well, here's my card. If you change your mind or know someone in the area that may be interested, give me a call."
    4) Its relatively easy to do, and do well.

    I'm not sure what your financial situation is or what your credit situation is, but I can tell you that you can buy and pay off a $2500 aeration machine in the first round of visits if you play your cards right (think about it, $35-50 per house x 70-80 houses = $2450 - $4000 :weightlifter:).

    Good Luck with everything!

    -Tom
     
  9. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    LOWBALLING WORKS FOR ME. Here is how. Unlike many LCOs I don't have employees so I don't pay for unimployment ins. and work comp., I also buy as much of my equipment at cost as possible(which is almost all of it), I don't drive a $50,000 diesel truck like so many LCOs around here do. I don't make bad investments that I would have to rebound from like others. I maintain all of my equipment myself instead of paying ungodly amounts to billy bobs butt screwing repair shop. When all of that is taken into account you can easily shave $5 off a lawn than one of the big LCOs, and still come out great.
     
  10. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,060

    I know this is off the topic, but sense it was in this post, I would like to ask.
    Speaking of employees / unemployment ins. and workman's comp, who knows some about this?
    Like when do if at all are you to provide this. If you just use a helper some, and nothing like a 40 hr week thing, do you need to have this. I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, on taxes, you just report them as sub-contrators, is this right?
    Thanks
     

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